Lisbon, with its charming cobblestone streets and stand-out yellow trams, is a delight to visit any time of the year. But, even one of the sunniest cities in Europe can have its rainy days, so you might wonder what to do in Lisbon if that happens. 

You’re in the right place here!

The very first day I arrived in Lisbon, I was met with a drizzly day. Did that stop me from heading out to explore? Nope! 

Lisbon is a great place for rainy-day activities to keep you entertained during the heaviest of downpours. 

If you’re an art lover, there’s the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum. For Lisbon’s history, you can explore Livraria Bertrand. If you’re a foodie, you can head to the Time Out Market. And if you’re somewhat of a shopaholic, you’re in for a treat with the shopping centres in Lisbon.

While taking a stroll along the Tagus River or through the charming Alfama district might not be the best option during a downpour, Lisbon’s indoor attractions always make sure that a little rain won’t dampen the spirits of anyone ready to explore. 

You may need to grab an umbrella for this, but read on to learn about the top 18 things do in Lisbon when it rains.


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How often does it rain in Lisbon

When planning a trip to the Portuguese capital, you’ve got to know a bit about the city’s climate. Lisbon enjoys a Mediterranean climate with mild, wet winters and warm, dry summers. 

Despite being famed for its good weather, the city still experiences occasional rainy days from time to time.

On average, Lisbon sees about 111 rainy days per year. The wettest time is during the winter months, which runs from December to February. The rain is most frequent during this time, especially in December, which averages around 14 rainy days.

To give you a clearer picture, here’s a breakdown of Lisbon’s average monthly rainfall:

MonthAverage Rainfall (mm)Average Rainy Days

As you can see, the wettest months are November to January, while July and August are fairly dry.

As mentioned, however, Lisbon offers plenty of indoor activities and attractions to make the most out of your trip if it happens to rain. 

Things to do in Lisbon When It Rains

1. Ride Tram 28

For a different view of Lisbon’s beautiful neighborhoods, take a ride on Tram 28. This iconic tram will take you through the narrow streets and historic districts. You’ll be able to get a feel for the city and decide where you want to return to when the weather’s a little nicer. 

The historic yellow Tram 28 rumbles through the streets of Lisbon, filled with passengers, capturing the essence of the city's traditional and lively transportation.

Some of the tram stations in the centre of Lisbon tend to get crowded with tourists, and you might have to wait in the rain here, so I recommend taking the Tram 28 from outside the city centre. 

I got on in Graça and took the Tram 28 all the way into the centre. There was only one other person at the stop with me, instead of queues of people! You just need to wrap up warm, find a seat by the window, and enjoy the views!

2. Head to the Time Out Market

When the rain starts to fall in Lisbon, the Time Out Market is one of the best places to be. This foodie haven has got a huge variety of local and international cuisines to choose from. In fact there’s more then 40 restaurants, bars and food shops there! 

  • Grab a burger from Ground Burger
  • Savour fresh seafood from Marisqueira Azul (the Portuguese really know how to do seafood)
  • Sample traditional dishes and charcuterie boards from Manteigaria

With so many options, you can easily spend a few hours munching away on delicious food without getting wet.

And, if it’s raining all day, you can extend your stay to include a workshop or masterclass led by a professional chef, or catch one of the evening events. These often include dancing classes, craft making sessions or concerts. 

You really can spend an entire rainy day at Lisbon’s Time Out Market. 

3. Visit the Oldest Bookshop in the World

Livraria Bertrand, in the Chiado District, is the oldest bookshop still in operation today, dating back to 1732. If books are your thing, you really can’t miss a trip to this bookshop. 

While most of the publications are in Portuguese, you can also find a few good reads in English. If you buy a book, you have the option to have it stamped stating that it was bought in the oldest bookshop in the world, which is pretty cool. 

On a rainy day in Lisbon, bring your newly acquired book to the small café at the back of the bookstore and enjoy a coffee and a good read.  

4. See a Fado Show

Fado is a traditional Portuguese music genre and it would be a real shame not to experience it while in Lisbon. The music, traditionally played using a classic guitar and a Portuguese guitar, is intimate, melancholic and captivating, and has impressivly been named on UNESCO’s list of World’s Intangible Cultural Heritage.

A focused musician in a black suit plays a traditional Portuguese guitar, an instrument synonymous with Fado music, against a warm, red-hued backdrop, evoking the soulful atmosphere of a Lisbon Fado club.

You can opt for a cosy bar with a glass of Ginjinha (a somewhat sour cherry liqeur) and a show, or you can go all out with a full meal and show. 

If you choose the first option, I recommend Adega Machado, a small and intimate venue. For the full experience, this Fado, dinner and night tour is a great choice. 

5. Eat Pastel de Nata and Drink Coffee

Pastel de Nata are Lisbon’s famous, delicious custard tarts and anyone with a sweet tooth will absolutely love these. They say the best Pastel de Nata can be found at Pastéis de Belém and if the queues are anything to go by, then that’s the place to be. You can sit inside if you get there early and shelter from the rain with a Pastel de Nata (or two) and some hot coffee. 

