Lisbon is a great place to visit because of its food, history, culture, and beautiful scenery. No matter why you choose to visit Lisbon, there are certain times to visit that are better than others.
As with any vacation, our recommendation will vary, based on whether you’re looking for the best weather, the cheapest time to visit, or the fewest crowds.
Our comprehensive guide has everything you need to know about visiting Lisbon, including why you should visit when you should visit, and everything you need to know to make your trip to Lisbon great.
Read on to learn all you need to know!
Why You Should Visit Lisbon
One of the best reasons to visit Lisbon is the food. There are some foods that Lisbon is known for, like the delicious “pasteis de Belém,” which is a creamy tart. And, if you love seafood, Lisbon has a lot to offer, especially in the summer months when you can get fresh seafood all over the city.
Lisbon, Portugal, is a very old town, and you will learn a lot about its history by visiting sites like the Jerónimos Monastery and the São Jorge Castle. The town also has those famous yellow trams that you can use to get all over the city.
Finally, make sure you admire how colorful the city is. Whether you are overlooking it from the castle or walking along the city streets past all the colorful buildings, Lisbon is a unique place.
Overall Best Time to Visit Lisbon
The best time to visit Lisbon is in the spring and fall when crowds are lower than in the summer months.
You will not be fighting the crowds to see the most popular places in the city, and you will not have to worry about accommodations and flights booking up since fewer people are traveling here.
Another benefit of visiting Lisbon in the spring and fall is that the weather is not too hot or too cold. Between March and May, average high temperatures in Lisbon are in the 60s and low 70s, then drop to the 50s at night, which means you will be fine in a light jacket if you even need one.
Then, in September, you still have summer-like temperatures with highs around 79 degrees Fahrenheit and lows in the 60s. October has weather similar to the spring.
Finally, you will be able to save a little money in the shoulder season compared to the summer, which helps a lot if you are a budget traveler but don’t want to miss out on amazing but popular destination like Portugal.
Take into consideration that during spring and fall most of the locals are in town, especially families with children, due to school.
So, you’ll have a hard time using public transportation early morning and early evening, and will face traffic jams at these times. But it’s something that is easy to avoid if you leave the hotel or apartment a little later.
Cheapest Time to Visit Lisbon
The cheapest time to visit Lisbon is in January and February. The crowds during these months are low and so is demand. As a result, prices for everything, including flights, hotels, and activities, are lower than they are in the summer.
The main reason why fewer people visit in January and February and why everything is cheaper is because of the weather. Lisbon doesn’t get any snow, but you will find that temperatures do get quite low.
The average low temperatures in Lisbon in January and February are in the high 40s Fahrenheit, so you will have to bring a jacket, at least to wear at night. Since not many people are going to Lisbon in January and February, you can likely get cheap flights.
Whether you are coming from a different continent or from somewhere else within Europe, flights will be cheap, even on the airlines that charge hundreds or even thousands to fly to Lisbon in the summer.
And, if you don’t want to sacrifice good weather for a cheaper stay, you can still visit in the shoulder months of April, May, September, and October. These months are not as cheap as the winter months, but you will have a combination of lower prices and good weather.
Least Busy Time to Visit Lisbon
The least busy time to visit Lisbon is in the winter, between late October and early April, except for major holidays.
Lisbon is most popular in the summer months, so if you can visit in the off-season, you will find that crowds are much lower, and you will have an easier time visiting all the most popular attractions.
In the late fall, winter, and early spring, fewer people visit Lisbon since the weather is not as nice as in the summer. Average high temperatures are in the 50s and 60s Fahrenheit, and temperatures are in the 40s at night.
Depending on the temperatures you are used to in the winter, these may not seem bad, so you should consider visiting Lisbon in the winter. Besides the lower crowds, you will also see cheaper accommodation costs.
And, it will be less busy at the most popular attractions, which means enjoying them more easily. The least busy winter months are January and February, after the holiday season and before the spring weather comes.
Visiting during Christmas or Easter will be just as busy as the summertime, but the weather will not be as nice. You should avoid these months to save money on accommodations and avoid crowds.
December is also the busiest and most expensive time of year to fly, and you might face flight delays and cancellations, meaning missing out on time in Lisbon.
Worst Time to Visit Lisbon
The worst time to visit Lisbon for crowds and high prices is summer. Summer travel in Europe is a big industry for locals and tourists, which is why warm destinations like Lisbon see the most visitors in the summer.
I promise there isn’t a bad time to visit Lisbon, but you will get hot and have to wait in many lines at the most popular places between June and August.
However, you may want to visit in the summer months if that is when you have vacation time or if you want the best weather. Just know that things will be busier and more expensive in these months.
If you plan to visit Lisbon in the summer, try to book your tickets in advance and arrive at places early to beat the crowds.
Buying your tickets online will save you from waiting in a long ticket line, and you can head straight for the entrance in most places. And make sure you book your flights and hotel early so you can get the best rates.
