Christmas in Europe is full of traditions: Boxing Day in London, Christmas Markets in Dresden and twinkle lights strung across city streets everywhere you look. Until recently, I’ve only ever seen pictures and listened to stories about the holiday “magic” felt across the continent. Once we experienced it, we understood the hype!
Michael and I boarded a plane in Miami, Florida a little before midnight on Christmas Eve. We flew across the Atlantic Ocean along with Santa and landed to a quiet Lisbon, Portugal a little after 11 am on Christmas Day.
Traveling during major holidays can have its downfalls as many restaurants, shops and entertainment venues are closed, rightfully so! However, at the same time, to be in a different country is an exciting and fresh way to experience a holiday with such a monumental meaning. Here are our picks for the best places to experience the Christmas Magic in Portugal.
Comercio Square, Lisbon – This massive, waterfront square is the perfect place to feed birds, eat ice cream or snap pictures year round. But, if you’re there for Christmas you can see the huge Christmas tree. It’s conical,made of wire and is pretty by day, and lights up at night. You can even walk inside of the hollow cone.
Monumento a Garrett, Porto – We missed the event (concert or street party maybe?) planned for New Year’s Eve, but we did not miss the light show! This plaza is surrounded by cafes and beautiful architecture and has small water features and statues. I am sure it is a great local spot 12 months out of the year, but the light up tree that changes colors and designs is a show stopper each Christmas.
Warm Beach Walks and Quiet Streets, Lagos – For most people who live in the Northern Hemisphere, a beach walk on Christmas does not sound accurate, or fun. But, for this Florida girl, a barefoot walk along the beach is the norm! I loved getting to carry on this tradition halfway around the world. If snow and ice are your thing, do not go to Lagos in December. But, if bright sunny days with sand and surf are your style, book your flight now!
Traveling during Christmas can mean that you’re away from family and traditions. But, it can also mean that you’re with someone you love and making your own traditions! Merry Christmas everyone! Peace, Love and Joy to you all!!