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New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, Portugal, is a vibrant celebration filled with fireworks, music, and traditional Portuguese cuisine. The city offers a variety of activities and events to ring in the New Year, making it an exciting destination for locals and tourists alike.

As someone who dislikes the cold, I like that Lisbon is slightly warmer than other European cities during the winter. So let’s dive into all you need to know about New Years Eve in Lisbon 2023.

New Years Eve in Lisbon 2023

Photo By Lisbon Guru

Flight Deals for Lisbon

Flying to Lisbon for Christmas or New Year means a pricier flight as it starts going up as you get closer to the dates. If you fly to Lisbon in early December, you will find a great deal. Here are my top tips for finding flights.

First, check flights.google.com, then go to Expedia and check for bundle package deals. I find that if I choose a hotel, even if it’s for two days, it is almost the same price for the flight by itself, and sometimes I find better flight options when booking this way.

Weather in Lisbon on New Years Eve

Since I am a Floridian who is easily cold, the first thing I check for December and January travel is the weather.

The weather in Lisbon on New Year’s Eve is typically mild. Afternoon high temperatures tend to be near 14 C (57-58 F), and late night and early morning low temperatures tend to be near 9 C (about 48 F)

It’s advisable to bring an umbrella as some rain is expected during this time.

In Lisbon, Portugal, the end of December is during the winter season, and the amount of sunlight is limited.

  • The month with the shortest days is December, with an average daylight of 9 hours and 30 minutes.
  • The average daily sunshine in December is 4 hours, with the least sunshine occurring in January, February, November, and December.

How to Say Happy New Year in Portuguese

If you are going to be heading to Lisbon for NYE, then it is ideal that you learn how to say Happy New Year’s in Portuguese which is: Feliz ano Novo!

New Year’s Celebration in Portugal

Yes, Portugal does celebrate New Year’s. The celebration is marked with fireworks, music, and traditional Portuguese cuisine. In Portugal, it’s a tradition to eat twelve raisins at midnight, one for each month of the coming year, and make a wish with each one.

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What to Do on New Year’s Eve in Lisbon

Lisbon offers a range of activities to celebrate New Year’s Eve. You can enjoy a lengthy dinner at one of the city’s many restaurants, which often offer multi-course meals that continue past midnight, with a break to ring in the New Year.

Another popular option is to attend a Fado show, a traditional Portuguese music performance, which usually includes dinner.

For those who prefer to be in the heart of the action, Praça do Comércio (Terreiro Do Paco) or Belém are popular spots to enjoy live music and fireworks. You can also take a cruise on the River Tejo, offering views of the brightly lit city and a prime location to watch the fireworks.

Lisbon hotels offering New Year Dinner

If you’re looking for a hotel in Lisbon that offers a New Year’s Eve dinner, there are several options to choose from. Here are some hotels that offer New Year’s Eve dinners:

  1. Corinthia Lisbon: This hotel offers a New Year’s Eve Gala Dinner with a Great Gatsby theme. The dinner includes live music and dancing, and the next morning, a large breakfast buffet is available to celebrate the first day of the year.
  2. Sheraton Lisbon Hotel & Spa: This hotel has a restaurant called Panorama that offers an excellent dinner with a view of the city. While the quality of the food is not guaranteed, the view is considered one of the best in town.
  3. Tivoli Avenida Liberdade: This hotel offers a New Year’s Eve dinner at its restaurant, SEEN Lisboa. The dinner includes a five-course menu, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight.
  4. Altis Belém Hotel & Spa: This hotel offers a New Year’s Eve dinner at its restaurant, Feitoria. The dinner includes a six-course menu, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight.
  5. Pestana Palace Lisboa: This hotel offers a New Year’s Eve dinner at its restaurant, Valle Flôr. The dinner includes a six-course menu, live music, and a champagne toast at midnight.

