Christmas in Lisbon (Natal em Lisboa) is a magical season of delightful festivities, delicious foods, and deep traditions of faith and family.
So, this makes the Portuguese capital a comparatively hidden gem in the holiday season.
Let’s discover the best things to do, the perfect places to see Christmas lights, and different ways to experience local culture for a memorable and meaningful Christmas in Lisbon, Portugal.
Additionally, we’ll uncover helpful tips to visit the main attractions and furthermore, find a few fun “festive facts.”
Ready? Let’s go!
Table of contents
- Christmas in Lisbon: Wonderland Lisboa
- Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Markets
- Christmas in Lisbon: Cascais
- Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights, and Christmas Decorations
- Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Traditions
- Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Tastes and Treats
- Christmas in Lisbon: New Year Celebrations
- Christmas in Lisbon: In Conclusion
- Check Out More Recommendations
Christmas in Lisbon: Wonderland Lisboa
More than a Christmas market (Mercado de Natal), Wonderland Lisboa is both the city’s and the nation’s premier Christmas event. Launched in recent years, this holiday festival has rapidly become a cherished tradition.
The location atop Edward VII Park (Parque Eduardo VII) encompasses an urban panorama from Marquise of Pombal Square (Praça do Marquês de Pombal) down Liberty Avenue (Avenida da Liberdade) to the mighty Tagus River (Tejo).
As you approach, the familiar sound of Christmas carols wafts through the air.
The soundtrack plays both Christmas songs like “White Christmas” and “All I Want for Christmas is You;” and Christmas hymns such as “O Holy Night” and “Silent Night.”
With free admission, you stroll right in through the cute entrance gates and into wholesome holiday fun for the whole family.
Wonderland Lisboa Highlights
Two spectacular sights command the scene: Firstly, the giant Ferris wheel. Twenty-four enclosed cabins offer 360-degree panoramic views from 98 feet (30 m) high.
Secondly, the giant Christmas tree (Ávore de Natal). This tree is one of Lisbon’s largest Christmas trees, standing approximately 62 feet (19 m) tall.
Wonderland Lisboa offers something for all ages. It’s a popular place for everyone: Friends, couples, and the whole family. Young people and the young at heart.
An electric train on wheels around the park is a nice way for everyone to get an overview of the fair’s abundant activities.
Wonderland Lisboa for Kids
The Play Village (Aldeia da Brincadeira) and Enchanted Forest (Floresta Encantada) engage children with fun activities like a merry-go-round carousel. A miniature Ferris wheel and other rides cater specifically to toddlers.
Older kids will thrill to jump high on the trampoline, complete with bungee cords and safety harnesses.
The Christmas Village (Vila de Natal) includes Santa Claus, known here as Father Christmas (Pai Natal).
In his flowing white beard and red suit trimmed in faux white fur, Pai Natal and his elves await in his red house (Casa do Pai Natal) to hear Christmas wishes.
Wonderland Lisboa Must-Dos
Do make sure to take your perfect selfie shot on the midway platform. Several photo ops are specially designed and decorated to capture sweet scenes and frame keepsake photographs.
Do imagine yourself ice skating outdoors in Lisbon, under the sun by day and the stars by night. Then make your imagination become reality on Wonderland Lisbon ecological ice rink.
The facility provides rental skates in adult and children sizes, as well as stay-upright skating aids.
Do realize this specially treated artificial surface requires no water and no refrigeration. As a result, there’s no spinning or jumping like on real ice. Still, it’s a fun experience – and fully Instagrammable.
Wonderland Lisboa Christmas Market
Flanking each side of the fair, decorated stalls sell a wide array of traditional handicrafts and regional products.
Food trucks satisfy the savory palette and sweet tooth alike. Beverage stations pour hot chocolate, mulled wine, sangria, and the omnipresent cherry liqueur, Ginja (Ginjinha).
In sum, Wonderland Lisbon is the perfect place to enjoy wholesome holiday fun for the whole family.
Address: Parque Eduardo VII | 1070-051 Lisboa
Tips to Visit Wonderland Lisboa
The Wonderland Lisboa Christmas fair opens daily in the month of December and early January, weather permitting.
The Christmas 2023 and New Year 2024 schedule presently runs from November 30, 2023, to January 8, 2024.
