If you know anything about Lisbon you already know that it’s the European capital with the most sunshine hours per year and the closest to sandy beaches. But you don’t have to head to the coast nearby to get a tan — you may return home with a bronzed glow by simply staying in the center of the city, and often with wonderful views. Here’s where:
RIBEIRA DAS NAUS
This waterfront promenade was renovated and reopened in 2013 and was already the “beach” of the center of the city on sunny April days. It’s found between Comercio Square and Cais do Sodré station which takes you to the beaches of Cascais.
CAIS DAS COLUNAS
Across the road from Comercio Square is the “quay of columns” where ships docked throughout the centuries. Now it’s a tourist magnet for the views and for sitting in the sun in the company of seagulls and with the breeze of the Atlantic.
Between Vasco da Gama Tower and Vasco da Gama Bridge is this green park which is used by joggers and soccer players throughout the year. During the summer, you’ll find people in beachwear working on their tans on the lawns facing the bridge.
EDWARD VII PARK
The people of Lisbon head straight to the beaches and overlook their parks. That’s why who you find here are usually foreign tourists, not just because the park is surrounded by many hotels but also because it’s a wonderful attraction with city views. Many remove their shirts as early as April and make this their own private outdoor tanning salon.
TAPADAS DAS NECESSIDADES
Spread your towel on one of the city’s most tranquil spots, the little-known Necessidades Park next to a former palace that’s now home to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Although mostly a picnic spot and site of outdoor jazz concerts, it’s also a wonderful place to relax in the sun.
DOCAS DE SANTO AMARO
It’s one of the city’s cruise terminals and home to several restaurants facing a marina so it’s only natural that you’ll find many tourists enjoying the Lisbon sun on this spot throughout the year. Locals prefer to jog along the riverfront towards Belém and you’ll find many sitting on the water’s edge relaxing in the sun or even fishing.
PORTAS DO SOL
It’s called “The Gateway of the Sun” for a reason. This is where you get the best sunrise views and where the sun shines all day long. There’s a cafe serving meals and drinks throughout the day and on the terrace above it you’ll find tourists aiming their cameras at the postcard views. You may simply sit there in the sun and do nothing.
MIRADOURO DE SÃO PEDRO DE ALCÂNTARA
Arguably the most beautiful of Lisbon’s several viewpoints, this romantic garden attracts tourists to the upper level and young couple to the lower terrace, the sunniest spot where you enjoy the sun and Lisbon before you.
JARDINS DE BELÉM
Between Jeronimos Monastery and the famous Coaches Museum is a park that’s a family destination on weekends. In the summer, tourists use it to get some sun between sightseeing.
The city’s largest square is one sunny terrace. You may sit at one of the several cafés and restaurants, or sunbathe by the monumental statue in the center.