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The weather in Lisbon around Christmas
Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. One thing is for sure; it won’t be a white Christmas in Lisbon! And the weather outside doesn’t have to be frightful at all! As the climate in Portugal is pretty nice all year round, chances are you won’t even have to wrap up during Christmas in Lisbon. High temperatures tend to be around 15.3 ℃ (about 60 ℉), to lowest temperatures to about 9.4 ℃ (49 ℉) by late December. Are you ready for a Christmas with a bit of sun?
Activities in Lisbon during Christmas
Central European, and especially German Christmas markets, are out of this world! But there is also plenty to do in Lisbon to have a lovely time during Xmas! Lisbon’s Christmas Wonderland Lisboa market is the biggest in the country, and cities like Porto and Óbidos have quaint markets and Christmas activities as well. Let’s check out what’s in store for the December 2022 celebrations in Lisbon!
The Christmas lights will switch on on December 6th!
Location: all around shopping centre Armazéns do Chiado, Praça Luís de Camões, Praça do Comércio, and Rua Augusta.
✓ Rossio Square – November 19th until December 21st; free entry
✓ Wonderland Lisboa – 30 NOV until 1 JAN 2023; free entry
✓ Sintra Reino de Natal – 1 DEC until 6 JAN 2023; free entry
✓ Cascais Christmas Village – November 30th until January 1st 2023; € 9,00 for adults, € 8,00 for children
✓ Alvalade – November 30th until December 11th 2022; free entry
✓ Campo Pequeno – 30 NOV until 4 DEC Original market and 7 until 11 DEC Lifestyle & Gourmet; € 2,00 person
✓ Oeiras Palácio Encantado (The Enchanted Palace) – December 17th and 18th, Saturday from 10 AM to 10 PM, and Sunday from 10 AM to 9 PM; free entry
✓ Anjos70 Flea Market – 3, 4, 17 and 18 December; free entry
The Christmas tree in Lisbon 🎄
You’ll see it from afar, the giant Christmas tree on Praça do Comércio! The tree is a whopping 30 meters tall and stands in the corner of this beautiful square. Tip: climb up the Arco da Rua Augusta for a stunning view over the square and the vast Christmas tree!
Christmas decorations in Lisbon
Did you know Portugal is especially famous for its nativity scenes? You’ll find a beautiful one at Winterland Lisboa, where you can find other sparkling Christmas decorations. Besides the nativity scenes, you’ll spot quaint Christmas lights and beautiful decorations at Parque Eduardo VII.
The shopping streets around Rua Augusta also boast tons of decorations, especially in Chiado you’ll discover many shiny lights. The shopping centre Armazéns do Chiado is covered from head to toe in beautiful lights, and the square of Praça Luís de Camões will change into a winter wonderland. This year, the lights will be turned on, on December 6th!
Buying Christmas presents in Lisbon
There are many options when you’re in Lisbon in December and looking to do your Christmas shopping. Firstly, visiting the Christmas markets will be lovely, and here you can buy local produce and original artisan presents. If you’re looking to visit a shopping mall, Armazéns do Chiado, Colombo, and Almada Fórum might be the right place for you.
There are, however, many small shops in Lisbon where you can shop locally. If you want to buy Christmas decorations, Nickolaus on Rua do Carmo 87 is a great place to start! Next door, you’ll find another unique shop. It’s Luvaria Ulisses, where you can buy gloves. Perfect for bringing home if you live in a colder country! You’ll spot the shop easily as it has a beautiful neoclassic facade!
Tea lovers will love the chá from Companhia Portugueza do Chá. You can find literally every flavour from all over the world here. Or maybe you’re looking for some Portuguese gifts? Then A Vida Portuguesa is a lovely shop to visit.
The main Christmas market in Lisbon is Wonderland Lisboa, and you can visit the market in Parque Eduardo VII at Marques de Pombal square. Marques de Pombal is also the name of the closest metro station, and it’s only a short walk to the park. It’s the best place to immerse yourself in Lisbon’s festive atmosphere! The dates for Wonderland this year are from December 1st, 2022, to January 1st, 2023.
During December, there are lots of excellent activities planned, and there are seasonal attractions. For example, there will be a Ferris wheel with 360° heated cabins and even an ice skating rink! The market consists of cute wooden stalls that sell clothes, accessories, handicrafts and regional products. There is plenty of food to try, and you can grab a drink or two. Children will love their visit to Santa, and you can spot many other favourite characters in the Christmas village! You can enter the Christmas market in Lisbon for free.
