The Best Time of The Year to Visit Lisbon
Although the Portuguese capital is a pleasant place to visit at any time of the year, considering its Mediterranean climate, choosing the best time to visit Lisbon will basically depend on each traveller’s personal interests.
In the Summer, the warm temperatures and large number of cultural events fill up the city with tourists eager to discover it, but this is also the time of year when a large part of the locals head towards other destinations in and outside the country to enjoy some well deserved holidays.
In Spring and Autumn, the mild temperatures offer the ideal conditions to roam around Lisbon comfortably, but the intense car traffic can make driving a little more complicated.
In this article, I’m sharing some practical information about the climate and main events taking place during the year so that you get a clearer idea of the best time to visit Lisbon.
Weather in Lisbon
The Portuguese capital benefits from a Mediterranean climate and is considered one of the mildest capitals in Europe. In the Spring, the average temperatures are around 16º, while in the summer temperatures can reach 27º to 30º.
In the Autumn, the weather becomes a little bit unstable though still with mild temperatures, and in the Winter you can count on some rain and average temperatures of 12º.
Main Events and Celebrations in Lisbon
If you’re looking to complement your visit to Lisbon with some cultural events, then Summer will be the best time to visit. From June to September, a large number of events of great interest are held in the city, such as music festivals, open-air shows and traditional celebrations.
★ Local Celebrations
In Lisbon, celebrations are often held on the street among crowds determined to have fun in a relaxed and lively way. Summer is the ideal time for those who want to experience Lisbon in a unique way.
- Lisbon Festivities | June
June is the month of the celebrations in Lisbon. With the streets rigorously decorated, Lisbon’s Festivities start right at the beginning of the month with concerts, several open-air shows and “arraiais” (popular neighbourhood parties) taking place across Lisbon.
Although they last until the end of the month, the festivities reach their a peak in the popular parade held on Avenida da Liberdade on the night of June 12. Each of Lisbon’s neighbourhoods parades along the avenue with their own costumes and songs, and at the end, a winner is announced. The party continues into the night in various celebrations that take place simultaneously throughout the city, where grilled sardines and popular Portuguese music are mandatory.
★ Music Festivals
Music lovers are sure to find in Lisbon several festivals that match other European festivals’ quality.
- Rock in Rio Festival | June
The first year of Rock in Rio in Lisbon was 2013. Since then, the festival has established itself as one of the most anticipated music festivals in Lisbon, hosting some of the biggest national and international pop and rock artists. It takes place every year in Parque da Bela Vista, between Areeiro and Parque das Nações.
- NOS Alive Festival | July
In July, the Passeio Marítimo de Algés, located next to the Tagus River, welcomes one of the biggest music festivals in Portugal, NOS Alive. This festival has brought some of the biggest names in international music to Lisbon in recent years, such as Massive Attack, Chemical Brothers, Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, among many others.
- Super Bock em Stock Festival | November
In November alternative music lovers find their paradise in Lisbon at the Super Bock em Stock Festival. The concerts take place in different spaces and concert halls around Avenida da Liberdade and Restauradores, such as São Jorge Movie Theatre, the Coliseu dos Recreios or the Tivoli Theater, among other more unusual spaces..
★ Film Festivals
Cinema is fully appreciated in Lisbon throughout the year, through festivals that showcase some of the best films and documentaries produced at a national and international level.
- Monstra – Lisbon Animation Film Festival | March
Taking place every year in March, Monstra showcases the best animated films by artists from more than a hundred countries. With more than 20 years of existence, the festival is considered a reference at a national and international level.
- Indie Lisboa – International Film Festival | May
In May* the São Jorge movie theatre, Culturgest, Cinema Ideal and the Cinemateca Portuguesa, welcome Indie Lisboa, an international film festival where dozens of independent films from around the world are shown and evaluated.
* In 2021, for reasons related with the Covid pandemic, Indie Lisboa will be held exceptionally from August 21 to September 6.
- Doclisboa – Lisbon International Festival | October
Entirely dedicated to the documentary genre, Doclisboa has been showcasing, since 2004, the best national and international documentaries. The festival usually takes place during the month of October, on several venues throughout the city such as Cinema São Jorge, Cinema Ideal and Culturgest.
I hope this article helps you decide on the best time to visit Lisbon. In case of any doubts, just leave your comments below, I’ll be happy to help!