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Five Things To Do In Lisbon This Winter

Super Bock em Stock 2019

Super Bock em Stock 2019

Lisbon, Portugal

There are plenty of reasons to visit the Portuguese capital over the winter months: the comparatively warm weather, the significantly smaller queues, to name a couple.

And although it's one of the warmer European destinations in winter, you're probably still unlikely to be getting your bikinis on, sunbathing on the beach, or heading out for a spot of surfing like you might in the height of summer (although the seasoned surfers will tell you that winter brings the best waves).

So here are a few things you should do instead, in a city that has increasingly become one of the most popular for visitors from across the world.

Visit the world's oldest active bookshop 

The exact opening date of Livraria Bertrand gets a little confusing – it was first opened in 1732, but moved locations after the 1755 Lisbon earthquake to its current home – but one thing is clear, it is quite old. So much so, it has actually been recognised by the ever-reliable folks at the Guinness World Records.

There's now more than one Bertrand store in Lisbon, so make sure you get the right one (it's in Chiado), and you can explore the literary history of the city, with rooms dedicated to important writers from the last three centuries. Plus, who doesn't like the cosy feel of a bookshop in winter?


See some live music at Super Bock em Stock

As you may have realised, music festivals are our thing. And it just so happens that Lisbon is home to a whole load of our favourites throughout the year. During the winter months – on the 23-24 November to be precise – Super Bock em Stock showcases exciting and eclectic alternative music talent in number of venues across the city.

The legendary Johnny Marr tops the bill this time round, alongside the likes of Jungle, Rejjie Snow, U.S. Girls, Capitão Fausto and Masego, with a whole host of other captivating newer acts performing over the weekend. Have a look at the full lineup on our guide.

Learn something new at the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum

From 26 October through to 28 January, you can experience an exhibition entitled Art and Architecture between Lisbon and Baghdad, which offers a fascinating insight into the 1960s modernisation of Iraq's capital city and the role played by the Portuguese Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation in this development and cultural exchange. There will also be a series of talks and discussions on the topic on selected dates. All of this is obviously in addition to the museum's impressive permanent collection. 

Drink port

Yes I know, strictly speaking this one is better suited to Porto than Lisbon, but the capital is not short of options for tasting some of the most uniquely Portuguese of alcoholic offerings. The fortified wine truly is one of the greatest things ever created by humans, and if there's a better time to drink than in winter I'm yet to find it (and I've done some fairly extensive 'research').

In terms of selection and history, you won't do much better than Solar do Vinho do Porto (but by some accounts the service might leave a little to be desired), and you could also see what Chafariz do Vinho has to offer. And although you can spend a fair amount on a vintage bottle, you really don't have to break the bank for a nice glass.


Eat pastéis

Anyone with even a passing knowledge of the city knows about Pastéis de Belém and their trademark delicacies. By almost all accounts, there is nowhere better in the world to get the iconic custard tarts than at the legendary Lisbon eatery.

That said, in recent years certain people have started to say that the pastéis from Manteigaria are actually even better, so you could also take a trip there to compare and see what you think. But in terms of the history and tradition, Belém are untouchable.

Like port, these could really be enjoyed any time of year; but there's something particularly appealing about knocking back a few glasses and tucking into some sweet treats during the winter months.

Tickets and accommodation options for Super Bock em Stock 2019 will be on sale soon.

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