Christmas & New Year's Eve Party in Lisboa

Praça da Figueira © Turismo de Lisboa
 During this time, the Portuguese capital prepares to host the most festive season of the year.

Enjoying a mild climate even in December, this is the ideal time to visit the city and admire the Christmas decorations and lights that light up the city, especially in the historic centre. Christmas fairs are held all around town, as well as enjoying the season's own festive spirit. The churches are filled with music and the city's main square - Terreiro do Paço - becomes the perfect host for these festivities that continue into the New Year. A 28 metre tall technological Christmas Tree has been installed here, decorated with words, film clips and real time images.

Besides being a sculptural work, designed by Portuguese artist Leonel Moura, the Christmas Tree is a medium for video projections, which collects images of the surrounding landscape, projecting them in real time onto the installation. Thus, visitors to Terreiro do Paço during the holiday season will become an integral part of the celebrations and can see themselves instantly projected on the official Christmas Tree of the Portuguese capital.

And whilst on a visit to Terreiro do Paço, this is also the ideal opportunity to discover the Lisboa Story Centre, the latest exhibit venue in the Portuguese capital. On December 6, 13 and 20, this venue extends its visiting hours until midnight with the last entry until 11pm - inviting kids and adults to learn about the history of the city, in an educational and interactive way.

Until December 22, the churches of S. Roque, Mercês, S. Nicholau, Santo Augustinho, Graça, S. Domingos and Basilica da Estrela celebrate the festive season with shows that are held at various times during the afternoon and evening.

During this holiday season, the traditional delicacies such as "Bolo Rei" (fruit cake) the irresistible "Sonhos" or the renowned "Rabanadas" (French toast) can be enjoyed in cafes and patisseries all over Lisboa. And why not go in search of the best "Bolo Rei" in town? Year after year, the competition is fierce and the recipes are enhanced to the customer's delight.

After indulging in the Christmas delicacies, prepare to lose the calories gained at the famous São Silvestre race on December 29, starting at Praça dos Restauradores and crossing the city centre.

Come the last day of the year, Lisboa prepares to give a warm welcome to 2013 and everything leads to Terreiro do Paço, the meeting point of the Portuguese capital. It is here that several Portuguese musicians go on stage to invite locals and tourists to make the countdown to the sound of music, accompanied by the traditional raisins and solemn toast with champagne.


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