The charming city of Lisbon is a very popular destination where to celebrate New Year’s Eve; it may not offer the same atmosphere of the Northern capitals, which are traditionally connected to Christmas and New Years, but it is definitely a magic place where to start the new year.
Celebrating new year’s eve in Lisbon is highly recommended to those who are scared of cold temperatures – thanks to its mild climate in Lisbon you will be able to enjoy the city without suffering too much cold. Lisbon on new year’s eve is great for couples who want to enjoy the romantic atmosphere of the city and also for young people who have the opportunity to go crazy having fun at the several clubs of the city.
Another good reason to choose Lisbon for a New Year holiday over other popular cities like London or Paris, is that the Portuguese capital is less expensive compared to other European capitals, and it is possible to find well priced accommodations also on peak season.
It doesn’t matter how your ideal New Year’s eve looks like – whether you prefer having a lavish dinner, a crazy party night, celebrating in the main square or enjoying a romantic night walk – in Lisbon you will find the right atmosphere to live a dreamy night.
If you want to experience New Year ‘s Eve in Lisbon like a true Lisboner, take notes on the local customs and traditions. Leave the red underwear at home: here is the blue color for good luck, to be worn in the form of underwear, strictly unused.
Propiziatorio is the ritual of the coin in the pockets, which is said to bring money in the new year: at least a coin is enough to bring in the pockets of jackets or pants, try not to harm!
If, on the other hand, it’s the couple who needs a propitiatory rite, it’s necessary to sleep on new sheets: it’s a bit difficult to do if you sleep in a hotel, but the beautiful memories you’ll bring home with you will be enough to live the beginning of the new year in romance.
After the dinner is ritual to go to the square for the traditional celebrations with music, dancing and fireworks. The nerve center of Lisbon’s New Year’s Eve is the Baixa district: hundreds of people flock to the elegant Commerce Square, which for the occasion becomes a temple of open-air entertainment, feverishly awaiting the New Year.
At the stroke of midnight, the exciting spectacle of fireworks over the river begins, heralded by the sound of the twelve badaladas(chimes).
Is New Year’s Eve synonymous with dinner? Then you are in the right city. Many lisbonites eat the last dinner of the year at the home of relatives and friends and then go to celebrate in the square, while for tourists there are numerous options for dinner, suitable for all budgets.
You can choose a traditional tavern, perhaps accompanying your dinner to the haunting notes of fado, or a trendy restaurant for a menu of creative cuisine prepared by internationally renowned chefs.
Lisbon is a gourmet capital and has established itself on the international scene as one of the top destinations for those who love fine dining.
The easiest way to find a good restaurant for New Year’s Eve dinner is to take a look at the websites of luxury hotels: the hotel restaurants always offer a special menu for the evening of the 31st. If you want to aim for the best, book a table as soon as possible in the best restaurants for New Year’s Eve dinner in Lisbon: we have selected them for you.
The top restaurant for New Year’s Eve dinner in Lisbon is the elegant Zambeze, unbeatable for its splendid view of the city and its sophisticated menu that blends Portuguese cuisine with elements of African gastronomy. This is no place for those who prefer quantity to quality: here the latter is definitely the rule. From the panoramic terrace you can watch the fireworks while sipping a glass of champagne.
Another restaurant to celebrate New Year’s Eve in style is The Insolito, which offers a finger food menu of oysters, crab and other delicacies. It’s in a great location, near the mirador of São Pedro de Alcântara.
Finding a New Year’s Eve seat in a typical fado pocket can be difficult because they are usually very small venues and the tables are soon occupied, plus many of these venues do not take reservations.
The excellent Clube de Fado in the Alfama district solves the problems of those who dream of a typically Portuguese New Year’s Eve dinner: in this elegant restaurant you can enjoy Lisbon’s culinary specialties while watching the performances of talented fado musicians and singers. Reservations open as early as the end of summer, so hurry.
For a special New Year’s Eve, book your dinner at one of the most romantic Christmas restaurants: the Confeitaria Nacional cruise.
Yes, that’s right, it’s a boat that navigates the waters of the Tagus River while you enjoy a sumptuous dinner washed down with glasses of champagne. At 11:00 p.m. the DJ set starts on the rooftop terrace and in time for the midnight fireworks you will be at Praça do Comercio to enjoy the fireworks display.
The fireworks display over the Tagus River is the highlight of every New Year’s Eve in Lisbon: in a magical atmosphere of collective wonder, the bright colors of the fireworks light up the sky of the capital, with a crackling sequence that will make you live unforgettable emotions.
