10 reasons to spend Christmas in Lisbon

During this magical time of the year, the city of Lisbon gains a special charm. Read this article and get ready to live unique and wonderful experiences during Christmas in Lisbon. Find out 10 reasons to spend Christmas in Lisbon!

Concerts, theatre plays, Christmas markets, illuminated streets, famous traditional delicacies are only a few of the things you will be able to find during the Christmas season in Lisbon. Like in any other European capital, this time of the year is the most magical and Lisbon gets such an heart-warming atmosphere. It gives you the desire to grab your family, walk the charming streets of Lisbon and embrace this fantastic atmosphere.

To enjoy delicious food


© Vida Ativa

First on my list of the 10 reasons to spend Christmas in Lisbon is to enjoy delicious food. In my opinion, Portuguese food is the greatest! On the table of a Portuguese Christmas’ eve dinner, you will find a great variety of traditional dishes. From stuffed turkey to boiled codfish and vegetables, Portuguese food is very nutritional and so yummy!

Besides the main dishes, Portuguese traditional Christmas desserts will make your mouth water as well! Leite creme, aletria, pudim are some of the yummiest you will try ever! I advise you to check some others of my articles to find out more about Chrismtas dishes and desserts.

On the night of December, 24th, all the homes in Portugal are filled with love and peace and the tables are filled with the most delicious dishes and desserts. All the details that were carried in the preparation of the Christmas dishes are the image of the affection of the cook who prepared the succulent delicacies. Whether you spend Christmas in a Portuguese home or in an authentic Portuguese restaurant, it will be an unforgettable experience!

To walk around the enlightened streets of the most amazing neighborhoods


© Lisbonne Idee

Besides the smell of firehood, nothing is more comforting than the enlightened streets of Lisbon during the Christmas time on a cold winter night.

In Lisbon, the Christmas street decorations are an unmissable attraction. Even though it is cold outside, it always is such an amazing moment when one gets to walk Lisbon streets with all its enlightened streets. It’s a great opportunity to appreciate the beauty and the serenity of the city.

At Praça do Comércio, you will find a gigantic Christmas tree! Get there to take a lovely photo of you in the charming city of Lisbon.

To go to Lisbon Christmas markets


© NiT

Chrismtas markets in Lisbon will definitely get you in the mood for Christmas. Severals are happening around the city during the month of December. I think the greatest one is the Parque Eduardo VII, known as Wonderland. Handicrafts, jewels, ceramic creations, paintings, but also traditional food is some of the things you will be able to enjoy at Lisbon Christmas markets.

Other activities will be available for all ages as well, such as an ice rink and a Ferris Wheel!

To ice skate


© Time Out Lisboa

Spending Christmas in Lisbon without going ice skating is unthinkable! You will find many scarreted around the city. Indoor ones are usually located at shopping malls, such as the Alegro Alfragide, the Forum Montijo and the Dolce Vita Tejo. Some others, even prettier, are also found outdoors.

At the Cascais Christmas Village, the prices can vary between six and seven euros, and it’s covered because of rainy days. At Wonderland in Parque Eduardo VII, a huge and FREE ice rink will be settled starting on December, 1st for you to enjoy the whole month!

To organize Christmas dinners with friends


Every year in Portugal, everyone organizes a Christmas dinner with their friends before December, 24th. We usually book a table in a restaurant of the city and exchange gifts with our assigned secret pal. All the names of the people who are at the dinner are written down in little pieces of paper, then put into a bag. One at a time, each has to pick up a piece of paper and open the present of the person who was drawn by lot.


This kind of dinners is very fun! And it’s the perfect opportunity to wish your friends a merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

To enjoy the coziness of the fireplace on Christmas’ eve


Most houses during Christmas have their fireplace lit on Christmas’ eve. You should do the same if you have the chance!

It brings such a special charm to the night and creates such a cozy atmosphere. I love being around the fireplace with a blanket, playing board games with my family. It is everything that really matters! The comfort of a home and of a loving family is such a blessing. We should all be grateful for what is in our lives and the people in it.

To listen to Church choirs during Missa do Galo


As I’ve told you about in another article of mine: at midnight, most families attend the Missa do Galo.

Although, many concerts and choirs perfomances happen throughout the month of December. Some of the best choirs perform at the Missa do Galo, which is why you should go to this mass if you have the opportunity while in Lisbon. The entrances to these are free of charges, but I recommend you to go a little earlier to guarantee a seat. Otherwise, you will standing up the whole time. Make sure you make it on time, especially if you’re visiting with elderly people.

To drive around town with Santa Claus


© Dirk Wandel (flickr)

Next on my list of the 10 reasons to spend Christmas in Lisbon is the unique opportunity to drive around the city with Santa Claus! During the month of December, experiencing the Christmas atmosphere of Lisbon couldn’t get funnier thanks to the Yellow Bus Tours company.

Hop on a Christmas tram where a leprechaun will welcome you! There are many surprises during the journey, and guess who’s driving? Santa Claus is! The journey starts at Praça do Comércio, goes through Praça da Figueira and ends in Belém. The ticket for children aged between 2 and 10 costs two euros and eight for adults.

For each child ticket that is bought, two euros goes to the Operação Nariz Vermelho association which ensures hospitalised children are not forgotten and still get to play and laugh with the visit of professional clowns. Let’s travel around Lisbon with Santa Claus for a good cause!

There are family packs as well. For twenty euros, you get two children tickets and two adults tickets.

To enjoy a great weather on a winter month


Even though days are still pretty cold during the Christmas season in Portugal, it is very unlikely to snow! If you don’t particularly enjoy snow, Lisbon is the perfect city for you to spend Christmas!

In Portugal, one still gets the chance to go to the beach in December, but you still have to wear your warmest clothes! In Portugal, days are cold but so sunny!

To build your own presépio


Most homes still have the tradition of building their own presépio. If you’re spending Christmas in Lisbon with children, you should build your own as well. It is a fun activity for families to do together. Plus, it is a way to explain to kids the origins of Christmas, its initial purpose and depart a bit from the commercial aspects of Christmas.

In this article, you will get to know what is a presépio! I hope you enjoy reading it!

I’ve given you 10 reasons to spend Christmas in Lisbon. I hope it has inspired you! If you need further information about anything, feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be more than glad to help you and get you the answers you need. I also hope to see you soon in one of our tours in Lisbon, because it is one of the best ways to discover and explore the city. You will get to know Lisbon as locals do!

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