Fêtes & Cérémonies

7 Best Places to Visit in Lisbon in December, Portugal (Winter)


From beautifully decorated streets to cozy cafes, cultural events, historic places, and many breathtaking viewpoints, Lisbon in December will surely capture your heart – and remember to bring an umbrella because it may rain falls during this month.

Lisbon is a center of culture and commerce in Western Europe, known for its peaceful mountains and charming sandy coast.

Portugal’s largest city, it is recognized as one of the world’s preferred places to live in tranquility.

So if you are asking yourself is it a good idea to visit Lisbon in December? The answer is definitely YES!

The city gets ready for Christmas: the streets are lit up, there are craft markets, family-friendly cultural events, and the aroma of roasted chestnuts and Bolo Rei permeates the air. This is the ideal time to enjoy the charm of the little areas that distinguish the Portuguese capital as a special travel destination.

Lisbon has a lot to offer visitors, and even though this month brings more rain and cold than usual, the city’s mild climate makes it possible for you to enjoy all the activities we have planned. Remember to bring your umbrella!

Are you still considering visiting Lisbon? We list the must-see suggestions in this post if you plan a December trip to Lisbon.

A Glimpse Of This Blog:

  • December in Lisbon offers a unique blend of festive cheer, cultural richness, and mild winter weather. Here are some of the best places to visit in Lisbon during this enchanting month: Alfama, Castelo de São Jorge, Belém district, a few breathtaking viewpoints, many museums, Jerónimos Monastery, and Carmo Convent.
  • Lisbon weather experiences relatively mild, with lows of 8 or 9 degrees Celsius and highs of 15 or 16 degrees. December is a great time to visit Lisbon because there are fewer tourists and more time to explore.
  • Lisbon during December transforms into a city of enchantment, blending its rich cultural tapestry with the festive spirit of the Christmas season. Here’s a list of the best things to do in Lisbon during this magical month: visit a Christmas market, take a food and Portuguese wine walking tour, take a live Fado & Alfama tour, Take a Pastel de Nata Baking Class, and stick around for New Year’s Eve.
  • Packing layers—a variety of sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and a waterproof jacket—will help you accommodate fluctuating temperatures. For touring Lisbon’s beautiful streets and viewpoints, don’t forget essentials like comfortable shoes.
  • The neighborhoods of Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Principe Real, and Barrio Alto are excellent choices to consider when searching for accommodation. Some of our top picks for Lisbon are WOT Lisbon Nomad, The Editory, and The Lumiares Hotel & Spa.

Best Places to Visit Lisbon in December

Explore the hills of Alfama

The most historic and beautiful neighborhood in Lisbon is Alfama, which is a must-see when visiting Lisbon. 

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Explore the historic Alfama district, where narrow streets are adorned with Christmas lights, and the soulful sounds of Fado music fill the air.

Additionally, some of the most iconic views and sights in Lisbon can be found here, such as the Miradouro das Portas do Sol and the Miradouro de Santa Luiza.

However, in other words, Alfama’s popularity and hills combine to make it an ideal destination for exploration in the less crowded, colder months of December, January, and February.

Walk the walls of the São Jorge castle

São Jorge Castle

December is the ideal time to visit the Castelo de São Jorge, one of Lisbon’s top attractions.

Walking the walls of Castelo de São Jorge in Lisbon is a captivating experience that offers not only panoramic views of the city but also a journey through centuries of history. 

Nevertheless, the place is so popular that, for the majority of the year, there are lines to enter the grounds.

Kate, an enthusiastic traveler, advises – “It’s nice to have more space because the castle’s main attraction is walking around the ramparts, which are much less crowded in the winter.”

In addition, Castelo de São Jorge gives you a unique perspective on Lisbon’s current beauty and enables you to make a connection with its history.

Visit Belém Neighbourhood

Belém Neighbourhood
Photo credit: Hoodpicke

Visit Belém, a charming neighborhood known for its iconic landmarks.

Also, Belém Tower is located in the Belém district of Lisbon, Portugal. It stands specifically at the point where the Tagus River empties into the Atlantic Ocean. 

A masterpiece of architecture, Belém Tower is a representation of Portugal’s maritime past.

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, is Belem Tower, did you know that? This legendary fortress embodies centuries of history and exploration legends.

Admire the views from Lisbon’s many miradouros

Viewpoints in Lisbon

Built on 7 steep hills, Lisbon is known for its many breathtaking viewpoints or miradouros.

Lisbon offers a lot of breathtaking views, but it’s especially worthwhile to visit the Miraodouro das Portas do Sol, Miradouro de São Pedro de Alcantara, Miradouro da Graça, and the Miradouro da Santa Luzia.

