Anyone spending time in Lisbon will agree – it’s one of the best family holiday destinations in Portugal. But is there anything to do there in the winter? Luckily, there’s plenty! When you’re staying in a Roomspace serviced apartment, you’re never more than a stone’s throw from fun, festivities and food.
As our Portuguese General Manager explains, Lisbon is a small and affordable city, with sunshine for over 200 days every year and English-speaking locals – making it the perfect place for family holidays. Here’s our guide to the top five things to do during the Christmas season in Lisbon.
Get your bearings by riding Tram 28
When you arrive in any new city, it takes a while to get your bearings. In Lisbon, the best way to do that is to take a trip on a 1930s yellow tram. Tram 28 takes in a scenic route through the popular tourist neighbourhoods of Alfama, Baixa, Estrela and Graca. The Christmas season in Lisbon is the best time to ride this tram, as it can get pretty busy during the peak summer period. Even so, the best places to board, to guarantee a seat, are the Martim Moniz or Camp Ourique stops. A single ticket costs €3, or you can buy an unlimited 24-hour ticket from a metro station for €6.40.
The Martim Moniz stop is an 11-minute walk from our Castle View apartment.
Visit the Castelo de Sao Jorge
If you enjoy history and architecture, you won’t want to miss Castelo de Sao Jorge. With fortifications dating from the first century, it was eventually conquered by the Portuguese during the 1147 Siege of Lisbon. Since then, it’s been a royal palace, a military barracks and home of the national archives. Now, it’s a popular museum and tourist attraction. Entry is €10 – free for under 10s. Free tours are available, as is a café and some snack and drink kiosks.
The castle is a 12-minute walk from our Castle View apartment.
Take a food tour
It wouldn’t be a holiday without sampling some of the local cuisine, so this Christmas season in Lisbon, make like the locals and try some of the delicious seafood that Portugal is famous for. For the best experience, there are plenty of food tours available.
Although pricey, the Oh, My Cod! tours have excellent reviews and are a great way to treat yourself during the Christmas holiday season. Their Original Lisbon Food and Wine Tour, meeting under the Arch of Rua Augusta, includes more than 17 tastings at five venues. You’ll try snacks, tapas, contemporary and traditional dishes and wine and find out about cooking techniques, cultural influences and flavours. This is one for those who prefer to holiday away from the popular tourist spots, as they promise: “We take you to places you wouldn’t find on your own. We serve meals you wouldn’t order and tell you things you can’t Google”.
The Arch of Rua Augusta is a three-minute walk from our Castle View apartment and a six-minute walk from our City Riverview apartment.
Listen to traditional Portuguese music
The weather in Lisbon during the winter months is generally warmer than some other European cities, but if you get caught in the rain or travel during a particularly cold spell, why not experience some traditional Portuguese Fado music?
There are plenty of venues in the city where you can enjoy a meal while listening to Fado music – and if you like it, you can find out more about this aspect of Portuguese culture! The Museu do Fado is an interactive museum where you can discover the history and musicians associated with Fado music through interactive exhibits.
The museum is a 19-minute walk from our City Riverview apartment or just 15 minutes from our Castle View apartment.
Enjoy a winter market
Christmas season in Lisbon wouldn’t be complete without a trip to a winter market. Wonderland Lisboa, in Eduardo VII Park, is a huge event combining a ferris wheel, an ice rink and a Santa’s village. As you’d expect, there’s also a variety of food and drink stalls and festive lights and decorations. The market itself sells local handicrafts, clothing, accessories and confectionery. Wonderland Lisboa is a 12-minute drive from our Castle View apartment.
Alternatively, in Marechal Carmona Park, you’ll find Cascais Christmas Village. Here, you can find Santa’s house, real reindeer, a Christmas train, a snow globe and an ice rink. Those visiting Lisbon with children can make the most of shows by the elves and a post office where they can post their letters to Father Christmas.
If you’re looking for last-minute Christmas purchases, Natalis Indoor Christmas Market at Feira Internacional de Lisboa is the destination you need. You’ll find Christmas decorations, gifts, festive crafts and gourmet food.
Contact us to book now!
If the lights and sights of Lisbon are calling to you, find out more about Roomspace’s serviced apartments in Lisbon and how to book a stay with us for your Christmas holidays.
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