Lisbon in January

You are planning a trip and wondering if Lisbon in January is the best time to visit.

When I boarded the plane to visit Lisbon, it was cold. As I flew, I saw a multitude of snow-filled landscapes before descending into Lisbon.

Strangely enough, when landing at Lisbon Airport, it looked like summer had never left. It had mild weather with sunshine greeting me, and the best part was that it stuck around for my whole trip.

I spent up to a week in this coastal city and enjoyed my city break at a relaxed pace. It was free of crowds, and the temperature was great compared to visiting Lisbon in July.

So, here are the best reasons for you to plan that January vacation to Lisbon. The fact is it was one of my best European city breaks.

Another great thing is you can find many things to do in Lisbon, Portugal, in January.

Lisbon in January: Reasons to Visit

In Lisbon in January, there is mild weather, continuing festivities, and winter walks in the city park to the coastline.

It has some of the most giant waves and is an incredible city. So, there are many reasons to visit Lissabon in January. The best part is that you can add these things to your to-do list by visiting Lisbon for one day.

There are Fewer Tourists

One major attraction to Lisbon in January is fewer summer crowds.

During the summer, places like the Belem Tower and Sao Jorge Castle are not crowded with visitors (you can sigh a breath of relief.)

You will love strolling through Alfama and the Belem district without the usual crowds. These medieval cities, with their winter sunshine, are known for their narrow cobbled streets.

I found securing a table at the top-rated Lisbon restaurants a breeze and visited Pasteis de Belem, where the original Pasteis de Nata was born. I did not wait in long lines before sitting down at a table.

During one of my Lisbon summer trips, I waited here for up to an hour to be served. Breaks in winter are one of the best things you can do.

Enjoy Sunnier Winter Days

One misconception about European breaks in winter is biting cold and gloomy skies.

Still, Lisbon in January defies all those expectations, as you often have winter sunshine. And staying over Christmas is exceptional as well.

The mercury seldom drops below eight degrees Celsius and rises to a comfortable 15 degrees. When I was there, the temperature was around 17 degrees.

Lisbon snow is unheard of, but it can happen once or twice.

Still, it does not mean it does not rain in Lisbon, as it is the rainiest time of the year but seldom lasts all day compared to places like England.

So, it is one of my favorite cities to spend days in winter enjoying the sunshine. You can explore the city of hills to enjoy panoramic views of the miradouros.

Lisbon in January is one of Europe’s warmest places, making it worth visiting.

Lower Accommodation Prices

Many people think Western Europe is pricey, but the city of Hills is one of the cheapest capitals.

Go, guess when is it affordable? You guessed right, January. As Lisbon’s tourism starts to lull in November, the hotels want to attract visitors, right?

So, Lisbon in January offers you excellent deals in many places during the busiest winter month.

You will land cheap prices for a luxurious hotel, guesthouse in Alfama, or a hostel in Bairro Alto. Who does not love affordable luxury?

Get Cheaper Flights

Yes, the most expensive thing is that flights become affordable when visiting Lisbon in January.

You can book flights in advance at some of the best budget airlines like EasyJet and RyanAir.

You get lost in winter flight prices slashed as the demand is less, and you can nab up a ticket for less than €20.

Traveling from the Lisbon Airport to the city center is easy using the Metro’s red line.

Benefit From January Sales

For shoppers, Lisbon is a paradise in January. You can benefit from the loss of winter sales from local shops to fancy brands.

I visited the posh shopping avenue Avenida da Liberdade and grabbed some high-end goodies I found for a steal.

You can visit boutiques and age-old shops, and they all have a sale. It is an excellent time to get leather shoes, classic cork bags, and ceramic items on sale.

Even the local markets are all on the sale bandwagon, like handcrafted jewelry you can get for killer prices. We recommend visiting the Feira da Ladra Lisbon in January as it is quiet.