It’s important to note that these dinners often require advanced reservations, and prices can be high. However, they offer a unique and memorable way to celebrate the New Year in Lisbon, especially with kids.

restaurants for New Years Eve in Lisbon

Where to Watch the Fireworks in Lisbon for New Years Eve

In Lisbon, the main fireworks display on New Year’s Eve takes place at Praça do Comércio (Terreiro Do Paco). Other popular spots to watch the fireworks include Parque das Nações, a riverfront neighborhood, and across the River Tejo, which offers a fantastic view of the fireworks.

 You can also watch the fireworks from the city’s many viewpoints, such as Miradouro Park Eduardo VII or Castello.

Where to Stay for New Years Eve in Lisbon

I prefer to stay closer to Praca do Commercio but the prices will be higher. You can consider hotels at Bairro Alto or The Hyatt Regency which is further away and a great newer hotel in Lisbon. Regardless of where you stay, you need to book your hotel asap.

best way to avoid crowds at praça do comercio for new year’s eve

If you’re looking to avoid crowds when getting to Praça do Comércio for New Year’s Eve fireworks in Lisbon, here are some tips:

  1. Arrive Early: Praça do Comércio is the main spot for the New Year’s Eve fireworks, and it can get very crowded. Arriving early can help you secure a good spot and avoid the crowds.
  2. Take Public Transportation: Driving to Praça do Comércio can be difficult due to road closures and heavy traffic. Taking public transportation, such as the metro or bus, can be a more convenient option.
  3. Watch from a Distance: If you don’t want to be in the middle of the crowds, you can watch the fireworks from a distance. Lisbon has many viewpoints, such as Miradouro Park Eduardo VII or Castelo, that offer great views of the fireworks.
  4. Watch from Other Locations: While Praça do Comércio is the main spot for the fireworks, there are other locations in Lisbon where you can watch the fireworks, such as Parque das Nações, near the Torre de Belém, or across the river in Almada.
  5. Book a Hotel with a View: If you want to avoid the crowds altogether, consider booking a hotel with a view of the fireworks. Many hotels in Lisbon offer New Year’s Eve packages that include a view of the fireworks from the comfort of your room.

Remember, wherever you choose to watch the fireworks, be sure to arrive early, dress warmly, and be prepared for security checks and restrictions on bringing certain items, such as glass bottles, into the square.

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alternative locations to watch new year’s eve fireworks in lisbon

here are several alternative locations to watch New Year’s Eve fireworks in Lisbon besides Praça do Comércio. Here are some options:

  1. Across the River Tejo: Taking the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas and celebrating next to Fragata D. Fernando II e Glória (a restored frigate) is one of the best spots to watch Lisbon New Year’s Eve fireworks.
  2. Parque das Nações: Another midnight fireworks display usually happens in Parque das Nações, Lisbon’s riverfront futuristic neighborhood. The celebration here is not as crowded, but several restaurants are open for business and prepare special New Year’s Eve menus1.
  3. Cascais: In Cascais, there’s usually DJ music and a colorful display of fireworks above the bay (if the weather permits) or above the pier. Trains between Lisbon and Cascais usually run until 4 am on this special day.
  4. Lisbon’s Many Viewpoints: Lisbon has many viewpoints, such as Miradouro Park Eduardo VII or Castelo, that offer great views of the fireworks. The viewpoint of Nossa Senhora do Monte is even better but a bit crowded.
  5. Rooftop Bars and Restaurants: Equally expensive alternatives – but away from the crowd – are one of Lisbon’s many rooftop restaurants or one of the many international hotels with rooftop bars and/or restaurants. Check out Hotel Mundial.

Remember, wherever you choose to watch the fireworks, be sure to arrive early, dress warmly, and be prepared for security checks and restrictions on bringing certain items, such as glass bottles, into the area.