Hours and some services are limited on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day, New Year’s Eve, and New Year’s Day.
Attendance is strong because Wonderland Lisbon is one of the major attractions and biggest Christmas events. So for fewer crowds, the best time to visit is usually at opening hour. But of course, nighttime is the best time for the glittering light show.
Admission is free for everyone, locals and visitors alike, to partake in the fun.
The best things to bring are Christmas cheer and euros for purchases. Although many vendors certainly do take credit cards. Wear warm layers and comfortable shoes for the cobbled Portuguese pavement (calçada portuguesa).
Lisbon’s 5-star luxury hotels have a convenient location to this holiday hot spot. The Four Seasons Hotel Ritz Lisbon and the InterContinental Lisbon, for example, are a short walk away from Parque Eduardo VII and Wonderland Lisboa.
Check the current best rates for your stay.
Christmas in Lisbon: Festive Fact
Century after century of steadfast Portuguese faith and stalwart Catholic customs make Christmas in Portugal a religious celebration for all to enjoy.
Ancient tradition holds, for instance, that the Holy Child brings Christmas gifts to little children. Nowadays, of course, the job is often assigned to Father Christmas (Pai Natal)
In essence, Christmas in Lisbon and Portugal remains firmly focused on two things: firstly, the birth of Jesus Christ. Secondly, the importance of family.
The omnipresent Nativity scene (Presépio) reflects these two essentials. Keep an eye out, and you may notice Presépios everywhere, not only in churches and churchyards but also in unexpected places.
Do feel free to use the customary salutation, Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year (Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo). Or the alternative greeting is, if you wish, Happy Holidays (Boas Festas).
Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Markets
Rossio Christmas Market
King Pedro IV Square (Praça de Dom Pedro IV), better known as the Rossio, hosts the main Christmas market (Mercado de Natal) Downtown (Baixa Chiado).
Charming wooden market stalls, glimmering lights, and a glittering tree bring Christmas magic to the Rossio, among the most important public squares
Live music, special performances, hand-crafted gifts, and gastronomy reflect authentic heritage with modern-day accents in recent years.
A long line of eager children and proud parents anticipate their ride on the Christmas Train. This brightly decorated electric train-on-wheels drives around Baixa.
Make sure to wave as the train passes by!
Address: Praça do Rossio | 1100-200 Lisboa
Tips to Visit Rossio Christmas Market
The Rossio Square Christmas Market is actually an Advent market leading up to Christmas. The specific dates vary each year. Usually, Rossio opens its iconic market in mid to late November and closes before Christmas Day.
At this time of publication, the 2023 season opens on November 17th and closes on December 23rd.
With free admission, everyone will enjoy the festive atmosphere and live entertainment.
Campo Pequeno Christmas Market
Once a bullfighting arena, Sagres Campo Pequeno now hosts special events, concerts, expositions, and exhibitions in this lofty 19th-century space.
It’s a unique setting for this unique Lisbon Christmas Market with a mission: “To celebrate Christmas, to wrap love.” (“Celebrar o Natal, embrulhar o amor.”)
Campo Pequeno specifically gathers over 100 artists, artisans, and craftspeople under its distinctive domed roof. Thus it’s one of the most popular Christmas markets to find one-of-a-kind Christmas gifts.
Address: Avenida Antonio Serpa 22 | 1050-027 Lisboa
Tips to Visit Campo Pequeno Christmas Market
This annual event opens only on one or two weekends, usually late November and early December.
The 2023 dates are November 30th to December 3rd and December 7th to December 10th.
There’s a small admission fee for adults and children aged 10 and older. Children under 10 are free when accompanied by a ticketed adult.
Christmas in Lisbon: Cascais
Cascais is a chic resort town on the Atlantic Coast, the Lisbon Region, considered to be the “Portuguese Riviera.”
Nestled under the ancient citadel (Cidadela de Cascais), the elegant historic centre transforms in winter months with the quaint Cascais Christmas Market (Mercado de Natal) and Cascais Christmas Village (Cascais Vila Natal).
The ambiance overall evokes Lisboa’s winter wonderland. But on a scale appropriate to Cascais’ intimate environment.
Firstly, the reason for the season isn’t forgotten. A life-size Nativity scene (Nascimento de Jesus) graces the bustling downtown.