If you book a last-minute trip to Lisbon in the summer, prices will be high, and many places will likely already be booked up. If you do have to book last minute, you may end up staying somewhere other than where you wanted, like outside the city center.
Things to Consider
Here are some things to consider during your trip to Lisbon:
- The local currency is the Euro. You can use your credit card in most places, but it does help to have some Euros on you in case you go to a smaller shop or restaurant or want to buy something quick on the street.
- Most people speak English. If you speak English, you will have no problem getting around the city. However, learning a few basic sayings in Portuguese can help and is a good way to show the locals you appreciate their culture and city.
- Lisbon has distinct neighborhoods. If you have time during your visit, you should take a deep dive into each of the neighborhoods to get a better feel for Lisbon’s culture and the people who live there. Some of the neighborhoods include Baixa, Alfama, Bairro Alto, and Belém.
- There are UNESCO World Heritage Sites. If you are a history or architecture lover, you will love Lisbon. You can’t miss two of the most popular sites: Jerónimos Monastery and Belém Tower, which are both close together in the Belém neighborhood.
- Lisbon is quite hilly. The city center is surrounded by hills, but you can still walk around as the main center is flat. When you need to get to the hilly areas of the city, you can take a tram if you don’t want to get your extra steps in.
- Getting to Lisbon is easy. Lisbon is the main hub for TAP airlines, Portugal’s home airline. TAP flies around Portugal, all over Europe, and to destinations in other parts of the world. There are also plenty of other airlines that have nonstop flights from major cities worldwide.
Frequently Asked Questions
If you have more questions about when to visit Lisbon and what you need to know before visiting, you will find all the answers below:
How many days in Lisbon do you need?
If you want to see the major sites in the city and get a good feel for the culture, you should spend at least three to four days in Lisbon. If you spend more time in the city, you can take a day trip or two to places like Sintra, or you can dive deeper into Lisbon’s history and food.
What is the rainiest month in Lisbon?
The rainiest month in Lisbon is November which sees an average of 5 inches of rain throughout the month. On the other hand, you will see the least amount of rain in June, July, and August, all of which see less than an inch of rain on average during each month.
What is the hottest month in Lisbon?
The hottest month in Lisbon is August, which sees an average high of 83 degrees Fahrenheit. Temperatures at night tend to get down to 66 degrees Fahrenheit on average. July is a close second, with temperatures nearly as high as August.
What is the coldest month in Lisbon?
The coldest month in Lisbon is January, with high temperatures around 58 degrees Fahrenheit on average. At night, the low average temperature is 47 degrees Fahrenheit.
What food is Lisbon famous for?
One of the most famous treats in Lisbon is the “Pastéis de Nata,” or the “Pastéis de Belém,” if you get them from the original bakery in the Belém neighborhood. Lisbon is also home to a lot of seafood dishes, and some of the most popular are sardines, cod, and crab.
Do you tip in Portugal?
Tipping is not necessary for Lisbon or Portugal in general. Staff is paid a standard wage to serve you, unlike in the United States, where tipping is customary. If you experience exceptional service, you can still tip.
Is English spoken in Lisbon, Portugal?
Many people in Lisbon speak English, so if you also speak English, you can communicate as you go around the city.
Is Lisbon a friendly city?
People in Lisbon are very friendly, and if you need directions, help with anything, or just want to chat about the city, most people will be happy to help you out. You may have better luck talking to locals if you speak a little Portuguese.
Is Lisbon worth visiting?
Lisbon is a city well worth visiting, and you will be able to find something that interests you, whether you want to try new foods, learn about the city’s history, partake in the nightlife, or just experience a new place.
Is three days enough to see Lisbon?
Three days in Lisbon is enough time to see the main sites as a first-time visitor. You should still visit the city, even if you can only stay for three days, as you will get a feel for the city and what you should do next time you visit.
Can you drink tap water in Lisbon?
Tap water is safe to drink in Lisbon and in Portugal in general. However, you will not have any issues finding bottled water throughout the city if you prefer to drink that.
What time is dinner in Portugal?
In Portugal, including in Lisbon, you will find that most locals eat dinner around 9, give or take an hour. This dinner time is later than some people are used to, but restaurants are usually open by 6 or 7 for dinner. But you will notice that restaurants don’t fill up until a couple of hours after opening.
What time do people eat lunch in Lisbon?
People in Lisbon eat lunch around 1 or 2 PM, which is later than many people are used to. You can still grab lunch around noon if you prefer to eat earlier, but people in Portugal are on a later, more laid-back schedule.
How do you say hello in Lisbon?
If you want to say hello in Portuguese, which is the local language spoken in Lisbon, you can say olá, similar to the Spanish hola, which is hello, or bom dia, which is good day.
So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Lisbon?
The best time to visit Lisbon is in the shoulder seasons, between either March and May or September and October. In these months, you will have good weather, but crowds will be much lower than in the summer.
However, we think that with such rich history, amazing food, and friendly locals, there’s technically no bad time to go. So what are you waiting for — book your trip today!