Our top 5 tips for surviving the summer heat: Lisbon

This seaside city is one of Europe’s most fortunate weather wise.  The bordering Atlantic ocean means that a cool sea breeze usually keeps things from getting too sweltering, and most of the year it boasts a moderate Mediterranean climate.  July cans till be a scorcher, though- but it doesn’t mean your trip highlights will be hiding in your hotel room under the air conditioning!

Here are some of our favorite things to do in Lisbon when the temperatures soar:

5. Take a boat tour

There are a wealth of options for tours by boat of the Tejo river, from commuter ferries to “hop in hop off” boats to classic wooden yachts.  Some that are geared more towards tourists focus on seeing the historical sights from the water, others have more specific interests, like (our favorite) dolphin watching.  Regardless, when the temperature starts to get too much to bear, a lazy ride on the river with a soft breeze is just the way to pass the day

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4. Go under the sea

If you don’t want to get in the water, the second best thing you can do is surround yourself with it.  The Lisbon Oceanarium is the largest indoor aquarium in Europe, hosting over 16,000 animals and 450 different species.  The different tanks are formulated to replicate different marine habitats, making this one of the only places in the world you can see such a variety of underwater life together in one place.  Sharks, seahorses, rare sunfish and penguins are just some of the highlights- and on a hot day, surrounding yourself with all the cool blue water is an excellent way to spend an afternoon.


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3. Scope out Sintra

Sintra is a short trip from Lisbon and a highlight of many client trips (as well as a personal favorite).  Locals say there is something magical about this town- batteries die quickly, lightbulbs burn out faster- there is just an indescribable sparkle in the air.  Sintra nestled in a stretch of pine covered hills outside Lisbon and coupled with its unique and colorful sites, it feels like something out of a fairytale.  Famous for its breathtaking pastel colored villas and sights like the Quinta de Regaleira and the whimsical Pena palace, it’s definitely worth a stop.  The surrounding forests are full of local flora and fauna, and the unique microclimate of Sintra means it’s usually even cooler than Lisbon. Sintra is perched on a hill over the sea, meaning that a beautiful breeze and the cool forest air usually ensure it’s lovely break from July heat.

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2. Cool down with peixe cru

This seaside nation is known for its excellent food, and seafood plays a starring roll on the Portuguese table.  Raw fish, or peixe cru, is one of our favorite things to eat in Lisbon, where the quality is high and the prices astonishingly low.  The super popular Cervejaria Ramiro is a great place to try langoustines and octopus, though there can be a wait for a table, the food more than makes up for it.  Coupled with a chilled glass of vino verde, it’s just what you want to eat in the summer.



1. Hit the beach

Lisbon locals love being outside and being active, and it’s no wonder that water sports are incredibly popular here.  Just a short drive from the city center can bring you to different beach resort towns like Cascais, located along the Atlantic coast.  A draw for surfing enthusiasts and beach bums alike, it’s a great way to get out of the heat of the city and have a relaxing day at the beach without the stress of going very far

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