European Christmas markets are some of our favorite spots to visit when traveling during the holiday season. It should be no surprise that Portugal Christmas for us includes visits to some of the wonderful cities and villages that bring Christmas magic to the air.
We explore big and busy Lisbon Christmas markets to tiny villages where the whole town jumps in. Here are a few of the most interesting and fun Christmas markets in Portugal.
Christmas Markets in Lisbon, Portugal
Lisbon is the first place most people think of going when they want to find the best Christmas markets in Portugal. And there’s plenty of good reason. There are several major places to go, so depending on how much you want to absorb, you can spend time enjoying each one for its own special personality.
This is one of the biggest and most popular Christmas markets in Portugal. And it’s got all the greatest hits that visitors want. Wonderland Lisboa takes up the bulk of Park Eduardo VII with a Santa’s village, Ferris wheel, food trucks, and market stalls.
Christmas music plays throughout the park too, adding to the festive spirit. There are games for kiddies and lots of drink choices for grownups. There are plenty of fun holiday gifts and local craft items to buy, keeping the Christmas spirit alive and well. Best of all, entry is free.
Rossio Christmas Market
In the Baixa part of Lisbon, a tall Christmas tree and Saint Nick’s house set the stage for a plaza full of holiday fun. Wooden huts line the Rossio Christmas market with all kinds of goodies from artisan jewelry and handcrafted gifts to many foods and sweets. It’s fun to sample delicious items as you walk along.
Grab a creamy custard tart called pastel de nata at one booth, then hot chocolate to go with it at another. Enjoy some nuts, dried fruits, and candy, or switch gears with warm sangria or mulled port wine. The market is free and there’s a free Christmas train you can hop on at Rossio Square to ride around the Baixa neighborhood. The many booths and holiday treats rival any other Christmas markets in Europe.
Campo Pequeno Christmas Market
Another of the fabulous Lisbon Christmas markets is the Campo Pequeno Christmas market. This wonderful Portugal Christmas market has two personalities. The first days of the market are a traditional Christmas market with nearly a hundred vendors and all the crafts, gifts, and food you would expect from a traditional European Christmas market.
In the final days the market shifts to a lifestyle and gourmet market. Here you will find luxury items and unique gourmet products. Discover craft beer, gin, and cheeses made by small artisanal producers. There’s a €2 entry fee, but it comes with a €1 discount voucher for purchases over €10.
Porto Christmas Markets
There’s no more festive time to visit the beautiful north of Portugal than around Christmastime. The great city of Porto adds even more colorful visions with lights and markets that make every holiday heart sing. While it might be a bit cooler or wetter outside than down south, Porto is a city well worth enjoying for its celebratory Christmas activities.
Porto Christmas Market At The Crystal Palace
A large and beautiful Christmas market takes place in a beautiful garden setting with gorgeous views of Porto. The Mercado de Natal – Jardins do Palácio de Cristal is a great spot for everyone in the family to get into the Christmas spirit. Enjoy live music concerts, kid-friendly clowns and magicians, carolers, arts & crafts as well as Christmas decorations, toys, nativity scenes, and handcrafted gifts. The food and drinks are a highlight with cookies, sweets, street food, crepes, chocolate, mulled wine, and more.
Christmas Market By Mercado Da Alegria (Joy Market) Batalha
Just look at the faces of people visiting the Christmas Market by Joy Market and you’ll see why it is aptly named. Decorated trees, Christmas lights, fun workshops, and clowns start the cheer. Then 40+ vendors with handmade toys, jewelry, crafts, clothing, and giftable food items keep it going.
Taking over the Batalha Plaza, just about a five-minute walk from Porto’s beautiful Sao Bento train station, the market makes it easy to feel festive. Enjoy the lights and festivities in Porto at this special time.
Magic Of Christmas At WOW (World Of Wine) Vila Nova Da Gaia
A short trip over the bridge south of Porto will reward revelers with a fun and different Portugal Christmas market. World Of Wine (WOW) is a cultural district filled with museums, restaurants, shops, and activities. The holiday season turns WOW into a winter wonderland as well. On November 25th, celebrate the magic of Christmas with a brilliant Christmas tree, wandering elves, live music, youth choirs, and dancers. Visit family museums like The Chocolate Story and Cork Planet or more grownup ones like Pink Palace and The Wine Experience. Enjoy a delicious dinner at one of several restaurants. And explore the shops for trinkets and treasures throughout the season.
Other Portugal Christmas Markets
Christmas markets in Porto and Lisbon Portugal are certainly worth experiencing. But many other places offer Portugal Christmas markets too. Some of them are memorable for their beautiful location. Others because the whole town participates. These are just a few of the Christmas markets in Portugal that we think you would enjoy.
Cascais Christmas Village
A skating rink, Santa Claus house, Christmas train, enchanted forest, face painting, and real reindeer are just a few of the delights in store for visitors to the Cascais Christmas Village. Marechal Carmona Park is transformed into this magical village with music, activities, food, and shopping.
The village is now expanded to include a live nativity scene, complete with camels. The market offers Portuguese handcrafts, pottery, rugs, jewelry, and more. A large food court also supplies plenty of delicious treats to keep you energized for the fun. There is a fee for entry, with a discount for Viver Cascais cardholders.
Óbidos Vila Natal
Óbidos is a magical place any time of the year. So it’s no surprise that Portugal Christmas in the village is even more magical. Óbidos was a wedding gift from King Dinis to his lovely bride. So when you first arrive and see the castle wrapped in a giant red bow, it feels like a holiday romance for the ages.
The village is transformed each holiday season into Óbidos Christmas Village. A skating rink, holiday train, Santa house, roaming characters, and more delight visitors of all ages. This year, the village transforms into the School of Sorcerers. A giant’s house, potions laboratory, magic hall, time travel virtual reality, and court of wizards add to the fun. Several restaurants offer delicious food. Various stands and shops have treats and gifts galore.
Cabeça Aldeia Natal, Seia
Historical villages with homes made out of schist rock (xisto, in Portuguese) can be found in central Portugal. One of the most charming and delightful is Cabeça Christmas Village or Aldeia Natal. What sets this Portugal Christmas village apart is that it is the first 100% eco-sustainable Christmas village in Portugal. All materials used for decorating are taken from nature.
The approximately 170 residents take materials such as vines, leaves, corn stalks, and famous Serra da Estrela wool to create their Christmas decorations. At night, the village lights up with thousands of LED lights, making it also the first LED village in Portugal. Music, plays, films and other entertainment heighten the sense of community here. And the final piece of Christmas hospitality comes as the residents open the doors to their homes, welcoming visitors to share in the joy of Christmas with them.
Celebrate With A Portugal Christmas
We’re ready to celebrate another Christmas in Portugal. For us, it has been a real treat exploring Lisbon Christmas markets, others in Porto, and Christmas markets in Portugal all over. These are just a few of the delightful holiday celebrations awaiting residents and visitors alike.
Don’t forget that much of Portugal from the tiniest village to the biggest city also brings joy with beautiful lights. We wish you a very happy holiday season and invite you to celebrate with us for a Portugal Christmas no matter where in the world you may be.