Visit The Last of The Christmas Markets

 If you plan a visit to Lisbon in January or early in the month, you can enjoy fewer crowds of people at the Christmas markets.

The star Lisbon Christmas market you find in Rossio Square. It is a legendary flea market glowing with fairy lights and lively decor and packed with stalls.

I enjoyed listening to live gigs, the Carol songs, and street performances.

I tucked into hot pastel de nata, sipped on hot cocoa, and nibbled on codfish cakes, a seasonal treat called pasteis de bacalhau.

Dia de Reis and Janeiras de la Noche de Reyes

The holiday season lasts until January 6 and is a nationwide fiesta starting with Dia de Reis, or Three Kings Day.

But the night before, you have Janeiras de la Lnoche de Reyes. You see people in the streets singing and welcoming the New Year to bid the old year goodbye.

The songs are known as Janeiras, which are buoyant melodies with lyrics singing well wishes for the coming year.

I experienced the sound of traditional instruments like the Portuguese guitar, tambourines, and accordions.

Then, it is followed by Dia de Reis as families commemorate the three kings who brought gifts to the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem.

Portuguese families gather together for big feasts, and one famous dish is Bolo Rei. The King Cake is a sweet round bread with candied fruits on the top mimicking the crown.

You receive it with a dried fava bean or a tiny trinket they hide inside.

The saying goes, if you get the bean, you must buy the Bolo Rei the following year. And for the trinket, you can look forward to a year of luck.

Lisbon Weather January

January is the coolest month in Lisbon, but it offers mild temperatures compared to other parts of Europe.

You enjoy daytime highs of 15°C, and at night, it becomes chillier. So, you can enjoy golden hour views with a magical winter mist.

Here is what you can expect visiting Lisbon in January:

Average High Temperatures59°F (15°C)
Average Low Temperatures46°F (8°C)
Expected Days of Rain in Lisbon14
Average Sea Temperatures61°F (6°C)

What to Pack For Lisbon in January

So, what do you pack for your trip to Lisbon, Portugal, in January?

Well, you pack as you would anywhere else for spring or fall with cooler temperatures.

With the average temperatures and rainfall, it helps to pack warm layers of clothing for the evening. Bring a waterproof jacket with comfortable shoes to explore the famed narrow streets.

I also packed a few light layers or two to enjoy the winter sunshine and a heavy coat. Also, pack essentials to stay connected, like a power bank, phone, adaptors, and camera.

Portugal uses an F power socket, and an appropriate adaptor is needed. Bring your toiletries and medication along, as these items are expensive.

Another great tip is when you land, invest in a Lisbon sim card and get a Lisboa Card or Navegante card to save money on trips and main attractions.

17 Things to do in Lisbon in January

Lisbon Cobblestone Streets

So, what should you do in Lisbon in January? Well, there are many things you can do on the sunnier winter days.

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1. Visit Belem Tower

Belem Tower Lisbon

Belém Tower in Lisbon is a captivating testament to Portugal’s maritime history. Its ornate design tells the story of Portugal’s naval prowess, offering a glimpse into the nation’s strategic significance.

Panoramic views from this historic site provide a picturesque backdrop, creating a rich connection to the maritime heritage that defines Portugal’s identity.

A visit to Belém Tower is a condensed cultural journey into the nation’s past.

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2. Sao Jorge Castle

Castelo-Sao-Jorge-Alfama

Nothing is more spectacular than São Jorge Castle, which presents you with a historic charm. When you stroll through the castle, you can learn a lot about Lisbon’s past, and the view from atop is fantastic. Another highlight in the surrounding area of Bairro Alto is Jerónimos Monastery.

3. Lisbon Cultural Delights

The Lisbon cultural scene has loads to offer, and getting some culture after the New Year’s festivities gives your body a break.

Visit the Museu Calouste Gulbenkian, filled with a major Greco-Roman, Egyptian, European, and Islamic Orientalism art collection.

