Christmas in Lisbon has always been a relatively modest affair but in recent years that has begun to change. Somehow everything has just got that little bit bigger. And brighter. And, well…Christmassy! But in a cool way obviously, as though Lisboetas have decided to join the party but without signing up to the commercial side. Christmas here still has a kind of old fashioned feel to it which is wonderfully refreshing. From the beginning of December the air fills with that evocative combination of roasted chestnuts and spiced wine and the avenues twinkle under a canopy of decorations while the main squares play host to the Christmas markets.
The markets are different to those in other European capitals – these are smaller and have a definite Lisbon twist. Here you feast on pastel de nata, and Christmas pastries like farturas and sonhos (donut-like sweets). And while you can find some traditional Christmas goods there will more likely be an eclectic selection of specialist artisan treasure from all over Portugal; everything from sheepskin and slippers, wool blankets, shoes, and a myriad of local crafts – in other words the perfect opportunity to find that unique present or stocking filler. For the low-down see Time Out’s list of the best Christmas markets in Lisbon right here, but before you do here are a few of our favourites – all within a short walk of The Lumiares…
At Rossio Square, you’ll find one of the loveliest markets in the city. If you have kids in tow, factor in the time to get in line to meet Pai de Natal (Father Christmas) – he’s worth it!
The marbled chocolates look tempting! You’ll also find traditional empada makers, grilled chorizo, and warming spiced wine…
As you walk down Rua de Misericórdia, the main avenue that leads to The Lumiares, you can enjoy the Christmas lights.
Across from The Lumiares, at the Miradouro Sao Pedro Alcantara, the most beautiful viewpoint in Lisbon, you’ll find a small Christmas market featuring local breads, cheeses, crafts, and hot drinks.
And down at the waterfront at Praça do Comércio, you’ll find a Craft market, and a special Christmas market under the large archway with local crafts, food, and a general festive vibe.