Other Christmas markets in Lisbon
The Campo Pequeno Christmas Market is from November 30th to mid December 2022. It’s a popular place to buy Christmas gifts, and the market is open from 11 AM to 10 PM. There are dozens of stalls, and it’s a lovely Christmas market to visit. There are also many fun activities and workshops available for the whole family! The entrance price to Campo Pequeno is € 2,00 person.
At FIL Feira Internacional de Lisboa, you can typically enjoy the Christmas atmosphere at Natalis. Please note the 2022 edition is cancelled, and there will be no market.
In the city centre, you can visit Rossio Mercado de Natal between November 19th and December 21st. The stalls are beautifully decorated and there is a huge tree on the square. And your kids will have an unforgettable time on the free Christmas train at Rossio Square!
Mercado de Natal em Alvalade is from November 30th until December 11th 2022. Kids can’t wait to visit Santa’s House, and the most delicious meals are created in the wooden chalets! It’s one of Lisbon’s most popular Christmas markets, and it’s located at Avenida da Igreja.
Praça da Figueira has a lovely market all year round, but during the holiday season, it’s extra special with the Christmas atmosphere!
Cascais has a lovely Christmas market outside the city centre of Lisbon. The Christmas Village is located at Parque Marechal Carmona, and kids will enjoy Santa Claus’ House (Casa do Pai Natal) and the Enchanted Forest! Remember to ride on the old-fashioned merry-go-round and visit the Christmas Train! Cascais Christmas Village takes place from November 30th 2022 until January 1st 2023. This year’s theme is Magic Garden. Tickets cost € 9,00 for adults, € 8,00 for children between 3 and 11, and children under 2 can visit for free. Family tickets are available from € 32,00 upwards. The Christmas market is open most days from 11 AM until 8 PM.
In Sintra, you will enjoy Reino de Natal which takes place from December 1st until January 6th 2023. The entrance is free, and there is a fun program for al ages.
A traditional Christmas dinner in Lisbon
Christmas is a time to indulge, and in Portugal, that is no different. A Portuguese Christmas dinner is slightly different from the usual traditional dinners we might know. Consoada is the traditional dinner that is served on Christmas Eve. Often eating meat is avoided and substituted by fish or seafood. Usually, bacalhau (cod) will be made, and the Christmas variation, Bacalhau da Consoada, is served with cabbage, boiled eggs and potatoes.
The family meal on Christmas Day can be anything from roasted turkey to goat to lamb. Often at least one meat option is included, and the dishes are served with seasonal vegetables. Cabrito assado no forno is another loved dish containing roasted lamb and crispy roast potatoes. It can also be more common to see a turkey on the menu in restaurants. A fine glass of wine accompanies Christmas dinner, and the cherry liqueur ginjinha is an excellent dessert choice. Speaking of desert… There are many options to choose from!
Let’s start with the special Portuguese Christmas cake! Bolo Rei, or King Cake, is everywhere during Christmas. It looks like a wreath and usually has dried fruit, nuts, candied fruit and icing sugar on the top. Bolo Rainha, or Queen Cake, is similar but has no candied fruit. It’s often eaten on January 6th during Three Kings. Or look for Rabanadas that you’ll spot in most bakeries. It’s like French toast and also super easy to make at home.
Another traditional sweet is the Filhoses; it’s deep-fried and made with eggs, flour, and a bit of orange zest or pumpkin. Dip it into cinnamon to perfect its taste, and enjoy! Another deep-fried crispy dessert is Azevias, a kind of apple turnover but with chickpeas and almonds instead. After it’s been fried, it’s caked in sugar and cinnamon! Other sweets to try are the doughnut-like sonhos (sonhos means dreams), the oval sweet potato biscuits Broas de Natal, and Lampreia de Ovos.
Going out for dinner during Christmas
Thankfully you don’t have to cook during Christmas in Lisbon if you don’t want to. Plenty of restaurants will serve an unforgettable Christmas dinner in the Portuguese capital. Favourite restaurants include Sebastião, Alma, Zazah, La Paparrucha, Seen, Adega Machado, and Belcanto. Check beforehand if they’re open and reserve a table! Bom apetite!
Enjoy a € 20,00 discount on your next meal! Reserve your table with the code 8362E39E on TheFork.
Things to do on Christmas Day in Lisbon
As you might expect, most museums, sights, and shops are closed on Christmas Day and New Year. Be sure to check online if a place you wish to visit is actually open.
