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Enjoy Lisbon during fall
A quick overview
What to see? Lisbon during the fall is a great time to avoid crowds, more affordable accommodations and a beautiful city all year round.
Where? Lisbon, the Portuguese capital.
Worth it? If you want to extend the summer with mild weather and enjoy the city and attractions with lesser crowds, Lisbon in autumn is perfect!
Why holidays in Lisbon during the fall?
Lisbon, the capital of Portugal, is a destination you can visit at any time. For many travellers, the best times to visit Lisbon are from March until June and September until November. July and August are hot, and it’s the most crowded time with tourists, and accommodation prices are at their highest. Visiting the Portuguese capital after September is a welcoming city trip with less tourists but still lovely weather.
Portugal is one of the warmer countries in Southern Europe, where you can enjoy the sun and summer vibes a bit longer. Besides, some things only happen during fall. You’ll have a great time exploring! More about that in a minute. Let’s start with the temperatures and what to expect during Lisbon in autumn.
Temperatures in Lisbon in autumn
The warmer days of August are gone, and the new season is slowly entering Lisbon. In September, temperatures can still hit 30 °C degrees (86 degrees Fahrenheit °F) in the city, but gradually, the nights get shorter and the evenings colder. The average temperature in Lisbon in October is around 23-24 °C (74°F) during the day to 16-20 °C (60-66 °F) at night. So, summer is not over yet in October! From November, it gets a bit colder to daytime temperatures of 19-20 °C, to 16 °C (60 °F) in December.
There will be a bit more rainfall in Portugal, but that’s all part of the Lisbon fall weather! Most days will be 1 mm (0.04 inches) or less at the start of fall, up to 10 mm (0.40 inches) or more later in the season. Overall, most days will be dry in autumn with very pleasant temperatures. Especially in October, you can still enjoy the sun on the beach! So head over for a swim at Carcavelos Beach or Tamariz Beach in Estoril!
What to wear in Lisbon in fall?
As you can see, the temperatures are far from freezing in Portugal, but bringing appropriate clothes is always a great idea. A light jacket or jumper will suffice for the early autumn days. The closer it gets to December, the thicker the coat you might want to bring. Especially when you travel throughout Portugal, North and Central Portugal are colder, and especially along the coast, it can be bitterly cold. The Algarve still provides many sunny days, and the average temperatures will be higher. The best option is to wear layers and bring a jacket for the colder days. Swimwear is still welcome at the start of autumn or for those well-deserved wellness days!
Rainy days in Lisbon
As you can expect, there will also be more rainy days in the fall in Lisbon. Thankfully, it only rains part of the day, but it’s good to have a Plan B in place if the weather could be better. There is plenty to do in the city on a rainy day, and the indoor activities will keep you warm!
Read the full story → Visit Lisbon on a rainy day
Unique things to do in Lisbon in autumn
Some activities in Lisbon will only happen during autumn, so let’s check these out first. This includes many outdoor activities near the city to enjoy the last warm days of the Portuguese season. Afterwards, there will be some things to do when visiting Lisbon during the fall. Please note there might be some Halloween-related activities in Lisbon, but this is usually not celebrated.
The Lisbon marathon
The EDP Lisbon marathon takes place on October 8, 2023. Thanks to the scenery, it started to be known as one of the most beautiful races in the world. The Lisbon marathon begins in the seaside town Cascais and ends at Praça do Comércio in downtown Lisbon. The route follows the Tagus River; along the way, you enjoy beautiful views over Lisbon. Are you not running yourself? It’s great to watch and to cheer for all participants!
Visit the Lisbon parks
When you visit Lisbon, it’s a great idea to see some of the parks in the city. Every season has its own colours, and some trees will still flower! Check out the large park Parque Eduardo VII, close to Marquês de Pombal and Avenida da Liberdade. Inside, you can also explore the greenhouses of Estufa Fria. Autumn is also a beautiful time to visit Avenida da Liberdade itself. The avenue is lined up with trees, which will create stunning fall foliage! It is also known for its luxury shops, so if you’re looking for exclusive fashion, Avenida da Liberdade is the place to be.
