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Things to do on a rainy day in Lisbon; 15 tips for a wet day

With on average 300 sunny days a year, Lisbon is far from a rainy city. But especially between October and April, the skies open a little more often than in summer. Although it’s rarely raining all day long, there are still a lot of things to do on a rainy day in Lisbon, and there are plenty of indoor activities in the city. Let’s have a look at things you go do on a rainy day in Lisbon.

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Table of Contents

A quick overview

What to see? Many indoor places to keep you busy during the rain!

Costs? From free upwards.

Where? Lisbon in Portugal.

Worth it? Unless you want to stay a day in your hotel room, then yes! 

The National Pantheon

The Pantheon in Alfama is a great spot to start your rainy day in Lisbon! Not only will you learn more about the history of the building, but you’ll also discover the beautiful multicoloured marble interior and many tombs. And although the view from the roof is stunning, the tour of Lisbon’s Pantheon is mainly indoors.

A visit to the Pantheon is free for Lisboa Card holders, or € 4,00 online and at the entrance. The National Pantheon in Lisbon is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 10 AM until 6 PM, and the nearest metro station is Santa Apolonia. Do you come by tram? The famous tram 28 stops just around the corner! 

Read the full storyNational Pantheon

São Vicente de Fora

You’ll find São Vicente de Fora, a monastery full of surprises just around the corner from the Pantheon. And if you like beautiful azulejo, you’ll have a fantastic time during your visit. There are more than 100.000 on display! You’ll also discover colourful courtyards, the cistern, the entrance hall, and a small exhibition. Don’t forget to visit the Royal Pantheon of the Bragança. It’s the final resting place for King Carlos I of Portugal, Prince Royal Luís Filipe, Queen Amélie of Orléans, and other members of the House of Bragança.

On the first floor, you can find one of the best secrets of the monastery, the Fables of La Fontaine. Thirty-eight glazed tile panels are on display which all contain a fable. From here, you can also visit the roof. You might want to skip this, depending on how much it’s raining. São Vicente de Fora is open from Tuesday to Sunday, and tickets cost € 5,00 per adult.

Read the full storySão Vicente de Fora

Sé de Lisboa

In the heart of Alfama, you can visit Lisbon’s oldest church, Sé de Lisboa on a rainy day in Lisbon. The iconic religious building is open from Monday to Saturday, and it costs € 5,00 to visit Lisboa Cathedral. Tram lines 28 and 12 or bus line 37 all stop in front of the cathedral in Lisbon. The walls really have a story or two to tell! Inside you’ll see an exhibition with artistic and religious pieces, the sacristy, the ambulatory, and nine radiant chapels. The rosary is one of the highlights and contains a scene with the twelve Apostles. 

Read the full storySé de Lisboa

Jerónimos Monastery

When you’re in Belém, you cannot miss a visit to the Jerónimos Monastery! You’ll learn more about the Portuguese Gothic Manueline style, the former monastery, and you can visit the church. The church is free to see, and here you’ll discover the tombs of Luís de Camões, writer Fernando Pessoa, and explorer Vasco de Gama. The UNESCO World Heritage Site is often very busy, so if you don’t have the Lisboa Card, buying an online ticket upfront is a great idea! The Jerónimos Monastery is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 9:30 AM to 6:00 PM. On Sundays, the church opens a little later. 

Read the full storyJerónimos Monastery

Pastéis de Belém

Did you know there is a link between the famous Pastéis de Belém and the Jerónimos Monastery? If you just came from the monastery, you may already know! Nonetheless, a visit to the bakery Pastéis de Belém is highly recommended. You’ll enjoy a cold drink, a warming coffee, and famous custard tarts. The menu contains many other delicious snacks such as bolo de arroz, mil folhas, rissóis, pastéis de bacalhau, and coxas da galinha.

Join a a pastel de nata baking class

Even better, take a pastel de nata baking class! Learn how to make the custard cakes from scratch to enjoy some Portuguese treats even when you’re back from your holiday! Workshops usually last around 2 hours, and you’ll learn more about Portuguese gastronomy and culture.

Visit the Oceanário

One of the favourite places to visit on a rainy day in Lisbon is the Oceanário de Lisboa, an aquarium at Parque das Nações. The aquarium holds a whopping 5 million litres of seawater, and you’ll see colourful fish, jellyfish, amphibians, and plants up close. The sea otters and penguins show their tricks, and it’s an educational day for all ages. Therefore, buying an online ticket is highly recommended as it can get busy here.

Children between 0-2 can visit the aquarium for free. The ticket price for children between 3-12 is € 15,00, and adults pay € 22,00. Oceanário de Lisboa is open daily between 10 AM and 8 PM. The last admission is at 7 PM.