Be prepared for a nice leg workout to reach those beautiful views!

See the stunning Jerónimos Monastery

Jerónimos Monastery

The Jerónimos Monastery, which dates back to the early 16th century, is considered a leading example of the region’s Portuguese Gothic Manueline architecture and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Nestled in the historic district of Belém in Lisbon, this stunning monastery invites visitors to step back in time and marvel at the intricate details of its design and the historical significance it holds.

The monastery is a wonderful place to visit any time of year because it is filled with amazing detail and is even more gorgeous within.

Megan, an enthusiastic traveler, advises – “Still, the less crowded winter months are a great time to enjoy it because it’s one of the most popular things to do in Lisbon. In case there are any lines, get your ticket in advance.”

Recommended read 17 Best UNESCO World Heritage Sites In Portugal: A Complete Guide

Check out the Carmo Convent

Carmo Convent

Constructed between 1389 and 1423, the Carmo Convent is a unique Gothic church in Lisbon due to its lack of a roof!

Lisbon, with its labyrinthine streets and rich tapestry of historical landmarks, unfolds stories of resilience and endurance.

One of my best attractions in Lisbon is the church, which was destroyed in the famous earthquake of 1755 and was never fully rebuilt. It opens to the sky.

However, the Carmo Convent invites you to pause, reflect, and appreciate the enduring spirit of Lisbon!

Take a break from the rain at one of Lisbon’s best museums

Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology

Not surprisingly, Lisbon, the lively capital of Europe, offers an amazing selection of museums! 

From ancient artifacts to modern masterpieces, Lisbon’s cultural institutions offer a kaleidoscopic journey through the ages.

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Excellent places to start are the Museum of Art, Architecture, and Technology (MAAT), the National Azulejo Museum, the Fado Museum, and the Calouste Gulbenkian Museum.

How is Lisbon Winter Weather?

Lisbon Winter Weather

The temperature in Lisbon in December only drops to 8 or 9 degrees Celsius, and it still reaches highs of 15 or 16 degrees. Lisbon will probably see a quick change in weather in December, even if it is overcast or raining. It also won’t be extremely cold.

For rainy and sunny days though, be ready with an umbrella and a few indoor activities in mind. Lisbon has lots to offer in this regard.

Moreover, December in Lisbon is a unique and charming experience, blending the festive spirit of the holiday season with the city’s mild Mediterranean climate. The city adorns its streets with dazzling lights and decorations, creating a warm and inviting atmosphere.

It’s the best time to enjoy the city’s landmarks because there are fewer visitors at the tourist attractions.

Lisbon’s New Year’s Eve festivities, candlelit processions, and scenic viewpoints make for an unforgettable December visit to this charming European city.

Things to Do in Lisbon in Winter

Visit a Christmas Market

Christmas Market

Immerse yourself in the festive atmosphere by exploring Lisbon’s Christmas markets. Locals and tourists gather at these seasonal markets, which become hubs of celebration.

It’s an excellent place to find unique gifts for loved ones because most shops and stores sell handcrafted goods and holiday accents. In addition, Christmas markets feature kid-friendly entertainment, live music performances, and food demonstrations.

Go on a Food and Wine Walking Tour

Food and Wine Walking Tour
Photo credit: Viator

Experience the soul-stirring melodies of Portugal by cozying up at night with a Fado show in Lisbon.

Fado is a song typically sung in crowded bars or cafes with the intent to express and provoke intense emotions of longing, nostalgia, and sadness.

Enjoy an enchanting evening as the haunting tunes and heartfelt lyrics transport you to the heart of Portuguese emotions, making it a memorable night out in the charming capital city.

Take a Live Fado & Alfama Tour

Fado show

Experience the soul-stirring melodies of Portugal by cozying up at night with a Fado show in Lisbon. Fado is music usually sung in crowded bars or cafes with the intent to express and provoke intense emotions of longing, nostalgia, and sadness.

Enjoy an enchanting evening as the haunting tunes and heartfelt lyrics transport you to the heart of Portuguese emotions, making it a memorable night in the charming capital city.

Attend a Pastel de Nata Baking Class

Pastel de Nata Baking Class

Indulge in a sweet and interactive experience by taking a Pastel de Nata Baking Class in Lisbon. This hands-on culinary adventure invites you to delve into the art of crafting Portugal’s iconic custard tarts. Led by skilled instructors, the class unfolds the secrets behind the delicate pastry and creamy custard filling.

