You are in Lisbon but the weather is not good? Were you surprised by the rain during your holiday in Portugal and you don’t have a plan B? Relax, I have for you some tips what to do in Lisbon when it’s raining. In addition to the obvious tourist propositions such as the bursting Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira) or the beautiful Lisbon Oceanarium, I will give you some other ideas for rainy days. There is always something to do in Lisbon and thanks to The Lisboner you will discover the best ideas for a rainy day in the capital.
1. Wine tasting
Portugal is a wine country famous for its variety and high-quality products. You can taste Portuguese wines in Wines of Portugal at Praça do Comércio square. Wines of Portugal is an association of Portuguese wine producers, also responsible for its promotion. There are many tasting options and prices start at 4 euros. On site, friendly English-speaking staff will be happy to advise you and help you choose a wine.
Of course, you can try wines in any restaurant, bar or in a tasca (simple restaurant), but if you are looking for a place with an atmosphere, I recommend you By The Wine. This restaurant & bar was founded under the name of one of the largest wine producers (José Maria da Fonseca), which has been on the market since 1834. You can read about the vineyard and its tour in a separate entry: JMF Vineyard near Lisbon.
If you are looking for a more intimate atmosphere, Graça do Vinho will be the best choice. The owners came up with a brilliant idea to use the old store: the original cabinets were left – they were repainted in the same color, returning them to glow, the stone counter and the floor remained the same. Feel the atmosphere of old Lisbon while savoring Portuguese wine from all over the country.
2. Estufa Fria & Estufa Quente
In this park the rain will not catch you. Estufa Fria and Estufa Quente: a 1.5-hectare complex of indoor gardens in the Edward VII Park. Here you can stroll among exotic plants from all over the world. Estufa Quente is a greenhouse: totally protected form the rain and Estufa Fria is partially covered. Camellias, palm trees and cactus grow between meandering streams and ponds in which ducks and turtles swim. The park also house sculptures by Portuguese artists: “Vento Garroa” by Domingos Soares Branco, “Nu de mulher” by Anjos Teixeira (son) and “Menina calçando a meia” by Leopoldo de Almeida.
The most beautiful Portuguese shop in Lisbon is unbeatable A Vida Portuguesa in Largo de Intendente square. You will find here Portuguese brands, souvenirs, accessories for the apartment and clothes. In PAPUA Market you will find original beach accessories and bikinis. Papua is a young Portuguese clothing brand specializing in swimwear. EMBAIXADA concept store – this beautiful building located in the heart of the Príncipe Real district has fairy-tale-like interiors of 1001 nights. Inside you will find original shops, restaurants and the Gin Lovers bar.
4. Historical Coffee Shops
It’s so Portuguese to sit down with a coffee. Visit one of the many pastry shops with a long history, for example the 180-year-old Confeitaria Nacional with a wonderful interior with a marble counter. Away from the tourist center, you will find the 100-year-old Café Versailles full of mirrors and art nouveau flavors. In the very center, the famous A Brasileira awaits passers-by with an atmospheric interior finished in wood. Pastelaria Benard, established in 1868, is located in its close vicinity. According to the owners, the restaurant still uses the tableware used at the dinner where Queen Elizabeth II was hosted in 1957.
5. Museums in Lisbon
There are so many museums in the town that everyone will find something interesting for themselves. My favorite Lisbon museums:
Museu do Dinheiro (Money Museum) – located in the center, very interactive and interesting, and most importantly, admission is free.
Museu Nacional do Azulejo – after all, azulejo tiles are one of the hallmarks of Portugal, it is worth learning more about them. Buy your ticket online
Museu Calouste Gulbenkian – an amazing collection of works of art from different eras and countries, collected by one man with an amazing history. From Greek to Roman art, from Asian to European. The museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens with a lake. Tickets online
Museu Coleção Berardo – a collection of contemporary art collected by the charismatic Portuguese investor José Berardo. Both the collection and the modernist building in which the works have been collected make a great impression on visitors.(TEMPORARY CLOSED)
Palácio Nacional da Ajuda – Neoclassical palace, in the 19th century the residence of the royal family and today a museum of decorative arts. Tickets online
6. Lx Factory
In the Alcântara district, on the site of a former textile factory from the 19th century, there is a special industrial complex called LX Factory. In its area you will find shops, cafes, restaurants, bookstores, barber shop, offices, coworking and a tattoo studio. Everything perfectly fits into the original industrial interiors. On weekends, there is a market for handicrafts and regional products in the main street. The USAxe Club is especially popular, a bar where you can throw an ax or a tomahawk at the target, an interesting form of entertainment. Sushi fans must go to the Sushi Factory for the “all you can eat” buffet.
7. Go outside of Lisbon!
Check the weather forecast for nearby towns. It often happens that the weather is good 30 kilometers from Lisbon. It is worth visiting the charming city of Cascais located by the ocean, you can read about it HERE. Ericeira is a surf paradise north of Lisbon, read MORE. Aldeia Típica de José Franco is a colorful park of clay miniatures and an ethnographic museum. A real gem of Portuguese folklore.
8. Go to an exhibition or an event
There is always something going on in Lisbon all year round, various events, exhibitions and concerts take place. I often inform you about the most interesting events on my Instagram and Facebook. As Portugal is a producer of excellent wines, we will find a wide range of wine tasting events like for example Essência do Vinho Lisboa.
Urban[R]evolution is an urban art exposition that chronicles the fascinating development of urban art, beginning with its early stages as tags, graffiti and and subway pieces, progressing through the influential middle period and eventually giving rise to street art. You can see pieces of art from Portuguese artists like Vhils but also international like Obey Giant. AddFuel is my favorite Portuguese visual artist and illustrator. I love his way of reinterpreting the language of traditional Portuguese tile design tin-glazed ceramic azulejos. You will find this exhibition in Cordoaria Nacional, it’s open every day 10:30 – 19:30 untill December 3rd (2023).
9. Explore the city by public transport
When it’s raining, you don’t have to give up on watching the city, just take public transport. Lisbon is famous for its old-fashioned yellow trams, and line 28 is of particular interest. Traveling on its route from Matim Moniz Square to the Prazeres Cemetery, we will see the most beautiful corners of Lisbon. The modern tram line 15 will take you from the center, from Praça de Comércio, through various districts of Lisbon (including the famous Belém) to the town of Algés. The route partly runs along the Tagus River. In the Belém district you will see many important monuments such as the Belém Tower, the Hieronymites Monastery and the Monument to the Discoveries. You can read about how to use public transport in Lisbon HERE.
10. Lisbon Oceanarium
In 2017, travel portal Trip Advisor recognized the Lisbon Oceanarium as The Best Oceanarium in the World. In 30 aquariums there are over 7,500,000 liters of water and 8,000 various organisms: fish, animals, plants. In the Lisbon Oceanarium you will see sharks, rays, penguins, otters and many other interesting creatures. The youngest ones will be delighted with this attraction. The Oceanarium is easily and comfortably reached by metro: take the red line to the Oriente station. Buy your ticket online.
11. Food hall
The most popular market hall in Lisbon is Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira). If you don’t like crowds, go to the pretty and less touristic district of Campo de Ourique. The local market, Mercado de Campo de Ourique, is equally interesting and colorful, but much calmer. The bustling, renovated market hall with trendy pubs and boutiques is a meeting place for local people. In Mercado de Campo de Ourique you can try local wines and products.
And what are your ideas for spending your free time when the weather is bad?