Exploring Lisbon in Spring: The Best Things to Do and See

Written By Lara Silva

Spring is one of the best seasons to visit Lisbon, Portugal. The weather is mild, the flowers are in full bloom, and the city is alive with vibrant energy. From strolling through the charming neighborhoods and exploring street art to listening to fado, there is so much to see and do in Lisbon during the springtime.

Let’s explore some of the best things to do and see in Lisbon during the spring season, giving you a guide to making the most of your trip. But first, what is the weather like in Lisbon during Spring?

Lisbon Spring Weather 

The city of Lisbon comes to life when the flowers bloom, and the sun is out. Spring in Lisbon provides a mild climate, lasting from mid-March to the end of May. During this time, temperatures range between 12°C to 20°C (54°F to 68°F) with occasional rain showers.

In March, the average temperature is around 14°C (57°F), and rainfall is moderate. April is warmer, with an average temperature of around 16°C (61°F) and less rainfall.

May is the warmest month of the season, with an average temperature of around 19°C (66°F), and there is typically less rain than in the previous months.

At times, as we have seen during April 2023, temperatures can reach 25°C on very hot spring days.

We recommend packing light layers for your Lisbon trip during Spring as temperatures can vary throughout the day. Pack an umbrella or a raincoat as there may be occasional rain.

8 Top Things to Do in Lisbon in Spring

1. Visit the historic district of Alfama

During Spring, Alfama is filled with beautiful flowers and greenery, making it even more enchanting. The streets are alive with the sound of birds chirping and the scent of blooming flowers.

You can take a leisurely stroll through the narrow alleys, enjoying the fresh air and the lovely scenery. You can also visit some of the many outdoor cafes and restaurants and sit outside while savoring some of the local delicacies.

Springtime is a time of festivities in Portugal, and Alfama is no exception. The neighborhood hosts several events and celebrations during this season, which are great opportunities to experience Portuguese culture and traditions.

If you’re in Alfama, a fado night out is a must. Fado is a traditional music style that was born out of this neighborhood. This style of music was sung in taverns, beginning in the 19th century and is now a UNESCO-listed musical genre. 

We recommend booking this Alfama experience where you can listen to fado and enjoy an intimate dinner. 

Alfama. Photo by Liam McKay (Unsplash)

2. Stroll through the colorful streets of Bairro Alto

Bairro Alto is a lively neighborhood located in the heart of Lisbon, which comes even more to life during Spring. This area is known for its vibrant nightlife, historic architecture, and trendy restaurants and bars. 

During the day, you can explore the neighborhood’s narrow streets and alleyways, lined with colorful buildings, street art, and unique shops. We recommend also visiting some of the notable attractions in the area, including the Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara and the Santa Catarina Viewpoint, which offer stunning panoramic views of the city.

At night, Bairro Alto comes alive with the sound of music and the chatter of people. The neighborhood is home to a vibrant nightlife scene, with numerous bars and clubs open until late. In Spring, temperatures are less chilly at night, but a jacket is still necessary. 

Photo by Alano Oliveira
lanomds (Unsplash)

3. Explore Belem 

Belém is a beautiful neighborhood to visit during the springtime. With its mild weather and blooming flowers, this area is perfect for exploring the outdoors and soaking up the sunshine.

The neighborhood is known for its historic architecture, including the famous Jerónimos Monastery, which is an excellent place to visit during this season. The beautiful gardens surrounding the monastery are in full bloom during the spring.

Head to Pasteis de Belem to try out the original recipe for the Portuguese Custard Tart. The line might look long, but it’s worth the wait!

The Belém Tower is another must-see attraction in the area, offering stunning views of the Tagus River.

Belém is also home to several beautiful parks and gardens, which are perfect for a relaxing stroll during the springtime. 

Torre de Belem, Lisbon. Photo by Bernardo Lorena Ponte (Unsplash)

4. Take a scenic tram ride through the city

Spring in Lisbon can be fully experienced like a local by taking a ride on the number 28 tram, which doubles as an affordable and trendy tourist tour. Although it’s a public transport service, it traverses through some of the most popular tourist destinations, including Alfama, Baixa, Estrela, and Grace.

