bentoninn Adventure Why Spend Christmas in Lisbon?

Why Spend Christmas in Lisbon?

Why Spend Christmas in Lisbon? post thumbnail image

From Campo Pequeno, Wonderland, and Rossio Christmas Market to see the tallest Christmas tree in Europe and enjoy Christmas concerts featuring traditional Portuguese dishes – these are a few activities that you definitely can’t miss if you are spending your Christmas in Lisbon.

Lisbon is a great place to celebrate Christmas. Not just for its mild temperatures (around 15°C), but also for the attractions it provides this time of year and its wonderful Christmas markets.

Lisbon’s streets are decorated with Christmas lights during the Christmas season.

Families use the opportunity to spend quality time together and people gather to buy Bolo Rei (King’s Cake) at the best bakeries. Adults and kids can enjoy themselves at several Christmas markets that open in December.

Walking through the city center, full of the aromas of coffee, sweets, and roasted chestnuts, creates a festive atmosphere.

The shop windows throughout the city are decorated for the holiday season.

Why visit Christmas in Lisbon? Explore Lisbon during Christmas to experience the magical combination of festive modernity and historic charm.

Come on, let’s get into the Christmas spirit!

A Glimpse Of This Blog:

  • The following top attractions will help you feel the festive spirit at Christmas in Lisbon if you are planning to visit the city this holiday season: Christmas markets, seeing the tallest Christmas Tree in Europe, Christmas concerts, tasting Bolo Rei, Christmas lights, and having Christmas Day lunch.
  • The aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa is the only place open on December 24, Christmas Eve, when most shops and businesses close early.
  • Lisbon experiences daytime highs of 15°C (60°F) and nighttime lows of 8°C (45°F). Bring layers for the unpredictable weather, such as long sleeve shirts, different sweaters, and a waterproof jacket.
  • Alfama, Baixa, and Barrio Alto are great neighborhoods to look into when booking accommodations for a magical Christmas stay in Lisbon. Some of our top picks for Lisbon are Grape Harbor Prata Apartments, Emporium Lisbon Suites, and 9Hotel Mercy.

6 brilliant ways to spend Christmas in Lisbon

Visit Christmas markets

Photo credit: Get your guide

Lisbon’s Christmas markets are more than just markets. Also, endless shopping provides you with free entertainment.

During your visit, you shouldn’t miss the markets in Campo Pequeno, Rossio, or Wonderland.

Get ready to see sparkling Christmas trees, skate on rinks, spend time with Santa Claus, and do Christmas shopping during the holiday season.

Campo Pequeno Christmas Market (Nov. 30– Dec.3, Dec.7–10, 2023)– Situated in a former bullring, this market offers a yearly gathering of numerous national artisans and producers.

Over 100 exhibitors set up shop, selling everything from toys, clothing, and jewelry to vintage products.

In addition, there is a restaurant area and an amazing ice skating rink for the more daring in the market.

Rossio Christmas Market (Nov. 18 – Dec.23, 2023)-The Rossio Christmas Market is located in Baixa, close to Bairro Alto, in the center of Lisbon.

Visitors can anticipate beautifully decorated stalls, local artisans showcasing their crafts, a variety of seasonal goodies, and a joyful atmosphere.

The market location makes it a prime spot for holiday celebrations, offering a mix of traditional and modern elements that contribute to the magical ambiance of Christmas in Lisbon.

Wonderland Lisbon (Dec. 1, 2023–Jan. 2, 2024)- Wonderland is a must-visit location if you want to experience Christmas the way it was when you were a child.

This market features a Ferris wheel, a Christmas village, and several kid-friendly attractions in addition to its central location.

Visitors can enjoy ice skating, amusement rides, and entertainment performances in a winter wonderland setting.

Joanna, an enthusiastic traveler, suggests – “I recommend staying warm while perusing the stalls on Christmas markets with a cup of mulled wine.”

See the tallest Christmas Tree in Europe

Christmas tree

Did you know that Lisbon is host to the tallest Christmas Tree in Europe? Lisbon is renowned for the tallest Christmas tree in Europe, which stands impressively at 76 meters in the famous Commerce Square.

It’s a sight that attracts both tourists and locals.

People come from all over to see the beauty of this holiday centerpiece, which turns the square into a winter wonderland.

Visitors can expect an impressive tree adorned with festive lights and decorations, creating a magical and festive atmosphere.

Enjoy the Christmas concerts

Christmas concerts
Photo credit: Lisboa secreta

Lisbon Christmas offers a virtually unmatched option for music lovers seeking unique musical experiences: the “Natal Concerts.”

These concerts feature a diverse range of performances, from traditional Christmas carols to more contemporary renditions of festive music.

Churches, concert halls, and public areas are common locations for the concerts.

A great way for locals and tourists to embrace the musical and cultural traditions that make Christmas in Lisbon truly special is to attend Natal Concerts.

“I attended a young choir’s Christmas concert. Entry was free, the venue was amazing, the musical arrangements were amazing, and the repertoire was extraordinary” – says Jose, an enthusiastic traveler- “The choir’s young members were amazing and incredibly humble. Don’t miss it—there are lots of things to do in the Chiado after the performance.”

