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Portugal at Christmas time

We are considering a trip to Portugal arriving a day or two after Christmas and staying through New Years.
Will there be enough things open in Lisbon and the Algarve to be a worthwhile trip?
I know it won't be very warm in the Algarve, but if the weather is clear, will there be good outdoor things to do at that time of year?

Posted by
154 posts

Lisbon will be a nice city during this time period but I don't expect there to much going on or open in the smaller Algarve towns. Lagos and Faro will probably have more going on but even they may have a lot of the tourist oriented options closed. I would still visit Lisbon but maybe stick to a bigger city like Porto for your exploring options.

Posted by
233 posts

I was in Portugal from Dec 25-31 in 2007, arrived in Lisbon, train/bus down to Sagres (stayed 2 days), then bus/train back to Lisbon, then day-trips from Lisbon. I did all the traditional tourist things (toured the Fortaleza in Sagres, biked from Sagres to Cape St. Vincent and back, day-trip to Belem, day-trip to Sintra to see the Pena Palace and walk around the Moorish Castle) and enjoyed the "warm" (to a Michigan girl) weather--just had to wear a fleece at most. I loved my trip to Portugal at that time of year and would go back in a heartbeat. Lisbon was fogged in one day (the day I went to Belem--my pictures of Monument to the Discoveries and the Belem Tower are shrouded in heavy fog!), but I pressed on. It rained heavily the day I arrived, but I had pretty clear weather other than that.

It's been 7 years, but I would still think it would be a worthwhile trip. I hope you get a chance to go!

Posted by
23 posts

I was in Lisbon from Dec. 19 to Dec. 29 in 2012 and had a great time. On the 24th most things were open until early evening, but some restaurants and shops, especially in the tourist areas, were open into the evening. Christmas Day there were enough restaurants open that we weren't in danger of starving. We went to Mass at the cathedral at noon on Christmas Day--aren't Catholic and don't speak Portuguese, but it was a great adventure. We went to the aquarium in the afternoon, and by evening more things were open. The weather was pleasant for someone from Massachusetts, the people were lovely, and the food good. I would do it again without reservation.