When exploring a new city, there is no such thing as bad or good weather.
The Portuguese capital’s beauty stands out as much on gray days as it does in countless weeks of sunshine. There’s no need to run for the shelter of your hotel room once you start to feel a few drops—in fact, a rainy day can be one of the best times to explore Lisbon. Our tips for things to do in Lisbon in the rain are a mix of outdoor and indoor activities—after all, that’s the spirit of this city.
1. Go to a Museum with a View
In a city with around 300 days of sunshine a year, it may seem tempting to leave museums at the bottom of your must-see list. After all, you’re dying to take in all that light that makes Lisbon so popular and that your friends can’t stop talking about.
A rainy day is perfect to visit one of the best museums in Lisbon: Museu do Aljube. Here, Portugal’s most recent past is on display in an educational but not monotonous way. And to wrap all that up, there’s a café at the top floor where you can see rainy Lisbon while sipping coffee by the window—one of the coziest rainy day activities in Lisbon without a doubt.
2. Visit a Bookstore
For some, a rainy day is the perfect excuse to curl up with a book. Can that also mean running your fingers over colorful spines at a quiet bookstore and finding even more books to grow your collection? Yes, it most certainly can.
Palavra de Viajante, in “The Triangle,” is a treasure trove both for those looking for a very specific book and for those just browsing. This independent bookstore specializes in the travel niche, and it’s unlikely you’ll leave empty-handed. That book about your dream destination (other than Lisbon, of course) you had no idea you were looking for but now you can’t put down? This is where you’ll find it.
3. Catch a Movie
When was the last time you got so pulled in by the silver screen that you completely lost track of time?
Not only is it one of the best rainy day activities wherever you are in the world, but here in Lisbon (and everywhere else in Portugal, in fact) foreign movies are subtitled, not dubbed, so you’ll feel right at home.
Catching a movie when traveling is also one more way to get the city under your skin and feel “like a local.” Head to UCI – El Corte Inglês if you want variety, large seats, and popcorn. Or go slightly off the beat with independent films at Cinema Ideal, steps away from Praça Camões in the city center.
4. Tour the Oceanário
Where’s the only place in Lisbon where you can get out of the rain, go underwater, and still be dry? We won’t make it hard for you to solve this riddle. Both educational and soothing, a trip to Oceanário is always a great experience.
If you’re visiting Lisbon with kids and you’re struggling with creative ways to entertain them on a rainy day, spending an afternoon at the Oceanário feels like a blessing.
5. Take a Tram Ride
Lisbon tram 28 is not the only tram you can ride in the city, although it’s by far the most popular (and the most crowded). Tourists don’t shy away from standing in line to travel this famous route, even if it’s raining cats and dogs.
If you’re keen on doing the route, opt for the less crowded paid tours on the green or red trams. If your heart is set on riding the postcard-perfect turmeric-yellow cars, regardless of the direction, head to Praça de Camões and hop on Tram 24 instead. It has all the same charm with far fewer crowds.