Read the full storyOceanário de Lisboa

Pavilhão do Conhecimento 

Let’s stay a little longer at Parque das Nações, as you can also visit the Pavilhão do Conhecimento or the Pavilion of Knowledge around the corner. It’s a scientific and technological space where you can see exhibitions, join workshops, and overcome challenges. This place of innovation and creativity is fantastic for families! Depending on your age, tickets cost between € 8,00 and € 11,00. Family tickets are available for € 28,00, and children under 3 have free admission.

The best museums on a rainy day in Lisbon

Rainy days are fantastic for museum lovers! Especially in Belém, you’ll find a wide range of world-renewed museums. Examples are Museu Coleção Berardo, the National Coach Museum, and MAAT. Smaller but no less exciting museums are the Popular Art Museum, the National Museum of Archeology, the Navy Planetarium, Belém Palace, and the Bom Sucesso Fortress.

In the rest of Lisbon, you’ll find even more museums! Art lovers will enjoy the National Museum of Contemporary Art, Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian, Museu do Oriente, Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga, the Frida Kahlo experience, and the Bordalo Pinheiro Museum. Museums with special interests are the Azulejo Museum, the Fado Museum, the Pharmaceutical Museum, the Money Museum, and Museu da Água. You might start wishing for a few days of rain to visit them all, and this list isn’t even complete! Do you travel with kids? The 3D Fun Art Museum is the best!

Go Bowling!

Can’t sit still, and you want to go bowling? Can you keep the ball out of the gutter and throw a strike? There are a few places where you can rent a lane for a couple of hours. An example is the shopping mall Colombo, which has a huge bowling alley, including an arcade hall and lounge bar. Afterwards, you can hit the shops, grab some dinner, or watch a movie. Centro Colombo is located on the blue line at the metro station exit Colégio Militar/Luz.

Watch a movie

Watching a movie is another great way to spend the day! If you’re already in the shopping mall Centro Colombo, you can visit the cinema on the 3rd floor. You can book your tickets online at Cinemas NOS or in the cinema itself. This cinema also has an IMAX

Closer to the city centre, you can visit UCI El at El Corte Inglés. It’s also located at the blue line, and you exit the metro at São Sebastião station. Are Arthouse films more your thing? Then a visit to the Cinemateca should not be missed. Besides watching movies, you can also visit the Cinema Museum here!

Shop till you drop on a rainy day in Lisbon

One last thing you can do at Centro Colombo is shopping! Here, you’ll find the most high-street shops and some luxury brands. Another favourite mall is located at Parque das Nações. Centro Vasco da Gama is located next to Oriente train station and has a wide variety of high-street shops.

If you want to stay in the city centre during a rainy day in Lisbon, you can have a look at Armazéns do Chiado. It’s a small shopping mall with 55 shops and 15 restaurants. You’ll find more shops in this area, so bring an umbrella to stay dry!

Technically it’s not indoors, but the LX Factory is another excellent place to shop. Aside from walking from shop to shop, you’ll stay dry! Campo de Ourique Market in the city centre is fabulous if you’re looking for a bite to eat. Or visit the nearby Campo Pequeno Shopping Mall in an iconic building. There are more than 80 shops, 20 restaurants, and a cinema.

Avenida de Liberdade is typically the place to be if you’re looking for luxury brands. However, staying dry in the rain on this beautiful street is hard. A great solution is a visit to the Strada Outlet just outside the city centre. You’ll discover all national and international brands with up to 70% discount! Other favourite shopping spots are Amoreiras Plaza, El Corte Inglés, Atrium Saldanha, and Almada Fórum on the other side of the river Tagus.

Explore Lisbon by tram

If you still want to see something of Lisbon but stay dry, you can take a ride on an iconic tram! Tram 28 is the most famous of all, as it follows a gorgeous route through the windy streets of Alfama. Tram 12 follows a similar course, and Tram 15 to Belém runs often with the historical tram. Please note that even these old trams are a mode of transport for locals. Especially tram 28 gets so busy that you A must wait a long time to board, and B it’s a paradise of pickpockets.

For that reason, the Historic Hills Tram Tour is recommended, and you’ll see many famous sights! You’ll travel through Lisbon on a historic tram, and your ticket also includes 24-hour access to the Bica, Glória and Lavra funiculars and the Santa Justa Elevator. You’ll discover all the top districts, including Baixa, Graça, Alfama, and Estrela, and one loop takes around 1,5 hours. An audio guide in Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, or Swedish is included.

Time Out Market

When it’s time to eat, it’s nice to visit Time Out Market close to Cais de Sodré. The food court contains 26 restaurants, 8 bars, and some shops. Whether you’re craving a hamburger, sushi, steak, or a traditional meal, you will enjoy it here! Some favourites are Manteigaria for pastéis de nata, Croqueteria, Marlene Vieira, and Manteigaria Silva. On a rainy day in Lisbon, this is the perfect place to warm up and eat yourself round! Bom apetite!

