Lisbon in summer: best things to do and see

It’s easy to fall in love with Lisbon in summer, thanks to its dreamy coastal setting and al fresco style. Make your stay sensational with these top 10 things to do in Lisbon in summer.

Lisbon is one of the best destinations for a European summer vacation. The breeze coming off the Atlantic keeps you cool, while the nights are warm enough to eat on a terrace. The beaches make it popular for families, but the beautiful old town is also perfect for a romantic getaway.

This summer guide will help you have a great time in Lisbon. You'll find all the best summer activities in Lisbon, from surfing and kayaking to chilling out on a boat. Meet dolphins, try adventure sports, or just stay in the city center and have some tasty snacks. Your Lisbon trip starts here.

Best outdoor activities

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1. Make the most of the weather on a Segway

If it's too hot to walk, there are better ways to get around. Join a Segway tour that takes you out to the seaside district of Belém, and feel the sea breeze as you zip around on two wheels.

Highlights:

At the end of your 3-Hour Segway Sailor Tour to Belém, be sure to taste the pastéis de nata. You can try them anywhere in town, but this is where they were invented.

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2. Visit the stunning sun-soaked gardens of Sintra

A short journey from Lisbon, Sintra is one of the true jewels of the Portuguese countryside. Its grand stately home is stunning at any time of year, but its manicured gardens are at their best when the sun is shining.

Highlights:

Join a Sintra and Quinta da Regaleira Tour to see the most stunning gardens around. Your trip also features a visit to Cascais, the stylish beach resort that was once a favorite with the royal family.

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3. Go horseback riding along Europe's largest beach

This is one of those activities you'll never forget. Saddle up and head out across the dunes of Comporta. See the Portuguese coast from a totally new point of view, from the back of your trusty steed.

Highlights:

Make sure to bring your camera on your Comporta and Setúbal Trip with Horseback Riding. You'll enjoy incredible views, with the ocean on one side and rice fields on the other.

4. Get your adrenaline pumping on the coast

Leave the city behind and head to Sesimbra, where you'll go straight into the world of adventure. Practice your climbing and rappelling skills, and even dare to take a zipline over the rocky coast.

Highlights:

A Coasteering Adventure in Sesimbra/Arrábida Natural Park is perfect for lovers of the great outdoors. An expert guide will be on hand to show you the ropes — quite literally — of the sport.

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5. Speed around Alfama on a foodie tour

In the heat of summer, who wants to tackle Lisbon's hills? Choose a Segway tour that will take you from neighborhood to neighborhood, sampling the best food along the way.

Highlights:

Make sure you start your 3-Hour Food Tour by Segway with an empty stomach. Your guide will show you the best places in town for snacks and treats.

Best water activities

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6. Test your surfing skills on Europe's wildest coast

The Atlantic is perfect for surfers. Whether you're a board veteran or a newbie to the waves, you'll have a great time out on the water.

Highlights:

Choose either a half-day or full-day Lisbon Surf Experience. A local surfer will take you to beaches that are suitable for you, and there are different styles of boards to try depending on your skill level.

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7. Search for Lisbon's friendly Atlantic dolphins

The waters of Lisbon are home to hundreds of these playful creatures, so jump onto a boat to find them. You may get lucky and spot jellyfish, sharks, and even sea turtles, too.

Highlights:

The expert marine biologist on your Dolphin Watching Boat Tour will explain all about the creatures you're seeing, and make sure that you don't miss a thing.

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8. Master your balance on a stand-up paddleboard

Looking for something more zen than surfing? Try stand-up paddleboarding. This sport may look easy, but you'll need a great sense of balance and real endurance to master the art of wave-riding.

Highlights:

You'll start your Stand Up Paddleboarding near Lisbon session with a briefing to help you get the basics. Your guide will also give you a wetsuit and life jacket, so there's no need to fear falling into the water.

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9. Explore the rocky coast with a kayaking and snorkeling adventure

Spend a day above and below the water when you go kayaking and snorkeling in the waters of the Arrabida Natural Park. This rugged coastline is marked by caves, unusual rock formations, and colorful sea creatures.

Highlights:

Decide what you want to do on your Kayaking and Snorkeling Adventure. Try the watersports, explore the caves, and if you're feeling brave, you can even go cliff-jumping into the ocean.

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10. Watch the sunset from the deck of a sailboat

At the end of an action-packed day, what could be better than a sunset tour of the River Tagus? Enjoy a drink as you admire the views of the Lisbon skyline from the water.

Highlights:

You can take this Daytime/Sunset/Night City Sailboat Tour with Drinks at different times of day. Choose the sunset option for a more romantic trip, or go at night to see the buildings of the city all lit up.

FAQs

Where can I go swimming or relax by the water in Lisbon?

Lisbon is right on the coast, and there are amazing beaches near the city. Praia do Guincho is the best choice for surfing, while Praia dos Galapos has a more laidback, natural charm. If you'd rather stay close to the city center, try Praia Velha or Carcavelos.

Are there any great summer festivals in Lisbon?

There are music festivals near Lisbon throughout the summer, with everything from jazz to rock. For something more traditional, visit the city in the month of June. The festival of St Anthony, also known as the Lisbon Sardine Festival, is by far the city's biggest party. There are street parties with sardine barbecues all over Lisbon that last almost an entire month, but the main parade is on June 12.

What are the must-visit outdoor attractions in Lisbon?

Lisbon's beaches and the beautiful River Tagus are undoubtedly the best outdoor attractions. There are also a number of buildings with incredible architecture, both in the city center and in districts like Belém.

What are some great day trips to take from Lisbon in the summer?

Cascais is a short distance away up the coast. This elegant town has long been a popular beach resort for the Portuguese aristocracy, and the royal family used to have a home here. You can also take a trip to Sintra, a mountain village known for its stately homes and landscaped gardens. There are dozens of towns up and down the coast with beautiful beaches. Portugal is a small country, and Lisbon is conveniently located right in the middle of its coast, so if you want a day at the beach, you'll have plenty of options.

What are some fun activities with kids in Lisbon in summer?

Adventurous kids will love summer in Lisbon. They can try snorkeling, kayaking, or stand-up paddleboarding. There are also boat trips to enjoy and even dolphin-watching trips out on the ocean. You can spend a day at the Jamor Adventure Park, known for its treetop obstacle courses. At the end of a day of fun, kids will love the chance to head back to the city center and snack on a delicious custard tart.