Lisbon the capital city of Portugal and the second-oldest capital (after Athens) has been voted Europes leading city destination for the third year in a row in the World Travel Awards.
This Cosmopolitan city offers visitors a blend of traditional heritage with modern vibrancy.
Located just 280km or 2.5 hours drive North of the Algarve, it is easily accessible for a day trip or short break any time of year during your holiday in Algarve.
If you are on a winter holiday in Portugal over the Christmas period, we would definitely recommend a trip to Lisbon to see the lights, decorations and Christmas Markets. It is easy to get to and you can travel there and back in a day. We would suggest staying one or two nights to fully enjoy what the city has to offer.
Christmas Time in Lisbon
If you have chosen to visit warmer climates and take a holiday in the Algarve during the winter months, then a trip to the capital city - Lisbon is definitely something we would recommend during your Winter Holiday in Portugal.
Lisbon is packed with history and tradition and the Christmas season is no exception. The capital city becomes full of colour with dazzling decorations and glowing lights in the squares and main avenues.
Around 30 streets are decorated and there are numerous Christmas markets during the period from the end of November through to the 6th January (three Kings Day). Lisbon positively Sparkles!
How to get from the Algarve to Lisbon
Train - This is our favourite way to travel to Lisbon. There are numerous trains running each day between the Algarve and Lisbon, the journey time is approx 2.45hrs. The trains offer very good value and we have found that they are always on time and very clean. The alfa pendular is the high speed train and although it costs a little more than the intercity it still offers extremely good value. It is advisable to book your train tickets in advance.
Drive - There are great road links between the Algarve and Lisbon. It is approximately 280km and takes around 2 hours and forty five minutes. The motorway is the A2 and it is a toll road.
Fly - Daily flights run between Faro, the Algarve Holiday airport and Lisbon. The journey time is approx 45 mins but by the time you have checked in at the airport etc you will not save any time going by plane.
What to see in Lisbon during the Christmas period
Praca do Comercio - The main square located at the end of the main shopping street in the centre of Lisbon on the bank of the River Tagus, this is where you will find the tallest Christmas tree in Europe with colour changing lights.
Parque Eduardo VII - This beautiful park located at the top of the main Avenida de Liberdade at the Marques de Pombal square is transformed at Christmas time into a Winter Wonderland with a giant Ferris wheel, Ice rink, Santas grotto and many markets stalls with handicrafts and food to enjoy during your Portugal vacation.
Rossio Christmas Market - Located in the heart of Lisbon, offering an interesting mix of handmade gifts and regional products, the perfect spot to find an original gift. One of the oldest bakery shops is in this square, Confeitaria Nacional, maintaining its classical style and vintage atmosphere, it is a perfect spot to try the Bolo Rei (Kings cake) which is eaten around Christmas time and especially on Kings day, January 06th.
Tram ride - Trams are an ideal way to tour the city. Tram 28 is the most well-known. The beautiful tram acts as a Lisbon sightseeing bus, bringing you around Lisbon's best tourist attractions and historical sights.
Also, not to be missed is the local Ginjinha (Cherry Liqueur). For 1€, you can get a shot glass of cherry liqueur, except instead of a glass, it is served in a chocolate cup. The chocolate is said to complement the strong taste of liqueur by eating the cup after drinking the liqueur.
Pasteis de Nata (custard tarts) - Of course no visit to Lisbon would be complete without sampling some Pasteis de Nata. Pasteis de Belem is famed for having the original recipe of Portuguese tarts, people from all corners of the world come to buy these custard tarts. They prepare up to 25,000 a day which are made using an ancient secret recipe. You can either purchase them to take away or you can eat them in the café that extends behind the shop front. There are several authentic Portuguese rooms which can be busy and noisy but full of character.
If you are staying here with us in the Algarve on your Winter Holiday and would like to visit Lisbon these are some of the best areas to visit, Alfama, Bairro Alto, Cais do Sodre. We have mentioned a few places above and would be more than happy to give you some further ideas.
With all year round blue skies and pleasant temperatures the Algarve is a great place to come for a long stay during the winter months
We have some comfortable accommodation where you will feel at home, located centrally within our resorts.
Take a look at our long stay options