Lisbon On a Rainy Day – An Itinerary

Are you stuck on a rainy day in Lisbon? Don’t worry! Even in bad weather, you can find plenty of things to do that will keep you mostly dry and definitely entertained.

Here are activities to defeat the rain. You can shuffle and swap things to suit you and the weather.

Just grab an umbrella or a rain jacket, and don’t let a rainy day ruin your Lisbon visit.

1. Have a Bica in A Brasileira

Rain or not, A Brasileira, a popular coffee shop in Largo do Chiado, is an essential element in any trip to Lisbon. Order a bica and a pastel de nata, a strong espresso coffee and the famous custard tart. Outside, don’t forget to pose with the statue of Fernando Pessoa, Portugal’s most celebrated twentieth century poet – a must-do even in the rain.

2. Read a Book

Managing wet cobblestones on Lisbon’s hills is challenging, but Bertrand, on Rua Garrett, is just a minute away from A Brasileira. Bertrand is the oldest bookshop in the world. If you don’t believe it, there’s a certificate from the Guinness World Book of Records on display inside. Bertrand has a selection of English books as well several guides of Lisbon that will keep you entertained for a while.

On your way from A Brasileira to Bertrand, you may want to stop at the Basilica of the Martyrs, completely rebuilt, after the earthquake of 1755, in the Baroque style. Drop in for a bit of peace, and some rest from the rain, and enjoy the unusual ornate green ceiling.

3. Go Shopping

Another minute from Bertrand, walking down Rua Garrett, Armazéns do Chiado is a popular shopping mall that has risen from the Chiado’s fire of 1988. It has some top-floor eateries, a large Fnac store, and several fashion and cosmetics stores. Have some fun browsing around the space while you’re there, and then take the metro to your next stop. To avoid getting wet, take the lift to the first floor (at the street level) where there’s a metro entrance next door.

Lisbon has large indoor shopping malls not far from downtown, accessible on public transport, so you can completely escape the rain.

  • Amoreiras Shopping Centre: Lisbon’s first large shopping mall built in the 1980s. Take the vintage tram 24 to get there.
  • El Corte Inglés: the largest department store in Lisbon. It has a gourmet space on the 7th floor, and a supermarket underground, connected to the São Sebastião metro station (blue line).
  • Colombo: one of the largest malls in the Iberian Peninsula, accessible on metro (Colégio Militar/Luz station – blue line)
  • Vasco da Gama: a large indoor mall with direct access to the Oriente metro station (red line) in Parque das Nações.

4. Visit the Gulbenkian

The Gulbenkian Museum is one of the best in Lisbon. While the rain will put off enjoying the beautiful gardens, the two buildings will keep you busy for at least of couple of hours. From the Mesopotamians to the Impressionists and from old coins to European painting, the Gulbenkian Museum covers an impressive range of periods and areas.

If you have kids, the waterfront Oceanarium and the nearby Science Museum are your best alternatives, where you can easily spend a full day. See also: The Top 10 Museums in Lisbon.

5. Listen to Fado

Back in Chiado, for those seeking a first fado experience, Fado in Chiado offers a low commitment (each ticket is less then €20) before you can book an authentic (but more expensive) fado dinner afterwards. The show starts at 7pm and lasts 50 minutes – and hopefully will give you a taste of the music of Lisbon.

6. Sample Portuguese Cuisine

There are more than 30 restaurants and bars at Time Out Market Lisboa in Cais do Sodré. And best of all, you can take shelter from the rain. Here you’ll find traditional Portuguese food, some overseen by Michelin-starred Portuguese chefs, seafood, steak, pizza, sushi, and basically every cuisine you could wish for.