Cities near Lisbon to Celebrate New Years Eve

There are several cities in Greater Lisbon that have New Year’s Eve fireworks besides Lisbon. Here are some options:

  1. Cascais: Cascais is a small seaside town located around 45 minutes by train from Lisbon City Centre. On New Year’s Eve, Cascais has its own fireworks display above the bay or above the pier. Trains between Lisbon and Cascais usually run until 4 am on this special day.
  2. Setubal: Setubal is a city located south of Lisbon and has its own fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
  3. Sesimbra: Sesimbra is a fishing town located south of Lisbon and has its own fireworks display on New Year’s Eve.
  4. Parque das Nações: Parque das Nações is a riverfront neighborhood in Lisbon that has its own midnight fireworks display. The celebration here is not as crowded as Praça do Comércio, but several restaurants are open for business and prepare special New Year’s Eve menus.
  5. Across the River Tejo: Across the River Tejo is probably one of the best spots to watch Lisbon New Year’s Eve fireworks. Just take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas and celebrate next to Fragata D. Fernando II e Glória (a restored frigate). A live concert usually starts at 11 pm. The fireworks set off at midnight from both sides of the river. There’s entertainment in Cacilhas until 2 am. In past years, ferry boats ran between Lisbon and Cacilhas until 2 am.
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Photo by Alexandre Contador on Unsplash

Where to Eat on New Year’s Eve

Lisbon is a food lover’s paradise, and New Year’s Eve is no exception. Most of Lisbon’s restaurants offer lengthy multi-course dinners that continue past midnight. Some recommended restaurants open on New Year’s Eve include Via Graça and Chapito

.You can also check out the Time Out Market to sample various Portuguese specialties..

What to eat in Lisbon for New Years

On New Year’s Eve in Lisbon, you can enjoy a variety of traditional Portuguese dishes. Many restaurants offer special menus for the occasion, often including a mix of seafood and meat options. Here are some traditional Portuguese dishes you might want to try:

  1. Cozido à Portuguesa: This is a classic Portuguese stew made with a wide variety of meats, smoked sausages, vegetables, and spices. It’s a hearty dish that’s perfect for a celebratory meal.
  2. Caldo Verde: This traditional Portuguese cabbage soup is often served in the early hours of the New Year, after the main meal and celebrations1.
  3. Bolo Rei (King Cake): This is a traditional Portuguese cake that’s often eaten during Christmas and New Year’s celebrations. It’s a sweet, fruit-filled cake that’s a festive addition to any New Year’s Eve meal.
  4. Açorda: A Portuguese soup/stew made with bread soaked in broth, coriander, garlic, olive oil, and a poached egg. It’s a comforting dish that’s perfect for a winter’s evening.
  5. Grilled Sardines: While these are more commonly associated with the Feast of St. Anthony in June, grilled sardines are a staple of Portuguese cuisine and could be found on some New Year’s Eve menus.
  6. Ameijoas a Bulhao Pato: This is a traditional Portuguese dish made with clams, garlic, cilantro, and white wine. It’s a flavorful and satisfying dish that’s perfect for seafood lovers.
  7. Porco Preto: This is a delicacy from the Alentejo region, made with black pork. It’s often included in New Year’s Eve menus at Fado restaurants.
  8. Seafood: Given Portugal’s coastal location, seafood is a big part of the cuisine. Dishes like seared sea bass and various seafood stews could be part of the New Year’s Eve offerings.

We love eating at La Licorista.

What do Portuguese typically wear on new years eve

In Portugal, the choice of clothing on New Year’s Eve is considered very important. It’s customary to wear new clothes, particularly new underwear, as it is believed to bring luck and love for the New Year. The most common color for underwear is blue, which represents luck.

However, other colors are also chosen based on their symbolic meanings: red for love, yellow (gold) for money, white for peace, and brown for improving one’s professional career. It’s important to note that the clothes should – should not have holes or tears.

 Some people take this tradition to the next level and wear more than one new item of clothing on this day. These traditions are part of the vibrant New Year’s Eve celebrations in Portugal, which also include eating 12 raisins at midnight (one for each month of the coming year), toasting with champagne, and attending fireworks shows.

So, if you’re planning to celebrate New Year’s Eve in Portugal, consider embracing these traditions for an authentic experience.

Check out some other Portugal Blog Posts

Lisbon to Seville

Portugal in December

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