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Lisbon in May: 13 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat

Discover things to do in Lisbon in May. Find out if a May trip to Lisbon is worth doing. Enjoy the best of Lisbon in the heart of Spring.
Are you wondering what it’s like to visit Lisbon in May? We moved to Lisbon in 2022 and have had the amazing opportunity to experience life in the city during different parts of the year.

I think that Lisbon is absolutely glorious in May. You'll find tons of outdoor drinking and dining opportunities and you'll be surrounded by colorful blooms to uplift your spirit.

Let’s explore a variety of cool things to see, do, and eat in Lisbon in May to help inspire your trip to Portugal in the heart of Spring.

What is the Weather Like in Lisbon in May?

I think that May is one of the best times to visit Lisbon. The weather is typically sunny and warm, and the crowds are only starting to build so the level of tourists feels less overwhelming than it might in the summer.

The average temperature in Lisbon in May is 21°C (70°F), with highs of 25°C (77°F) and lows of 17°C (62°F). There are only 2 days rainy days in May on average so the odds are good that you'll experience nice weather for your Portugal vacation.

Blue building and purple jacaranda tree in Lisbon in May

While you may want to pack shorts and t-shirts to wear during the day, I recommend still bringing a jacket since it can get cold in the evenings with a cool breeze blowing in from the coast.

Things to do in Lisbon in May at a Glance

Now let's take a look at things to do, see and eat in Lisbon in May at a glance. Each heading is clickable and will take you directly to the item of interest.

Table of Contents

      1. Walk Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian
      2. Enjoy Books and Beers at Amo Brewing
      3. Sample Pizza and Wine in Ajuda
      4. Go to a Film Festival at Culturgest
      5. Gorge Yourself on Cherries!
      6. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Crush Doughnuts
      7. Catch a Concert at Campo Pequeno
      8. Take a Flower Walk
      9. Enjoy Drinks with a View at Duque Brew Pub
      10. Eat Dinner and Admire the Tiles at Cervejaria Trinidade
      11. Take in a Puppet Show
      12. Enjoy Brunch at Breakfast Lovers in Chiado
      13. Go Out for Dinner and Music at Boteco Dona Luzia

      Things to do in Lisbon in May in Detail

      Let's explore cool things to do in Lisbon in May in more detail. I've actually done all of these things in the month of May, so they are tried and tested for this time of year.

      1. Walk Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian

      Spring is in full swing in Lisbon in May, and there are plenty of cool things to do. One of my favorites is taking a walk through the Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian. 

      Egyptian goose and goslings at Jardim da Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian in Lisbon in May

      This time of year, the park is full of baby ducks and chicks. I even saw a pair of Egyptian geese with about 10 goslings! This park and Lisbon in general are truly amazing.

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      2. Enjoy Books and Beers at Amo Brewing

      May is a great time to enjoy the outdoors with a drink. Head to Amo Craft Beer Brewery on Thursday evenings for the Books and Beers Meetup. 

      Balloon animal atop a box of books in Lisbon in May

      Bring a book to share, or take one from the bin or from another attendee. You'll get some new reading material and make some new friends.

       back to 'at a glance'

      3. Sample Pizza and Wine in Ajuda

      Another great thing to do in Lisbon in May is head to Ajuda. It's not far from Belém. Grab a pizza at DiAmici, then head to the nearby Ervideira wine shop for a tasting. 

      Pizza with pepperoni and jalapenos at DiAmici in Lisbon

      Ervideira serves the tasting with plenty of bread, cheese, and charcuterie. In fact, we might have been better off skipping the pizza altogether and just making a meal out of the Alentejo snacks that came with our wine tasting. 
      Collage of photos from a wine tasting at Ervideira Wine Shop in Ajuda

      This particular winery specializes in wines that are aged underwater in Alqueva Lake in the eastern Alentejo region.

       back to 'at a glance'

      4. Go to a Film Festival at Culturgest

      Another fun thing to do in Lisbon in May is check out Culturgest. We saw a movie called "The Adults" there as part of an independent film festival. 

      And if you're not a Portuguese speaker, don't worry—they show movies with subtitles in Portugal, not dubbed versions. So you can still enjoy a great film, even if you don't speak the language.

       back to 'at a glance'

      5. Gorge Yourself on Cherries!

      Cherry season begins in Portugal in May. Look for early-season cherries at local fruit shops and supermarkets. I would eat cherries every day during the season if I could (and in fact, I may have done just that!) 

      The beauty of cherries in Portugal is that they are usually less expensive than in other countries like Switzerland. 

      Bowl of Portuguese cherries in Lisbon in May

      I paid between four and five euros per pound, or between eight and ten euros per kilogram. My colleagues in Switzerland told me that they routinely pay up to 15 Swiss francs per pound.

       back to 'at a glance'

      6. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Crush Doughnuts

      Spring is the time when my sweet tooth comes out in full force. I don't know why, but I'm always craving something sweet in the springtime. So, I made a point of going to Crush Doughnuts, a shop that sells huge and delicious American-style donuts. 

      Crush is located across the street from El Cortes Ingles. There's also a location in the Time Out Market (one of my favorite food markets in Europe), but I don't recommend going there in May, since the market is incredibly popular with tourists and will be extremely busy. 

      Palette of doughnuts at Crush Doughnuts in Lisbon

      Instead, head to the other location, which is a bit off the beaten path in Saldanha. The donuts are huge and definitely enough for two people to share. 

