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December in Lisbon is pure magic – twinkling lights, festive cheer, and enough holiday charm to melt even the grumpiest Scrooge’s heart. The weather’s cool but comfortable, perfect for strolling the atmospheric streets and soaking up the sights. If you’re looking for an enchanting winter getaway, Lisbon in December is calling your name.

Weather in December

In December, Lisbon experiences afternoon high temperatures near 16°C (about 61°F) early in the month, falling to about 14°C (57-58°F) by New Year’s Eve. Nights can be cold, but temperatures have never fallen below freezing during this month. Late night and early morning low temperatures tend to be near 10°C (50°F) early in the month, falling to near 9°C (about 48°F).

Despite the chill, about 16 days on average will be sunny or at least partly sunny, providing ample opportunity to explore the city.

Lisbon in December 2023

Photo by Yana Hurska on Unsplash

What to Pack for Lisbon in December

Here are some recommendations for what to pack for a woman visiting Lisbon in December:

  • Light jackets and cardigans – Bring layers like jeans, leggings, sweaters, and long sleeve shirts or blouses to bundle up against chilly weather. A warm coat is essential too.
  • Rain jacket and umbrella – December has some rainy days, so come prepared with waterproof outerwear.
  • Comfortable walking shoes – As a hilly city, Lisbon involves lots of walking. Bring sturdy shoes like sneakers or boots.
  • Dresses and skirts – Pack a few dresses and skirts to wear during the day and for nights out. Go for warmer fabrics like wool or knit.
  • Scarves and hats – Scarves and beanies add warmth and style to your outfits.
  • Thermal underwear – Long johns and underlayers provide extra insulation under your clothes.
  • Pashmina shawl – A large pashmina can double as a blanket or fashion accessory.
  • Versatile purse – A crossbody bag is convenient for walking around. Consider a day-to-night style.
  • Jewelry and accessories – Bring pieces to dress up your outfits like cute earrings, bracelets and sunglasses.
  • Swimsuit – Pack your swimsuit to use the hotel pool or visit the spas at Sintra.
  • Lip balm and hand cream – The cooler air can cause chapped lips and hands.
  • Portugal power adapter – Don’t forget the adapter to charge your devices.

Focus on pieces you can layer, mix and match for chilly to mild weather. Then you’ll be ready for Lisbon’s magical December charm!

Lisbon in December

Photo by Nik Guiney on Unsplash

Finding Affordable Stays for Lisbon in December

Lisbon in December is popular, so accommodation books up fast. Here are my tips for scoring affordable digs:

  • Book early! Prices go up and rooms sell out quickly.
  • Stay outside the main tourist centers like Baixa and Chiado. Areas like Alfama and Avenida da Liberdade are just as cool but cheaper.
  • Hostels are a budget traveler’s best friend. Lisbon has tons with great reviews. Shared dorms are way cheaper than private rooms.
  • Hotels often offer winter discounts and deals. Check their websites directly for special offers.
  • Consider vacation rentals too. You can get an entire apartment for less than a hotel.
  • Apps like Hostelworld,, and Expedia are clutch for comparison shopping on the go.

I personally love using Expedia for bundled deals.

Where to Stay

With so many charming districts, choosing where to stay is tough! Here are some of my faves:

  • Alfama: Lisbon’s fairy tale neighborhood with winding lanes, faviconas, and street musicians around every corner. Feels like you’re walking through history. This is one of the oldest districts in Lisbon, known for its narrow streets, historic buildings, and Fado music. It’s a great place to stay if you’re interested in history and culture
  • Bairro Alto: Lively area with buzzing nightlife and restaurants. Stay here if you want to party like a local!

  • Avenida da Liberdade: Upscale tree-lined avenue with high-end shopping and dining. A quieter, more sophisticated vibe. Avenida da Liberdade: This is Lisbon’s answer to the Champs-Élysées, running northwest from Rossio. It is upscale and leafy, and boasts the best high-end shopping in the city
  • Belém: Home to many of Lisbon’s top sights like the iconic Belém Tower. But still peaceful and residential feeling. Although it’s a bit further from the city center, Belém is one of the most beautiful areas of Lisbon.
  • Parque das Nações: This is a modern part of the city with unique architecture and the Vasco da Gama Shopping Center. It’s a good option if you’re looking for a more contemporary feel.

No matter where you stay, Lisbon’s compact size means you’re never far from the action.

budget-friendly accommodation options in lisbon in december

Lisbon offers a variety of budget-friendly accommodation options, from hotels to hostels, that cater to different preferences and needs. Here are some options you might consider:


  1. My Story Hotel Tejo: Located in the Baixa district, this hotel offers a blend of modern comfort and traditional charm.
  2. LX SoHo Boutique Hotel: This hotel is known for its stylish interiors and convenient location.
  3. Hotel Gat Rossio: This hotel is praised for its value for money and central location.
  4. Tesouro da Baixa by Shiadu: Located in the Alfama neighborhood, this hotel offers easy access to attractions, museums, and restaurants.
  5. Next Level Premium Hotels: This hotel offers rooms from $94 per night.
  6. Empire Marquês Hotel: This hotel offers rooms from $92 per night
Screen Shot 2023 11 12 at 5.45.20 PM

