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Lisbon in December


December is a month dominated by the Christmas season and one of the best times to visit Lisbon. The Portuguese capital is bright all year round, but it takes on a special glow at this time of year with its Christmas lights, music, street markets and much more. ...


Streets fill with life

Lisbon is known as a city full of life, but nothing compares to the month of December. Switching on the Christmas lights marks the start of this season in the capital, and almost everyone goes out into the street to see the moment when the city gets lit up. The main avenues are filled with lights and the famous squares are covered in decorations, such as the giant Christmas tree in Praça do Comércio or the Christmas ball in Largo de Camões.

Walking the streets under the Christmas lights is a truly magical experience - and if you don't want to do it on foot, don't worry . ... for 5 euros, you can take a ride on the X-Mas Bus, a three-metre high double-decker that takes you on a tour around the city's main Christmas attractions - the top deck is open-topped so you can see the decorations up close !!!


No shortage of fun

There's no shortage of entertainment during this season in the Portuguese capital. ... with the Christmas spirit in the air, Edward VII Park is transformed into an authentic "Wonderland". This free-entry event is best known for its Ferris wheel, which offers a panoramic view of Lisbon, as well as the ice rink which gets visitors skating hand in hand and having great fun. The little ones will find Father Christmas's village, where children can meet him inside his house and visit the festive village. And, of course, you can't miss the Christmas tree and lights - along with the food and drink stalls, so no-one goes away with an empty stomach! Please note that although this event is free to enter, you pay for some of the activities, as well as the food and drink.

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In the city centre, you'll find the Rossio Christmas Market, with its traditional craft stalls and local cuisine. And don't be alarmed if you hear bells every 30 minutes . . it's just the Christmas Train announcing its arrival! The 15-minute journey on this train is free and takes you through some of Lisbon's main streets.
For music enthusiasts, there's plenty on offer too! During the month of December, you can attend concerts in various churches in Lisbon . . an unforgettable experience aimed at all audiences. Finally, we couldn't fail to mention the magnificent candlelit Christmas concerts, taking place in prime locations around the city. You can find out more about these concerts here.


With a full stomach

December is usually a month filled with lots of love, excitement and, of course, lots (and lots) of food . . and Lisbon is no exception!
In the capital, the season is celebrated with various traditional cakes, such as bolo-rei, sonhos, rabanadas and broas - that can be found on sale in Christmas markets, as well as in restaurants and cafés. As well as cakes, the streets of Lisbon are filled with roast chestnut sellers, giving the city a distinctive and irresistible smell!
At Christmas dinner, the dish of choice is undoubtedly boiled salt cod, usually accompanied with potatoes and vegetables. Another common dish is roast turkey, kid or lamb. One thing's for sure: nobody goes hungry here!

If you're planning to visit Lisbon during this season, there's only one thing to say: go for it! It's one of the most beautiful times of the year in the capital and is guaranteed to make for a memorable trip.
The PortoBay Marquês and PortoBay Liberdade hotels are offering special programmes to celebrate the festive season - book now !!


See what Christmas and New Year's Eve is like in our hotel destinations!!

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