Chestnuts roasting, fireworks crackling, and general merry-making— these things aren’t just for winter wonderlands. We’ve got all that and more happening right here in Lisbon to ring in the new year. With a milder climate than the North Pole, Portugal’s capital hosts a variety of events and experiences tailored for those who are both naughty and nice, so check out some of the highlights to better plan your last days of 2019.
Traditional Boat Rides: Have you ever seen a traditional Portuguese boat? Have you ever ridden in one? Well, the Câmara Municipal in Seixal is offering free rides in their traditional boats until the 27th of December, on pretty much every day except Mondays. Our advice? Get there extra early since space will be limited to a first come first serve basis.
Ice Skating and more: Interested in a little ice? There are some ice skating rinks with real ice in parks like Parque Eduardo VII (where there’s also a Ferris wheel of course), the Cascais Christmas Village (this one has a “radical ramp” whatever that means), the Christmas Capital Park in Algés (for 25€ entrance to the park), Praça da Espanha’s Natal no Bairro (where I hear there are bumper cars as well), and shopping malls like Alegro in Alfragide (where you can finish your Christmas shopping to boot). Most of them are under 10€ for 30 minutes of your best moves.
There are a ton of free concerts in cool locations. To us, the highlights are:
Dec. 10 & Dec 17 at 00h and 22h30: Jazz Trumpeter Gonçalo Marques’ Quartet will perform at the Hot Club of Portugal for free.
Dec. 12 at 19h and 21h30: Check out some Bach, Beethoven, Schubert, and Chopin at Alexey Shakitko’s Piano Recital at Praça do Município.
Dec. 12 at 17h: The Republican National Guard Chamber Orchestra will perform at the Salão Nobre do Ministério das Finanças, but fair warning: it’s quite a hike to get out there.
Dec. 13 at 21h: The Lisbon Metropolitan Orchestra will perform two of Mozart’s masterpieces featuring soloist Romain Guyot on clarinet at the Centro Congresso de Lisboa.
Dec. 14 at 16h and 21h30: The Centro Ismaili mosque is hosting a free concert (and guided tours every half hour starting at 14h30).
Dec. 15 at 16h: The Sé Cathedral is opening its doors to the public to watch the Regina Coeli Lisbon Armada Choir and Ensemble‘s free performance.
Dec. 15 at 16h: The Museu Oriente welcomes violinist Joana Dias, cellist Catarina Gonçalves, and pianist Francisco Sassetti as they bring out the best of Beethoven’s work for trios.
Dec. 18 at 21h: The Orquestra Clássica Metropolitana will be giving a free concert at the Teatro São Luiz in the Sala Luis Miguel Cintra.
Dec. 19 at 18h30: Clarinitists Nuno Silva and Jorge Camacho and pianist Savka Konjikusic will perform selections by Poulenc, Saint-Saëns, and Chausson at the Sociedade Portuguesa de Autores, so if you aren’t familiar with these composers perhaps you should read up.
Dec. 19 at 19h: The arrivals atrium at Humberto Delgado Airport (yes, you read that right) is welcoming the St. Dominics Gospel Choir in for a little caroling.
Dec. 21 at 21h30: The Ricercare Chorus and the Symphony Orchestra of Lisboa will perform a concert together at the Igreja de São Vicente
Dec. 29 at 16h: Enjoy the acoustics of the Basílica de Nossa Senhora dos Mártires in Chiado as the sound of vocal baritone soloist David Ruela unites with that of the organ played by Maria Teresa Fonseca.
Dec. 14 and 15 at 11h at Cinema São Jorge, there will be a Peace on Earth Shamata Meditation session in Sala 2 led by the Portuguese Buddhist Union. Meditation with monks in an old cinema? It sounds like a good way to peace out!
Dec. 20 at 19h: There will be free guided tours of the Hindu Community in Portugal. This “Oriental Christmas” event will also include a dance show, activities for the kids, and more.
Dec. 22 at 15h: For between 25€ and 45€ you can attend a candlelit Christmas concert by the Trio de Cordas (violin, viola, and cello). The program will include selections by Vivaldi, Beethoven, Mozart, Tchaikovsky, Bach, and Handel at the Biblioteca da Academia das Ciências and, apparently, a few surprises. What could possibly go wrong in the dark?
Jan. 1 at 1h: Lisbon’s favorite gay bar is turning up the heat at their Frozen Revellion New Year’s Party. The organizers are telling us to expect “state-of-the-art animation, a sparkling open bar, and quality music in a phenomenal synergistic production to offer you the best LGBTI New Year’s Eve in the capital. Drag queens, hot boys, badass gurls, amazing DJs, and a unique staff await.”
Jan. 3 to Jan. 12: The Cirque de Soleil is in town ready to show off their newest performance: Corteo. See acrobatics as you’ve never seen before, done with style, pizzaz, and panache at the Altice Arena in Parque das Nações.
Jan. 11 at 21h: How can your new year be complete? With the Russian Army dancing, naturally. The St. Petersburg Russian Army Choir, Ballet and Orchestra are coming to the Tivoli BBVA Theater to “burst through the scene with the force of a show full of delicate details.” Sounds like the Russians to us…kind of.
New Year’s Parties
Dance Party in the Park: Fuse Records will return to Palácio de Exposições at our favorite park, the Tapada da Ajuda, for their epic electronic music-fueled New Year’s Eve bash with two dance floors and an open bar until midnight. Doors open at 22h and the party is slated to go until 6h the next morning, so power nap. Grab your tickets here.
Electronic Rooftop: Celebrate the 31st at Club Ferroviário in Santa Apolónia with the Angolan rhythms of Bonga. He will be joined by Celeste Mariposa and DJ Dylan who are ready to make this new year the most special of all. 35€ gets you in, and a whole lot of shaking gets you out.
Brazil in Beato: The Brazilian-infused Bailacobaco party at Gate67 in Beato is a tropical-themed “bass and broken beats” party that is welcoming in 2020 with the warmth of Brazil and Africa from a “Lusophone perspective.” It’s 20€ to get lost on the dancefloor with Shaka Lion driving the tempo.
Greenhouse Fancy: The Welcome 2020 party in Estufa Fria is a private event with tiered admission fees depending on how shmancy you and your crew wanna go. It’s being hosted by the greenhouse along with two leading clubs in Lisbon: BOSQ and Radio-Hotel. More information on the lineup is coming soon.
Tuxedos and a Dinner Show: The Corinthian Hotel is hosting a very fancy black-tie New Year’s party called “The Greatest Showman” which includes a sumptuous gala dinner and a dinner show inspired by the recent film. “Magnificent scenery, choreographed performances, singers, dancers, and acrobats [will] make up the cast of this striking and memorable show. After midnight, the DJ sounds open the dance floor for a night of fun.” The menu is nothing to scoff at considering the tickets start at €80.00 and go up to €450.00 per person!