Lisbon in December

Have you planned a trip to Lisbon in December? Then, you will walk into a wonderland. I’ve experienced it, and I recommend anyone do the same; it’s incredible.

The Christmas spirit in Portugal is magical and completely different from the rest of the world.

While the weather is chillier, it remains one of Europe’s warmer, sunniest cities, and you will enjoy the streets with lights, the largest Christmas tree, and Wonderland Lisboa.

Not only will you enjoy warmer weather with loads of activities, but you can also get cost-effective flights, fewer tourists, and budget-friendly accommodations.

Weather in Lisbon in December

December in Lisbon, Portugal, is a time of excitement and celebration. The city comes alive with various events, including Christmas markets, live concerts, and shopping experiences.

During this season, the weather is typically mild, with temperatures hovering around 15°C (59°F) during the day and 4°C (41°F) at night. However, December is also the second wettest month in Lisbon, with an average rainfall of 127 millimeters (5 inches).

Despite this, some locals claim that the weather can be unpredictable, and you might even be able to enjoy some al fresco dining on certain days.

10 Things to Do in Lisbon in December

The winter months in Lisbon are filled with many things to do, and you can enjoy cheaper prices.

Christmas Markets Lisbon

Carousel in Christmas Market @Marco Verch Flickr

Enjoy the coldest month in Lisbon at several Christmas markets. Shop the streets for gifts and souvenirs to take home. The primary market in Rossio Square is lined with classic Christmas decorations, food, delicious 😋 Bolo Rei, and more.

Furthermore, ensure to visit the Lisbon Winter Wonderland in Parque Eduardo VII. It is a great place to take the kids. You will find a Santa village where your children can talk to him about their present list.

They can enjoy the Ferris Wheel and the ice rink.

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Climb Up A Miradouro

7 Hills of Lisbon

Lisbon has numerous viewpoints, known as “miradouros” in Portuguese. These miradouros offer breathtaking views of the city’s rooftops, water, and castle, making them an excellent spot to get a sense of the city’s beauty.

Most miradouros have small kiosks or windows that sell drinks, and ordering a pastel de nata and coffee while admiring the stunning view is a must-do activity. So, during these days of winter, put on your comfortable winter boots to explore:

  • Miradouro das Portas do Sol in the Alfama neighborhood
  • Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcântara in the Principe Real area
  • Jardim do Torel

Take a Guided Tuk-Tuk Tour

Tuk-tuk-Lisbon

Dress in warm clothes and take a tuk-tuk tour of Lisbon instead of walking the steep streets. You can quickly get around the Portuguese capital in three hours and see all the hotspots. You can choose what you want to focus on, whether you love art or food.

Belem Neighbourhood

Belem Tower

With the mild weather, visit the Belem neighborhood. You can even take a 45-minute boat ride to reach it and enjoy exceptional views.

Must-visit attractions include the Tower of Belem for panoramic vistas and the Monument to the Discoveries for historical insights.

Don’t miss indulging in the famous Pastel de Belem pastry and exploring the majestic Jereonimos Monastery.

In Belem, history, culture, and natural beauty blend seamlessly to create a unique experience.

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Food And Wine Tour

Food-Tour-Lisbon

This popular destination has several exciting ways to enjoy a food and wine tour.

You could opt for a leisurely experience by sitting at a restaurant or food venue, where you’ll spend an hour savoring and discovering different Portuguese wines and cuisines.

Alternatively, you could choose a walking food tour combo to take you on a gastronomic journey through the city. You’ll taste wines and sample foods at various cafes and restaurants.

With countless options available, you’re sure to be completely satiated with delicious food and drink by the end of your wine tour in Lisbon.

Go Ice Skating In Lisbon

During the festive season, starting in December and continuing until New Year, the Christmas bazaar and carnival are organized at Winter Wonderland Lisbon in Parque Eduardo VII.

They also set up a winter skating rink exclusively designed for the occasion. The fair remains open every day from 1 PM to 11 PM; on weekends, the hours are extended until midnight.

The rink is a magnificent, spacious outdoor area, making it ideal for an afternoon or evening, particularly if you travel to Lisbon with children.

Warm Up With A Glass Of Port

Port-Wine

Enjoy port wine 🍷 across the country to warm up your chilly winter evening. You can enjoy it with a meal, dessert, or cheese plate. Check out Taylor Port in Alfama, the oldest Port brand in the country.

Take A Day Trip To Sintra

The charming town of Sintra, located within an hour’s drive from Lisbon, boasts several historical landmarks, including the famous Pena Palace, Moorish Castle, and Quinta da Regaleira.

While one can reach Sintra by bus, it is also possible to opt for a guided tour or rent a car to explore the area at your leisure. Having your own mode of transportation can be more convenient, mainly since these attractions are spread out.

A day trip to Sintra is a delightful experience, offering a glimpse into Portugal’s rich cultural heritage.

Catch The New Year Celebrations

Lisbon knows how to party, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. To be at the center of the action, head to Belém or Praça do Comércio for the fireworks. For a more exclusive experience, check out music and dinner events like Le Reveillon or Zambeze—book early for restaurants, bars, and clubs.