Particularly striking are the reflections of the fireworks on the river waters, so remember every now and then to lower your eyes from the sky and take a look at the Tagus, undisputed protagonist of Lisbon’s identity.
Most tourists and residents stay in Commerce Square to admire the fires, but good observation points are all the miradoures (viewpoints) scattered a bit ‘throughout the city, other popular areas to see the fires are the Park of Nations and Belém.
For something special you can watch the fires from a rented boat: a bit expensive, but watching the square crowded with people and the fires that light up the sky from the unique perspective of the river is a priceless experience.
After dinner and fireworks, what to do? New Year’s Eve in Lisbon lasts until morning, moving from restaurants and squares to discos and clubs.
For a more youthful and wild New Year’s Eve immerse yourself in the lively nightlife of Lisbon, with its countless bars and clubs with live music or DJ sets open until morning.
The nightlife district par excellence is Barrio Alto, perhaps the district with the highest concentration of bars and pubs per square meter in the world!
From small unpretentious bars to chic trendy places, Barrio Alto is an inexhaustible source of fun: even at New Year’s Eve to live fully the atmosphere of the neighborhood the ideal is to jump from one place to another, drinking drinks in the street and chatting with other young people looking for fun.
For discos, it is better to move elsewhere, in Rua do Norte and Rua da Atalaia or areas just outside the center as Cais do Sodré.
Here are the best places in Lisbon where to go dancing on New Year’s Eve.
One of the top discos in Lisbon is Lux Frágil, a trendy club where the best DJs on the international scene regularly play. It offers different musical genres, with a predilection for techno and house. Although it is very famous, the price of the New Year’s Eve party is affordable: it is better to buy the ticket in advance to ensure the entrance.
For those who love glamorous clubbing made of design, mixology art and trendy music, the right address in Lisbon is the Silk Club: a chic disco with breathtaking views over Lisbon located in the Chiado district, one of the most fashionable in the city. Don’t forget your elegant dress at home.
An original club where you can spend New Year’s Eve is Fábrica Braço de Prata, converted from a former weapons ammunition factory and now used as a multi-purpose event space. Don’t be fooled by the industrial atmosphere: although not as refined as the Silk Club, it is much more chic than a Berlin-style underground club.
If you prefer a more informal atmosphere, perhaps a rock concert, go straight to the most famous concert hall in Lisbon: the MusicBox. It is an eclectic place that offers different musical genres and is famous for its theme parties. Especially recommended for young people in their 20s and 30s, it’s a guarantee of fun all year round.
Although not a classic destination for New Year’s Eve, Lisbon has emerged as a more livable alternative to the “usual” London, Paris and New York. As a result, for this city as well, it is important to make all the necessary reservations well in advance.
You can organize your New Year’s Eve in Lisbon yourself, without the need to buy a package from a travel agency.
The first thing to do is to book your flight: do it as soon as possible, because during the Christmas holidays flights are in high demand and if you wait too long you risk to find the flight sold out. Immediately after your flight, look for your accommodation: in Lisbon there are hotels and apartments for all budgets, but if you wait the choice for you will be much more limited.
For dinner on December 31, it is possible to find a table in a restaurant even without a reservation because Lisboners generally prefer to dine at home with family and friends. Remember, however, that there are many tourists and expats who do not spend the holidays in the traditional way and prefer to leave home: without a reservation you will have to make do with what remains. It is better to play it safe and book the restaurant before your departure.
The same goes for the most exclusive clubs and discos: the queues at the entrance can be nerve-wracking and in some cases it is not possible to enter without a reservation. It is better to buy the ticket in advance in order not to risk spending New Year’s Eve looking for a club that will let you in.
It is not compulsory but strongly recommended to buy tickets online for the most famous museums and monuments, cruises on the Tagus and guided tours. Having the tickets already in your pocket allows you to skip the queues at the entrance, having more time to exploit during your vacation, and in many cases also to take advantage of discounted rates.
Lisbon, like other European capitals, is a very popular destination to celebrate New Year’s Eve and its success as a winter vacation destination grows from year to year: therefore, we recommend booking flights and hotels well in advance, so as not to risk being sold out or paying too high a price.
It is also advisable to book in advance the restaurant in case you are planning a dinner in a specific place.
The right wine to toast the new year is Vinho Verde, a typical Portuguese white or red wine, produced in the north of the country.
Don’t forget to pack your blue underwear, it will bring you luck!
City Card allow you to save on public transport and / or on the entrances to the main tourist attractions.