Lisbon enjoys almost a full year of glowing sun and warmth, but that’s not to say the occasional rainy day or week-long storm doesn’t hit the city, especially during the winter months.
If you’ve planned a holiday to Lisbon and have found yourself looking out the window at gray skies and approaching rain, don’t worry! We have put together this all encompassing list of Things To Do On A Rainy Day In Lisbon. The city has much to offer, so a little rain shouldn’t deter you from getting out and exploring the Portuguese capital.
Find below our list of the best attractions in Lisbon on a rainy day!
1. Casa Fernando Pessoa
What better way to spend a rainy day than to lose yourself in the home of the famous Portuguese writer Fernando Pessoa? Encompassing three floors of a gorgeous historical building is a fascinating museum dedicated to his work.
Casa Fernando Pessoa was his residence during the last decade and a half of his life, but today it presents the belongings and poetry of Portugal’s beloved writer. The exhibits are creativity displayed and intertwine language with art, design and imagination. It’s a powerful work of literary tribute and offers visitors the chance to acquaint themselves with him as well as explore the global library within the home.
- Address: R. Coelho da Rocha 16 18 1250-088 Lisboa
- By Tram: 25E or 28E exit at R. Saraiva Carvalho
Looking to see the best of Lisbon but only have a day? No problem, we have created tours for 24 hour itinerary in Lisbon for you with all of the not to be missed spots!
2. Time Out Market
Take yourself on a culinary tour as you hop from stall to stall sampling Lisbon’s greatest food and drinks. Mercado da Ribeira, also known as Time Out Market, is a must for all traveling foodies and is perfect for wet weather as its a renovated riverfront warehouse lined with eateries.
Established in 1882, Time Out Market has a variety of stalls selling Portuguese traditional favorites and fusion dishes. There are more than thirty options to choose from, which range from restaurants to bars, coffee shops with pastries and stalls selling fresh produce, fish, meats, cheese and flowers. Everything is made from the freshest ingredients and local products. It’s the perfect way to get a taste of the many flavors of the country while also dodging the bad weather.
- Address: Av. 24 de Julho 49 1200-479 Lisboa
What better way to understand the history and culture of the Portuguese than to embark on a walking self-guided food tour, the Taste of Alfama, which explores the recipes and favorite dishes of the country.
3. LX Factory
LX Factory is the ideal location to escape the rain and clouds as the art district is complete with boutiques, vintage shops, trendy bars, art studios, cozy eateries and a fantastic bookstore. Located in a historic and industrial complex, LX Factory has brought new life and energy to once a neglected area of Lisbon.
Inside the renovated warehouse you will discover hallways lined with open studios where artists work before you and rotating exhibitions are on display. After you finish touring the studios, pop over to the opposite side and find yourself a book at Ler Devagar, the aforementioned bookshop. But this isn’t just your ordinary bookstore! Ler Devagar, meaning “to read slowly,” includes a record section, fully stocked bar and old printing machines. Take your time and fully appreciate what a novelty this and LX Factory are.
- Address: R. Rodrigues de Faria 103, 1300-501 Lisboa
- By Train: Exit at Alcantara station
LX Factory and other unique venues are part of our 3-Day guide to Lisbon.
4. Tram 28E
Buy a ticket and take yourself on a sightseeing tour while riding the most widely recognized symbol of Lisbon, Tram 28E! The iconic 1930s tram is an image that comes to mind when people think of Lisbon.
Day and night it rambles through the narrow streets of the most popular neighborhoods, making a loop that takes about an hour to cover. The interior has been maintained to resemble the authentic designs and the ride is as bumpy and full of jolts and halting stops as it was almost 100 years ago.
Riding Tram 28E is a classic experience and is perfect for rainy days as you can admire many of the highlight locations from inside the trolley car. Traveling through the heart of Alfama, up the rolling hills of Graça, winding along the narrow streets of Bairro Alto and passing Estrela Basilica, Praça do Comércio and Rua Augutsa Arch are just a few of the main sights you’ll get a chance to see.
A ticket can be purchased ahead of time or on board. Make sure to carry at least 3 euros worth of pocket change to make the transaction quick and easy.
5. Campo de Ourique Mercado
Carving out a little corner for itself in the mostly residential and very family friendly neighborhood of Campo de Ourique is Campo de Ourique Mercado. Similar to Time Out Market, the Campo de Ourique Mercado is complete with ready to serve food stalls and fresh produce vendors. In addition, it is lined with little boutiques and shops selling clothing, jewelry, used toys, books, flowers and fresh seafood.