What you can do, though, is walk off some of those Christmas calories and spend some time in nature. You can make a lovely walk along the river Tagus from Lisbon’s city centre towards Belém. Or take the ferry to Cacilhas and walk along the river towards the Ponte 25 de Abril for a beautiful view over Lisbon. Fancy a walk on the beach? Then a visit to Cascais or Costa da Caparica is perfect.
Another lovely place to walk is the Alfama area. It’s the oldest neighbourhood in Lisbon and won’t be busy on Christmas Day. You’ll discover incredible viewpoints, narrow alleys and tiny streets.
Things that are open on Christmas Day in Lisbon
Not everything is closed, and one of the favourite things to do amongst families is to visit the aquarium Oceanário de Lisboa! The opening hours during the holidays are:
December 24th from 10 AM to 7 PM, last admission at 6 PM.
December 25th from 11 AM to 8 PM, last entrance at 7 PM.
December 31st from 10 AM to 7 PM, last entry at 6 PM.
January 1st from 11 AM to 8 PM, last admission at 7 PM.
It will be busy, so best to reserve your tickets online!
Trams and metros run during the holidays, but less often. The closest station to the Oceanário de Lisboa is Oriente. Click here to read more about the Oceanarium in Lisbon.
Many churches are obviously open, and it’s lovely to listen to Christmas carols during mass. Missa do Galo’s religious tradition is the midnight mass on Christmas Eve that many local families attend. There are masses on Christmas Eve and also on Christmas Day. It’s wise to check your church of choice for time schedules. Also, note that some churches only allow locals due to space constraints.
Where to stay for Christmas in Lisbon
If you want to be close to the Christmas highlights in Lisbon, it’s best to book a room around Rua Augusta or Avenida da Liberdade. Hotel Tivoli on Avenida da Liberdade or the Four Seasons at Marques de Pombal is recommended if you want to splurge a little. If you travel on a budget, Stay Hotel Lisboa, Lisbon Wine House, or Lisbon Garden Guest House might be a lovely place for you to stay in.
Make a day trip to Óbidos
Óbidos becomes a Christmas Wonderland once more between the 30th of November and the 31st of December 2022. There is probably not a more magical place than the walled city of Óbidos, and it’s even more special during the festive season. Christmas Village is one of Portugal’s favourites, and it’s well worth a trip from Lisbon! Tip: stay the night for the extra cosy atmosphere!
Hopefully, these tips will be helpful when you Visit Lisbon during Christmas and the holiday season. As you can see, there is a lot to see and do in Lisbon during the holiday season. Lisbon will turn into a winter wonderland in the sun! It makes the Portuguese capital a favourite place to spend the winter months. Not sure what else there is to do in Lisbon in winter? Then this article will be interesting for you. Feliz Natal!
Well you’ve just added to my bucket list. Lisbon looks like a magical place to visit. Especially during the holidays. Thank you for sharing!
This is an amazing place for Christmas and loves the lights and decorations as well. I would love to spend Christmas there.
Lisbon sounds like an awesome spot to visit during Christmas time 🎄✨️ Your post has everything someone looking to visit needs to know. Keep up the good work 👍
I read this post with some interest as we are considering a return to Portugal in the winter. So seeing what Christmas is like in Lisbon may sway the timing. The reasonable weather is definitely a draw for us. But it is nice to see the city all decorated for the holidays. Great to know we can go out to a restaurant and get a traditional Christmas dinner!
Lisbon looks like an amazing place to spend Christmas! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.
Wow this looks lovely, like a great christmas destination! Will keep it in mind!
Wow…What an amazing place to spend Christmas and that tree…it’s gorgeous
Christmas in Lisbon looks like a lot of fun. I’d love to see the decorations and shop at the markets! Thanks for sharing the great tips!
I’ve always wanted to visit Lisbon, but I haven’t considered visiting during Christmas. I didn’t know they had such a plethora of Christmas markets! I’ll keep it in mind for sure.
I love to travel Europe during Christmas, I find Australia so un-christmassy! And, Lisbon definitely sounds like the place to go for the Christmas holidays
Great post, Marga! Thanks for sharing all the fun festive things that happen around the city! I feel like other European cities get more attention as Christmas destinations (probably because of the weather) but Lisbon seems just as lovely and festive. My parents and sister spent Christmas 2019 there and loved it. Definitely adding to my list of Christmas destinations.
I love small and large Christmas markets! This looks like an amazing place to visit during the holidays.