Twinkling lights shine throughout the town and beside the blue Cascais Bay (Baía de Cascais).
The ambiance overall evokes Lisboa’s winter wonderland but on a scale appropriate to Cascais’ intimate environment.
Gleaming chandeliers and palm trees along Viscount Luz Street (Rua Visconde Luz) lead revelers straightaway to the festive atmosphere.
Wherever you go in Cascais, like in Greater Lisbon, Christmas carols and happy chatter fill the air.
Cascais Christmas Market
On the waterfront, a significantly sizable white Ferris wheel with enclosed cabins rises above the main square, Praça 5 de Outubro. This sparkling structure irresistibly draws your eyes to the Cascais Christmas Market (Mercado de Natal).
The large Christmas tree, big enough to walk through, and other Christmas decorations, make great photo ops against Cascais’ beautiful backdrop.
A lovely little merry-go-round beckons young people to ride. More than 40 wooden market stalls sell tasty treats, regional products, and special gifts.
Christmas carols and happy conversations fill the air. Friends take selfies, couples hold hands, and the whole family has fun together.
Address: Praça 5 de Outubro | 2750-642 Cascais
Cascais Christmas Village
Then just a short walk away, Marechal Carmona Park (Parque Marechal Carmona) contains the vibrant Cascais Christmas Village (Vila Natal).
Besides the miniature Ferris wheel and classic carousel, fun activities abound, such as face painting, tree climbing, and live entertainment.
An ecological ice skating rink, with skates and stand-up aids provided, and an ice ramp for sliding enhance the outdoor adventures.
Pia Natal, the Portuguese Santa Claus, and his jovial elves meet and greet children.
There’s an Enchanted Forest with real live reindeer, a Roman Arena, Nazarene Village, donkey rides, and more to explore.
Address: Parque Marechal Carmona, Avenida da República | 2750-642 Cascais
Tips to Visit Cascais Christmas Market and Christmas Village
Both the Cascais Christmas Market and the Cascais Christmas Village are open at the end of November and close in early January.
This year, the Cascais Christmas Market is open from November 25, 2023, until January 7, 2024. Admission is free for everyone.
The Cascais Christmas Village runs from November 30, 2023, through January 2, 2024.
Children under 2 years are free. Otherwise, ticket prices vary from children ages 3 and up to teens and adults. Discounted ticket bundles are available for the whole family.
Purchase tickets online (in Portuguese, at the present time) or in person at the Vila Natal entrance gate in Marechal Carmona Park.
Tips to Visit Cascais at Christmas
Cascais is a short drive, or better yet, a quick train ride from Lisbon.
As a standard baseline, the driving distance between Lisbon’s Humberto Delgado Airport (LIS) and Cascais Christmas Village is about 23 miles (37.5 km).
In good weather and ideal traffic conditions, the drive time is approximately 30 minutes.
Unfortunately, parking in historic Cascais is a challenge.
Fortunately, the train ride is only 35 to 40 minutes between Baixa and Cascais. Furthermore, trains run frequently between the two destinations.
So public transport by train is a simple and easy way to visit Cascais for the day. During the holiday season and any season.
However, the very best way to experience Cascais Christmas time and its Christmas lights display is with an overnight stay.
The 5-star luxury InterContinental Cascais-Estoril delivers a superb central location on the sea, steps from the train station for the quick ride to Cascais or Estoril. Both Cascais and Estoril are each one stop away in either direction from the hotel.
The guest rooms are sophisticated and serene, with a subtle palette. Some rooms feature balconies with ocean and pool views. Not to mention, the bountiful breakfast buffet features local ingredients and national delicacies.
Check the current best rates for your stay.
This writer and this photographer, in fact, so thoroughly enjoyed Cascais, particularly our stay at the InterContinental Cascais-Estoril Hotel, that we rearranged our entire travel itinerary to remain longer.
Christmas Trees, Christmas Lights, and Christmas Decorations
The main squares and streets of Lisbon inspire awe with majestic Christmas trees, magical Christmas lights, and marvelous Christmas decorations.
At this time of year, particularly on December 21st, when the Winter Solstice is the longest night of the year, the festive lights and holiday decor uplift the spirit with hope and glory.
