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Joanna Horanin

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Last updated at 16/06/2024, 12:15

Hi, I'm Joanna, the author of The Blond Travels. In the worlds of Thailand and Portugal, I feel like a fish in water - and it's no coincidence! I've been exploring Thailand for over a decade, and I've settled in Portugal for 6 years now. My mission is to support Dreamers - just like you - in discovering these fascinating countries and helping those in love with them find their own place on Earth, preferably for good! Let's uncover these unique corners of the world together.

This post was created with association with Pharmaceris – a manufacturer of sunscreens for problematic skin.

It’s the 15th of June. It’s windy and rainy in Poland. And in Lisbon? Here the temperatures reached 35 degrees. Is it summer already? The weather forecast says that it’s not the time yet. At the end of the week, it will be slightly colder. I like hot weather, but I sigh with relief seeing the upcoming rain. I’m not ready for the heat wave yet and for sweating at every move. Today I’m feeling what I’m going to feel in the next couple of months.

Summer in Lisbon is great. It can also be a pain in the butt. Sometimes your heart might not keep up with pumping the blood, sometimes you might suffer from headaches, you might not be able to sleep at night and your face is covered with sweat. It seems like summer in Lisbon is a real survival.

The essential guide for a trip to Lisbon. This handy ebook guide includes everything you need to know and see in Lisbon. Discover the best sights, restaurants, cafés and accommodation in the city. Make the most out of your trip! Find out more

Are you afraid of Summer in Lisbon? I’m gonna show you how to make this time a little bit more bearable.

a girl sitting on a cliff in lisbon at the beach
Summer can be very nice in Lisbon.

Summer in Lisbon – When to start being scared?

Google says that the temperature in June is around 22 degrees, 25 degrees in July and 28 degrees in August. Considering the global warming and absolutely crazy weather in Europe, I dare to say that we can expect everything. In 2018 May was cold, in 2019 it’s hot. However, the second half of May should still be quite good.

It’s July and August when Lisbon turns into a big frying pan and holidaying here can be a challenge for those that don’t like hot weather.

Summer in Lisbon – Hot but so beautiful!

It’s quite humid in Lisbon, not as humid as in Thailand, but you can feel it in the air. In the centre, on hot days, the heat and high temperatures can be difficult to bear.

Sometimes there is air conditioning in the apartments, but more often than not you will not find it. If you’re coming to Lisbon for a short holiday, you can check with your host if such luxuries like air con are provided.

people walking on a busy street in cascais.
Cascais is only a couple of kilometres away. You can cool down here for a day.

If you live in Lisbon, you have to sort everything out by yourself. It’s best to buy a couple of fans. The apartments here can get very, very hot and humid during the Summer.

On the other hand, Lisbon in the Summer is so wonderful. All parks and little green squares fill up with people. Someone plays the guitar. A few steps further a group of youngsters dances the Brasilian samba. People lay on the shores of the Tagus River. They chat, read and flirt. Bars and restaurants take out their tables, where they serve refreshing Vino Verde. Palm trees sway in the hot breeze and look so amazing with the blue skies as their background. Despite the fact that many areas during the day are deserted, the laundry hanging outside of the windows, colorful azulejos and grandpas sitting in a shade, make Lisbon look very Portuguese.

Summer in Lisbon – Yes or no?

It’s a difficult question. If I had a choice, I would put the visit to Lisbon off to Autumn and Spring. I like hot weather, but spending the hot days in the city? I think I would rather choose a day trip outside of Lisbon, or go somewhere further, to Algarve for a couple of days, where there are plenty of beaches and easy access to the ocean. Remember that there are plenty of places in Lisbon too where you can lay down on the sand and swim in the cold water. One huge disadvantage is that they are always crowded.

Sightseeing Lisbon should be left out until Autumn or Spring. If you don’t have any other choice and come here during the Summer, wander around the city in the evenings or late afternoons.

people sitting on the shore of the tagus river in Lisbon in the evening.
The Tagus River is a nice place to hang out in the evenings.