The botanical gardens are amazing to see as well. You can visit the Botanical Garden of Lisbon or the Tropical Botanical Garden in Belém. Both botanical gardens have an array of tropical plants and flowers. Another park worth exploring is Jardim da Estrela. When you take the famous Tram 28, you’ll arrive in front of Jardim da Estrela, and you can check out the Basilica of Estrela simultaneously!
Read the full story → Parks in Lisbon
Moda Lisboa, or Lisbon Fashion Week, is held from October 5th until the 8th, 2023. The 61st edition of Lisbon Fashion Week returns to the centre of Lisbon, to Pátio da Galé, in what is a symbol of the city: the symbol of an ancient city, cosmopolitan and open to the world, which has always been an embarkation and departure pier for ideas, projects and dreams. Click to read more.
The French Film Festival in Portugal
Cinema lovers will enjoy a trip to Lisbon in October. In 2023, you can visit the 24th edition of the French Film Festival, which starts with the ‘Jeanne du Barry’ exhibition. The French Embassy and the Portuguese Cinematheque organise this annual festival. The events are from 5th to 15th October at Cinema São Jorge and Cinemateca Portuguesa on Avenida da Liberdade and Cinema NOS Amoreiras. Click for more information.
The Lisbon Christmas Markets
The first Christmas markets will appear in Lisbon from the end of November. The streetlights are turned on, the Christmas trees are decorated, and the markets are in full swing! December is a great month to be in Lisbon, and you can visit other Christmas markets in Cascais and Óbidos. There will be plenty of attractions for kids and Glühwein for adults.
Read the full story → Christmas in Lisbon
Book a photography session with Discover Portugal!
The best memories during your stay in Lisbon are created in front of the camera. Discover Portugal offers 30, 60, and 90-minute (private) sessions in Lisbon, also during the fall! So why not book a time with me so I can capture you in the stunning city? There are also dates for December when the Christmas markets are on. These slots fill up quickly, so be sure to check the availability. For more information about what to expect during a shoot, click here. For available dates, contact me below.
Fun day trips from Lisbon in autumn
Taste the wines in Setúbal and witness the harvest
There are some great day trips to explore when visiting Lisbon in the fall. The first one will take you towards Setúbal, just an hour south of Lisbon. There are several extraordinary things to see and do this season. First, the grapes are ready for harvesting and will soon turn into delicious Portuguese wine! The grape harvest is usually in September and October, and you can visit some wineries in Setúbal. You will learn more about the whole process of how wine is made! Examples are Bacalhoa Vinhos de Portugal and Adega De Palmela. Tip: book your visit to the winery ahead of time to avoid disappointment, or book an organised tour to ensure your spot!
Hiking and bird watching around the Sado Estuary
You can continue your Setúbal trip to Parque Natural da Arrábida, a stunning nature park with paradise beaches. The cliffs and mountain range are great for hikes with the milder temperatures, and on a warm day, you can have a dip in the ocean. The nearby Sado Estuary is a paradise for bird lovers. From October, the bird migration starts, and you can see many unique species. Check out the Sado Estuary Guide for more information.
More experiences for wine lovers
The Alentejo region is a bit further to travel to, but from Lisbon, you can reach the Alentejo wineries within one to two hours. You can enjoy a day trip to Évora and combine it with a wine-tasting tour or venture out yourself. Head over to Herdade das Servas, for example. This vineyard in Portugal is stunning, and the wines are sublime! Alentejo is also famous for its cork trees and olive groves, and the landscape of this region is beautiful! Will you visit Porto also during your Portugal trip? Check out the Douro Valley and enjoy the Douro wines as well!
Surfing for experienced surfers
Autumn is also the start of the big wave season in Portugal! Nazaré, once a small fishing village, has grown to be THE place to ride big waves. If you’re an experienced surfer, you can enjoy the swell along the Atlantic Ocean, but Nazaré is only for those who really know what they are doing. Waves get as high as 26 meters (85 feet) and higher! But even if you’re not into surfing, seeing others ride the waves is amazing! The best waves start in October and last until about March. So when you’re in fall or winter in Portugal, make sure to visit Nazaré!
