Christmas 2021 in Lisbon: what to do, practical info and advice

Who I am
Joel Fulleda
@joelfulleda
SOURCES CONSULTED:

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Do you want celebrate a different Christmas without snow, gloves and scarves, markets and mulled wine? Then Lisbon is a destination to consider! At Christmas, this delightful seaside town is certainly not covered in snow, but the atmosphere is still magical thanks to the joyful colored lights and the characteristic nativity scenes scattered in every corner. Are you ready to try something new?

Index

  1. Campo Pequeno market
  2. Natalis: Christmas fair
  3. Wonderland Lisboa: skating rinks and Ferris wheel
  4. Girocittà on foot or by bus between the Christmas lights
  5. Obidos Vila Natal
  6. Shopping in search of gifts
  7. Taste the typical sweets
  8. Attending the Misa do Galo
  9. Which museums and attractions remain open?
  10. What means of transport are available?
  11. Climate in Lisbon at Christmas
  12. User questions and comments

Covid-19 emergency: events, concerts and demonstrations could undergo last-minute changes due to the Coronavirus pandemic. We recommend that you inform yourself well about the situation of the destination you intend to visit before departure. If you are planning a trip, follow government guidelines and make sure you are in line with safety measures.



1 - Campo Pequeno market

Lights are Lisbon's best known Christmas tradition, but not the only one! Apart from the huge Christmas tree located in the city center, cribs are particularly popular. You will find several, in churches, houses and public squares ...

If you expect to find large Central European-style markets, unfortunately you will be a little disappointed. The tradition of the markets has yet to take hold in Portugal, however there are some places and events in the month of December, which allow you to enjoy the typical Christmas atmosphere.

One of these is the Campo Pequeno market (Get directions). This market takes place on the weekends of December at the Campo Pequeno arena and offers over 140 stalls of handicrafts, design gifts and local traditional products.



2 - Natalis: Christmas fair

Every year between the end of November and the beginning of December, the Feira Internacional de Lisboa convention center is filled with Christmas cheer thanks to the "Natalis" family event, with areas dedicated to shopping, seasonal delicacies, interactive workshops and more. yet.
It is a fair dedicated to Christmas items, where you can buy decorations, clothes and handicrafts, but also taste gourmet delicacies, both sweet and savory. There is even an entire dedicated area that it houses cooking shows and demonstrations by several renowned chefs.

3 - Wonderland Lisboa: skating rinks and Ferris wheel

At Eduardo VII Park the city is preparing for the assault of young people, children, but also of not so young people with the desire to have fun! And then away with the inevitable Christmas stands but above all you will find a Ferris wheel and an ecological skating rink. Of course, there is no shortage of spaces dedicated to food and Lisbon specialties, to entertain young and old!

4 - Girocittà on foot or by bus between the Christmas lights

When Lisbon lights up for the Christmas celebrations, it's as if it were transformed! The city takes on unprecedented outlines and colors, especially along the streets of the most characteristic neighborhoods. With a hop-on hop-off panoramic bus tour you can enjoy the show and above all stop whenever you want, with stops between shopping centers or Christmas markets, and then go back up and continue the tour. With a walking tour through history, tales and everyday life you can experience a more intimate atmosphere, together with a guide who will tell you the thousand stories of Lisbon!



5 - Obidos Vila Natal

Although it is not directly related to Lisbon, Obidos Vila Natal, a deserves a mention event held every Christmas in the town of Obidos, about an hour's drive north of the capital. This small town goes wild for Christmas, turning into a magical themed village. Here you will find an ice rink, an ice slide, many stalls and even the house of Santa Claus.

6 - Shopping for gifts

Shopping in Lisbon is much cheaper and more advantageous than in many European and Italian cities. So if you are behind with gifts, take advantage of them by visiting malls and shopping streets. The main shopping street is Avenida da Liberdade, also considered one of the most luxurious streets in the world, where you can find stores of brands such as Louis Vuitton, Carolina Herrera and Prada.

