Christmas,  Lisbon,  Portugal

Christmas card from Lisbon – First Christmas in Portugal


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Many travel to the charming capital of Portugal in pursuit of the heat and sun, but how many go out to see the city in the middle of December when the sun sets at six and the weather is chilly from time to time? However, if for some reason you find yourself in Lisbon during the Christmas time, the city has a lot to offer to its visitors and as a passionate Christmas person myself, I am really looking forward to my first Christmas here in the middle of the twinkling lights of Lisbon and the smell of local mulled wine. And it’s of course also wonderful that you can still enjoy the sunny days and temperatures of almost 20 degrees even in the middle of Christmas!

This Christmas will be different for me in many ways, as this is my first Christmas in Portugal, but also my first Christmas away from Finland and away from my own relatives and loved ones. In just over six months, I have created a new life here in Portugal and met wonderful new people and made new good friends. I get to live with absolutely awesome roommates with whom we are like family and this year I will spend Christmas with this new and awesome crazy family handing out gifts, cooking and eating a variety of each countries own traditional Christmas food and just enjoying being together. We have already been in the local Christmas markets together and we were there celebrating in Praca do Comercio Square even when the city’s Christmas lights were finally turned on.

I am especially grateful for this new funny little family now that after eight years of being together, my long relationship ended and I spend Christmas for the first time in a long time as a single girl. Sitting in the middle of our crazy miscellaneous Halloween and Christmas decorations in our living room near downtown Lisbon, I couldn’t be genuinely happier right now. If I had heard in the spring how much my life would change here with the move, I wouldn’t have believed, but despite the difficult moments, the move has brought more good than bad into my life, so luckily I decided to leave Finland and come here.

Inspired by a new kind of Christmas and this wonderful city, I also wanted to share some of the Portuguese Christmas vibes and my own best tips for spending Christmas here in Lisbon for you here on the blog!


WHAT TO DO AT CHRISTMAS IN LISBON?

ROSSIO CHRISTMAS MARKET

Praca do Rossio is right in the heart of the city center and is surrounded by stunning views of Alfama’s beautiful rugged old town and the popular nightlife center of Bairro Alto on the other side, with its interesting narrow alleys and bars and restaurants. Rossio is filled at Christmas with several stalls and craft vendors booths as well as, of course, delicious food and drink stalls where you can also taste the famous local hot mulled wine. Rossio also has a Christmas tree, of course, which does not compare to the magnificent giant light tree in the Praca do Comercio, where you can also walk inside the light tree to take a closer look at the lights.


WONDERLAND LISBOA CHRISTMAS MARKET

Wonderland Lisboa is in my opinion the most magnificent Christmas market in Lisbon. Wonderland is located in Parque Eduardo VII, in Eduardo Park, right at the top of Avenida de Libertade, with stunning city views. Here you will find lovely stalls with various handicrafts and discoveries as well as tasty delicacies with mulled wine and regular wine. The area is decorated with beautiful Christmas lights and the large Ferris wheel and artificial skating rink allure many people to come back here again and again to enjoy the Christmas atmosphere of the market of the Wonderland.


CHRISTMAS TREE AND LISBON CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

Lisbon city center is fully illuminated with beautiful Christmas lights and every street is different. The beautifully lit Christmas light tree in Praca do Comercio Square is the biggest attraction and inside the tree it is so wonderful to sit around admiring the lights from the inside perspective. The surrounding streets flicker with various Christmas light decorations, and many visit the lights in the form of a self-guided Christmas light tour. Personally, I love the light hearts of the Avenida de Libertade, which are hung along tree branches, and my biggest favorite are the jellyfish lights found in the Baixa-Chiado area, which are a really popular and a truly wonderful sight to see. Book yourself here* a Christmas light guided tour through the best Christmas lights in Lisbon and the most atmospheric spots of the city center!


PORTUGUESE CHRISTMAS TRADITIONS

Portuguese Christmas traditions usually include a cod-based Christmas dinner on the evening of December 24th, and the dessert is traditionally Bolo-Rei, a fruit-decorated pastry cake. According to tradition, there is also a bean hidden inside the cake and whoever grabs the slice where that bean is hiding will have to buy or bake the Bolo-Rei for everyone next year. In addition to cod and the cake, there are also many other delicious dishes and Portuguese pastries on the families Christmas tables. Also according to the local tradition, gifts are usually exchanged only on the 25th, but everyone nowadays of course create their own traditions and customs. Our Christmas here may not follow the Portuguese ways, but this Christmas we will create our own new traditions and enjoy it to the fullest anyway.


EXPLORE THE BEST OF LISBON WITH THE LISBOA CARD*, THE BEST TRAVELLERS CHOICE FOR DISCOUNTS AND PUBLIC TRANSPORTS AROUND THE CITY EASILY AND AFFORDABLY!

With the Lisboa Card*, you can easily travel indefinitely by public transport and at the same time take advantage of good offers as well as free admissions to museums and various attractions, for example. Choose the option that suits you the best and enjoy the city’s offerings with this card. 🙂

SAVE THE CHRISTMAS VIBES OF LISBON ON PINTEREST!


HAVE YOU SPENT CHRISTMAS IN PORTUGAL? WHAT DID YOU LIKE? SHARE YOUR OWN CHRISTMAS TIPS FROM PORTUGAL OR OTHERWISE AROUND THE WORLD TO THE COMMENTS! 🙂

<3: Tiina Johanna

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