Unfortunately for me, Pastéis de Belém don’t do gluten free tarts, so I headed to Zarzuela Gluten Free Bakery to get my fill of these delicious custard tarts. Highly recommend Zarzuela if you’re on a gluten free diet too! 

6. Explore the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT)

The MAAT Gallery is a stunning piece of architect right by the river Tagus. The contemporary art museum features a variety of exhibitions, including temporary exhibitions, and installations, showcasing the best of Portuguese and international artists, such as  Ai Weiwei and Olafur Eliasson.

The building itself is a work of art, with its unique wave-like design and large outdoor terrace overlooking the river. And inside, you can spend hours exploring the exhibits. If the rain gives up or you don’t mind getting a little wet (all in the name of beautiful views!), the museum has a really cool rooftop terrace overlooking the water. 


7. Visit the Planetarium

No matter what your age, a trip to the Planetarium never gets old. The Navy Planetarium in Lisbon is a state-of-the-art facility and one of the largest planetariums in the world, with interactive exhibits and shows that will transport you to outer space. You can learn about the solar system, different constellations, and even take a virtual tour of the universe.

Other than the Auditorium, the Planetarium also has a Gallery showcasing various themed exhibitions, a library with over 1000 books and an Astronomical Observatory (currently under construction).

8. Explore The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is a must-visit Lisbon attraction, especially when it’s raining outside. The museum opened it’s doors in 1969 as a legacy to Calouste Gulbenkian, an Armenian oil magnate and art enthusiast. It houses a collection of over 6000 items, including Egyptian artifacts, Greco-Roman art, Islamic ceramics, and textiles, as well as European decorative arts, paintings, and sculptures from artists such as Rembrandt, Turner, and Rodin.

Unfortunately, you may not get to see the beautiful garden if it’s raining down hard outside, but if you get a chance to go back in the sun, it’s simply beautiful. 

9. Visit Jerónimos Monastery

This UNESCO World Heritage site is great for exploring during a rainy day in Lisbon. Once a monastery of the Order of Saint Jerome, Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is now the resting place of some of the most important historical figures of Portugal. 

The intricate façade of Jerónimos Monastery in Lisbon showcases the rich detail of Manueline architecture, with ornate carvings and sculptures adorning the portal, under a clear blue sky.

The Monastery’s architecture is a masterpiece of the Manueline style, with intricate details and symbols carved into every stone. It’s full of history, and you’ll be walking the same halls as Portugal’s past royalty and explorers. 

I recommend taking this guided tour of Jerónimos Monastery to really get the most out of your visit. Or if you prefer to do it alone, you can do a self-guided audio tour of the monastery

10. Join a Wine Tasting Tour

Portugal knows how to do wine! And discovering its massive wine culture through a guided wine tasting tour is great activity to do in Lisbon when it’s raining. 

This wine tasting tour at Lisbon Winery isn’t just an educational experience, it’s also a really fun way to spend a few rainy hours in Lisbon!

You’ll get to taste five different types of Portuguese wines, learn about their production process, and pair them with Portuguese snacks and tapas. 


11. Test Your Wits in an Escape Room

Escape rooms are fantastic indoor activities to keep you occupied and entertained during the rain. Lisbon has some great escape rooms that promise thrills, spills, and a bit of head-scratching. 

If you haven’t been in an Escape Room before, these immersive games offer a fun challenge and a chance to prove your puzzle-solving skills or, at the very least, a great way to have a laugh as you and your friends fumble through clues as slick detectives while getting lost. 

Test your problem-solving skills at this Lisbon Escape Room

12. Visit the Science Museum

The Centro Cultural de Belém is home to the Interactive Science Museum, an excellent place to spend a wet day in Lisbon – especially if you’re traveling with kids! 

You’ll find impressive and interactive displays across different themes like biology, physics, engineering, and technology, making learning fun for all ages. 

13. Chill in your Hotel

I love a day in my hotel when I’m travelling. Just because you’re on a trip, doesn’t mean that you must spend every minute of every day on the go!

And some hotels these days have everything you could possibly need to spend a rainy day inside. Have a relaxing day at the spa, take a dip in the indoor pool, or simply relax in your cosy room with a good book/movie, recharging your batteries. 

Some highly rated Lisbon hotels with spas are:

  • The Lumiares Hotel & Spa: spend the day in the spa getting treatments, relaxing in the steam room or sauna or keep up your fitness routine at the gym. The hotel also has a café, bar and restaurant so there’s plenty to keep you busy on a Lisbon rainy day.
  • BessaHotel Liberdade: this hotel has an indoor pool, a sauna and a Turkish bath, as well as extremely comfortable rooms to relax in.

14. Take a Portuguese Cooking Class

Another fun indoor activity is taking a cooking class to learn how to make some yummy traditional Portuguese dishes. You’ll not only get to enjoy the results, but also learn about the culture and gastronomy behind each recipe. 

