The Christmas holidays are important to the Portuguese who view Christmas as a special time to spend with family and friends, exchange gifts and celebrate the birth of Christ.
Scenes of the Nativity, or the Crèche, are seen in almost every small town and home. Some Christmas markets in Portugal host a live Nativity Scene with locals playing all the key characters and animals gathered around the holy child.
Winters here aren’t that cold and dark compared with other European cities, so the Christmas market trend has been slower to pick up speed. However, Portugal has its own special Christmas traditions and festive cheer. Take your pick from some our favourites’ below.
Christmas Campo Pequeño Market, Lisbon
The Campo Pequeno Christmas Market is usually held during the first few days of December. It has a vast array of gift ideas from books and toys, to food and jewellery. Attracting around 20,000 visitors, it also features workshops for children and adults. Get inspiration for some traditional recipes for Christmas treats, or try your hand at weaving with wool.
Wonderland Parque Eduardo VII Market, Lisbon
For the whole month of December, the Winter Wonderland market comes to Parque Eduardo VII in Lisbon. It’s one of the biggest Christmas markets in Portugal and has many enticing stalls selling handicrafts, jewellery and delicious pastries and jams. Take a spin on the ice-skating rink or have the kids take their letters directly to Santa there.
Natalis Christmas Fair, Lisbon
The Natalis Christmas Fair in Lisbon is a huge exhibition which attracts around 20,000 visitors and holds 180 stands. Come and marvel at the indoor and outdoor trees that glisten with twinkly lights and decorations. You’ll also find fireworks and pyrotechnics, fancy dresses, masks and funky accessories for sale.
Obidos Vila Natal, near Lisbon
Obidos, a small town about an hour’s drive north of Lisbon, takes you into the magical world of Christmas markets in Portugal. There’s something for all the family including a Santa Claus farm and face-painting for kids; and an Ice Bar with traditional Ginjinha for adults. Wrap up and go ice-skating and glide down the ice-slide at the market.
Vila Vita Christmas Market, The Algarve
Vila Vita, hosts a wonderful Christmas Market in the style of a biergarten. It follows a traditional German style Christmas market, with Glühwein, grilled sausages and German biscuits like Lebkuchen – just with more sun! It’s a great place to pick up beautiful gifts and there’s a special Christmas prize draw where you can win Christmas hampers and tickets to a wine-tasting event.
There are many things to be done in Portugal depending on the various activities to be involved in. From adventure to culture, from daily life to nightlife, the districts of Portugal serve the best destination. So, plan a trip to Portugal this Christmas and have a wonderful experience! Speak to our team of experienced professionals for expert advice.