I was keen to learn more about the obsession with the shiny ceramic tiles (azulejos) around the city, and I visited the National Azulejo Museum to learn more.

At the museum, you find an old convent taking you on a journey back to the 15th century, and I loved it. Then, the Maritime Museum has model ships, cars, age-old navigational instruments, royal barges, and more.

Still, you can find many other museums to explore, like the Museum of Art, which has a major art collection, and not to forget the Carmo Archaeological Museum and the Fado Museum.

Hot Tip🔥: Check out some of these free museums I have visited over the years in Lisbon.

4. Seasonal Delights

Lisbon Port Wine

Regarding food, Lisbon knows how to tempt your taste buds, even in January. This vibrant city offers a delightful array of winter culinary delights to warm your soul.

From hearty stews and flavorful seafood dishes to traditional pastries and comforting hot drinks,

Lisbon’s winter cuisine is a gastronomic adventure you won’t want to miss. So, prepare your appetite for some coziness and let the flavors of Lisbon transport you to culinary bliss.

There is even something for the wine enthusiast. Lisbon is not only known for its delicious food but also for its exceptional Portuguese wine. January is the perfect time to explore Lisbon’s wineries and taste some of the region’s finest creations.

Take a sip of Portugal’s famous Port wine or indulge in a glass of Vinho Verde while soaking in the city’s charming wine bars. Whether you’re a wine connoisseur or enjoy a good glass of vino, Lisbon’s wine scene will impress.

5. Walk From Principe Real to Baixa Chiado

If the weather permits, in my case, January is a great time to take a walk in Lisbon and enjoy the cooler temperatures.

One of the things you can do is explore the Príncipe Real neighborhood and photograph the beautiful Portuguese mosaic tile sidewalks known as calçadas Portuguesas.

This area also has excellent restaurants, cafes, bars, and a park with kiosks. Another fun activity I enjoyed in January was walking downhill from Príncipe Real through Bairro Alto to Praça Luis de Camões.

During peak seasons, Bairro Alto and Praça Luis de Camões are filled with tourists, but in January, you can enjoy walking through this historic part of Lisbon without the crowds.

If you’re lucky enough, you may see the Christmas decorations still hanging in the square if you do this walk early enough in January. The Baixa Chiado Metro Station marks the end of the walk.

From there, it is a delightful downhill stroll all the way. This makes it an ideal way to discover Lisbon without tiring yourself out.

6. Praça de Alegria

Another alternative route that leads downhill from Principe Real to Praça de Alegria. There, you will find a charming kiosk where you can take a break and enjoy a coffee or a beer before heading to the Avenida metro station.

For coffee lovers, Café Dramático, located nearby, is a must-visit spot. They are known for its expertly crafted specialty coffees, cappuccinos, and delectable cookies. I recommend trying their chocolate chip cookie with sea salt.

Remember that Café Dramático is only open on weekdays and during limited hours.

7. Frade dos Mares

In Lisbon, January is a great time to visit popular restaurants that are usually crowded during peak season.

At Frade dos Mares, I enjoyed freshly baked bread, croquettes on a bed of beans, carrot soup, seafood over rice, and shrimp risotto. The restaurant had a button on the table to call the waiter or ask for the bill.

I paired my meal with a Portuguese white wine with a unique label featuring an elephant, a teacup, and a pufferfish.

I tried the warm chocolate cake with ice cream and crunchy granola for dessert, followed by a small shot of ginginha in a chocolate cup.

8. Campo dos Mátires da Pátria

During my visit to Lisbon in January, I discovered the charming Campo dos Mátires da Pátria park in Lisbon’s Pena area, which technically belongs to Arroios.

It’s an ideal place for a stroll, with stunning Portuguese mosaic sidewalks that feature intricate patterns of flowers, horses, birds, and butterflies.

The park’s pond is home to a diverse range of birds, including roosters and Muscovy ducks, which is quite surprising for an inner-city park.