If you are on a much tighter budget, you can reach the Freeport Lisboa Outlet, located 35 minutes from the center of Lisbon, has more than 140 shops and is considered the largest multi-brand outlet in Europe. Among the most famous stores are Puma, Levi's, Swatch, Benetton, Reebok, Lacoste, Hugo Boss, Versace, Adidas, Calvin Klein, Burberry, Diesel, Dolce & Gabanna, Carolina Herrera, Billabong, Samsonite and many others.

Others major shopping centers and full of shops are the Shopping Armazém do Chiado, the Amoreiras Shopping Center and the Vasco da Gama Shopping Center.

7 - Taste the typical sweets

If you're lucky enough to be in Lisbon in December, be sure to sample the delicious selection of Christmas cakes and pastries.
The Bolo Rei (king's cake) is the more traditional Christmas cake from Portugal, a kind of donut covered with candied fruit (for those who don't like seasoned fratta there is the variant with nuts, called the Bolo Rainha).
The fried sweets made especially during the Christmas period. These include "filhós" (fried dough sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon), "sonhos" (soft fried dough balls) and "rabanadas" (sliced ​​bread rolls soaked in milk, sugar and lemon peel, which are somewhat reminiscent of French toast).
One of the best places to sample these and other specialties is the Confeitaria Nacional, one of the oldest and most traditional pastry shops in Lisbon.



8 - Attending the Misa do Galo

The traditional "Misa do Galo" is celebrated around midnight on the eve the Christmas mass in all the main churches of the city. We recommend that you attend the celebrations, during which you can hear some of the best choristers of sacred music in the city perform. Between the better churches in which to attend mass we point out Igreja São Roque (Get directions), the Basílica da Estrela (Get directions), Igreja São Miguel (Get directions) and the church of Santa Caterina (Get directions).

Which museums and attractions remain open?

Most of Lisbon's attractions are open on December 24th and 26th, but closed for Christmas Day. However, there are some exceptions, such as the Lisbon Zoo (open from 10:00 to 18:00), or the Oceanarium (open from 13:00 to 18:00).

It should also be remembered that among the most important attractions of the city there are the stupendous ones typical neighborhoods of Baixa, Bairro Alto, and Chiado, which you can explore freely on foot even during the party.

What means of transport are available?

In principle public transport is guaranteed throughout the holiday period, albeit with some limitations. On 24/25 December public transport follows similar times to those carried out on normal holidays (Sundays), with the only difference that at night the service is discontinued (starting from 22:00 on 24 December until 8 : 00 of 25 December). From December 26 onwards everything returns to normal, with frequent and punctual runs.

Therefore, if you need to move in the evening hours on Christmas Eve, it is better to look for a hotel near the historic center and move on foot.

  • Recommended solutions: Stay in the center and move mostly on foot. With the exception of the night of December 24th, you can move around by public transport, particularly efficient and cheap (single ride from € 0,90)
  • Useful passes and cards: the purchase of the Lisboa Card is particularly recommended, with which it is possible to move without limits on the entire transport network

Climate in Lisbon at Christmas

The weather in December in Lisbon is mild, with some sunny days, but a bit colder and wetter than in the other months.
Average temperatures fluctuate between a maximum of 15 ° C and a minimum of 10 ° C. Snowfalls are very rare but you may run into rain, so don't forget to bring an umbrella! As for clothing, not too heavy winter clothes are fine (warm but comfortable clothes, you will probably have to walk a lot).

Christmas offers in Lisbon: Flight + 4 nights in Hotel

  • Return flight from Rome from € 33,18 -
  • 4 nights from 23 to 27 December in the Hotel from € 129,00 per room -
  • Flight + hotel package: Return flight + 5 days / 4 nights from € 195,00 per person -

Tickets, tours and bookable activities

We propose some activities and tours to do in Lisbon. Click on the tour you are interested in for more information or to book.


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