Tip: You can also visit Mercado da Ribeira’s traditional market when you’re up early. Local produce is for sale between 6 AM and 2 PM.

Tip 2: Book a food and wine tour and learn more about the Portuguese kitchen!

Do you want to visit more markets?Read the full story

Tip 3: Join a cooking class and learn how to make your own Portuguese dishes!

Visit a bookshop

There is no lack of bookshops in Lisbon, and with a history of famous writers and poets like Fernando Pêssoa, Luís de Camões, and José Saramago, it comes as no surprise. What might be a surprise is that the oldest operating bookshop in the world is located in the heart of Lisbon. Livraria Bertrand in Chiado has been selling books since 1732, and you can still do so today. When you purchase a book, your book will even receive a stamp!

Other fabulous bookshops in Lisbon are Ler Devagar at the LX Factory, Menina e Moça, which turns into a vibrant bar at night, and Palavra de Viajante, with a fantastic scale of travel books. Is your Portuguese a bit rusty? Then Bookshop Bivar will be your best friend as all books are in English!

Enjoy a night of Fado

There is no better way than to enjoy a night of Fado to complete your day. Most Fado houses are in Alfama, Moreira and Bairro Alto. And while you listen to famous Portuguese songs, you’ll enjoy a fabulous traditional meal accompanied by excellent regional wines. Some recommended Fado houses are Bohemia LX, Clube de Fado, and A Baiuca. Or book this amazing experience below!

Bonus tips!

Book a massage

Instead of doing it’s also nice to just relax. That makes a rainy day in Lisbon perfect for an hour-long massage or spa treatment! For a fantastic massage, you can visit EcoMassage, which has two locations in Lisbon; one on Rua dos Franqueiros and one on Rua Aurea. They have a vast amount of massages to choose from, such as hot stone massage, therapeutic massage, Ayurvedic massage, and Chi Nei Tsang massage. Classic relaxation massages and couples massages are also available.

The ultimate spa experience in Lisbon

Float In is a beautiful place to visit for the ultimate spa treatment. Besides massages, you can enjoy salt baths and several body and facial treatments. If you wish to combine treatments with swimming pools, and saunas, Corinthia Lisbon and the Four Seasons in Lisbon have excellent facilities.

Enjoy a day in your hotel

Do you prefer to hide for a day in a stunning hotel? Then you’re in for a treat in Lisbon! Also, when you venture out and return to your hotel, it’s fabulous to feel at home away from home. Check the offers below and book your dream spot in Lisbon! Even better, book a hotel with a sauna, spa, or indoor pool and take some time to relax!

Booking.com

Conclusion

As you can see, there is no excuse to stay indoors on a rainy day in Lisbon. Sure, it’s nice to cuddle up in bed and hide under a fluffy duvet. But before doing so, you can still enjoy many fantastic Lisbon sights. When it really is time to turn off the lights, you can stay in one of the fabulous hotels above. In winter, it might rain a little more often. And maybe you’ll be in the city during the holidays! If you need tips for your Christmas trip to Lisbon, check this article with plenty of tips! Or enjoy the winter in Lisbon with plenty of activities. Click here for more information.

Written by Marga

Written by Marga

Content creator, travel writer and photographer

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I’m Marga, the blogger and photographer behind this site! I live in Lisbon, and I’m a cat-mum to 13-year-old Savage. I love coffee, cheese, a good book and exploring this beautiful country. I write about Lisbon and the rest of Portugal, and I hope this website will help as an inspiration for your holiday.

9 Responses

  1. Great rainy day recommendations! I would love to spend a rainy day in a bookstore and then get a coffee and ride the tram!

  2. Lisbon looks like it has some awesome shopping! Also, I would not hesitate to book a massage, haha. Thanks for sharing all these awesome ideas for a rainy day in Lisbon!

  3. Such a helpful post! I often get caught out with bad weather when travelling so will definitely be saving for when I next go to Lisbon!

  4. Such an interesting post. I think my favourite rainy day activity in Lisbon would be riding the tram and enjoying fado over dinner. Belem seems to be the perfect place to be when it rains… so many museum options out there.

  5. I recently visited Lisbon in the summer and fell in love with the city. Next trip will definitely be in the cooler months so these suggestions will be 100% useful. Thank you for the wonderful ideas, great post!

  6. I love this blog! It remind me (and others) that cities offer so much more activities that we would usually forget if the weather is perfect. I loved the Belem and tram rides. But have a foodie day, find some books and fado sounds great!

  7. You managed to do so much in Lisbon on a rainy day! I wish we got to see more during our time there in August but I’ll be saving this for our next time there!

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