10 Things to do in Lisbon in July
July in Lisbon means summer. It means sunshine, festivities and an influx of tourism from across the globe.
Portugal is known for being one of the top European destinations in the July and August months, with most travelers flocking to the capital Lisbon, or the Algarve on the southernmost coast.
Here are a few things you must do while in Lisbon in July.
1. Attend one of Portugals Biggest Music Festivals in Lisbon in July
Portugal aside, these are actually two of the biggest music festivals in Europe entirely. The NOS Alive Festival and Super Bock Super Rock Festival both take place during mid-July, with just a week separating them.
Both festivals bring in the biggest artists and bands in the world, with international set lists worth a trip to Portugal alone. A lot of European locals will fly into the capital, or catch the train from neighboring countries, just to attend either of these events.
Neither of them are actually in Lisbon itself, but a short journey outside of the city. Lisbon would be the most convenient point go transport and accommodation for all attendees.
2. Enjoy Pool Days in Lisbon in July
Despite being a coastal city, there are no places to actually swim in the Tagus along the Lisbon coastline. The city gets incredible hot during July, and everyone scrambles to find some sort of water source in which to dip their bodies.
The hotel pools are an easy option; if you are not a guest at the hotel in question you may be required to pay a day fee to swim.
Lisbon also has a bunch of public pools and water parks. I’ve listed them here, if you’d like a closer look!
3. Take Beachy Day Trips in Lisbon in July
This is my favorite thing to do in July; catching the train from the city center out to the beaches near Lisbon is a day well spent.
Cascais is the nearest beach town to the city; it lies a mere 40 minute train ride from the coastal train station, Cais do Sodre. A round trip is just €5 per person, with the last train retiring to Lisbon at 9pm every evening.
In Cascais you’ll enjoy multiple beaches, fishing harbors and a retail village that is a culinary dream.
4. Explore Sintra in Lisbon in July
Sintra is another day trip from Lisbon that is particularly great in July. It’s the castle filled valley where the Portuguese royals used to vacation in the summer.
It’s also about a 40 minute journey from the center; reachable by train or by taxi.
Sintra is a tough one, because one starts on the valley outskirts and can move deeper into the nature reserve as desired. A day trip doesn’t give you much time to see everything Sintra has to offer, but at the very least you’ll want to see the Pena Palace, the Quinta da Regaleira grounds and maybe one beach.
5. Chase the Sunset in Lisbon in July
A favorite Portuguese pastime in the summer. Lisbon is filled with miradouros, also known as viewpoints. This is because the city is built on a series of ancient hillsides, meaning some suburbs sit higher than others and offer incredible views of the bowl below.
The Lisbon viewpoints are filled with people at most hours of the day, but sunset is a particularly desirable occasion. Come early if you want a front row seat. Alternatively anywhere along the coastline overlooking the water makes for a great sunset view as well.
6. Watch Nightly Fado in Lisbon in July
Lisbon is the home of fado music, with the art having been birthed in the suburb of Mouraria in the Alfama.
The fado venues know that tourists flock in July, and that their nightly performances need to be of top quality and fun! The best places to watch fado in Lisbon are in the Alfama or in Bairro Alto; most performances are enjoyed over a traditional Portuguese dinner, with a small fee being added to each bill to cover the cost of the show.
7. Hunt Down the Best Pastel de Natas in Lisbon in July
Admittedly this is an activity worth doing in Lisbon whether its peak heat of July, or icy cold January.
Pastel de nata are the traditional Portuguese custard tarts that you’ll see being sold on just about every street corner in the city. While you’re out and about enjoying your outdoor excursions, make a point of sampling as many different renditions of the cakes as possible.
8. Take a Tile Making Class in Lisbon in July
This is another activity that becomes widely available in Lisbon the minute the weather turns hot.
Tourists make their way into the city, and love an authentic Portuguese tile making experience. There are a number of independent classes that you can sign up for for an afternoon of the history of Portuguese tiles followed by making one of your own. Airbnb also has a good range of creatives offering tile making classes around the capital.
9. Enjoy the Summer Jazz Festivals in Lisbon in July
The music industry really thrives in Portugal in the summer, particularly in July.
Each year, the city of Portugal implements the summer jazz event called Out Jazz. Every Sunday in July there are live jazz concerts held in the main public parks of Lisbon.
Admission is entirely free to all!
10. Embark on Guided Walking Tours in Lisbon in July
Any activity that gets you out of the house and into the sunshine in July is worth a closer look.
Amidst all of the above mentioned excursions, Lisbon also offers daily free guided walking tours through the city center. You’ll get to explore the neighborhoods and learn about their history from the perspective of a Lisbon local; definitely better experienced in the warmer months.