The market first opened in 1934, but has since undergone renovations, and today is a place for people of the neighborhood to do their local shopping and meet with friends. Tram 28E drops riders off only a few minutes walk from the market, making it easy to reach and a great place to do some shopping and have lunch when skies are gray. We suggest exploring the mercado and buying the ingredients you need to prepare a nice cozy dinner with a local wine at home later.
- Address: R. Coelho da Rocha 104, 1350-075 Lisboa
- By Tram 28E/ 25E exit at the Campo Ourique stop
Within walking distance of the mercado is Amoreiras shopping center, one of the best malls in Lisbon.
Enter the watery world of the Oceanarium, but stay totally dry, at Lisbon’s world class aquarium. This underwater experience is a great visit for all ages, but especially those traveling with children. It offers a full day of entertainment, therefore it’s especially good for days with a long predicted rainfall.
With thousands of ocean animals on display in one of the largest aquariums in all of Europe, the center introduces visitors to the different species that live in our seas and oceans. Underwater tunnels and massive tanks create the feeling that guests are really in the ocean. The organization of animals into differing ecosystem tanks allows people to discover their habitats more closely and the variations in ocean life.
- Address: Esplanada Dom Carlos I s/nº
- By Bus: Take bus 728 which departs from Cais de Sodré and stops at Oceanário Lisboa
7. National Azulejo Museum
When the weather is nice, cruising the streets and admiring the tiled buildings is perfect. But if the weather is unagreeable, a great substitute is an afternoon at the National Azulejo Museum, situated within the former Madre de Deus Convent. Here you can admire the tiled architecture which Lisbon is famous for.
Glazed tiles, or azulejos, became popular in Portugal in the 13th century and the National Azulejo Museum offers a closer look at the history of the tiles and their relationship with the Portuguese. The tiles on display tell stories from Portugal’s past with displays of religious art, legends, altarpieces, colorful maps, fairy tales, nature, hunting scenes in rooms tiled from floor to ceiling.
- Address: Rua Me. Deus 4
- Download an easy to use audio guide of Alfama and explore the National Azulejo museum and other top destinations in the area.
8. Belém Cultural Center
The Belém Cultural Center is one of the best options for spending a day inside when the weather is bad. The center for performing arts is the largest venue in Portugal for gatherings. It was originally built to host Portugal’s presidency of the European Union in 1992, but expanded to become the cultural hub it is today.
At the Belém Cultural Center you can explore different exhibitions, performances and cultural events. The Berardo Collection Museum showcases more than 1,800 pieces of art on display. Donated by the wealthy Portuguese businessman, Joe Berardo, the impressive collection includes works by Warhol, Miró, Pollock, Picasso, Dali and other modern artists.
- Address: Praça do Império, 1449-003 Lisboa
- By Train: Belém Station
Belém is home to some of Lisbon's most gorgeous five star hotels and other boutique stays. Consult our articles on the top places to stay before making your bookings.
9. Calouste Gulbenkian Museum
The tremendous collection of art at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum encompasses cultures from around the world. Once the possessions of the affluent philanthropist Calouste Gulbenkian, the more than 6000 paintings, sculptures, coins, tiles and decorative items are now on display for the public.
As Gulbenkian was particularly interested in Islamic art, you will find a nice collection featuring the talents and skills of artists from this background. While the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum’s covering of cultures and periods is outstanding, it is the Modern collection of Portuguese artists which honors Portuguese society and history. After you’re finished in the museum, take a stroll through the Gulbenkian Gardens and enjoy the landscaping and small lake.
- Address: Av. de Berna 45A
- Metro: Exit at Praça De Espanha station
If you’d like to discover more art and culture, check out our full list of the best museums in Lisbon.
10. Ajuda National Palace
There are worse places to spend a rainy day than in a palace, wouldn’t you agree? The National Palace of Ajuda offers an entertaining day plan for anyone looking to dive into a bit of Portuguese history.
Built in the early 19th century but slowly added to for many years, the interior is a fantastic combination of architectural styles and detailing. Walk the halls and admire the baroque trends, the neoclassical touches and the overwhelming presence of luxury, apparent in the furniture all the way down to the engraving on the forks.