Nowhere is more dazzling than Commerce Square (Praça do Comércio), scenically situated between the mighty Tagus River and the monumental Rua Augusta Arch (Arco da Rua Augusta).
The city of Lisbon’s largest public square, Commerce Square, commands a vast and vibrant space of symmetry and splendor.
Formerly the Royal Palace of Ribeira until the destructive earthquake of 1755, Commerce Square is still fondly known as Palace Yard (Terreiro do Paço).
Commerce Square now includes the city’s best restaurants and the oldest cafe, Martinho da Arcada, opened in 1782.
Furthermore, Commerce Square is also home to the official national Christmas tree.
Soaring in splendor about 246 feet high (75 m), the Lisbon Christmas Tree is undeniably the largest and tallest Christmas tree in Portugal.
At different times, it’s been named the tallest Christmas tree in Europe; and competed against the largest Christmas trees in the world.
The Lisbon Christmas Tree is so impressive that Forbes names it in the Top 20 Spectacular Christmas Trees Around the World.
From his statuesque bronze perch in the center of Praca do Comercio, Portuguese King Joseph I (Dom José I) surveys this foremost destination for Christmas in Lisbon.
Christmas in Lisbon: Festive Fact
The Lisbon Christmas Tree varies in astonishing height each year. Surprisingly, however, it’s not presently listed in the Guinness Book of World Records.
The reigning Guinness World Records holders are:
- Colombo, Sri Lanka, for the largest artificial Christmas tree since 2016
- Seattle, Washington, United States, for the tallest cut Christmas tree since 1950
Nevertheless, the Lisbon Christmas Tree is, without doubt, one giant Christmas tree.
From Commerce Square through the Rua Augusta Arch, the city of Lisbon is all aglow with bright enchantment and awash in beautiful lights.
As you wander, embrace a sense of childlike wonder. Here on Rua Augusta and also throughout the historic neighborhoods of Baixa Chiado, Bairro Alto, and Alfama. And indeed, across all of Lisboa and Greater Lisbon.
Innumerable angels, stars, bows, hearts, and other designs illuminate Rua Augusta and adjacent avenues; major boulevards like the Avenue of Liberty (Avenida da Liberdade); countless city streets and squares.
Building facades, too, sparkle and shine aplenty. From world-famous landmarks to luxury designer shops lining Avenida da Liberdade to unique boutiques, specialty stores, and shopping malls.
Speaking of shopping centres: The glamourous Armazéns do Chiado Shopping Centre is a top spot for its shops, a blend of global and local brands, as well as eateries and art exhibitions.
And especially during the Christmas holidays, this landmark building is a prime place for premier holiday lights.
Every evening beginning December 1st, Armazens do Chiado lights up its exterior with a choreographed sound and light show. Every 30 minutes from about 7 pm until 10 pm, listen to the musical prelude, then enjoy the illumination.
Address: Rua do Carmo 2 | 1200-094 Lisboa
Luis de Camoes Square
Among the most important of Lisbon’s main squares, Luis de Camoes Square (Praça Luís de Camões, also known as Largo de Camões) commemorates Portugal’s greatest poet.
Accordingly, its Christmas lights and Christmas decorations dazzle and delight with sparkle, sparkle, and more sparkle:
Light-entwined trees lead to and surround the square. A light-studded ground sign declares LISBOA in no uncertain terms. Even the kiosk (quiosque) is bedecked with festive lights.
The light-bejeweled centerpiece is a giant walk-through sphere shaped like an ornament.
Inside the spectacular sphere, benches run along the edge. Outside, the shimmering exterior showcases messages of goodwill against this glistening backdrop.
The lighting designs change colors and hues throughout the festive season, like an ever-changing photo op.
The holiday season is the one time of year that Camoes’ memorial statue and calcada portuguesa aren’t the center of attention.
Tips to Visit Christmas Trees, Lights, and Decorations
The streets of Lisbon are surely pretty on a December day. But they transcend to sparkling beauty at night.
So whether you want to see all the Christmas lights and holiday decorations across Lisbon or just join the merry jubilee, then consider a tour with a professional local guide.
When your tour includes ground transportation, such as the nimble tuk-tuks, then your tour becomes an engaging, informative, and timely way to see, learn, and do more.