You’ll cook up a full four-course meal, including pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tarts), which you can then indulge in afterwards. Who knows, maybe you’ll even impress your friends and family back home with your newfound culinary skills! 

15. Take a Workshop at the National Tile Museum

The National Tile Museum (Museu Nacional do Azulejo) is a must-visit for anyone interested in the history and art of Portuguese tiles.  You’ll see these tiles on the outside of many buildings and inside many more – it’s a unique tile work that has become an integral part of Portuguese culture. 

But beyond just admiring the tiles, you can also take a workshop at the museum to learn how to create your own tile masterpiece. 

You’ll be able to paint your own tile, create mosaic patterns, and even make traditional azulejo coasters. It’s a great way to tap into your creative side and take cover from the rain for an afternoon! 


16. Wander Through the LX Factory

The LX Factory is a trendy and eclectic hub for artists, designers, musicians, and foodies. It’s in the Alcântara neighbourhood, and the former industrial complex has been transformed into a creative hotspot with shops, restaurants, bars, galleries and more. 

Inside the eclectic LX Factory bookshop in Lisbon, visitors browse shelves filled to the brim with books, creating a cozy labyrinth of literature under the high ceilings of an industrial space.

While it’s an outdoor space, you can hide out from the rain in any of the above. I recommend checking out Ler Devagar, a  unique bookstore housed in an old printing press, or grabbing brunch at A Praça restaurant. 

If you love fish, there’s an quirky shop that sells tins of Portuguese sardines and you can get one with the year of your birth on it (don’t worry, the sardines themselves are fresh!). 

17. Watch a Movie 

If you’re in the mood to sit back and relax for a few hours, head to the Cinemateca Portuguesa for a dose of film culture. This cinema showcases classic and independent films from around the world, with many screenings in their original language with Portuguese subtitles. 

The Cinemateca Portuguesa, established in 1948, now puts on film festivals and film screenings. There’s also a museum exhibition, restaurant and bookshop there. 

18. Go Shopping

When the heavens decide to open up over Lisbon, it’s the perfect excuse for you to indulge in some of shopping. 

Colombo, Amoreiras Shopping Center, or Vasco da Gama are just a few of the large shopping paradises in Lisbon, filled with international and local brands. 

Practical Information for Visiting Lisbon

While Lisbon may be known for its pleasant climate and sunny days, there’s no denying that rain can dampen even the sunniest of dispositions. But, there’s still plenty of excitement to be had in Lisbon on a rainy day! Here’s some important information on how to make the most of a soggy day in Lisbon.

The Lisboa Card

First things first, consider purchasing the Lisboa Card for your trip. This handy card will make your rainy Lisbon visit an absolute breeze. It grants free or discounted access to more than 30 attractions, including the Time Out Market and many museums, and free travel on Lisbon’s public transportation. The card is available in 24, 48, or 72-hour options, so you can choose the one that best suits your needs.


Weather Readiness

To make sure you’re always ready for whatever the weather forecast throws your way, pack a compact umbrella and lightweight waterproof coat into your bag. 

Lisbon isn’t called the Seven Hills City for nothing, and I’m sure you can guess what happens when you combine hills, cobblestones and rain – a disaster if you’re not wearing the right footwear! Be sure to pack sturdy rain and hill friendly shoes to keep you on your feet for your trip.  

It’s also a good idea to check the weather forecast before you set off on your adventures. The good news is that unlike some other popular tourist destinations, Lisbon tends to be slosh-free for the majority of the year. 

When the sun is hiding from you, however, it’s a great opportunity to explore indoor locales like museums or the LX Factory, where you’ll find everything from yummy food to unique shops.

Always remember to take the proper precautions, for when the skies do decide to unleash their fury upon the streets of Lisbon, you’ll be prepared and ready to enjoy a fantastic rainy day in this vibrant city!


Is there a rainy season in Lisbon?

Lisbon experiences a Mediterranean climate, which means it has wet winters and dry summers. The rainy season typically occurs between November and January, with December being the wettest month. During this time, showers can be heavy but are often short-lived, making it still possible to enjoy outdoor activities in between rain spells.

Is Lisbon worth visiting in the rain?

Absolutely! Even though rainy days might deter some travellers, Lisbon has plenty to offer during wet weather. The city boasts numerous indoor activities and attractions that are just as enjoyable in the rain. From cosy cafes to fascinating museums, there’s no shortage of things to do and see in Lisbon, come rain or shine. 

What are the best things to do in Lisbon on a rainy day?

Visit museums: Lisbon is home to numerous fascinating museums, including the MAAT Gallery, the National Tile Museum, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.
Try a cooking class: Learn to cook traditional Portuguese dishes in a cosy, indoor environment. Companies such as Cooking Lisbon offer a variety of classes.
Relax at a café: Lisbon has numerous quaint cafes to escape the rain, such as A Brasileira or Pastéis de Belém.

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