Read the full story → Nazaré big waves
Read the full story → Amazing Surf Camps in Portugal
Visit Sintra; the famous palaces in Portugal
Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira are the best-visited places in Sintra. That means, during the summer months, the lines are long, tickets sell out, and it’s crowded inside. In summer, the chance of forest fires can also be significant, and on some days, all palaces will close as a precaution. Come fall, the queues are way shorter, and you can enjoy a relaxing visit to Sintra in all its glory! Visit Sintra with a local guide and learn all the ins and outs of this mesmerising place. There are still many days of sun in autumn, which is excellent for this area as with clear skies, you can see as far as Mafra and the Atlantic Ocean. Sintra is always a bit colder than Lisbon, so do bring a jumper or jacket to stay warm.
Besides Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira, make sure to visit places like Biester Palace, Sintra National Palace and Monserrate Palace. Each palace is great to learn more about Portuguese culture and the mysteries some of these places have. Enjoy a pleasant walk in the gardens, marvel at the beautiful rooms and discover the amazing views. For those looking for fun outdoor activities, Sintra is a great spot for hiking! The trails are along the Atlantic coast with views over the beach, as well as forests in the Sintra Mountains. It’s a great destination to stay for a few days!
More things to do in Lisbon in fall with lousy weather
Take the scenic route of the number 28 Tram
One of the most famous attractions in Lisbon is Tram 28. In summer, it can get so busy that you end up waiting hours to enter the tram. With fewer crowds starting in September/October, you can enjoy the ride without the lines. Please remain mindful that Tram 28 is part of the public transportation system, that it’s not a tourist attraction, and that locals rely on it.
If you prefer, you can enjoy a ride with the Red Hills Tram Tour. This is a dedicated tram that follows the same route. Your ticket is valid for 24 hours, so if you plan to embark multiple times, it will be worth your time and money. Whichever tram you take, it’s a great experience to explore the seven hills of Lisbon!
Spot the sharks at Lisbon Oceanarium
Lisbon Oceanarium is one of the most visited places in the city! And with a main tank holding 5 million litres of water, that is no surprise! You’ll discover many unique species, such as sharks, moonfish, manta rays and turtles. The basins around the main tank have even more fish, penguins and otters. It’s not just great for kids but for adults alike! Bonus: it’s always lovely and warm inside. So, it’s the perfect spot to stay warm on cooler days!
Read the full story → Oceanário de Lisboa
Tip: Lisbon Oceanarium is close to Parque das Nações, and next to the science museum Pavilhão do Conhecimento. Both places are great for children, especially when with lousy weather. At Parque das Nações, you can also visit the shopping mall Centro Vasco da Gama shops, which are only a short walk from the aquarium. Or take the Telecabine Lisbon and enjoy a ride along the river. The view over the Vasco da Gama Bridge is fantastic!
Visit the many Lisbon Markets
When you visit Lisbon, it´s lovely to enjoy some markets in the city. Time Out Market is by far the most famous and most popular. It´s a great spot to eat fish dishes such as fried cuttlefish and bacalhao, but also pizza, meat dishes and other specialities. Enjoy dinner with a glass of red wine, or take a tasty pastel de nata for dessert. A more local market is the one at Campo de Ourique. Similar concept, fewer crowds. Would you like to do some shopping too? Anjos 70 has some of the best vintage clothes in town!
Read the full story → Guide to Lisbon markets
Mosteiro dos Jerónimos
With the summer crowds gone, the queue to get into the Jerónimos Monastery will also shrink substantially. It´s the perfect time to explore this UNESCO World Heritage site in the city, and even when it rains, you´ll be dry inside. Please bring an umbrella if you have to stand in line for tickets, as there is no shelter. Or buy your tickets online and avoid at least one queue! Mosteiro dos Jerónimos is an excellent example of the Portuguese Manueline style.
Read the full story → Jerónimos Monastery
Opposite the Jerónimos Monastery, you can visit the Torre de Belém. It’s another UNESCO World Heritage site, and you can look inside. Get your tickets online to skip the line and follow the drawbridge to the tower. Enjoy the stunning views over the Tagus River and the city of Lisbon. You’ll recognise the Portuguese Manueline style and other architectural styles in the structure. Curious to see what’s inside?