Riding the tram, painted in the traditional yellow, takes you on a picturesque journey through the city’s narrow and steep streets while seeing the locals on their daily commute.

One of the highlights of the tram 28 route is the chance to explore the historic Alfama district. This charming neighborhood is one of the oldest in Lisbon, with winding cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and stunning views of the river.

Another popular stop on the tram 28 route is the Baixa district, which is home to many of Lisbon’s top attractions. Here you can visit the majestic Praça do Comércio, the historic Rossio Square, and the lively Rua Augusta.

Tram 28. Photo by Portuguese Gravity (Unsplash)

5. Visit the beautiful botanical gardens of Lisbon

The Lisbon Botanical Garden is a must-visit destination during Spring. Located in the heart of the city, this 19th-century garden spans over 4 hectares and is home to a wide variety of plant species from around the world.

As the weather warms up in the spring, this is the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of the city. One of the highlights of the Lisbon Botanical Garden in the spring is the blooming of the garden’s many cherry blossom trees.

The garden is also home to a wide variety of other flowering trees and shrubs, including camellias, magnolias, and azaleas, which create a stunning display of color and texture. There are also a variety of tropical and subtropical species, including palms, cacti, and succulents.

We also recommend exploring the garden’s many greenhouses, which showcase these exotic plants and offer a glimpse into their unique ecosystems.

6. Walk around Lx Factory

Spring is the perfect time to explore the vibrant arts and cultural scene at Lx Factory. This creative hub, located in the Alcântara district, is home to a wide variety of artists, designers, and entrepreneurs who have transformed the former industrial complex into a thriving cultural destination.

In Spring, there are many outdoor events and activities, such as open air cinemas, food markets, and art exhibitions. 

Walk around Lx Factory’s many courtyards and alleys, taking in the colorful street art and enjoying the many cafes and restaurants that line the streets.

There are also many shops and studios that are scattered throughout the complex, where you can find unique handmade goods, vintage clothing, and one-of-a-kind artworks.

Photo by Alex Lehner (Flickr)

7. Take a day trip to the picturesque town of Sintra

Sintra is a charming town recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site due to its palaces that were once residences of royal families and the delectable pastry known as “Travesseiro de Sintra.”

The public transport to Sintra is speedy and reasonably priced, making it a perfect day trip. From Oriente station, one can take a train that arrives in Sintra in less than 45 minutes.

When in Sintra, a visit to the Pena Palace or “Palácio Nacional da Pena” is a must. The palace exterior, painted in multiple colors, features romanticist architecture. The castle and the lush greenery surrounding it create an ambiance reminiscent of fairy tales.

A 10-minute walk from the palace leads to the Castle of the Moors, a medieval castle built by the Moors during the 8th and 9th centuries. From the castle, visitors can enjoy the stunning panoramic view of the entire town.

We also recommend exploring the overgrown gardens and architecture at Quinta da Regaleira, which was designed in the early 1900s.

For those who have driven to Sintra from Lisbon and wish to explore the white sand beaches, Praia da Adraga and Praia do Magoito are two beaches, both a 20-minute drive from the town center, that the locals frequent.

Pena Palace. Photo by Alexander Wende (Unsplash)

8. Admire the city’s stunning street art

Spring is a great time to explore the vibrant street art scene in Lisbon. The city is known for its colorful murals, which can be found in neighborhoods throughout the city. One of the best places to start is in the trendy district of Alcântara, where you can find some of the most impressive examples of street art in Lisbon.

Another great area to explore is the narrow streets of Alfama, where you can discover hidden gems of street art on every corner. The murals in this historic district often feature images of Lisbon’s Fado music.

However, you can also join a street art walking tour, where you can learn about the history and techniques behind the murals, as well as the artists who created them. These tours often include visits to famous street art landmarks such as the “Carnation Revolution” mural and the “Lisbon Story” mural.

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