While Lisbon is a popular winter holiday destination, it’s probably not the first city that comes to mind when thinking about Christmas markets. Of course, Christmas is celebrated in Portugal, it’s a predominantly catholic country after all, but Christmas markets are typically a traditional event in Germany and Central Europe rather than on the Iberian Peninsula.
But in recent years, Christmas markets have boomed around Europe and the rest of the world. The Lisbon Christmas market is the largest and most popular in Portugal with smaller markets taking place in Porto and Obidos.
The Christmas markets in Lisbon are considerably smaller than you’ll find elsewhere but it’s a nice addition to the event calendar in Lisbon and one of many Christmas celebrations in Lisbon in December.
Lisbon Christmas Market 2019
Lisbon Christmas Market dates: 30th November 2019 to 5th January 2020.
Location: Praça do Comércio to see Lisbon’s Christmas tree and Wonderland Lisboa in Park Edward VII.
Reason to visit: Portuguese nativity scenes and events at Wonderland Lisboa. Lisbon is a great choice for Christmas in the sun.
Specialties: Bacalhau (smoked cod) for Christmas dinner and for dessert, French toast with a wine sauce.
Travel tip: Take a day trip to Obidos to see the Christmas village.
Where to stay: Altis Prata Hotel in central Lisbon.
Lisbon weather in winter: Temperatures average 15°C / 9°C (high / low) in December.
Plan your trip: Resources to plan your Christmas holiday or winter break.
Lisbon Christmas Market Specialities
When it comes to Christmas, Portugal is most famous for its nativity scenes, even more so than in countries like Germany and Austria which have huge Christmas markets. As far as Christmas food goes, there’s plenty of specialties to choose from.
- Bacalhau – Portugal’s most famous dish is smoked cod, often served with cabbage and boiled potatoes.
- Rice pudding – A simple but popular dessert, Portuguese rice pudding is usually topped with cinnamon.
- Rabanadas and sonhos – Deep fried desserts are popular in Lisbon, you can try many different ones at a local cafe or bakery.
- Port – Portuguese wine is generally excellent, especially local Vinho Verde (green wine) but don’t forget to try some sweet port from neighbouring Porto.
Things to Do in Lisbon
Lisbon is a great city for eating out. It’s affordable and there’s a strong focus on local and seasonal cuisine. The city is also popular for shopping, particularly for smaller boutique stores selling products made in Portugal. For major sightseeing and activities, these are the top attractions:
- Elevador de Gloria – Take the famous yellow funicular from Baixa to Bairro Alto.
- Lisbon’s Squares – Visit Lisbon’s many beautiful squares including Praça do Comércio.
- Elevador de Santa Justa – Take a ride on Lisbon’s classic outdoor lift for views of the city.
- Sintra and Cascais – Take a day trip to visit the Palace of Sintra and Cascais, the sunny beachside town.
- Pasteis de Belem – Be sure to take the short drive to Belem to try their famous pasteis de nata. Make sure you get the original.
Lisbon is a big city with many famous sights and attractions, all of which are open all year round, even in Lisbon in winter. For more information on things to do in Lisbon, visit the official tourism website.
Map of Lisbon
If you have visited Lisbon in December or Christmas in Portugal and would like to share your experience, leave a comment below.
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