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The Christmas season in Porto



The month of December, synonymous for many with Christmas, is one of the most magical months in the world . .. and Porto is no exception! The streets are filled with good cheer, and there's no shortage of festivities to celebrate a season that is so dear to the Portuguese (and almost everyone else!).


Lights illuminate the streets

Christmas magic invades Porto on the first of December when the lights on the famous Christmas tree in Avenida dos Aliados are switched on. This tree, which is 34 metres high and 15.5 metres wide, is one of the biggest attractions in Porto during the month of December, and it's hard to resist going out into the streets to see it first appear! The tree lights up to the sound of music and fireworks and gives the city a new glow. .. together with the Christmas lights and decorations in over 80 of the city’s streets, squares and gardens, bringing Porto to life.

Park benches are decorated with words like love, happiness, gratitude and Christmas - which brighten up the Avenida dos Aliados and are the perfect excuse for a family photo.


Check out the city programme

The city comes alive

The streets of Porto are full of life and activity, from typical Christmas markets to amusement parks, so you can make the most of this season !!

Christmas markets are always a good place to visit at this time of year, and in Porto there's plenty of variety - in Praça da Batalha, throughout December you’ll find the Mercado da Alegria, which offers a wide range of handicrafts and traditional cuisine. You can also visit the Artesanatus Market in Praça D. João I, the Matosinhos Christmas Market in Parque Basílio Teles, the Arts and Crafts Market on Avenida D. Afonso Henriques, the Serralves Christmas Market, which is only held in the first week of December in Parque de Serralves, and the WOW Christmas Market at the WOW Museum . .. and many more dotted around the city !!

You can also find activities at the Clérigos Church and Tower during the festive season. .. here you can enjoy exhibitions, traditional Christmas carols rung out by the bells of the Clérigos Tower carillon, night-time visits and immersive videomapping shows (such as ‘SPIRITUS’), which illuminate the interior of this majestic church and offer one of the most beautiful experiences you can have this Christmas.

For the braver amongst you, the ice rink in Largo do Amor de Perdição awaits! You'll also find an ice rink at the Rotunda da Boavista, together with carousels, bumper cars, a magic train, traditional games and much more. .. it's safe to say that you won't be short of fun!
Going to the circus is always part of Christmas in Porto and this year will be no exception. There has been a circus at the Coliseu do Porto every year since 1947, with shows to delight kids and adults alike. The dates have yet to be confirmed, but the circus usually starts on 8 December and runs until the beginning of January. Confirm the dates on the Coliseu website.

Must-try foods

One of the things that epitomises a Porto Christmas is the festive food. On Christmas Eve, Porto citizens sit down to eat "Bacalhau com todos", which is salt cod with a boiled egg, cabbage, carrots and chickpeas, garnished with olive oil, garlic and onions. After supper, families head to Midnight Mass.

On Christmas Day, ‘roupa velha’ is on everyone's table, a dish which uses up the leftover cod. People also eat meat, and might opt for stuffed turkey, roast kid or pork loin. But of course what is never missing are the Christmas desserts and sweets!

Delicacies such as king cake, pão-de-ló (angel cake), French toast, drunken pears and, of course, a good Port wine are essential in making the Porto Christmas table complete!

Now that we've convinced you that Porto is a wonderful city to experience the spirit and magic of Christmas, don't forget to make your reservation. Right in the centre of the city you’ll find PortoBay Flores, a 5-star hotel on Rua das Flores, and on Rua do Teatro Sá da Bandeira is the 4-star PortoBay Teatro hotel. Both are just a few steps away from Avenida dos Aliados and the main Christmas tourist attractions.
If you decide to spend Christmas Eve in Porto, take a look at our suggestions for dinner.
Won’t you join us? 😉


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

Tem que aceitar as cookies para ver este conteúdo


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