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7 magical Lisbon Christmas markets

 It’s the most wonderful time of the year in the most wonderful city. People visit Lisbon year-round for sunny days, colorful buildings, amazing food. Something special happens in Lisbon at Christmas, though. Twinkling lights drape across azulejo-tiled buildings and massive Christmas trees dot the city’s praças. Lisbon Christmas markets pop up across the city, bringing a spirit of cheer, and a holiday culture you won’t find anywhere else!

If you spend Christmas in Lisbon, you can expect chestnuts roasting on an open fire, mild weather, and the most magical holiday vibe– not marred by numb fingers and toes. With over 210 kilometers of lights strung by the city, you’ll feel the Christmas spirit everywhere you go!

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The best Christmas markets in Lisbon

Rossio Christmas Market

November 19 – December 19, 2021
10 am to 9:30 pm – Sunday to Thursday
10 am to 10:30 pm – Friday, Saturdays 

Did you know that Baixa (downtown) has over 1,500 stores? While you’re out shopping for souvenirs and Christmas gifts, be sure to visit the Rossio Christmas Market! Visit PraçaDom Pedro IV for the full winter wonderland experience. 

When I visited, Minnie Mouse and a couple of Frosty the Snowmen posed for pictures with visitors as a jazz band played “Santa Claus is Coming to Town.” 

As you stroll around the stalls, you’re sure to feel the festive Natal (Christmas) spirit– the Portuguese way! Taste mulled wine, dried fruits, and porco preto (black pig) sandwiches. 

You might come for the food and festivities, but there’s so much to see and do here! Little ones can ride the Christmas train every day from 12 pm – 8 pm.  As you shop, be sure to check with participating stores for a free voucher. 

White train with a Santa face stopped next to a candy cane striped pole

Christmas train Rossio market

At the center of the market, you’ll find life-sized dioramas. My favorite was the Sardines com Todos (sardines with everyone) art exhibit.

Wall of sardine cans with Sardines com todos in neon lights

Sardines with everyone art

Did you know that Lisbon is home to a famous doll hospital? The Hospital de Bonecas, traces its roots to 1830 when neighborhood children brought their sick and injured dolls to Dona Carlota for treatment. Nearly 200 years later, the “doctors” at The Hospital de Bonecas are still giving old dolls new life. You can visit the museum year-round for €2, but at this Lisbon Christmas market, you can get a sneak peek! 

Baby dolls form a nativity scene

Baby dolls from the Lisbon Hospital de Bonecas form a nativity scene

Mercado da Baixa

November 25 – December 8, 2021

When you visit the Rossio Market, make it a 2-for-1 experience! From  November 25 – December 8, 2021, visit the Downtown Market in the neighboring Praça da Figueira for traditional and regional products. 

Mercado da Baixa

Be sure to check out ginja or moscatel sangria for a Portuguese twist on typical mulled wine! 

Moscatel Sangria at Mercado da Baixa

Diplomatic Bazaar

Lisbon Congress Centre

November 26 + 27
11 am – 7 pm

While this isn’t technically a Christmas market in Lisbon, the Diplomatic Bazaar is a great place to do your Christmas shopping! If you’re missing world travel, this two-day event is almost as good as packing your suitcase. Thirty embassies, Mainland Portugal, and the autonomous regions of Azores and Madeira represent five continents through products and gastronomic delights. 

Table with Toddy spread, alcohol, and microwave popcorn

Diplomatic Bazaar – Brazilian food and alcohol

The American Embassy participated a few years ago by selling jeans, peanut butter, cake mixes, and chocolates. Who knows what you’ll find this year! (Update: you won’t find the US this year! Because of Thanksgiving, the Americans took 2021 off!) 

When you shop at the Diplomatic Bazaar, you can feel good about your purchases. The proceeds from the event are donated to charities that support people living in poverty. 

Don’t miss out on the food! I had a HUGE meal from Mozambique (think FOUR Tupperware containers to hold it all) and a drink for just €6.50! Discounted products and super cheap food make the €2 entry fee well worth it! 

Natalis

Feira Internacional de Lisboa, Parque das Nações

November 24, 25, and 28: 3:00 pm to 9:00 pm
November 26 and 27: 3:00 pm to 11:00 pm

Natalis is a 5-day event, so mark your calendar! If you happen to visit Lisbon on one of its rare rainy days, Natalis is a perfect indoor Christmas market option. Live music fills the pavilion with holiday cheer, and vendors offer unique handmade products you won’t find anywhere else! 

Admission is free and the FIL will be FULL of holiday cheer! Come for Christmas decorations, nativity sets, locally made products, clothing, jewelry, and of course– food! I was a huge fan of all the free samples of meat, cheese, chocolate, and ice cream. One foodie item you *can’t* eat? All the gorgeous cakes that are on display! 