At the park’s lower end, I found a monument dedicated to José Tomás de Sousa Martins, a well-known doctor renowned for his work with people experiencing poverty in Lisbon.

In summary, Campo dos Mátires da Pátria is a gem in Lisbon that I highly recommend visiting.

9. Municipal Library near Campo Pequeno

The municipal library near Campo Pequeno is a must-visit spot in Lisbon during January.

The library is located in a beautiful building adorned with stunning Portuguese tiles, and there is a garden square behind it with white marble busts.

You can also enjoy a sandwich, wine, or a coffee at the lovely kiosk.

If the weather is pleasant, sit outside and enjoy the view. Inside, explore the exhibits, including the shelves of books.

During my visit, I saw an exhibit on the first flights from Portugal to Brazil, which vividly depicted the Portuguese adventurous spirit.

10. Outdoor Activities and Natural Beauty

Lisbon Nature

While January might not be the warmest time of year, Lisbon still offers ample opportunities for outdoor activities. Take a leisurely bike ride along the scenic riverside promenade or explore the city’s many parks and gardens.

If you’re feeling adventurous, head to nearby Sintra or Cascais and hike along breathtaking coastal trails. Embrace the crisp air and maximize Lisbon’s outdoor recreation options.

Beyond its bustling streets, Lisbon is surrounded by captivating natural landscapes. From the rugged cliffs of Cabo da Roca to the beautiful beaches of Costa da Caparica, there’s no shortage of natural beauty.

Escape the city and immerse yourself in the tranquility of Sintra’s lush forests, or marvel at the wild beauty of Arrábida Natural Park. Whether you are a nature lover or seeking peace, Lisbon’s natural landscapes will leave you spellbound.

11. Lunch at Lisbon’s Time Out Market

Time-Out-Market-Lisbon

If you are planning a trip to Lisbon in January, you should consider visiting Time Out Market.

This famous food hall, which happens to be one of the best in Europe, offers a diverse range of dining options at affordable prices. Plus, it’s the perfect time to visit since it’s not as crowded and the weather is cooler in January.

I tried some delicious traditional Portuguese dishes during my visit, such as winter chicken over rice and beef and potatoes.

To top it all off, I indulged in a delightful lemon tart for dessert.

My experience was so enjoyable that I highly recommend a trip to Time Out Market if you’re ever in Lisbon during this time of year.

12. Discover Rossio Square

Rossio Square, an 18th-century gem in Lisbon, invites you to a captivating journey through time. As you wander through this historic plaza, you’ll be immersed in the lively ambiance that has made it a beloved destination for locals and tourists alike.

The square’s architectural splendor, dating back to the 1700s, creates a picturesque backdrop for your stroll—Marvel at the intricate details of the surrounding buildings, each a testament to Lisbon’s rich history.

The vibrant atmosphere adds a touch of magic to the experience, making Rossio Square an ideal spot to unwind, people-watch, and soak in the charm of this beautifully preserved urban space in the city’s heart.

13. Enjoy a Golden Hour Miradouro Views

Enjoy beautiful views during the golden hour by heading to Miradouro de Santa Luzia and Miradouro das Portas do Sol as an outdoor activity.

If you’re tired after all the walking, you can catch a ride back down the hill on Lisbon’s number 28 tram, which passes through the Alfama district.

Yet, I opted to walk to explore the unique shops, fascinating streets, and architecture.

These led Alfama towards Praça do Comércio instead of taking public transportation.

14. Enjoy Sunday Brunch at Stanislav

If you happen to visit Lisbon in January, going out for Sunday brunch is an enjoyable activity that you should consider.

Recently, I went to Stanislav Brunch, conveniently located close to the Avenida metro stop.

At Stanislav, I relished a hearty brunch plate that included chicken, avocado, mushrooms, scrambled eggs, and tomatoes.

In addition to that, they serve appetizing quiches, salads, yogurt and granola, and delectable cakes.

I must say that the coffee at Stanislav is top-notch and well-crafted. My cappuccino was delightful.

