Things to do in Lisbon for Christmas

Do you need some ideas of things to do in Lisbon for Christmas? If you’ve decided to come to Lisbon for Christmas, it’s a great choice because you’ll love it! Christmas is a very important celebration in Portugal. Everybody gets together and shows their affection to the loved ones as much as possible. Members of the families help each other. Mothers, grandmothers, aunts, uncles, cousins make their best starters and dishes. It’s cold outside, but you will not find a warmer place than Portuguese homes during Christmas. Read on to find out some tips for you to enjoy the city of Lisbon in this holiday season as best as possible!


Eat Bolo-Rei


If you’re in Lisbon for Christmas, eating “bolo-rei” is a tradition you just can’t skip. “Bolo-rei” (“king-cake” in English) is one of the traditional desserts in Lisbon for Christmas season, referring to the Three Wise Men who visited Jesus when he was born. With a mandatory presence in every household during this season, eating bolo-rei is a must during your journey to Lisbon this Christmas.

>> Read this article to find out more delicious Portuguese desserts!

Go to Campo Pequeno for the Christmas Market


This Christmas, Lisbon hosts once again the Christmas Market in Campo Pequeno. However, I’m not certain on the dates yet! A former bullfight arena turned into concert and event house where you’ll be able to shop your way into Christmas spirit in a very Portuguese way. Take a moment to discover the traditional pastries and to get souvenirs back home.

>> Read this article if you want a few suggestions on the best souvenirs from Lisbon.

Go to Praça de D. Pedro IV


If you’re in Lisbon for Christmas, you should definitely go to Praça de D. Pedro IV, most famously known as Rossio. Every year the city is lighted up and interesting light installations are set up in the Rossio Square. In this square, you can also enjoy traditional pastries at one of the oldest pastry shops in Lisbon: Confeitaria Nacional or Pastelaria Suíça.

Visit the São Roque Church


If you’re in Lisbon this Christmas, you might want to check the Christmas concerts taking place in churches around the whole city. One of the churches to visit is the São Roque. Located in the city center, it is close to some of the most traditional coffee shops such as Brasileira, the first coffee shop to sell Brazilian coffee in Portugal and halfway to the São Pedro de Alcântara belvedere.

Walk to Terreiro do Paço


Lastly, if you’re in Lisbon for Christmas, walk to Terreiro do Paço, also known as Praça do Comércio. This old place of international trade in the Age of Discoveries and home for the Royal Family is decorated every year for Christmas just like the Rossio Square. Being ten minutes apart walking, this will be a great walk for your evening after discovering the slopes of Alfama with us.


Taste rabanadas


Rabanadas are another Christmas delicacy! They are kind of similar to the “French toast“, but in Portugal, there is an incredible variety of recipes! In December, plenty of different kinds of rabanadas are usually sold throughout the country! And if you come to Lisbon and have the opportunity to have some rabanadas, don’t hesitate!

The regular rabanada goes with “ovos moles” on top of it, which is made of egg yolks and sugar! It is originally from Aveiro, but many pastries stores make rabanadas with ovos moles! But we also have chocolate, cinnamon, lemon and orange ones! There are many more flavours, but these are the most common ones! There are rabanadas for every taste!

Have some aletria and leite creme

Some of the things to do in Lisbon for Christmas are definitely to try all the season’s delicacies, such as aletria and leite creme. Not a single table goes without both these desserts on Christmas dinner. That is why, if you have the chance, you absolutely should have some.

aletria and leite creme

Aletria is a dessert made with vermicelli pasta. This recipe is pretty simple, it calls some ingredients such as egg yolks, milk, lemon or orange peel, and cinnamon. And the secret ingredient for it to be perfect is love and affection!


Leite creme is a little similar to the crême brulée. But Portuguese people have unique cooking skills. Leite creme is boiled while the crême brulée goes to the oven. The ingredients are also different. You will have to try the Portuguese leite creme, and decide which one wins your heart!

During Christmas, families get together and tables are filled with delicious starters, dishes and desserts. As Portugal still is quite a religious country, Christmas is kind of a big deal. It is such a heartwarming and joyful season. It even makes you forget it’s cold outside.

>> If you want to know some of the best Portuguese dishes, read this article.

You now know some of the things to do in Lisbon for Christmas! I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this article and that it has been useful to you! Don’t hesitate to contact us if you need further information about anything! See you in Lisbon this Christmas!


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