Lisbon is one of the most charismatic and vibrant cities of Western Europe. Its amazing weather and affordability make it the perfect holiday destination. If you will be spending the most wonderful time of the year in the city of light, this list might be of good use to you.
Places that you must see during Christmas in Lisbon:
Have a walk at Praça de D. Pedro IV, also known as Rossio. Decorated with Christmas lights, is a very nice area to walk around and enjoy traditional Portuguese pastries. Here you will find Lisbon’s oldest pastry shops, Confeitaria National and Pastelaria Suíça.
Photo: Confeitaria National
Head to Praça do Comércio, once home of the Royal Family. This square is decorated every year, just like the Rossio Square, and it’s only a 10-minute walk away from it. Last year, its Christmas tree was the largest in Europe (more than 230 feet tall). Source here.
Visit Estrela Basilica, Mártires Basilica, Lisbon Cathedral, the National Museum of Ancient Art and the National Tile Museum to admire the impressive 17th and 18th century nativity scenes made for the aristocracy.
Presépio de Machado de Castro Basílica da Estrela, Lisboa. Photo: www.barry4kids.net
Attend a concert. This is the best time to attend classical music concerts and events, which take place in churches and theaters. Check out Lisbon’s cultural agenda for more information.
Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Photo: Alfredo Rocha
Have fun at Wonderland Lisboa, a Christmas fair where you’ll find: music, fair rides, food and drink, ice rink, a cave and other seasonal entertainment. More information here.
Go shopping. If you are in the mood for Christmas shopping, check out Avenida da Liberdade, Centro Colombo, Amoreiras Shopping Center and Armazéns do Chiado. For alternative boutiques and traditional Portuguese products head to Bairro Alto.
Avenida da Liberdade. Photo: @diogo.santosremax
Eat traditional food. Find a place to enjoy a “bolo-rei”, one of the traditional Christmas desserts!
Bolo Rei. Photo: @vincechierchia
We hope you enjoy yourself in Lisbon, if you are already there and have seen other places of interest please do let us know! Happy Holidays!
The New Year’s celebration in Madeira is centered in Funchal, where the fireworks display takes place along the city’s natural amphitheater, filling the sky with colorful lights and rumbling noises that excites spectators of all ages.
According to the Guinness Book of World Records in 2006-2007, the fireworks display in the Island of Madeira was classified as the “Greatest Fireworks Show in the World”. The Island held this title until 2012. Macedo’s Pirotecnia strategically set up the 37 staggering firing stations, with an estimated cost over 1 million Euros for an 8-10 minute show. Just to give you an idea of how magnificent the show is, 17 tons of fireworks with more than 660 discharges at a rate of more than 8,000 discharges per minute.
Every year, numerous cruise ships and boats fill the harbor to witness the incredible spectacle that draws people from all over the world. There are many viewpoints to watch the fireworks show. You can watch it from your hotel balcony (if it faces the bay and is well positioned in the hillsides), join the fun crowds in the streets, or rent a boat/catamaran and watch it from the sea. Madeira is without doubt an incredible place to celebrate the New Year, an experience that you won’t see or feel anywhere else.
This is a video of last year’s display, created by Hey Productions.
The Azores, has been getting a lot of good press lately, and it has been well deserved. This time, Budget Travel magazine has nominated the Portuguese Islands as one of its Top Budget Travel destinations in 2012.
Tourada à Corda (Bullfight by rope) is one of the more unique experiences that you will have on the island of Terceira. From May until October you will find bullfights in the street, in the fields, and even at the beach. While the island of Terceira has the formal Portuguese bullfight, where there are “Cavaleiros” (Horsemen), “Toureiro” (Bullfighters) and “Forcados” in a bullfighting ring, the Tourada à Corda is less formal, in that it gives the spectator the opportunity to be on the same playing field of the bull.