Living in Lisbon in the summer – A torture or pleasure?

For me, living here is a pleasure, not a torture. My apartment doesn’t have an air con and we’re planning to purchase a fan. During the day, when I work and the temperature reaches 30 degrees, it gets really hot inside. Hardly ever do I have a draft, even when the windows are open. At night it’s hard to sleep.

Nevertheless, I appreciate the beauty of the hot days. I like going to the park, where the music plays and people relax on deckchairs. You can really feel like you’re in Brazil or another tropical country.

a man feeding seagulls at the tagus river in lisbon
Lisbon is really interesting and during the hot days it becomes really lively.

Lisbon during the Summer offers a lot of entertainment: concerts, rooftops, street performances, not to mention the famous Santos festival, which opens the Summer season in June. It’s worth spending the Summer here and enjoy the perks of Lisbon.

How to survive summer in Lisbon?

The temperatures in Lisbon go over those that we know from the Eastern Europe. They can be really a problem for many. Here are a few tips on how to survive the Summer and heat in Lisbon (and probably not only there).

a girl holding pharmaceris spray on the beach in lisbon
Remember about the sun protection!

Stay hydrated

Quite a simple thing, right? But how often do you forget to drink water? Drinking it is very important during heat waves. We sweat a lot then and filling up on liquids is very crucial if you want to have the energy for sightseeing. Avoid alcohol. If you don’t like pure water, add some lemon or buy Tetley tea with mojito flavour, which was created for cold water and makes it taste really good.

Avoid the sun

It seems that the sun in Lisbon is much stronger than anywhere else. It reflects from the buildings and bright houses, it burns your skin and blinds you. Go sightseeing after 3pm and the first part of the day spend in a cafe.

Dress appropriately

Do you know that wearing black on a hot day is better than wearing white? That’s right! The white colour reflects on your skin and makes you feel hotter. A black, or a dark, blouse would be perfect.

Put something on your head. It’s easy to get a heatstroke on a really hot day in Lisbon.

Use sunscreen

Look after your skin. Use sunscreens with high filters. The Lisbon sun can burn your skin in minutes. For the beginning use 30-50 filters. Being tanned is great, but burnt? Not so much.

Buy baby powder

This is a trick I picked up from Thai people. Thais use baby powder during those really hot days. They use it like an antiperspirant by putting it under their armpits, but also on their hands and face. In this way your skin feels dry and more comfortable. The powder should be applied every time you feel sweaty.

A fan instead of air con

Air-con is great and it brings relief, that’s true, but it’s not really that healthy. It dries out your nose and irritates your throat. It’s easy to get a cold. Much better, healthier and cheaper is a fan, which you can always move to a place you want it.

Chill your towel (or maybe even your bedsheet)

Another Thai trick. In the famous 7-11s in Thailand, you can buy small, perfumed towels that are kept in the fridge. The towel can be put on your neck, face or another part of your body that feels very hot. Later you can wet it and put it in a freezer for a couple of minutes. You can easily make it at home. Wet a small towel, put something that smells nice on it (I apply tiger balm), put it in a fridge or a freezer and wait for an hour or so.

My best friend invented an even more extreme way of keeping cool. She puts her bedsheet in a freezer and then she covers herself with it. I haven’t checked it yet, but she claims that it works miracles and you can sleep easily at night.

Use an umbrella

An umbrella is not only good for rain. In Europe we don’t really use it to protect ourselves from the sun. In Asia it’s a common sight and we should take an example. If you really need to walk around during the day when it’s hot, take your umbrella. It will give you some shade and cool you down. The walk will be a pleasant experience.

It’s really worth coming to Lisbon during the summer and spending some time here, but it’s best to prepare yourself accordingly. I really hope that the above advice is useful and you can enjoy your stay in the capital of Portugal.