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Enjoy Ginja At Ginjinha Espinheira

Ginjinha-Sour-Cherry-Liqueur

Ginja is a Portuguese liquor crafted from the ginja berry, also known as sour cherry.

It is a delectable and sweet liquor traditionally served in a chocolate shot glass. Ginjinha Espinheira is a historic location serving this genuine liquor for almost 200 years.

You can sit on a simple bar stool and enjoy a shot while savoring the experience.

Traditional Lisbon Christmas Treats

During Christmas in Lisbon, indulge in traditional festive food like bolo rei, sonhos, bacalhau de consoada, and leite crème. These sweet and savory treats are necessary during your seasonal trip to the Portuguese capital.

Bolo Rei And Bolo Rainha

Bolo Rei

The must-try Christmas treat in Lisbon is the Bolo Rei, or “King Cake.” Like Italian panettone, this sweet, bread-like cake is made with nuts and dried fruits. Bolo Rainha or “Queen Cake” is a nuttier alternative. Both cakes are in bakeries everywhere and are a staple at any Portuguese Christmas feast.

Bacalhau Da Consoada

Lisbon has a long history of trading and consuming cod, known as bacalhau. During Christmas, it is served as Bacalhau da Consoada, a popular dish served on Christmas Eve and found on many restaurant menus in the city.

Leite Créme

Portugal’s custard desserts are unique, and Pasteis de Belem’s pastéis de nata are a testament to that. Leite créme is another popular custard treat in Portugal, rich and creamy in flavor.

It is caramelized with brown sugar and a blow torch during Christmas for an extra crispy finish.

Similar to French crème brûlée, leite créme is made on the stovetop and makes for a perfect festive dessert.

Why Visit Lisbon In December?

Lisbon should undoubtedly be at the top of your list if you’re looking for the perfect travel destination with moderate weather, affordable costs, and many activities.

Even during winter, Lisbon continues to exude its charm and remains a vibrant hub for travelers. So, why should you consider spending winter in Lisbon, Portugal? Here are a few reasons to persuade you:

More Affordable

During the winter, the number of tourists visiting Lisbon tends to decrease, resulting in lower prices for various services. So, you can enjoy affordable accommodation and tourist attractions.

Not That Cold 

The city of Lisbon experiences four distinct seasons, with colder winters compared to warmer summers.

However, the winter weather in Lisbon is not excessively cold, as the temperature seldom drops below freezing point. While rainfall is expected during winter, there are still ample sunny days to relish in the city.

January is considered the coldest month in Lisbon, yet the daytime temperatures are still pleasant enough for light jackets, averaging around 14-15°C or mid to high 50s°F.

Nevertheless, it is essential to note that the temperatures tend to dip during the night.

Fewer Crowds

Lisbon attracts many tourists, especially during summer, causing crowds to overwhelm the city. However, in winter, the city is less crowded and more bearable, making it a great time to visit.

What To Wear In Lisbon In December

When planning a winter trip to Lisbon, it is essential to note that the inside of the buildings can be cooler than the outside due to the lack of insulation in the older buildings that dominate the city’s architecture.

Packaging warm pajamas and sturdy wool socks is recommended to prepare for your trip, as sleeping areas may be chilly. A good, packable umbrella and rain jacket are also essential, as Lisbon receives regular rainfall during the winter season.

It can also be windy, so being prepared for changing weather conditions is essential. Layers are crucial to staying warm during the winter days in Lisbon.

Comfortable walking shoes with good traction are also important, as the city’s steep hills and uneven cobblestones can be tricky to navigate, particularly when wet.

Finally, it is recommended that you bring a daypack to carry your belongings if you are exploring the city.

As you remove layers throughout the day, you will need a convenient place to store them, and a backpack is an excellent option for carrying all your essentials while sightseeing.

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Wrap-Up: Lisbon in December

If you plan a trip to Lisbon in December, you are in for a treat. While the weather may be cooler, it remains one of Europe’s warmer, sunniest cities.

Additionally, you can get cost-effective flights, budget-friendly accommodations, and fewer crowds. The city has various festivities, including Christmas markets, live concerts, and shopping experiences.

There are loads of things to do, such as visiting viewpoints, taking a guided Tuk-Tuk tour, exploring the Belem neighborhood, indulging in food and wine tours, ice skating, and taking a day trip to Sintra.

Lisbon’s New Year’s Eve celebrations are also fantastic. So, pack your bags and prepare for an exciting Lisbon adventure this December.

Frequently Asked Questions

Portugal is not an expensive destination compared to other European countries. December is the low season, so you may find lower accommodation prices, flights, and attractions.

However, some tourist attractions and shops may have reduced opening hours or closed for the winter season. Plan your trip accordingly to make the most of your budget.

Lisbon is a great destination to visit in winter. You can enjoy fewer crowds, shorter lines, and lower prices despite cooler and rainier weather.

The temperatures are comfortable enough for outdoor activities, and you can explore historic neighborhoods, museums, and galleries and indulge in delicious Portuguese cuisine.

Lisbon can be pretty cold in December, with average temperatures ranging from 7°C to 15°C (45°F to 59°F). If you plan to visit Lisbon during this time of year, it’s advisable to bring warm clothing.

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