Spending Christmas in Lisbon is a special experience. There are plenty of activities to do throughout the Portuguese capital. The timeline in Portugal, however, is a bit different. Most countries celebrate Christmas on the 25th of December. Yet, in Portugal, the main events take place on the 24th of December. The presents are given, and the Christmas dinner is enjoyed on this night. The 25th of December usually goes quietly. Most shops, museums, and restaurants are closed on this day. On 26th, however, Portugal goes back to its normal life.
Nativity Scene Contests of Lisbon
Reenacting the nativity scene is a common Christmas event. For interested visitors, Lisbon hosts several worthy reenactments. 17th and 18th-century versions displayed at Estrela Basilica, Mártires Basilica, Lisbon Cathedral, the National Museum of Ancient Art, and the National Tile Museum are must-visit attractions. The Portuguese capital also gives awards to the best displays at Natalis. Natalis is a huge Christmas market established every year. It hosts countless Christmas events.
Christmas Markets of Lisbon
One of the most popular activities of Christmas is Christmas shopping. Lisbon is the perfect place for this activity. The city offers several options, each better than the other.
Wonderland Lisboa is a very popular option. It is the largest Christmas market in Lisbon. It is located at Parque Eduardo VII in Marques de Pombal.
Another very famous option is Rossio Square Christmas Market. This one is located in central Lisbon. Located in Baixa, there are many outstanding gift options most of which are handmade.
Finally, there is the Christmas Market at Campo Pequeno. This market stays open just for a few days. So, visitors should be careful not to miss it. It sells products that are exclusively Portuguese.
The Tallest Christmas Tree in Europe
When it comes to festivities, Portugal knows how to have fun. Fireworks, decorations, Christmas lightings shine bright throughout Lisbon at Christmas. The city that likes to be extravagant in celebrations did not miss the chance to have the tallest Christmas tree in Europe. The tree is located in the Praça do Comercio (Terreiro do Paço).
In late December, the contrast of red and green paints over the whole of Lisbon. The city transforms into a fairytale. Visitors can walk between brightly decorated shops. They can enjoy the narrow, cobblestone streets of central Lisbon. They can feel the centuries of Christmas festivities syncing up every year on the same streets.
Best Hotels to Stay in Portugal during Christmas
Some of the best hotels to stay at in Portugal during Christmas are:
Conrad Algarve: well known for its unique luxury events during December
Pine Cliffs: a unique menu for Christmas lunch
Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa: make sure to check out the spa while it’s cold outside
Tivoli Marina, Vilamoura: beautiful scene
Vidago Palace: historic building with lots of charm
Check out more hotels in Portugal for Christmas here.