There are still a couple of good beach months left in Lisbon, but you don’t necessarily need to leave the city in order to catch some sun and escape to a more tranquil setting. By the riverfront, on top of one of the city’s hills, or in a green oasis, here is where to go when you want to enjoy the warm, sunny weather in the center of Lisbon.
Meninos do Rio
This riverfront café is found right in the center of the city, but you can easily imagine yourself standing in a non-urban resort. Behind you are tall palm trees, the water is right in front, and you can sit or lie back on a long chair enjoying fresh juices or nibbling on some excellent snacks and light meals. It is open throughout the year, but it is an essential stop in the summer.
There are many terraces overlooking Lisbon, but this is “the” terrace. It’s found right below the Castle of St. George, and serves sandwiches, salads, and fruit juices as you overlook the city and the river. It’s open after the sun sets too, so you may also admire the city when the moon is shining on the Tagus.
Parque das Nações Lawns
Parque das Nações is known for its contemporary and futuristic architecture, as well as a number of attractions left behind after the World Fair of 1998. But this is no concrete jungle, especially when you get closer to the riverfront, which is ideal for joggers, cyclists, and lovers. There are a number of gardens and lawns along the way, and the longest and sunnier green spaces are found past Vasco da Gama Tower towards Europe’s longest bridge. Put on your beachwear, spread your tower, and make that your suntanning area.
With the train tracks running along the riverfront from the center of the city to seaside Cascais, it is often forgotten that between those tracks and the river are miles of lawns, restaurants, and bars. It also includes a new cycling path, and on weekends it’s the preferred destination for joggers. By the Alcântara district, right by 25 de Abril Bridge and the Santo Amaro docks is a large green area where you can simply lay down or sit on a bench allowing the sun to hit your face, and where your only concern should be putting on some sunscreen.
Edward VII Park
Unlike Londoners, New Yorkers, or Parisians, Lisboners rarely spend much time in their city’s parks. The beach is just too close by, and an outdoor café is also a better place to watch the world go by. But there are several wonderful green spaces in the city, and the “central park” is Edward VII Park. It separates downtown from uptown, and includes an attractive greenhouse, clipped box hedging, and plenty of space to lay down, catch some sun, and listen to the sounds of nature mixing with those of the city.