The previous home of the Portuguese monarchy has not served as such since the country became a republic, but as it was handed over to the state it has been maintained and preserved so that visitors today can admire the decorative arts and opulent banquet rooms. While no royals reside here anymore, it’s still reserved for some of the country’s most exclusive events.
- Address: Largo da Ajuda, 1349-021 Lisboa
- By Tram :18E exit station Palácio Nacional Ajuda
Portugal is home to some of the greatest palaces in Europe and one of them is located just a town away in Sintra. For a full itinerary on Sintra and Pena Palace, check our related article.
11. Pavilion of Knowledge
Forget the bad weather and instead dive into science at the Pavilion of Knowledge. This center is the perfect attraction for all curious and inquisitive minds with various interactive science exhibitions and engaging displays.
Located in the new and modern area of Lisbon, Parque das Nações, the Pavilion of Knowledge includes various hands-on innovative activities for guests. Experiment with gravity, engineering and electricity and discover how the world around us works.
- Address: Largo José Mariano Gago nº1, 1990-073 Lisboa
Parque das Nações is a neighborhood that's becoming increasing popular for events, conferences and large group gatherings. If you're planning your own event, don't hesitate to contact our M.I.C.E. department to assist with all of your needs.
12. National Museum of Ancient Art
Art museums are great places to spend a few quiet hours while the storm clouds blow over. Inside the National Museum of Ancient Art, you will discover a vast collection of art representing Portuguese history.
Aside from the masterpieces on the walls, the building of the museum is a stunning work of architecture. Objects from the middle ages to the 19th century demonstrate the global reach the country had and the wealth that was acquired and invested in arts. Be sure not to skip the 15th century painting the Panels of St. Vincent by Nuno Gonçalves or Miracle of St. Eusebius of Cremona by Raphael. \
After visiting the museum, enjoy the back garden and cafe with a large terracethat overlooks the river. Rain or shine, this museum is the perfect place to explore the treasures that define Portugal’s past.
- Address: R. das Janelas Verdes, 1249-017 Lisboa
- One of the best ways to explore the museums and cultural sites is with an easy to use audio guide tour of Lisbon!
I think we can all agree that hiding out indoors to watch a movie is one of the most classic ways to spend a rainy day. In Lisbon you have your pick of modern movie theaters, but the Cinemateca is a unique option.
The film-museum/ theater invites visitors to learn about the production behind the movies, the equipment involved and the history of Portuguese films. However, you won’t find any big name current films being played here. The Cinemateca screens classic flicks and art house movies, which are sure to stir up nostalgic feelings (best paired with a side of Fado!)
The international selection of films are shown with subtitles in English or Portuguese, so chances are there is something you’ll enjoy from the various screenings each day. Check the schedule ahead of time to see which movie is best for you!
- Address: R. Barata Salgueiro 39, 1269-059 Lisboa
- By Metro: Exit at Avenida Station
The Design and Fashion Museum is a favorite with all those who visit, and once you do you’ll understand why it’s one of the best museums for fashion in Europe.
Located in the former headquarters of a bank in the center of Lisbon, the exhibits on display brag of big names such as Dior, Versace, Chanel and Yves Saint Laurent. They leave visitors in awe as well as inspired to go out and spice up their wardrobes and home decor.
- Address: R. Augusta 24, 1100-053 Lisboa
- Important: This museum is undergoing a renovation project. Please check ahead of time for altered hours.
15. Fado Museum
Drift away to the traditional Portuguese street music of the 18th century at the Fado Museum. The famed World Heritage music tells stories of history, tradition and of course, heartbreak.
What makes Fado unlike other music and specific to the history of Portugal is that it is tightly woven together with their seafaring past, as women cried out for the men who left for voyages.
Immerse yourself in the sounds of Fado, the instruments and musicians behind the songs and hopefully catch a performance in the cafe if you’re lucky. If you feel as if you haven’t gotten your Fado fix, afterwards you can always attend a show as performances are held all over the city, especially in taverns in Alfama.
- Address: Alfama, Largo do Chafariz de Dentro 1, 1100-139 Lisboa
- For more information on Alfama and all that it offers, check out our Complete Guide to Alfama.
With this guide to experiencing the best of Lisbon even on rainy days we hope you have discovered many attractions that interest you.
Hopefully, no matter what weather you are met with, you will have a memorable time in Portugal’s colorful capital.
Check our other related articles and find more ideas of things to do in Lisbon.
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