What to do this Christmas in Lisbon
This Christmas 2022, the verb is GO. During the next month there's plenty of places to go in Lisbon, apart from the shopping shops. The magic of Christmas is in the air and, naturally, the little ones are the centre of attention. Kids and grown-ups can enjoy this selection of Christmas suggestions, starting with our tour. Did you know that Santa Claus said NO to animal exploitation and now rides an electric tuk-tuk?
1 - See the Christmas lights by tuk-tuk
It's not yet a Christmas tradition, but we're sure it will become one. After the great success we had last year, we are back for more tuk-tuk rides to see the Christmas lights in the city centre: from Avenida da Liberdade, to Chiado and Camões, passing through Praça do Comércio. Tuk-tuks are already an important part of the city and they are not only for tourists. The Portuguese also love the experience, especially the children. Our Christmas programme runs every day from 6 December to 6 January, except on the 24th, 25th, 31st and 1st.
2 - Go to Rossio Christmas Market
The Rossio Christmas Market, in Praça D. Pedro IV, is a treat for the eyes: lots of light and colour, decorations, amusements for children and, of course, small wooden houses selling the most varied Portuguese products. Highlights include handicrafts, traditional sweets and heated wine. In this market, which will be in Rossio until 21 December, it is also possible to see a Christmas exhibition from Hospital de Bonecas, in a trip to the past for all ages.
3 - Go to Wonderland Lisboa
Wonderland Lisboa is back at Parque Eduardo VII for its 7th edition. From November 30th until January 1st, kids and adults can let themselves be enchanted by the magic of Christmas in this amusement park, whose main attraction is the giant wheel. The view from up there is awesome, but for that, you mustn't be afraid to stand 26.5 metres off the ground. There are many other attractions: Santa's village, the eco-skating track, the trampolines, the flying chairs and the trolley track.
4 - Buy a bolo-rei (king cake) at Confeitaria Nacional
If bolo-rei is part of Portuguese tradition, buying it at Confeitaria Nacional, in Praça da Figueira, is like performing a ritual. Even if there's a queue. It was from this bakery that the first bolo-rei (king cake) were sold in Lisbon, around 1870. It is said that the founder of the second oldest café in Lisbon, after Martinho da Arcada, brought the recipe from France and introduced it in Portugal. The king cake of the Confeitaria Nacional became, still in the 19th century, the most famous cake in the city. And there are reasons for this. It's just a shame it no longer has a fava bean or premium.
5 - Go to the Coliseu dos Recreios Christmas Circus
Some say that tradition is not what it used to be. But for us, Christmas is still made with a circus show. And in Lisbon, the oldest and most famous is the one at the Coliseu dos Recreios. It is amazing: the circus of the Coliseu dos Recreios exists for 132 years. The room is transformed into a large circus tent to receive clowns, acrobats, jugglers, trapeze artists and illusionists. The circus will be open from 6 to 25 December. During the week, the sessions will be in the morning and on Sunday afternoon. And the organisers leave a note: there are no animal performances.
6 - watch a Christmas movie at São Jorge cinema
In this case, we have a suggestion that is a debut. Between 3 and 18 December, São Jorge cinema will host, for the first time, the Christmas Movie Tapes event. What is this? The screening of a series of films, true classics, connected with the Christmas imaginary. The programming is designed for the youngest children, but the whole family will be able to enjoy these four films: "Nightmare Before Christmas", "Disney's a Christmas Carol", "The Muppet Christmas Carol" and "How the Grinch Stole Christmas". Admission is free and the screenings take place on Saturday or Sunday.
8 - Attend to a Christmas music concert
Christmas concerts are back in town with the Natal em Lisboa programme. This year's edition, which runs from 2 to 18 December, the usual baroque and classical repertoire in churches will be joined by poetry in the form of music, in a manifesto for peace, as well as Portuguese pop-rock, in an unusual concert. The entire programme is free. There are so many concerts and shows that it is best to check out the full agenda of this initiative by Lisbon City Council and EGEAC.
8 - Run São Silvestre New Year Race
For a few years now, some São Silvestre races have stopped being held on the night of 31 December to 1 January. This is the case with the São Silvestre of Lisbon which, this year, takes place on 17 December at 9:30pm. It is 10 km with start and finish on Avenida da Liberdade. There is also a race for children up to 13 years old, but it takes place on another date and place: December 10 at the Keil do Amaral Amphitheatre, in Monsanto, at 11:30am. It is called Clube Pelicas São Silvestre da Pequenada and the entry fees go to APCL - Associação de Paralisia Cerebral de Lisboa.
WRITTEN ON 26 NOVEMBER 2022