Even on the weekend, there’s never a dull moment in the city of seven hills!
Sunday in Lisbon starts lazily, in a mix of people returning home after a Saturday night out partying and others going on their morning run by the Tagus River. A lot of the stores are closed and cafés typically open later. It’s the perfect day of the week to slow down the pace, do some people watching, and get under the skin of the city. At Devour Lisbon we have a few suggestions on what to do in Lisbon on Sundays.
1. Start with Brunch
Going out for brunch wasn’t a Portuguese tradition, but the trend has stuck in Lisbon for a while now. Therefore these days it’s hard to not find a place advertising brunches on Sundays and some even dare to serve it all day, every day of the week. Locals’ favorite spots include the Instagrammable Nicolau Lisboa in the Baixa-Chiado neighborhood and the less crowded Dear Breakfast near the Santos neighborhood.
2. Stroll by the Tagus River
With over 300 days of sunshine a year, there’s a chance the weather will be just right for a walk by the Tagus River. The pathways between Cais do Sodré and Alcântara, and Padrão dos Descobrimentos and the Belém Tower are the most popular. They’re also bike-friendly in case you’d rather pedal your way through. Too cold to be outside? Find refuge in one of the Cais do Sodré cafés with a view to the river.
3. Visit Museums in the Afternoon
Paid museums are free for Portuguese citizens from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sundays, which means some places will probably be more crowded during this window. If visiting a couple of museums is part of your Sunday in Lisbon plans, go after lunch. It’s more likely you’ll have the place to yourself.
4. Hunt for Bargains at the LxMarket
Most street shops close on Sundays, except during holiday season in December, so locals flock to big malls like Colombo and Vasco da Gama. Go further west, to the heart of the old industrial area in the city, and you’ll come across the hippest second-hand market in Lisbon. The LxMarket happens every Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., just under the 25 de Abril bridge, on the grounds of LX Factory.
5. Explore Lisbon’s Most Famous Urban Park
Step inside the gardens of the Gulbenkian Foundation and you’ll feel the city around you has disappeared. Designed by renowned Portuguese landscape architects in the late 1960s, everything from trees and resident animals to art has its place and its purpose. Weather permitting, grab a book and sit at the outside amphitheater. On rainy days, explore the two museums at the foundation. Both are free on Sundays after 2 p.m.
6. Soccer Fan? Attend a Match in the Evening
Soccer season in Portugal runs from August to May. With two professional teams in the major league, Benfica and Sporting, you have great chances to catch a game and see how locals root for their favorite teams. Bonus points if that match is between the two big local ones. Food trucks line up outside the stadium selling mostly bifanas and pregos, the staple dishes of Lisbon street food.
7. Grab a Drink with a View
One of the perks of a hilly city is the number of great views, most of them unofficial and free. Pair that with your favorite drink, and you got the perfect end to your Sunday in Lisbon. Go for a classic view over Chiado, like the one you get from Entretanto Rooftop Bar, or opt to look at the Santa Justa lift and the S. Jorge castle from a different angle, at TOPO Chiado.
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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.