Read the full story → Tower of Belém
Padrão dos Descobrimentos
Another place worth visiting in Belém is the Monument to the Discoveries. It was built to celebrate the Age of Exploration during the 15th and 16th centuries. You’ll see statues of Henry the Navigator and 33 other historical figures.
Explore the prestigious museums
Lisbon is the ideal destination to visit some fabulous museums! MAAT, Lisbon’s Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology, has amazing temporary exhibitions! So go check out the calendar. Or discover the collection of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation close to the nearby Garden of the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation. Inside the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum, you’ll find an incredible array of Egyptian, Greek, Roman, Islamic, Asian, and European art. Another art museum worth visiting in Lisbon is Museu Coleção Berardo in Belém.
Enjoy moments of wellness in Portugal
Self-care is oh so important, and Lisbon has many options of wellness available. Fall is the perfect time to prepare us for the next season and even the new year. Whether you enjoy a yoga retreat, massages or walks in nature, Portugal has various options. How about a 5-Day Hridaya Silent Meditation Retreat in Sintra, a 4-Day Relaxing Yoga, Meditation, and Massage Holiday in Cascais or a 6-Day Meditation and Yoga Holiday in Sintra?
Read the full story → Wellness Retreats in Portugal
Enjoy local dishes in fall
Different specialities in the season come with lower temperatures from September to November. The colder weather is a great time to try a Caldo Verde. This Portuguese soup translates to Green Soup but is a traditional soup made with potatoes, chouriço sausage, and thinly sliced greens or kale. It’s the best lunch or starter to stay warm! The thick bread soup Açorda (from Alentejo) is another one to keep your belly happy.
Or enjoy a cataplana! This is a dish filled with fish, seafood, potatoes and veggies! The copper cooking pan is called a cataplana in Portugal, and the fish version is known as Cataplana de Marisco. It’s like a hug in a mug food version!
Bacalhau (salted cod) will taste good all year round, and you’ll also see Feijoada on the menu. The Brazilian version often comes with black beans, and it’s a real comfort food to enjoy! Cozido a Portuguesa, comes with many types of meat and is loved by any carnivore. But Lisbon has many vegetation and vegan options, too! And the list of restaurants is growing 🙂
Nice areas to eat are Bairro Alto, which is also famous for its nightlife, and Principe Real, which also has a fair share of bars. For a night of Fado, you can find a restaurant in Alfama or Bairro Alto. Or discover the area around Largo do Intendente and Anjos for amazing cocktail bars and local restaurants.
Where to stay in Lisbon in autumn
Many Portuguese houses don’t have heating, so you want to ensure you’ll be warm before you book your accommodation! Air conditioning is often also used for heating in Portugal. You might want to double-check if a hotel listing isn’t specific. If there is no air conditioning, check if there are (portable) heaters in the room. Nothing is worse than being cold after a long walk in the rain! As you can see, this part of Europe still has mild temperatures in the fall, but it’s best to have warm options available. Some great hotels with perfect facilities are ON/SET Alfama – Lisbon Cinema Apartments, Look Living, Lisbon Design Apartments and Browns Central Hotel.
Absolutely yes! Spring and autumn are both lovely seasons to visit the Portuguese capital. The weather is mild, and the crowds are gone. Also, from autumn up to spring, accommodations will be cheaper.
It can still be very warm in October in Lisbon, especially at the beginning of the month. The temperatures will drop from 30 °C degrees (86 F° Fahrenheit) to 20 °C degrees (68 F°). It might rain more often, but there is still a lot to do in Lisbon with rain.
Bring layers. Some days will be t-shirt weather; on others, you should wear a jumper or light jacket.
Conclusion: should you visit Lisbon in autumn?
After a hot summer with plenty of sun, the colder weather is welcome for many visitors. And autumn in Lisbon makes it even more stunning. There will be some stunning foliage in the parks, the wine harvest is happening, and many birds flock to town for a break in the surrounding estuaries before flying from Europe to Africa. October still has some warmer days, but temperatures start to drop a bit in November. In fall, changes in rain increase, but there are so many fun things to do in Lisbon with bad weather. And if you plan on staying in December, you can enjoy the fabulous Christmas markets in Lisbon!