Taste the Bolo Rei sweet

Bolo Rei

Bolo Rei, a traditional king cake, is made with white dough, candies, and dried fruit. It is sold in December during Christmas.

Nuts and fruits serve as the crown jewels, giving it a crown-like appearance.

Taste this sweet treat and celebrate Christmas as the locals do.

Watch Christmas lights on the streets

Christmas lights

Do you enjoy watching Christmas Lights? Lisbon is breathtaking to see at Christmas when the streets are decorated with lights, displays, and carousels.

You can see places like Eduardo VII Park, Praca do Comercio, Marques de Pombal Square, and the entire Baixa lit up for Christmas, which seems to emphasize the unique vibe of the city even more.

Even after your trip, you will still remember this unmissable sight.

Have a Christmas Day lunch

Christmas lunch

Families reunite for lunch on December 25, Christmas Day. However, this is usually a more relaxed day, with lots of families choosing to dine out rather than host celebrations at home.

Many of the city’s restaurants and eateries offer special holiday menus, featuring traditional Portuguese dishes alongside festive delicacies.

But don’t forget to reserve a table in advance!

Recommended read The Ultimate Europe Travel Guide

What is open in Lisbon on Christmas Day?

Aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa

On December 24, Christmas Eve, most stores and businesses close early. The Portuguese appreciate spending this evening with friends and family.

Though not everything is closed, and visiting the aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa is a family favorite! On holidays, the following are the opening hours:

Dec. 24: from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Last entrance at 6 p.m.

Dec. 25: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Last entrance at 7 p.m.

Dec. 31, New Year’s Eve: from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.; Last entrance at 6 PM.

Jan. 1: from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; Last entrance at 7 p.m.

Further, you can spend some time in nature and walk off some of those Christmas calories.

Additionally, the Alfama area is a beautiful place to walk, or you may walk along the Tagus River from Lisbon’s city center towards Belém.

What’s the weather like in Lisbon at Christmas?

What’s the weather like in Lisbon at Christmas

The city in the southern Mediterranean experiences mild winters with occasional rains and cool evenings.

The average daily temperature in Lisbon is around 15°C (60°F), with a nighttime low of 8°C (45°F). For the evening, bring a warm scarf, a coat, and a fuzzy sweater.

Also, don’t forget to bring a waterproof jacket or umbrella, since Lisbon in December experiences occasional rainfall.

Where to stay for Christmas in Lisbon?

Where to stay for Christmas in Lisbon

For an enchanting Christmas stay in Lisbon, consider booking accommodations in the historic district of Baixa. The location also is perfect for exploring the city.

Grape Harbor Prata Apartments is a great place to spend a little more. Provide rooms with air conditioning and kitchenettes featuring ovens and refrigerators. Free wireless Internet access keeps you connected, and 52-inch flat-screen TVs with digital programming.

For a more tranquil escape, Alfama, Lisbon’s oldest district, offers a charming setting with narrow streets and a romantic atmosphere.

The ideal choice is Emporium Lisbon Suites, offering kitchenette features, free wireless Internet access that keeps you connected, and TVs with cable programming. A daily housekeeping service is offered, along with conveniences like microwaves and safes.

Alternatively, the Bairro Alto neighborhood offers a lively atmosphere, ideal for exploring holiday nightlife and enjoying the city’s vibrant cultural scene.

Another place you may consider staying in Lisbon is 9Hotel Mercy. This hotel offers free wireless Internet access and digital programming.

Complimentary toiletries and rainfall showerheads are featured in private bathrooms with bathtubs or showers.

Enjoy the views from the terrace and benefit from unlimited wireless Internet access and concierge services, among other features.

Plan to stay in Lisbon in advance because the Christmas season is always a busy time of year!


Why is Lisbon worth visiting at Christmas?

Lisbon is worth visiting at Christmas for its mild winters, vibrant Christmas markets, delicious local specialties, and charmingly illuminated streets.

How many days is enough to spend in Lisbon for Christmas?

Four or five days are enough to fully enjoy Lisbon’s Christmas festivities, which include markets, concerts, festive cuisine, and cultural attractions.

Where is the best place to spend Christmas in Portugal?

Lisbon is a delightful place to celebrate the holidays and is often considered one of the best places in Portugal to spend Christmas.

Is Lisbon offering fun activities in December?

Yes, Lisbon offers a variety of fun activities in December, including festive Christmas markets, cultural events, holiday concerts, ice skating, or exploring the city’s charming streets.

Here you will find more information about the fun things to do in Lisbon in December.

Which city in Portugal has the best Christmas celebration?

Lisbon is recognized as having some of Portugal’s best Christmas celebrations. Great Portuguese places to celebrate Christmas are also Faro, Tavira, Portimão, Albufeira, and Viana do Castelo.

Is Lisbon crowded in December?

Although December can experience an increase in tourism, especially between Christmas and New Year’s, Lisbon is generally less crowded than the peak tourist seasons. 

Does Porto have a Christmas market?

Yes, Porto usually hosts a Christmas market during the festive period. The Porto Christmas Market is located on Avenida das Tílias, in the Gardens of the Crystal Palace.

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