This delightful class food tour guarantees a tasty and unforgettable memory from your stay in the vibrant capital, combining culinary exploration with cultural immersion.

Stick around for New Year’s Eve

New Year's Eve
Photo credit: Tourhub

Celebrate the New Year with Fireworks and Free Concerts. See the magnificent fireworks in Praça do Comércio (Terreiro Do Paco), a large plaza in the heart of Lisbon that is crowded with restaurants and bars.

Dinner cruises and Fado shows, which feature traditional music, at Café Luso, Clube de Fado, or Adega Machado, are another two Lisbon New Year’s Eve activities.

Whenever you choose to go, you definitely will have an unforgettable time!

Weather in December: What to Pack, What to Wear

What to wear

December is a yearly cold period in Europe where the temperature is expected most likely to fall to zero or below (at least by Lisbon standards). December was the 2nd wettest in Lisbon after November but the total rainfall in the month could differ from year to year.

Lisbon is a warmer winter destination in Europe, so you won’t need to pack extra for a visit during the colder months.

However, we created a packing list with a range of items for you to ensure you are ready for any kind of weather during the wintertime in Portugal.

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Here’s what you’ll need to pack for winter in Lisbon:

  • During the day, wear a light coat and scarf
  • A warmer winter jacket for chilly evenings, days, or day trips to locations like Sintra
  • A woolen hat in particular if you’re feeling cold or going on day excursions
  • Gloves, especially if you feel the cold 
  • Cozy winter shoes or boots and warm socks

Also, remember to pack a small umbrella and a water-resistant backpack in case of rain.

What are the best places to stay in Lisbon in Winter?

Where to stay in Lisbon

One of the many benefits of traveling to Lisbon in December is that accommodations will be significantly less expensive than they would be in the summer — and Lisbon is already one of Europe’s most affordable capital cities!

Leonor, a local boy, advises – “While there are many wonderful neighborhoods in Lisbon to stay in, I suggest choosing a place in the heart of the city with easy access to public transportation.”

When looking for places to stay, Alfama, Baixa, Chiado, Principe Real, and Barrio Alto are excellent names to keep in mind.

WOT Lisbon Nomad is a great, central option for those looking for a budget hostel experience and wants advantage of the recreation opportunities.

The location and excellent reviews of The Editory Riverside Santa Apolonia are unbeatable at a mid-range price.

In the mood for some luxury? You won’t soon forget the breathtaking views at The Lumiares Hotel & Spa. This hotel offers a spa, which offers massages, body treatments, and facials. Also, there is a sauna and a 24-hour fitness center.

Find your perfect accommodation and book your stay in Lisabon today!

FAQ

What are the best fun activities to do in Lisbon in December?

In December in Lisbon, you can enjoy the festive spirit with activities like exploring Christmas markets, attending holiday concerts, and visiting historic sites like São Jorge Castle and Belém. Also, New Year’s Eve celebrations in important places such as Praça do Comércio.

Does it Snow in Lisbon in winter?

Snow is a rare occurrence in Lisbon during winter. The city experiences a mild Mediterranean climate, and snowfall is infrequent. While it may happen on rare occasions, snow is not a typical feature of Lisbon’s winter weather. The last snow was recorded in 2006 when the thermometers marked 0.5 degrees in the capital.

Is it worth visiting Lisbon in the winter?

Yes, visiting Lisbon in winter is worth it. The city experiences mild temperatures, fewer crowds, and a festive atmosphere.

What is the coldest month in Lisbon?

The coldest month in Lisbon is usually January, with average low temperatures ranging from 8 to 11 degrees Celsius (46 to 52 degrees Fahrenheit).

Are there Christmas markets in Lisbon?

Yes, Lisbon hosts Christmas markets during the holiday season, those are Wonderland Lisboa, Campo Pequeno, the Christmas market at Rossio Square, and many more outside of Lisbon.

Here you will find more information about Lisbon’s Christmas markets.

Which parts of Portugal are warm in winter?

In Portugal, the southern regions, particularly the Algarve, tend to be warm during winter.

Which city is better in winter – Porto or Lisbon?

Both Porto and Lisbon have their charm in winter. Lisbon tends to be milder, making it more comfortable for outdoor activities, while Porto has a cozy and festive atmosphere.

What are the best day trips from Lisbon in winter?

In the winter, Lisbon offers great day trips that include:

  • Sintra
  • Arrabida Natural Park
  • Cabo da Roca
  • Óbidos
  • Fatima
  • Nazare
  • Alcochete
  • Évora
  • Sesimbra
  • Costa da Caparica

Browse. Book. Stay.

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