Discover the best Christmas lights tour options and activities.
Additionally, to enjoy Christmas lights and decorations around the clock, a perfect place to stay is Praça Luis de Camões.
Right on Luis de Camoes Square, Chiado Camões Apartments Lisbon Best Apartments overlook all the action and the 28 tram below.
The upscale apartments feel like home: Fully equipped kitchen, living and dining areas, a separate bedroom, and a marble bathroom. Moreover, the apartments provide additional benefits of soundproofing, housekeeping, hotel-style amenities, and elevator.
Check the current best rates for your stay.
Tips to Get Around Lisbon at Christmas
Public transport is the best way to get around Lisbon, at Christmas time and any time.
Lisbon’s extensive public transportation system includes the:
- Lisbon Metro subway and Carris bus system.
- Modern trams like the new 15 tram between Praca da Figueira and Belem.
- Historic trams such as the iconic 28 tram on its circular city route.
- Cable railways, i.e., the Gloria funicular (Elevador da Glória) Bica, and Lavra lift up to Bairro Alto.
The Lisbon Card
A great way to get around Lisbon, in the holiday season and any season, is the Lisbon Card.
The Lisbon Card provides unlimited free rides on all public transport citywide and within the Greater Lisbon Metropolitan area.
Additionally, the Lisbon Card includes unlimited free rides on trains between Cais do Sodre and Cascais; and trains between Gare do Oriente, Rossio, and Sintra railway stations.
But wait, there’s more! The Lisbon Card also provides free admission to the most famous attractions; for instance:
Santa Justa Elevator (Ascensor de Santa Justa); UNESCO World Heritage Site Tower of Belem (Torre de Belém) and Jeronimos Monastery (Monasterio de los Jerónimos); and museums galore.
All this free access, unlimited goodness, and shopping discounts. All within a 24, 48, or 72-hour window from the time of activation.
Learn more about the Lisbon Card and its many benefits.
The Lisbon Card is available online and valid for a year from the date of purchase.
Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Traditions
Free Christmas Music
The Christmas season calls for traditional Christmas music. Churches present sacred music programs, of course, as part of their worship ministry.
One particular professional ensemble presents an exceptional Christmas concert of traditional Christmas music. On a strictly limited engagement. Entirely for free.
In early December, the Saint Carlos National Theatre Choir (Coro do Teatro Nacional de Sāo Carlos) performs a free Christmas concert approximately one hour long.
Maestro Titular Giampaolo Vessella, pianist Kodo Yamagishi, and the ensemble are in full formal attire.
Admission is on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited to standing room only in the admittedly small foyer.
In 2023, the performance dates are December 5th, December 6th, and December 7th. The performance times are 11 am and 3 pm.
At this time of publication, it’s unknown if this free Christmas concert may be offered in 2024.
Address: Teatro Nacional de Sāo Carlos Foyer, Rua Serpa Pinto 9 | 1200-442 Lisboa
In essence, the concert is exquisite. This writer and this photographer, in truth, had tears in our eyes.
Classical Christmas Concerts
Additionally, the Saint Carlos National Theatre Choir (Teatro Nacional de São Carlos) and the Portuguese Symphony Orchestra together perform a magnificent Christmas concert of classical music.
This annual cultural event sells out for its performance on one night only. The venue is the Main Auditorium (Grande Auditório) at the Cultural Center of Belem (Centro Cultural de Belém or CCB).
In 2023, the December 17th concert program includes two powerful and profound works: Piano Concerto No. 9, Jeunehomme by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, followed by Dixit Dominus by George Freidrich Handel.
Purchase available tickets online (in English) and at the CCB Box Office.
Address: Grande Auditório do Centro Cultural de Belém, Praça do Império | Lisboa
Midnight Mass, the Rooster Mass
The Portuguese people frame Christmas and New Year celebrations around faith and family in this markedly Roman Catholic country.
Even with the introduction of secular aspects, as mentioned above, the principal meaning of Jesus’ birth and the family’s importance endure in Christmas traditions.
The authentic traditions appear throughout the Christmas season and Christmastide ending on Epiphany Day, January 6th.
One church service when every pew is full is Midnight Mass or the Rooster’s Mass (Missa da Galo), as it’s known in Portugal.
