Holidays in Lisbon

4 years ago - Léa D.

Gastronomy mixed with tradition

In Portuguese, "Merry Christmas" is called "Feliz Natal" and Christmas Eve is called "Consoada".

The Portuguese Christmas meal is not a colossal meal consisting of a thousand and one dishes: it is a simple dinner, giving the family the opportunity to gather around the table to enjoy tasty dishes steeped in tradition.

Legend has it that there are 365 ways to cook the famous Portuguese cod, a recipe for every day of the year. On Christmas day, it will be cooked in the most humble way possible: "bacalhau cozido", boiled with potatoes and cabbages cooked in water. After the meal, a special place must be kept for the many desserts that are wisely waiting to be savored after the midnight mass, otherwise called "Missa do Galo", the rooster mass. This is an important religious tradition. The return of the Mass sounds the tasting of the desserts and the opening of the presents, for the biggest pleasure of the children.

The list of desserts is long and varied: the most famous is surely the "Bolo Rei", a cake of kings shaped in a crown and composed of dried crystallized fruits. It is a pastry normally served on January 6th, date during which the gifts were given for a long time, symbolic of the visit of the three wise men to the baby Jesus. There is also rice pudding, French toast and "filhos", donuts made from bread dough, brandy and orange. The "pao do lo" made of eggs and flavored with orange or lemon is also a delight.

An old tradition is that during Christmas, family members give each other an orange with cloves as a symbol of prosperity. Unlike some European countries, the Christmas tree is less present in Portuguese families who prefer the Christmas cradle.

Christmas traditions

A selection of the most diverse

Followed by Lille, Munich, Amsterdam and many others, Lisbon is at the head of the 10 best European cities to enjoy Christmas. Retro, antique and family shopping are added to the major luxury brands and brands known to all. We have selected for you various markets accessible in town, with different themes for everyone's tastes.

Traditional Christmas Market (Avenida da Igreja)

From December 7th to the 16th, this family market welcomes you in a colorful and festive atmosphere. Crafts, gastronomic specialties and animations as well as Santa Claus will be present. It is the perfect place to find nice memories and have a good time in a warm atmosphere.

Craft & Design (Jardim da Estrela)

Located in one of the most beautiful gardens of Lisbon, Jardim da Estrela, this market includes the creators and artisans of ceramics, photography, illustrations, jewelry, fashion ... It takes place the first weekend of each month.

The Campo Pequeno Christmas Market (Campo Pequeno Station)

In the big arenas of Campo Pequeno, more than 100 exhibitors will be present to present you various articles coming exclusively from Portugal. Buying in this market helps support small artisans and national creators, all while delighting yourself !

Time Out Market (Mercado da Ribeira)

It is a must in Lisbon. It is a covered market where you can eat thanks to the 30 small kiosks lined up, which will serve you to drink, to eat with the possibility of buying local specialties. Glaciers, pastry chefs, cocktail bar ... You'll be spoiled for choice.


During Christmas, Lisbon shines

Christmas in Lisbon is an adventure full of lights and colors. The whole city is decorated with beautiful illuminations, and particularly the district of Baixa.

The inauguration of the illuminations begins on December 1st at 18h. The famous trade square will welcome, just like every year, the big Christmas tree of about 30 meters high, decorated with more than 86,000 Led bulbs.

Wonderland Lisboa is an event not to be missed: it is the transformation of the Edward VII Park into a magical world with several activities: giant wheel, ice rink, handicraft sale counters ... It is a place of fun, shopping and relaxation.

The city of Lisbon also offers many free street concerts in churches and other places of worship in Lisbon, as well as songs and shows.

From December 1st to January 6th, participate in the largest indoor funfair, Diverlandia, at the Nations Park. On the program: rides for young and old, and breathtaking attractions!

In the same category, do not miss Circo no Coliseu, a magnificent Christmas circus at the Lisbon Coliseum, from December 1st to the 26th!

To end your parties in style, take your children to see the great ice musical show Alice o Pais Maravilhas no gelo (Alice in Wonderland on Ice). Performances will take place from November 23rd, 2018 to January 6, 2019.