Days may be shorter, but the light of Lisbon in November is the brightest and most beautiful of the whole year.
Everyone falls in love with the light of Lisbon. We at Devour Lisbon agree that it is unique. It bounces off the Tagus River at sunset and makes the colorful façades of the Alfama neighborhood look like a tiny waking village in the morning. But there is more to see and do in Lisbon in November. Here are our top six suggestions.
1. Eat Roasted Chestnuts
Roasted chestnuts are the trademark image of Lisbon in November. In the first days of cold, street vendors set their roasters strategically in pedestrian streets or outside metro exits. The scent of freshly roasted chestnuts takes over Lisbon and people will stop to buy a cone of a dozen of these delicious and healthy snacks. They’re seasoned with nothing more than handfuls of rock salt, which is thrown on top of the fruits while roasting.
2. Network at Web Summit
When the digital revolution hit Lisbon, the city embraced it. Not only is the Portuguese capital known for its great weather and hospitality, but has state-of-the-art coworking spaces, startup incubators, and highly skilled human resources. Web Summit chose Lisbon as their new headquarters in 2016 and will be around for at least ten more.
A big part of the attendees come to do business or seek investment, but they also spur a wave of creative energy around the event. In one of the nights, the Pink Street in Cais do Sodré fills up with conference goers mingling with locals.
3. See Live Music at Unexpected Venues
Due to a change in sponsors, the name Super Bock em Stock is recent, but the festival has been taking over Lisbon in November since 2008. Showcasing smaller independent bands and artists, the concert venues are concentrated mostly in Avenida da Liberdade. Live music can happen anywhere from Rossio train station to Capitólio, a remodeled playhouse in the old theater district of Parque Mayer.
4. Hear Eclectic Sounds at Misty Fest
Every year the lineup of the Misty Fest is far from cohesive. But the point is that this has been one of the most iconic music festivals in Lisbon in November since 2010. The festival brings artists from diverse nationalities and cultural backgrounds to different venues across the country. In older editions, the festival took place in locations like Centro Cultural de Belém and Gulbenkian Foundation.
5. Explore one of the Historic Neighborhoods
November is low tourism season, which means it’s the best time of year to explore any of the historic neighborhoods in Lisbon slowly. The hills of Graça and Alfama are as challenging as they are charming, posh Chiado is excellent for shopping and afternoon coffee, and Mouraria is a melting pot of cultural influences with one of the must-visit food markets in Lisbon. Whatever neighborhood you choose, make sure you start as early in the day as possible.
6. Have a Coffee and Pastry
While tea is a great drink for colder days, in Lisbon coffee is still the preference. If you can’t tell how to order coffee in Portugal yet, don’t worry. Keep it simple and order a bica, what Lisbon locals call an espresso. Deciding on what pastry to have is trickier. You can go the more traditional route with custard tarts in Lisbon or take the tram 28 all the way to Campo de Ourique to try freshly baked croissants at Moço dos Croissants.
Calling all curious travelers! Do you love connecting with the local community while in a new place? We’re right there with you. We’d love to keep connecting you to Lisbon through our newsletter. It comes out a couple of times a month, brimming with dispatches on culture, recipes, tips and even a discount or two!
Sandra Henriques Gajjar is a freelance web content writer and travel blogger born in the Azores and based in Lisbon for 20+ years. Since 2014 she’s been blogging about travel, culture, and the people she meets in between at Tripper, a blog on sustainable cultural tourism.