Averages for Lisbon in May
May brings very pleasant, warm temperatures to Lisbon. The average temperature reaches up to around 17°C (that's about 62°F), and dips no lower than 13°C (about 55°F) in the evenings. The highest ever recorded temperature for the month of May was a steamy 35°C and the lowest temperature ever experienced in May for the last thirty years was around 7°C. Warm days are the norm in May and over half the month you will feel the temperature ri...
May brings very pleasant, warm temperatures to Lisbon. The average temperature reaches up to around 17°C (that's about 62°F), and dips no lower than 13°C (about 55°F) in the evenings. The highest ever recorded temperature for the month of May was a steamy 35°C and the lowest temperature ever experienced in May for the last thirty years was around 7°C. Warm days are the norm in May and over half the month you will feel the temperature rise above 21° C and at least five or six days it will range between 26°C and 30°C for highs.
You will get about 14 hours of daylight and an average of 9 hours of sunshine daily during May. By the end of the month the sun is rising at close to 6 AM and setting close to 9 PM. The UV index rating is definitely on the high end at 8, which means you should take precautions. Minimize sun exposure between the hours of 10 AM and 4 PM and use plenty of sunblock. You need to be extra cautious at the beach too since bright surfaces reflect and increase UV exposure significantly. On average it is sunny 68% of daylight hours during the month of May.
The average monthly rain is only around 13 mm for the month of May. At most you may see a brief thunderstorm one day during the month. The most rain ever reported in May for a twenty four hour period was 59 mm. Average humidity ranges in Lisbon remain steady during the summer months. Morning relative humidity averages 82% while by evening this drops to 57%. The dew point is considered very comfortable at 10°C.
Sky conditions are usually clear with fog seen only one day a month on average. The wind blows at about 16 km/hr. Dust or other particulate matter in the atmosphere can be felt on average 4 days per month, with some sort of visual obstruction occurring for part of the day half the month.
The average sea temperature is about 17°C (about 62°F), so you can head to the nearby beaches to top up your tan or try your hand at swimming or surfing.
Bridge of 25th April over river Tajo
Where to Stay
If you have a car the Hotel Mundial has free parking. A 4-star hotel, it is located in the Baixa Pombalina district right by Rossio Square. Another centre city hotel is the Beautique Hotel Figueira. Located close to the Rossio Train Station, the Beautique has a rooftop spa and overlooks Sao Jorge Castle.
If you are looking for something larger or perhaps for a longer stay, try the VIP Executive Eden. With large studios and apartments including well equipped kitchens, there is a roof top pool and solarium.
Another apartment-style hotel is the Lisbon Serviced Apartments Baixa. Large, air-conditioned and very modern, it is located very close to the Baixa-Chiado metro.
A very interesting place to stay in the Alfama neighbourhood is the Hotel Solar do Castelo. Part of the inner courtyard of an 18th century mansion. The hotel features hardwood floors and a very nice lounge area.
The VIP Inn Veneza Hotel, part of the VIP chain like the VIP Eden, is located in an old 18th century palace. The location is almost perfect, right on Avenida Liberdad near the Avenida Metro Station. There is cable TV, free Wi-Fi and a very nice bar.
The HF Fenix Lisboa Hotel is on the Marques de Pombal. Very highly rated, it is a non-smoking hotel with a very good restaurant that serves Portuguese and European cuisines.
The InterContinental Lisbon is a 5-star hotel by Eduardo VII Park. The rooms and amenities are what one would expect from a luxury hotel of this sort. There are several restaurants and lounges inside the hotel.
For something really unique you can stay at the Sail in Portugal. Anchored next to the Belem Tower it is a fully equipped yacht with 2 cabins. The cabins each have a private bathroom and shower and you are about 15 km from the International Airport.
Another yacht close by that rents to visitors is the Boat Palmayachts. There are 3 double cabins with a baths.