Two minions stacked next to a Christmas tree

Take a sneak peek at the confirmed vendors on the Natalis Facebook page. While you’re there, check out the times for storytelling, book signings, and the Santa parade!

Natalis Christmas market Lisbon

Bring the whole family, because Natalis is known to offer Christmas-themed activities for kids of all ages to enjoy! 

Art for kids at Natalis

Wonderland Lisboa

Parque Eduardo VII

December 1, 2021 – January 2, 2022
Monday – Thursday: 12pm – 9pm
Friday (also December 7): 12 pm – midnight
Saturday: 10 am – midnight
Sunday (also December 1 & 8): 10 am – 10 pm
December 24 & 31: 10 am – 4 pm
December 25 & January 1: 4 pm – midnight

Ok, those opening hours are a lot to take in, but stick with me, and it’ll be worth it! Are you ready for a full month of magical Christmas in Lisbon’s Parque Eduardo VII? Now in its 6th year, Wonderland Lisboa promises 60 stalls full of local souvenirs, sweets, gastronomic delights, fashion, and accessories. 

Wonderland Lisboa donuts

Get one of the best views in Lisbon (zero hills involved) when you take a ride on the 30-meter (that’s almost 100 feet) Ferris wheel! From there, you’ll get a 360° view of Lisbon and an epic look at Wonderland Lisboa’s giant Christmas tree. 

Ferris wheel at Wonderland Lisboa

Their website says there’s an ecological skating rink onsite, which consumes ZERO water or energy and I am so excited to find out exactly what that means. (I waited in line, but since this is a free activity, I gave up on the line.) After a disastrous attempt skating on a plastic rink in Dallas, Texas, I’ve got my fingers crossed for real ice this time! I’ll update you as soon as I make it to the ice! 

Little ones can take a ride on the Christmas train, jump on the trampolines, or go for a spin on the carousel. Oh, and don’t forget to stop by and say hello to Pai Natal at Santa’s Village! 

Wonderland Lisboa

Don’t miss out on Quinta dos Macedo, for the best hot chocolate in Portugal (according to their sign) and a sardine-shaped pastry. Chocolate, cinnamon, and cream filling– this might be one of the best desserts in Lisbon

Sardine pastry

Reino do Natal

Parque da Liberdade, Sintra 

December 1 – 23, 2021
Thursday + Friday 9 am – 5 pm
Saturday + Sunday 11 am – 7 pm
December 21 – 23 11 am – 7 pm 

Sintra is one of my favorite day trips from Lisbon any time of year, but it’s extra special at Christmastime! The Reino do Natal (free entry) is nestled in the hills and caves of Parque da Liberdade, and this market is straight out of a fairytale. The day I visited, the market was ensconced in fog, but that made it feel all the more enchanted! 

Reino do Natal Sintra Christmas market

Tell Pai Natal (Santa Claus) your Christmas wish and hang out for a little chat! When I visited, I told him that I hoped he’d get lots of good cookies this Christmas, and he told me he loves ALL cookies and he’s excited to get cookies at every house. I offered to fill in, just in case he runs into any trouble. I hope nothing happens, but I’m keeping December 24th open, just in case!

Pai Natal at Reino do Natal

Play mini-golf, snack your way through the park, or take your little ones to make Christmas tree ornaments and watch engaging theatre performances. 

Reino do Natal minigolf

Say hi to one of the three wise men, who will direct you to a nativity set inside a hidden cave. 

Nativity scene in Sintra cave

Stop by the Associação Animais de Rua kiosk, where you can buy trinkets for €1 or stuffed animals for €3 in support of street animals. 

Christmas trees decorated by schoolchildren

The only thing I noticed missing from Reino do Natal were the traditional Christmas market huts, but lo and behold! The Mercado de Natal, located at Terreiro Rainha D. Amélia is super cute! Shop for unique handmade journals, local honey, or jam– made from apples that, until recently, were close to extinction! 

Reino do Natal Sintra

Cascais Vila Natal 

Parque Marechal Carmonal 

December 5 – January 5, 2022
December 5-6 + 10-13, 2021: 10 am – 7 pm
December 7 – 8 + December 14 – 23, 26 – 30, January 2 – 5, 2022: 11 am – 8 pm
December 24 + 31: 11 am – 5 pm
December 25 + January 1: 2 pm – 8 pm 

The Cascais Christmas Village promises live reindeer and camels to make visits to see Pai Natal and the living nativity even more special. 

Ice skate, sled down a hill, visit the Enchanted Forest, ride the Christmas train and check out a life-sized snow globe. If you’re looking for Christmas magic, you’ll find it in Cascais. 

Entry is €6.50 for adults– don’t forget to buy your tickets in advance

Which Lisbon Christmas market are you most excited to visit? 

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