What to Do in Lisbon around Christmas? 5 Best Experiences!

Written By Mihaela Gutu

Will you be visiting Lisbon around Christmas? Are you looking for events to add to your Portuguese checklist? Look no more! We’ve found some events you will not want to miss! If you’re traveling with your children, the better – they’ll definitely enjoy the magic.

So keep reading to discover the five best events to attend in Lisbon around Christmas! Let us know what you’ve chosen because we’re eager to wish you great holidays! 

1. Circo de Natal

If you’re looking for a once-in-a-lifetime experience in Lisbon that will make your Christmas trip memorable, don’t even hesitate to buy a ticket for Circo de Natal! The magic atmosphere unraveled by the show has been enchanting locals and tourists for more than 100 years.

Every year in December, the circus invites people to share with them a breathtaking evening at Coliseu dos Recreios. Viewers can see acrobats, magicians, clowns, and not only perform incredible acts!

This year, Circo de Natal performs at Coliseu de Recreios in Sala Polivalente from the 10th until the 26th of December, as well as on the 1st and 2nd of January 2024. The ticket prices vary from 25 EUR to 30 EUR, with exceptions for children under 12 years and seniors over 65.

The tickets are already sold out for some days – that’s how famous the circus is! Luckily, some days still have tickets left, so book your seat now and enjoy an amazing evening with your family or friends!

Just for your reference, Coliseu dos Recreios is located in Lisbon, on Rua das Portas de Santo Antão, 96. It is close to Avenida da Liberdade and Monumeto aos Restauradores, so you can take the blue Metro line to get there.

2. Cirque du Soleil

If you’ve enjoyed Circo de Natal or you’ve always wanted to see Cirque du Soleil but never actually got to do this, this is your chance!

Cirque du Soleil is probably the world’s most famous and largest circus producer. It was established in 1984 and has been awe-striking viewers ever since!

This year, Cirque du Soleil comes to Altice Arena in Portugal from the 20th until the 30th of December – just around Christmas, how perfect is this?! They will perform daily (except on the 24th of December) at various hours.

The ticket prices vary between 45 EUR and 104 EUR. Cirque du Soleil will perform the OVO show, possibly their most exciting performance, which puts life and the cycle of life on top of everything. It focuses on the world of insects, as you’ll notice in the Ovo logo – the two Os are an insect’s eyes, while the V grows into two antennae.

The characters of the show are, obviously, insects and include a ladybug, a dragonfly, spiders, fleas, butterflies, and others. The artists will perform ten acrobatic acts, including hand balancing and foot juggling, as well as acts on aerial hoops.

In short, this is an excellent chance for you and your kids to see a show that will certainly take your breath away! The best thing about it is that you can even buy a ticket for the 25th of December – the ideal Christmas gift! 

Photo by Dennis Jarvis (Flickr)

3. The Christmas Boat

If you’re coming to Lisbon with your children around Christmas, we promise they (and you too!) will love taking a trip with the Christmas Boat! Not only will you have fun, but you’ll also enjoy the views of the Tagus River. It takes place on the 17th of December at 11:30, 14:00, and 15:30. The boat is filled with Christmas decorations, ensuring a magical atmosphere!

The staff has prepared for the little ones a myriad of games, face painting, and even a Christmas show. Parents won’t have time to get bored either, as there’s a program for the whole family! Although the activities take place inside the boat, the staff allows participants to go to the 1st floor and delight in the enchanting views.

The departure point is at Terreiro do Paço – Sul e Sueste Terminal and the trip lasts 1 hour. The tickets for adults are 13 EUR, for children (3-10 years old) – 6 EUR, and for teenagers (11-16 years old) – 10 EUR. There’s also a promotion for families of two adults and two children, which amounts to 34 EUR.

We must also mention that the events will be held in Portuguese. However, we think that children are quite good at understanding each other and having fun without even bothering about the languages they speak!

4. Watch Your Favorite Christmas Movie

If you visit cinesociety.pt, you’ll learn that they are organizing movie nights for fans to watch their favorite Christmas movies! Here are the films that will be shown:

  • Die Hard – 14th of December
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone – 16th of December
  • Home Alone – 17th of December
  • Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas – 21st of December

You’ll be able to watch the films in the original language. However, they’ll have subtitles in Portuguese, just in case you want to practice!

Photo by Felix Mooneeram (Unsplash)

5. Attend La Sylphide, a Romantic Ballet

Are you a culture enthusiast? Do you enjoy an exquisite night out, watching professionals perform on stage a story told without any words? If so, La Sylphide, the first romantic ballet that marked a turning point in the history of dance, is definitely worth considering.

La Sylphide premiered in 1832 in Paris, and the public absolutely loved it! Back then, the performance was choreographed by Filippo Taglioni, while the music was created by Jean Schneitzhoeffer. A few years later, however, a second version of the ballet premiered. It was choreographed by August Buornaville and still stands as one of the oldest surviving ballets in the world.

Sounds quite intriguing, right?! Well, the experience is undoubtedly awe-inspiring! You can savor the La Sylphide ballet at Teatro Nacional de São Carlos until the 17th of December. After Christmas, on the 29th and the 30th of December, the artists will perform in Almada (which isn’t far from Lisbon) at Teatro Municipal Joaquim Benite.

Teatro Nacional de São Carlos. Photo by Janko Hoener (Flickr)
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