The title references the only time roosters have ever crowed at midnight, instead of dawn, on the night that Baby Jesus was born.
Service begins before midnight on Christmas Eve and welcomes the first joyful hour of Christmas Day.
In some church courtyards, the custom remains to build a bonfire, where worshippers meet and wish one another Merry Christmas (Feliz Natal).
Before Midnight Mass or afterward, families exchange their Christmas gifts
Christmas in Lisbon: Christmas Tastes and Treats
Portuguese traditions of gastronomy and hospitality create Christmas meals that are abundant not only with robust flavors and hearty servings but also with divine delicacies and delicate nuances.
Let’s sample below some of these traditional Portuguese dishes, a legendary culinary legacy.
Later when you visit Lisbon for the Christmas holidays, consider a food tour or cooking/baking class in order to sample the legends. Literally.
Discover the best tour options and hands-on activities for foodies.
Beginning with breakfast, and for that matter, dessert, traditional sweets tempt everyone’s sweet tooth.
Rabanadas or Golden Slices (Fatias Dourados) are French toast with a Portuguese twist.
With a crispy fried exterior and a creamy custard interior, a stale baguette suddenly becomes a Christmas dessert. Bread that’s one or two days old gives more consistency and cohesion in preparation.
Lightly infused with cinnamon, soaked in milk and sugar, then finished with a little Portuguese wine, either Tinto or Port, the not-quite French toast Rabanada is a sweet sensation.
Additional traditional treats address the breakfast-or-dessert conundrum.
For instance: Portugal’s world-famous egg custard tarts (Pastéis de Nata).
Deep-fried balls (Sonhos Fritos), dipped in cinnamon and sugar, may look rather like Rabanadas; however, these fritters are prepared with fresh bread.
Lastly, rice pudding (Arroz Duce) is made with egg yolks for a thick creamy texture and then topped with cinnamon.
Next, let’s move on to Christmas Eve and Christmas dinners. For these important gatherings, traditional dishes remain the rule for chefs in the top hotels and best restaurants, as well as cooks at home.
The star of Christmas Eve is the national dish of codfish; indeed, codfish with everything (Bacalhau com Todos). Primarily the entree is a simple salted and boiled filet (Bacalhau da Consoada) drizzled with olive oil and accompanied by boiled potatoes and cabbages.
The following day, any codfish leftovers from Christmas Eve (Roupa Velha) are refreshed and served again at Christmas lunch.
For Christmas dinner, meats take center stage; for example: roasted turkey (Peru), marinated goat (Cabrito), or lamb (Borrego).
Finally, the king cake (Bolo Rei) and queen cake (Bolo Rainha) reign supreme.
Round like a Christmas wreath, the king cake is stuffed with dried fruits and nuts and then crowned with candied fruits.
The queen cake features a similar round shape and fully loaded interior as bolo rei. Delicate almonds instead of candied fruit crown the bolo rainha.
Fine Portuguese wine and liqueurs and a beautifully set table finish the family feast.
Christmas in Lisbon: Festive Fact
In 1829, Confeitaria Nacional opened in Fig Tree Square (Praça da Figueira), the beautiful square adjacent to Rossio.
Here, Balthazar Roiz Castanheira, baker to the King of Portugal, introduced the first king cake (Bolo Rei) to Lisbon and then to all of Portugal.
Two centuries later, Confeitaria Nacional is still going strong in its original location. Still owned by the Castanheiro family. Still baking copious quantities year round of these popular cakes and other posh pastries.
With immediate proximity to the best places, Confeitaria Nacional is a great place to pop in for a pastry and coffee. Assuming, that is, you don’t mind waiting in line.
Address: Praça da Figueira 18B | 1100-241 Lisboa
Instead of waiting in line, here’s an alternative that also puts you in immediate proximity to Rossio and Praca da Figeura:
Consider staying a few steps away at the Castanheiro family’s luxury boutique hotel, Casa Bathazar.
Casa Balthazar is a tranquil hidden gem, peaceful despite the lively surroundings in the city’s heart.
The guest rooms are airy, modern, and surprisingly spacious. Some have balconies with city vistas. The small spa offers a whirlpool, sauna, and Turkish bath. All guests have access to the garden courtyard and pool.
Breakfast incorporates renowned items from Confeitaria Nacional, of course, freshly made and delivered straight to your plate.
