8 Fun-Filled Summer Activities to Do in Lisbon

Everyone's favorite Portuguese city is even more fun in the summer. Don't miss out on these eight activities to get your days and nights going.

May 19, 2023
View of Lisbon from aboveView of Lisbon from above

Lisbon is a fantastic city to visit year round. Its Mediterranean climate keeps the winters mild and the Atlantic breeze in the summer keeps it from getting too hot. Even though Lisbon is a sight to be seen in every season, something magical remains about experiencing this seaside capital city in the summer.

A summer in Lisbon is filled with outdoor activities, festivals, beach days, and culture. Locals and tourists alike come to life in the summer to enjoy the warmer days, the fantastic food, and the uniquely Portuguese festivities that define a Lisbon summer. Here’s what to keep your eye out for during your summer stay in Lisbon.

Cool off at a nearby beach

Oftentimes the first thing people think of doing once the warm weather hits is going to the beach. Thankfully, Lisbon has many beautiful beaches and nature spots less than an hour train ride away. The easiest beaches to get to by public transport include Cascais, Guincho, Estoril, and Caparica. If you have a car, you can go even further to Meco, Sesimbra, or Tróia. All of these places have sandy shores to soak up the sun and gorgeous waters to cool off in, and the summer heat provides the perfect backdrop for all beach activities.

Soak up the culture at Festas dos Santos Populares

June in Lisbon is a big month for street parties and festivals with the celebrations of Saint Peter, Saint John, and Saint Anthony coinciding; together, they make up the Festas dos Santos Populares, or the Feast Days of the Popular Saints. The music, environment, and colors of these celebrations is almost reminiscent of another popular celebration that takes place in February or March, carnaval.

Torre Belem at sunset

During the Festas dos Santos Populares, local Lisboetas party in the streets with dancing, bonfires, concerts, barbecues, and traditional celebrations going on until the early hours of the morning, with the main attractions happening the 12th and 13th of June. The culture experienced during this time is incomparable with anything else, so be sure to add this to your Lisbon summer bucket list.

Have a drink on a terrace or rooftop

Most of your summer in Lisbon will likely be spent outside, with bars and restaurants opening up their terraces and rooftops for people to come and enjoy a refreshing glass of vinho verde from the shade of an umbrella. Terraces can be easily found just by walking down the street. If you want to treat yourself to a rooftop bar, then check out some of our favorites at Park, Limão, and ROOFTOP Bar Mundial.

Attend a Lisbon summer music festival

Even though the biggest festivals in Portugal happen outside of Lisbon, there are still a couple of large festivals scattered throughout the summer. The most popular include the NOS Alive Festival and the Super Bock Super Rock Festival, both of which host some big acts from around the world. Rock in Rio, one of Rio de Janeiro’s biggest festivals, also visits Lisbon every two years with fantastic headliners and a good time.

Take a boat cruise

Lisbon waterway with boats lit up at sunset

The coolest spot in Lisbon in the summer is on the water. The River Tagus (Rio Tejo) flows throughout the city of Lisbon and provides a cool breeze and stunning sights to the Portuguese capital. When the city gets too warm, venture out onto a boat cruise of the river in this unique Lisbon summer activity. There are plenty of companies that give a variety of specialty boat cruises, including sunset cruises and booze cruises. See the Cristo Rei, the Jerónimos Monastery, and the Belém Tower up close while cooling off from the Lisbon summer on a boat.

Visit a jardim for a picnic

With its natural hills and views gazing across the city to the ocean, it comes at no surprise that Lisbon has some scenic gardens to offer a piece of nature from within the city. They offer grass to keep cool and trees to block the sun, perfect for doing a daytime or sunset picnic to enjoy some food and drinks with friends on a hot summer day. Some of best parks to check out include Jardim da Cerca da Graça, Jardim do Torel, and Jardim Calouste Gulbenkian.

Stay cool with jazz from Somersby Out Jazz

Every Sunday afternoon from May until September, concerts erupt around the city in Lisbon’s best green spaces. The bests of jazz, soul, funk and hip-hop make an appearance during summer in Lisbon for a fantastic Lisbon cultural experience. These concerts start at 5PM and last until sunset and are absolutely free to attend. Some of the venues include Parque dos Poetas, Quinta Real de Caxias, Parque Urbano de Miraflores, Parque Urbano do Jamor, and Palácio Marquês de Pombal Gardens. For the full schedule check out the Somersby Out Jazz website.

Take advantage of Lisbon’s long summer nights

Two people sitting by mural in Lisbon at night

Lisbon gets about 14-15 hours of daylight during the summer, so the city heats up quite a bit during the day. But once the sun begins to set, the city cools off and people begin to emerge from the shade of their homes to celebrate the season by partying with friends during the warm night time. Most of the socializing in the summer takes place on terraces or in the streets to take full advantage of the warm and inviting weather, so grab some friends and some beers and enjoy the live Fado, lively nightlife venues, and eclectic local culture.

Make the most of Lisbon summers with Ukio

Summer is the perfect time of year to visit Lisbon. The city comes to life and everyone joins in the celebration of the warmer months with an abundance of cultural activities and festivals. Dive into the beautiful waters, picnic with a view at a park, and dance the night away in Bairro Alto to experience the lively season that Lisbon summers offer.

If you want to see what the Portuguese capital is all about, book your stay with Ukio. We offer month long rentals for Lisbon apartments that come artfully designed and fully furnished to make your time in Lisbon easy and memorable. Find your summer apartment in Lisbon on our website now.