We will be in Portugal Dec 20-Dec 31st and looking for ideas on where to spend Christmas Eve/Christmas Day. We plan to split our time between Lisbon and Porto and take day trips from both cities, but very open to itinerary suggestions. There seems to be some great towns and sites outside of these cities to not miss as well. Based on my research thus far, it seems important to be at a hotel that serves food on the holidays as many restaurants and shops will be closed for Christmas. Any and all ideas welcomed, including side trips and must do tours. Thanks so much!
Unless you want a Christmas Eve and Christmas Day dinner of Indian food, it is best to be in a hotel for those days. But, pretty much everything will be open all other days during that time. Lisbon has a Christmas Fair in Rossio in normal years. It didn’t happen last year and I haven’t heard anything about this Christmas. The lights in Chiado and other places around the city are nice.
From Lisbon, day trips to Evora, Sintra, Mafra, Queluz palace, Ericeira and Cascais are all doable. From Porto you can day trip to Braga, Guimarães and to the Douro. Matosinhos is right outside of Porto and easy on the bus or metro. It has a string a very good fish restaurants where one can watch them grill the fish. It’s a ‘must ‘ for me each time I visit Porto. The Douro might not be very exciting at that time of the year since the vines will appear dead. But, if some of the day trip companies still operate, it’s a sight to see plus you get to sample some good Portuguese wine.
As I’m sure you already know, be prepared for some rainy and cool days during December. But the sunny days are glorious!