If you’re looking for affordable accommodation in Lisbon in December, here are some websites that can help you find the best deals:

  1. TripAdvisor: TripAdvisor is a popular website that offers reviews and ratings of hotels, hostels, and vacation rentals in Lisbon. You can use the website to compare prices and find affordable accommodation options.
  2. is a popular booking platform that offers a wide range of accommodation options in Lisbon, including hotels, hostels, and apartments. You can use the website to filter your search by price, location, and other preferences.
  3. Hostelworld: Hostelworld is a popular booking platform that specializes in hostels. You can use the website to find affordable hostels in Lisbon and read reviews from other travelers36.
  4. HelloTickets: HelloTickets is a website that offers tickets and tours in Lisbon. You can use the website to book affordable accommodation and activities in Lisbon in December.

Lisbon Guru: Lisbon Guru is a website that offers information about Lisbon, including accommodation options, weather, and events. You can use the website to find affordable accommodation options and plan your trip to Lisbon in December.

Top Things to Do in Lisbon in December

Even in winter, Lisbon sizzles with energy and culture:

  • Wander through festive holiday markets for unique Portuguese gifts. Don’t miss the massive Wonderland Lisboa in Eduardo VII Park with ice skating, rides, and music shows.
  • Feast on Christmas codfish, king’s cake, and egg puddings – Portuguese holiday cuisine at its finest.
  • Marvel at the elaborate nativity scenes called presépios on display around town.
  • See the city sparkle during a Tuk Tuk tour or ride the old-school trams for scenic views.
  • Check out the insane waves (and surfers) at Praia do Guincho beach.
  • Explore top museums like the Azulejo Museum, Design Museum, MAAT modern art gallery, and Money Museum.
  • Listen to melancholic fado music in the Alfama or Bairro Alto neighborhoods.
  • Admire the 16th century Belém Tower, Jerónimos Monastery, and Discoveries Monument.
Christmas in Lisbon in December

Photo by Letícia Pelissari on Unsplash

Lisbon Christmas Markets

  • Wonderland Lisboa in Eduardo VII Park – Lisbon’s biggest Christmas market with 200 stalls, ice skating, and more
  • Rossio Christmas Market – Traditional market in Lisbon’s main square since the 15th century
  • Campo Pequeno Christmas Market – Over 140 stalls in a former bullring arena
  • Mercado de Natal da Ericeira – Charming seaside market with local crafts and food

Holidays & Festivals

  • São Silvestre de Lisboa Race – Popular New Year’s Eve race through the streets of Lisbon
  • New Year’s Eve Fireworks – Massive display over the Tagus River
  • Epiphany on January 6 – Celebrates the Three Kings with parades and special cakes
  • Christmas Concerts at various churches, theaters, and venues
  • Nativity Scenes Competition – Neighborhoods compete for the best nativity display

Top Foods to Try in Lisbon in December

  • Bacalhau com todos (dried codfish boiled with potatoes, greens, carrots, and eggs)
  • Bolo Rei (King Cake with dried fruits and nuts)
  • Lampreia de ovos (egg pudding)
  • Roasted lamb and goat
  • Cartonata (egg yolk and sugar pastry)
  • Rabanadas (Portuguese fried doughnuts)

Sample December Itineraries

3 Days in Lisbon

Day 1: Belém district – See the iconic sites like the Tower, Monastery and Monument. Have pastéis de nata at Pastéis de Belém.

Day 2: Alfama and Baixa – Wander the picturesque Alfama district. Ride Tram 28 through Baixa’s plazas. See the Castle overlook.

Day 3: Bairro Alto and Chiado – Shop in Chiado’s elegant streets. Bar hop in lively Bairro Alto. Catch a fado show at night.

1 Week in Lisbon

Day 1: Belém (see above)

Day 2: Alfama and Baixa (see above)

Day 3: Sintra Day Trip – Visit the Pena Palace and Quinta da Regaleira.

Day 4: Cascais & Estoril – Enjoy the coastal towns’ beaches, parks, and charming center.

Day 5: Bairro Alto and Chiado (see above)

Day 6: Mafra National Palace – See the elaborate 18th century palace just north of Lisbon.

Day 7: Óbidos Day Trip – Walk the medieval walls of this hilltop fairytale village.

Other blog posts for Lisbon

Lisbon Tips

Lisbon to Seville

Budget Lisbon Itinerary

With free museums, walking tours, markets and attractions, Lisbon can be done cheaply:

  • Free Walking Tour
  • Flea Market shopping
  • Free sites like Money Museum, Sao Roque Church, Miradouro viewpoints
  • Cheap eats at food halls like Mercado da Ribeira and Time Out Market
  • Nightlife in Bairro Alto – pre-game at cheap bars before hitting clubs

Holiday Performances & Concerts

Catch spirited holiday performances at venues like:

  • Gulbenkian Foundation
  • São Carlos National Theater
  • Lisbon Cathedral’s Christmas Eve singalong
  • Chapitô theatre and circus school
  • Centro Cultural de Belém

Top off your magical Lisbon holiday with festive music and cheer!

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