      There are a ton of flavors to choose from, but we tried the peanut butter dream (with peanut butter, chocolate, and caramelized peanuts), the key lime pie (with lime cream and graham crackers), and the passion fruit summer (which definitely felt very Portuguese to us). 

      You'll be spoiled for choice at Crush Doughnuts!

      7. Catch a Concert at Campo Pequeno

      Campo Pequeno used to be Lisbon's bullring! It's still used for bullfighting sometimes, but it's more often used for concerts now. We saw a Queen tribute band called "god save the Queen" play there, and they were amazing. 

      Queen tribute band concert at Campo Pequeno in Lisbon

      They had so much style and pageantry, I couldn't help but think the performance rivaled that of the historic matadors. 

      Check the event schedule and make time for a show at Campo Pequeno. At the very least, you'll have a great excuse to check out the jaw-dropping architecture of the bullring both inside and out.

       back to 'at a glance'

      8. Take a Flower Walk

      Lisbon in May is a sight to behold, with entire streets lined with flowering purple trees. These trees are called Jacaranda Mimosifolia, and they're absolutely stunning. 

      Jacaranda trees near Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon in May

      If you're looking for a beautiful place to take a walk, I highly recommend following the colors down the streets of Saldanha.
      Street lined with jacaranda trees in Lisbon in May

      9. Enjoy Drinks with a View at Duque Brew Pub

      Lisbon in May is the perfect time to grab a drink outside. If you're looking for a great spot, check out Duque Brew Pub. It's a bit of a climb up from Praça do Rossio, but the views are worth it. 

      Peek-a-boo view of Lisbon from Duque Brew Pub

      They have a great selection of simple, well-crafted beers, including sours, IPAs, blondes, and even an albino or a white stout. Soak up the sun and enjoy a delicious brew at Duque Brew Pub.
      Menu and pints of beer at Duque Brewpub in Lisbon in May

      10. Eat Dinner and Admire the Tiles at Cervejaria Trinidade

      If you're in the area, check out Cervejaria Trinidade for dinner. This historic brewery and restaurant is located in a former monastery. 

      Azulejos at Cervejaria Trinidade in Lisbon in May

      The bar and dining area are covered in historic tiles depicting a variety of scenes, including the elements like wind and fire. I especially liked the display of courting swans and the jaunty historic Portuguese soldiers in period costumes.

       back to 'at a glance'

      11. Take in a Puppet Show

      If you're visiting Lisbon in May, be sure to keep an eye out for festivals and events. We went to see a show at the Teatro São Luiz as part of the Puppet and Marionette Festival. 

      The venue was amazing, with stunning painted ceilings, grand chandeliers, and more. The show itself was really imaginative, with both human performers and small and large-scale puppets. 

      Ceiling of Teatro São Luiz in Lisbon

      The show was funny at times, but it also dealt with some serious issues like climate change and the risks of ignoring what's happening around us. 

      The great thing about seeing a marionette show is that there's not really any talking, so you don't have to worry about language barriers.

       back to 'at a glance'

      12. Enjoy Brunch at Breakfast Lovers in Chiado

      If you're a brunch fiend, check out Breakfast Lovers, a café in Chiado. While American-style dining might not be your thing if you're visiting Portugal, if you're here for a while, you might want a hearty breakfast like this once in a while. 

      Collage of dishes from Breakfast Lovers in Chiado in Lisbon

      Breakfast Lovers has well-crafted coffees and cappuccinos, large plates of eggs, and other freshly made dishes. This place is super popular, so I recommend booking a table. 

      We reserved a table and we were seated right by the window, where the line outside could basically stare at us and wish they were us.

       back to 'at a glance'

      13. Go Out for Dinner and Music at Boteco Dona Luzia

      Another cool thing we found in Lisbon in May is Boteco Dona Luzia in Saldanha. This Brazilian cafe has live music almost every night of the week. 

      The food can be a bit pricey, but they have drink specials and small plates that I would recommend if I go back. Get some snacks, order a few beers, and enjoy some top-notch music. 

      Collage featuring snacks and musicians at Dona Luzia in Lisbon

      There's a small cover charge (3 EUR per person) to sit inside when the music is playing, but I think it's worth it for a fun night out on a weekday. The night we went, the band was playing popular covers and taking requests. 

      Even though the place has Brazilian influences, I ordered my favorite cocktail, a margarita, which was well-made but a bit overpriced. Next time I go, I'll stick with beer.

      Should You Visit Lisbon in May?

      I think that May is absolutely one of the best times of year in Lisbon. The streets are humming with people and Spring is in full swing with the streets awash in colorful blooms. 

      Facade with a purple jacaranda tree in front in Lisbon in May

      In my mind, May is still "shoulder season" and while the tourist numbers are on the rise, they are not as high as in the height of summer when the kids are off from school. 

      Take a walk, dine outside, and sample the good life in Lisbon in May!

      Are you trying to decide what time of year to visit Lisbon? Check out month-by-month ideas based on my personal experience living in Portugal:

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      Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog: Lisbon in May: 13 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
      Lisbon in May: 13 Fun Things to See, Do & Eat
      Discover things to do in Lisbon in May. Find out if a May trip to Lisbon is worth doing. Enjoy the best of Lisbon in the heart of Spring.
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      Sidewalk Safari | Part-time Travel Blog
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