The Famous Crows is almost next door to the Jeronimos Monastery. With both private and shared accommodations, this hostel has a great location for a very reasonable price and includes a continental breakfast.
In Belem, the Setubalense is a renovated 17th-century building with an inner courtyard and many rooms with balconies overlooking the city. Many cafes and museums are within walking distance.
Want a house? The Casa da Memoria is right by Belem Gardens and close to the Tagus River front. The two bedroom house has a full kitchen and is within a five minute walk to many cafes and shops. The Belem Train Station is about a 15 minute walk from the front door.
Belem Tower on a sunny day
Things to do
The Parque das Naçoes, or the Lisbon Nations Park, is situated around the River Tagus and houses the Oceanário de Lisboa. This Oceanarium contains a huge range of sea life as well as a life-size exhibit of extinct sea creatures. There are also backstage tours explaining about the conservation work and care of sea animals.
The Planetarium features regular sky shows projected onto the massive domed roof. There are also diagrams and models of the entire solar system.
Tennis enthusiasts can head to the Estoril Open to cheer on some of the world's most famous players as they compete.
One of the most important Christian sites in the world, the Sanctuary of Fatima, is well worth a day-trip. Situated only about an hours drive from Lisbon to the North, it is open to the public 24 hours a day.
The Museu do Oriente contains exhibits related to Portugal's historical ties to Asia. It is located on the Doca de Alcantara. Another interesting museum is the Museu da Marioneta or Puppet Museum. Russian puppets, Sicilian opera marionettes and other intriguing types of marionettes are housed here.
Hit the Beach
Guincho Beach is very family oriented with sand dunes and child-play areas. One some days there are hundreds of kites being flown along the beach front. The winds are perfect for surfing and the location great for kite flying and many world-class events have been held here related to those activities.
The Praia do Tamariz is a small, quaint beach near the Estoril train station. Another family oriented beach, there are many places to eat and lots of small cafes scattered along the surf front. It is very popular so in the summer months you need to come early if you want to rent an umbrella or beach chair as it gets very crowded early in the day.
Sacramento do Chiado, Lisbon.
Where to Eat & Drink
The 100 Maneiras gives you a unique dining experience. There is no set menu. They serve a 10 course meal of Portuguese culinary dishes along with excellent wines, all for one set price.
The Sacramento is a nice little Portuguese restaurant in Bairro Alto. Seafood dominates the menu. They have a very nice dessert list with interesting sweet concoctions.
For over 30 years the Clube de Jornalistas has been a fixture in downtown Lisbon on the Rua das Trinas. The Brazilian cuisine is among the best in the city.
The food at the Quermesse is excellent and the price extremely reasonable. Dishes range from seafood to pork and meat plates.
If you crave a good steak then one of the best places in town for you is the Café de Sao Bento. They only serve steak, along with good wine and beer.
The bars scene is extensive in Lisbon. The Incognito Bar is one of the "in" places to be. They have a basement dance floor and play retro pop and alternative rock.
The Lux Bar is considered one of the hottest clubs in Europe. John Malkovich the actor owns part of the club. Cost of admission is high but a drink or two is included in the price.
If you like to be entertained while you drink, try the Capito. Magicians, jugglers and other types of performers wonder throughout the tables wowing diners.
The Bar Bicaense is a favourite with the artsy crowd. Jazz music forms the backdrop of the laid-back drinking establishment, with film screenings taking place on Tuesdays. There is a small dance floor too.
The Old Vic is a period bar that will remind you of Victorian London. They have a menu that includes toasties as well as steak.
The Panorama Bar on top of the Sheraton is a great place to unwind. The relaxing atmosphere and views over the city are one of the best in town.
If you are looking for a wine bar, the Vinho Sem Principio in Baixa is a small but excellent place for a glass of vino. They also serve tapas and offer daily specials.
Another great wine bar is The Wine Lover in Bairro Alto. Tapas are served here too along with great local varieties of cheese and sausage.