From catching up on the last few days of Christmas markets, visiting Jerónimos monastery, and museums, to celebrating Three Kings’ Day – a trip to Lisbon in January offers a unique and enchanting experience.
Are you searching for an amazing opportunity to travel during the off-season? Why not visit Lisbon, the Portuguese capital for a city break in January?
Yes, it probably is a good idea. The advantage of visiting such a great city right after the busy and expensive holiday season if you’re planning a trip there in January is that Lisbon will have a significant decrease in flights after the New Year.
You’ll be able to see a whole new side of the city without the tourist crowds, even though it might be the coldest month with the lowest number of visitors.
Let’s look at some awesome things to do, see, and wear in Lisbon in January to get you in the mood for a winter trip.
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- These are a few of the best things to do in January in Lisbon: visit Christmas markets, Jerónimos monastery, Calouste Gulbenkian, National Azulejo, and Maritime Museums.
- Also, you will be able to see the national celebration of the Three Kings’ Day, shop at cheaper prices, and with fewer tourists you can take breathtaking photos.
- Lisbon’s January weather has mild temperatures. The average daily temperature is 15°C, with a drop in temperature at night.
- The temperature will be shifting, so for the January trip, you should pack warm evening layers, comfy shoes, jeans, and a waterproof jacket.
Things to do in Lisbon in January
Catch up on the last few days of Christmas markets
Early January is a great time to visit to see the Christmas markets!
With the Christmas markets opening in the first week of January, Lisbon maintains a festive atmosphere well into the month.
Furthermore, there might be winter sales because they are going to close.
In the city centre, Rossio Square is host to one of the most well-known markets.
Also, don’t miss the chance to visit Christmas Market Wonderland in January before it closes until the following year.
Jennifer, an enthusiastic traveler, advises – “You will also get to skate on the ice rink, which is something I highly suggest if you’re visiting Lisbon with kids—they’ll love it!”
Visit Jerónimos monastery
Explore the Jerónimos monastery, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a magnificent example of Manueline architecture.
It is situated in one of Lisbon’s most aristocratic neighborhoods, with a view of the Tagus River and a historically significant and monumental environment.
The Portuguese architect Diogo de Boitaca created the religious building to honor Vasco da Gama’s return from India.
So put it on your winter travel list as must see one of the most visited sites in Lisbon.
Recommended read 17 Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal: A Complete Guide
Taste the bolo rei of Three Kings Day
A national celebration known as Dia de Reis, or Three Kings’ Day, happens on January 6th in Portugal, and if you happen to be in Spain during the winter, you’ll also get to witness this.
On this day, people celebrate the biblical story of the three wise men, or kings, who visited the newborn Jesus in Bethlehem and gave him presents.
Bolo Rei is the star of the show at the Portuguese families’ big feast on Dia de Reis.
A key part of the celebrations is this “King Cake,” a round piece of sweet bread with candied fruits on top to resemble a crown.
Antonio, a local boy, says- “My recommendation is to book your bolo rei in advance, as on January 6 the pastry shops are only open to deliver orders and, in addition, there is usually a lot of demand for these cakes, so you don’t want to miss out on one!”
Do your shopping in the January sales
January in Lisbon brings a shopaholic’s dream to life with the much-anticipated winter sales.
Prices drop everywhere in Lisbon, from luxury brands to local shops.
The January sales offer affordable prices to purchase products you’ve been observing, like Portuguese leather shoes, designer essentials, or traditional cork bags.
Therefore, take advantage of the unbeatable deals that make Lisbon in winter a true shopper’s delight.
Visit several museums and indoor activities
Another of the major advantages of visiting Lisbon in January is the lack of crowds when visiting the museums. Lisbon is a very artistic city with museums categorized by historical eras or stylistic movements, catering to a wide range of tastes.
The Calouste Gulbenkian Museum is stuffed to the brim with European masterpieces, Islamic orientalism, Greco-Roman art, and Egyptian treasures. This museum stands as a testament to cultural richness and artistic diversity.
Nevertheless, the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum has an enriching and visually stunning encounter with the diverse facets of artistry, making it a must-visit destination.
Also, don’t miss the National Azulejo Museum if you’re eager to learn more about Lisbon’s obsession with azulejos, the shining ceramic tiles that adorn the city’s façades.
There are many more museums to suit all tastes, such as the Fado Museum, the Carmo Archaeological Museum, the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT), and the Maritime Museum.
Take amazing photos of Alfama’s viewpoints
You may not need to rise so early to avoid the crowds at the viewpoints or districts if you visit the Portuguese capital in January. And why?
For example, the districts of Alfama and Mouraria, famous for their colorful buildings and winding lanes, have fewer crowds, which makes for much more stunning photos!
Photographers can clearly capture the blend of modern energy and historic charm by exploring Alfama’s viewpoints during the winter months.
What’s the weather like in Lisbon in January?
Lisbon is famous for having mild temperatures all year round.
As most people visit Lisbon in the spring or summer, you should be aware that the temperatures are lower this month.
Average temperatures during the day will be about 15°C, however, there may be cooler temperatures at night.
Days in Lisbon during January are characterized by a mix of sunshine and occasional rainfall.
Include some warm clothes and a raincoat in your suitcase to prevent being caught off guard by bad weather. But we prepared a packing list of what clothes to bring to Lisbon in January.
What kind of clothes to pack for Lisbon in January
Consider the occasional rainy and mild weather when preparing for a winter trip to Lisbon.
So, don’t forget to bring walking shoes, a waterproof jacket, and warm layers for the evening, for exploring Lisbon’s famed cobblestone streets.
Bring a mix of sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and comfortable trousers for daytime exploration.
Also, bring one or two lighter layers as well. If you happen to have one of Lisbon’s sunny winter days, you might find that the warmer parts of the day do not necessitate a heavy coat.
Is January a good time to visit Lisbon?
Yes, January is a good time to visit Lisbon. Even though it’s winter, the city is less crowded and the weather is usually mild.
How many days do I need to visit Lisbon?
A stay of 3 to 4 days is typically sufficient to explore the main attractions and get a sense of Lisbon.
What food is Lisbon famous for?
Some of the famous foods in Lisbon that locals Love to Eat are:
Ameijoas a bulhao pato (clams with sauce)
Bifanas (Portugese pork sandwich)
Caldo verde (green soup)
Cozida a Portuguesa (mixed meat stew)
Polvo a lagareiro (octopus in olive oil)
Queijo de azeitao (semi-soft cheese)
Pastel de nata (custard tart)
What is a better city in January: Porto or Lisbon?
Both Porto and Lisbon are good to visit in January, but Lisbon tends to have milder winter temperatures. In the end, the decision is based on your individual preferences and the experiences you are looking for.
Why is Lisbon so popular?
Lisbon is popular for its rich history, stunning architecture, vibrant culture, warm hospitality, and diverse culinary scene, making it an attractive destination for tourists.
Here you can find out more about why Lisbon is so popular.
Is public transportation reliable in January?
Yes, public transportation in Lisbon is generally reliable in January, although it’s advisable to check for any schedule adjustments or potential disruptions due to holidays or events.
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