Christmas Markets in Portugal?! The two aren’t normally seen as the usual combination – sun, sea and beaches are what most travellers think of when heading to southern Europe!
However, if you’re planning to visit Portugal during the festive season, you’ll be pleasantly surprised of what’s on offer during this joyful period.
From ice rinks and Santa’s Grottos to street entertainers and a plethora of festive decorations, everything is perfectly set out for a memorable time.
Here are some of the best Christmas Markets in Portugal.
Best Christmas Markets in Portugal
Much like in Northern Europe, Portugal Christmas Markets are held up and down the country. They aren’t on as grand a scale as Christmas Markets in other countries, but are just as entertaining and well worth a visit.
Here are some of the best Christmas Markets in Portugal.
Óbidos Christmas Village
The Christmas Village in Óbidos is set within the towns 12th Century castle walls, and has everything you could wish for from a European Christmas Market.
This year’s theme is ‘brightness,’ so you’ll find plenty of dazzling Christmas lights to get you into the festive spirit!
Traditionally held between the 30th of November until the 31st of December, this event sees the whole town turn into a Christmas extravaganza. With an ice rink and slide, a carousel, plenty of Christmas artisan shops, a Santa Claus chalet, a circus, plus lots of seasonal food and drink, you can’t go wrong here.
Good to know: A small entry fee into the Christmas Village is charged and tickets can either be bought on the day or online. Currently, this fee is 10 EUR for adults and 8 EUR for kids.
Lisbon Christmas Markets
If you’re looking for a decent Christmas Market in Portugal and are staying in Lisbon, there is no better place to spend your evening than Wonderland Lisboa.
Set in the 19th Century Edward VII Park, Wonderland Lisboa is right in the heart of the Portuguese capital.
It runs from the 1st of December until the 1st of January, giving you plenty of time to explore and take in all the seasonal sights and sounds.
The main attraction is a large Ferris wheel with magical views over the city. Wonderland Lisboa also has an ice rink, a large Christmas tree, carousels, trampolines, a Christmas train, and of course, plenty of food, drink, and music.
There’s also plenty of artisan shops, selling everything from regional products to sweets and handmade souvenirs.
Within walking distance to Wonderland Lisboa is the Rossio Christmas Market, which is one of the best Christmas Markets in Lisbon.
Located at Praça Dom Pedro V, Baixa-Chiado, it is comprised of scores of wooden huts selling everything from artisan gifts, gourmet foods, and unusual accessories, and is the ideal place to buy unique Christmas gifts for your friends and family.
Good to know: The Rossio Christmas Market opens on the 18th of November, and runs until the 21st of December.
Porto Christmas Markets
If your stay is in Porto, head towards the Christmas Palace, or Palácio de Natal.
This magical market is set within Porto’s Crystal Palace (Palácio de Cristal) and runs until the 30th of December.
The star of the show is the Tenda de Neve (Snow Tent), where you will find dancers, clowns, storytellers, magicians, and other entertaining characters.
You can also write letters to Santa, create your own puppets, and learn how to play percussion instruments!
Guimarães Christmas Market
Also up north is the Guimarães Christmas Market, or ‘Christmas City’ as many know it.
Here, the entire city turns into a magical seasonal oasis!
Along with its large Christmas tree and magical city-wide Christmas decorations, visitors can also enjoy a non-stop programme of concerts, markets, activities, and entertainment, all the way up until the 1st of January.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Every year, Vila Nova de Gaia in northern Portugal hosts the World of Wine Christmas Market in the town’s wine quarter, from the 26th of November until the 8th of January.
Here you can buy gorgeous handicrafts, from ceramics, to textiles, jewellery, Christmas decorations, and everything in-between.
Also in Vila Nova de Gaia you can find the Christmas Square, with a Santa’s grotto with elves, carousel, ice rink, Ferris wheel, Christmas train, and lots of other seasonal treats.
Coimbra Christmas Market
Towards central Portugal, you can choose from numerous Christmas markets!
Between the 8th and 23rd of December, visitors to Coimbra can experience the Coimbra Christmas Market held at Praça do Comércio (Commercial Plaza).
This seasonal event consists of Christmas artisan stores, concerts, a Santa’s grotto and plenty of food and drink. Many of the city’s institutions take part and help bring the market alive with magical decorations and seasonal cheer.
Coimbra Christmas Market is quite a bit smaller than some of the others on this list, but if you’re in the area, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Leiria Christmas Market
Leiria Christmas Market is another seasonal event that helps bring the magic of Christmas to life. Held between the 24th of November and the 6th of January, this Portuguese Christmas Market goes on for longer than the others to preserve that festive feeling.
Leiria Natal provides plenty of entertainment and festive joy for the whole family. Enjoy a carousel, lots of different types of hot chocolate, choirs, concerts, and lots of seasonal food.
Madeira Christmas Markets
Heading towards the stunning island of Madeira for some Madeira Christmas Markets, Funchal Christmas Market is actually regarded as one of the best in Europe!
Held from the 1st of December until the 8th of January, Funchal’s central avenues are transformed into a seasonal haven full of artisan huts, a Santa’s Grotto and with plenty of concerts and entertainment, including philharmonic bands.
Be sure to try some Madeira wine and regional products such as sugar cane honey and exotic fruit.
Head to the fish market at 8pm on December 23rd to see locals singing Christmas carols.
Cascais Christmas Market
Closer to the capital is Cascais Christmas Village, which is held every year in the stunning Parque Marechal Carmona.
Here the whole park grounds are transformed into a magical winter wonderland full of magnificent decorations.
Running until the 2nd of January, this Portugal Christmas Market features a merry-go-round, ice rink, nativity figures in the Nazarene Village, a giant snow globe for children to enter, Santa’s Grotto, and of course, a large Christmas tree.
You can also get your face painted in the Elf Workshop, or ride a train through the enchanted
Good to know: Cascais Christmas Village costs between 10-12 EUR, depending on age.
How to visit Christmas Markets in Portugal
For a stress-free tour of Portugal’s Christmas Markets, I recommend hiring a car from Auto Europe. Renting a car allows you to do things at your own pace, and not have to worry about navigating public transport, especially to some of the smaller and more difficult to reach places on this list.
Auto Europe have over 65 years of car hire experience, and consolidate great rates from local, national, and international car hire brands, meaning you’re sure to find the best deal for your car hire (they are not a car hire company themselves, but a middleman that negotiates the best deals with various rental companies).
From standard car hire to motorhomes and luxury cars, you can choose what’s most suited to you, as well as saving on money and time.
Best Christmas Markets in Portugal | Final Thoughts
As you can see, Christmas Markets in Portugal have a lot to offer, and every year, they get bigger and better.
Portugal Christmas Markets may not be on the same scale as those in Hamburg, or Krakow, but they still bring plenty of festive cheer to the people who visit them.
That’s all I’ve got for today, but as always, if you have any questions then please reach out and ask in the comments section below.
Until next time,
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