I’ve decided that it’s time to put a plug in for the countries of Southern Europe at this time of year, as a place for a Christmas or even a New Year break.
We really enjoyed the Christmas lights of Lisbon in early December, which gave us a festive feel, but in the daytime we could sightsee without having to put on every layer of clothing we possessed. OK, we had a bit of rain, but we also had a couple of warm sunny days when you could feel the warmth of the the sun on your face or sit and soak it up in a pavement cafe.
Because of the more temperate climate, there was a lively atmosphere with people out socialising on the streets, taking the night air on the terrace of Sao Pedro de Alcantara with a view over the city rooftops, or wandering the narrow streets of teh Bairro Alto, packed with bars, restaurants and nightclubs.
We found that the elegant neighbourhood of Chiado was great for wandering at night, with upmarket bars and cafes, including a Brasileira where all the tourists stop for a coffee to admire the Art Nouveau interior and bronze statue of the poet Fernado Pessoa outside. Chiado also had the best Christmas Lights, including the enormous blue heart in the main square of Praca Luis de Camoes, named after the Portuguese Writer and poet who chronicled the voyages of explorer, Vasco da Gama.
From Chiado it’s just a short stroll into the warren of streets that make up Bairro Alto, the place to head for nightlife and live music especially Fado, the mournful folk music of Lisbon. If you’ll be in Lisbon over New Year, you’ll find plenty of revelry in this neighbourhood and the chances of snow on the ground are slim, so enjoy in comfort. Happy New Year!
Photos by Heatheronhertravels
Lisbon Travel Tips
Get more ideas on things to do in Lisbon in our Best of Lisbon post.