June 18, 2024
Things to do in Lisbon when it's raining

The rain is pouring down outside my hotel in Lisbon. At first, I was worried the weather would ruin my plans to explore the charming Portuguese capital. But Lisbon has plenty of activities perfect for a rainy day. 

Here are some of my recommendations for things to do in Lisbon when the weather is less than ideal.

How to get to City Center from Lisbon Airport

First of all, I needed quality transportation from the Lisbon airport. So, will try to explain how to get to the city from the airport in an easier way. 

There are several transportation options available to travel from Lisbon Airport to the centre entrance. One of the most convenient and efficient options is to take the metro. The red line connects the airport to the city centre and operates from 6:30 am to 1:00 am

Another option is to take a taxi, which can be found outside the arrivals terminal. Taxis are readily available and charge a fixed rate for the journey to the city centre. 

Alternatively, there are also airport shuttle buses that operate regularly and provide a cost-effective option for travellers. These buses run to various locations in the city centre, including major hotels and tourist attractions. Overall, there are plenty of reliable and affordable transportation options available to get from Lisbon Airport to the city centre.

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Ride Tram 28

One of the best ways to see Lisbon without getting soaked is to hop on the city’s vintage trams, especially Tram 28. These historic trams have been rattling through Lisbon’s hilly, cobbled streets for over a century. Tram 28 passes many of Lisbon’s major attractions, including the Alfama district, the São Jorge Castle, and the Roman Theater Museum. Find an open window seat, hold on tight, and enjoy the bumpy retro ride through the rain-slicked streets.

Marvel at the Marine Animals at the Oceanário de Lisboa

What better place to spend a rainy day than a massive oceanarium? The Oceanário de Lisboa is one of the world’s largest oceanariums, holding a whopping 8,000 species of marine life in colossal saltwater tanks. Watch penguins waddle, sea otters play, and marvel at the amazing central tank housing species from four different oceans. The oceanarium complex offers hours of entertainment out of the rain.

Explore the city without your bags to weigh you down

Since I want to avoid carrying my heavy bags in the rain, today is the perfect day for me to drop them off at my hotel and explore Lisbon bag-free. I can browse artisanal shops, duck into cafes for glasses of port wine or pasties de nata (Portuguese egg tarts), and wander narrow alleyways without worrying about my luggage. Exploring Lisbon unfettered on a rainy day is liberating.

Lisbon Old Town

Go on a Shopping Spree

For those into shopping, rainy days are ideal for retail therapy in Lisbon. Head to Baixa, Lisbon’s main shopping district filled with clothing stores, shoe shops, and other temptations. Or browse the mix of independent boutiques and art galleries in the Principe Real neighbourhood. When the rain gets heavy, pop into a cafe for a pick-me-up or dry off inside the Armazéns do Chiado, a multi-level shopping mall.

Watch a Fado Show

What better way to spend an evening in Lisbon than watching a fado show? Fado is Portugal’s melodic folk music, usually sung by a soloist to the accompaniment of a classical guitar and a pear-shaped lute. Many fado clubs and restaurants in Lisbon offer dinner and show packages, where you can dine on Portuguese cuisine while listening to the soulful, melancholic sounds of fado. A fado show is the perfect evening activity for a wet night in Lisbon.

Visit The National Tile Museum

Portugal is famous for its “azulejo” tiles, the decorative ceramic tiles that adorn building façades, churches, and public spaces across the country. Even on a rainy day, you can appreciate the art form at the National Tile Museum. This museum is dedicated to the history and art of Portuguese tiles, with exhibits spanning from the 15th century to today. Over a thousand tile panels and individual tiles are on display, depicting historical events, religious scenes, and cultural elements. The tile art is stunning, whether you view it in the pouring rain or sunshine.

Attend a Wine Tasting

If the rainy weather has you craving a drink, head to a wine tasting in Lisbon. Portugal is known for wines like Port, Alvarinho, and Douro Reds. Many wine bars and shops in Lisbon offer tastings of flagship Portuguese wines as well as regional varieties from all over the country. Learn about Portuguese viticulture from an expert sommelier and find a new favourite wine—all while staying warm and dry. Some recommended spots for wine tastings include Garrafeira Nacional, Venda da Clara, and BA Wine Bar do Bairro Alto.

Prepare for the flight back

The rain has subsided, leaving the city sparkling clean under blue skies once again. My time in Lisbon has come to an end, but thanks to the rainy day activities, I was able to experience much of what the city has to offer, both outside and in.

The night before my flight, I pack up my belongings and treasure the memories made riding tram 28, visiting the tile museum, tasting Portuguese wines and listening to the melancholic songs of Fado and preparing for my time at Lisbon airport.

Lisbon shone through the rain, and now I know some perfect things to do in Lisbon whatever weather awaits my next visit. The Portuguese capital has stolen my heart, rain or shine.

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