Check the current best rates for your stay.
Christmas in Lisbon: New Year Celebrations
New Year’s Eve
Lisbon welcomes the year’s end and inaugurates the new year in grand and glorious style.
Huge crowds gather in Commerce Square for the annual free New Year’s Eve celebration and midnight fireworks light show.
Can’t make it to the heart of the city? No problem, because the fireworks extravaganza lights up the sky over the Tagus and above the city.
Address: Praça do Comércio (Terreiro do Paço) | 1100-148 Lisboa
Prefer a VIP viewing, dancing, and a Champagne toast at a New Year’s Eve party? Consider a fireworks cruise from the stunning perspective of a floating party on the Tagus River.
Make it a splash with the best options for New Year’s Eve.
New Year Concerts
As the nation’s capital and cultural center, Lisbon offers numerous entertainment options during the festive season and Christmastide.
One particularly is a local favorite: the Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra (Orquestra Metropolitana de Lisboa).
Inspired by long-standing Viennese New Year traditions, the Metropolitan’s New Year music program focuses on Johann Strauss the Younger, the Waltz King, and the “Blue Danube” composer.
The Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra performs their popular concerts in different venues throughout Greater Lisbon.
The 2024 New Year Concert season encompasses :
- New Year’s Day on January 1st in the Main Auditorium at the Cultural Center of Belem
- Twelfth Night / Epiphany Eve on January 5th at the Luisa Todi Municipal Forum in Setabul
- Epiphany on January 6th at the Joaquim D’Alemeida Cinema-Theater in Montijo.
Tickets to all concerts are available online (in Portuguese, at the present time) or in person at the venue box offices:
- Belém Address: Grande Auditório do Centro Cultural de Belém, Praça do Império |1149-003 Lisboa
- Setabul Address: Luísa Todi Fórum Municipal, Avenida Luísa Todi 61-67 | 2900-459 Setúbal
- Montijo Address: Cinema-Teatro Joaquim d Almeida, Rua Joaquim de Almeida 2870-340 Montijo
Christmas in Lisbon: In Conclusion
As the saying goes, Christmas is the most wonderful time of the year. And the Portuguese capital is a wonderful place to celebrate the moments, the memories, and the meaning of this season.
Treasured Portuguese traditions, beautiful lights, brilliant decorations, and the Portuguese people envelop you in Christmas cheer.
Whether it’s your first time in Lisbon or trips subsequently, you’ll find something special to explore, experience, and inspire your Christmas spirit.
Because there’s something special to discover everywhere.
So do come visit Lisboa in the Christmas season. Even without the snowy white Christmas of other European countries, Portugal is a genuine gem of the Christmas holidays.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year (Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo) to you and yours!
Check Out More Recommendations
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Is Christmas a good time to visit Lisbon?
Yes, Christmas is a great time to visit Lisbon.
What Lisbon may lack in snow-covered streets and après-ski ambiance, Portugal’s capital more than makes up in rich history, local culture, and authentic community.
The beautiful lights and decorations are enchanting. Notably, the city seems to radiate an upbeat energy and hopeful mood. In other words, Christmas spirit and Christmas cheer.
Above all, Christmas traditions resonate with ancient meaning and present-day relevance.
What is the weather like in Lisbon at Christmas time?
Lisbon is known for typically mild winter months, sun coupled with rain befitting a Mediterranean climate.
The month of December tends to be the rainiest, with November a close second. January is the coldest month.
Weather in recent years, however, has become less predictable. Thus the best things to bring are warm layers to put on and take off as temperature dictates, a coat, and an umbrella. By the same token, it’s a good idea to pack sunglasses and sunscreen.
Stylish Lisboetas are known for over-sized plush scarves, wrapped cozily and draped nonchalantly around the neck and shoulders.
Which is the best Christmas market in Lisbon?
Of all Lisbon’s Christmas markets, many people would rank Wonderland Lisboa as the best combination of Christmas festival, fair, and market.
The sheer size and scope make Wonderland Lisbon the biggest holiday event.
For the best blend of authentic culture, iconic location, and traditional ambiance, the Rossio Christmas Market could be considered as the best overall experience.
All opinions expressed are Spotlight Sojourns’ own.
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