The restaurant’s interior decor is cozy and welcoming, making it an ideal time to spend a Sunday morning with your buddies.

15. Trivia Night: A Cozy Winter Activity

A few of the pubs in Lisbon organize trivia nights, which can be a great way to spend a cozy winter evening.

I had the opportunity to attend one of these events at Outro Lado Craft Beer Bar on a Thursday night in January.

I participated in a music trivia contest, and despite coming in last place, I had a lot of fun.

Overall, it was a fantastic evening that I highly recommend to anyone looking for a fun activity in Lisbon during the winter.

16.  Eat Campo de Ourique

If you plan to explore Lisbon, I recommend visiting the Campo de Ourique neighborhood in January.

This area is known for its beautiful Portuguese tiles that you can find while strolling around.

After that, head to the Mercado do Campo de Ourique, one of the best neighborhood markets in the city, for a delicious lunch.

You will be spoilt for choice with the variety of food options available, from vegetarian to meat dishes.

I recommend trying the hummus platter with falafel, which is satisfying and flavorful.

Don’t miss out on this gem of a location while in Lisbon!

17. Enjoy Wine and Petiscos

Enoteca LX should be at the top of your list if you’re searching for a warm and inviting spot to unwind in Lisbon during the chilly month of January.

This wine bar is housed within a historic aqueduct, providing a distinctive ambiance that will mesmerize you.

As you sip on local Portuguese wine, try out the petiscos. It is a small Portuguese dish akin to Spanish tapas.

Relish the unique and convivial vibe that makes Enoteca LX perfect for a night out with friends.

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Wrap-Up: Insider Tips for a January Trip to Lisbon

Here are a few insider tips to make the most of your trip to Lisbon in January.

Firstly, embrace the local tradition of enjoying a warm cup of ginginha, a Portuguese cherry liqueur, to keep you warm on chilly evenings.

Secondly, be prepared for the occasional rain shower by carrying an umbrella. Lastly, take advantage of the quieter tourist season in January to explore popular attractions without the crowds.

Lisbon is a city that rewards those who venture off the beaten path, so don’t be afraid to wander and discover hidden gems. In conclusion, a visit to Lisbon in January unveils an enchanting side of the city.

From the mild weather and peaceful atmosphere to the vibrant cultural festivals and mouth-watering food, there is no shortage of reasons to explore Lisbon during this off-peak season.

Whether you are a history lover, a food enthusiast, or an outdoor adventurer, Lisbon offers a diverse range of experiences that will leave you with lasting memories.

So, pack your bags, embrace the charm of Lisbon in January, and embark on an unforgettable journey in this captivating city I have.

Frequently Asked Questions

In January, you can explore Lisbon’s attractions without the crowds and enjoy its culture. Visit landmarks, try the famous pastel de nata, and attend cultural events like the Almond Blossom Festival and the Lisbon Winter Festival. Remember to pack warm clothes and an umbrella.

Whether or not you rent a car in Lisbon in January depends on your specific plans and needs.

If you plan to spend most of your time within the city, using public transportation like buses and trams may be sufficient. Yet, renting a car may be more convenient if you plan to explore the surrounding areas or take day trips.

Remember that January is typically a quieter month for tourism in Lisbon, and rental car prices may be lower than during peak season.

In January, the weather in Lisbon is mild, with temperatures ranging from around eight °C to 15°C (46°F to 59°F).

It is not uncommon to have winter sunshine in Lisbon during this time of the year, making it one of Europe’s warmest places to visit in January.

It is worth noting that it is the rainiest time of the year in Lisbon, but the rain seldom lasts all day compared to other places like England.

Some of the best places to eat in Lisbon in January include Time Out Market and Mercado da Ribeira, both popular food markets with many stalls offering a variety of cuisines. Ramiro Cervejaria is a local favorite for seafood, while A Cevicheria serves delicious Peruvian-inspired dishes.

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