New Year’s Eve in Lisbon… what, where & when

Our travelling friends agree with us: New Year’s Eve in a foreign country is difficult!

You never know what will happen – what the local habits are, where they go, what they do etc.

We have celebrated a few New Year’s Eves in town. All of them were disappointing. Especially the one last year.

The thing is: Except for the big Festa Ano Novo on Terreiro do Paço (Praça do Comércio) nothing unusual or extraordinary is happening.

New Year Lisbon.jpg

New Year’s Eve on Praça do Comércio in Lisbon is the equivalent to  London’s Trafalgar Square, New York’s Times Square and Copenhagen’s Rådhuspladsen.

To us New Year’s Eve is about seafood. So last year we booked a table at a very good marisqueira in Belem. The food was excellent – but the rest of the night was a bit chaotic.

So based on our own personal experiences here are a few advices:

FIRST: Usually people eat out late – DON’T DO THAT! If you want to see the fireworks at midnight, you’ll have to finish your dinner in time for that.

SECOND: Find a restaurant in walking distance from Praça do Comércio. Last year we could not get a Taxi in Belem and ended up walking in empty streets while the party was going on down town 😦

THIRD: Most important – lower your expectations.

Private fireworks are not allowed, so if you want to have the New Year’s Eve Feel by a Firework show you’ll have to find one of the few other alternatives to Praça do Comércio.

In case you haven’t made your plans yet here are our recommendation:

 

Where to Watch New Year’s Eve Fireworks in Lisbon

If the nights continue as they are right now midnight sky on New Year’s Eve will be fantastic. So will the view from one of Lisbon’s many viewpoints/miradouros.

If you want to get closer to the ‘fun’ you will have spectacular display for free on any of the following places:

  1. Terreiro do Paço (aka Praça do Comércio): There’ll be live music, lighting, fireworks and more on Lisbon’s riverfront square.
  2. Belém: With a stunning view of the River Tejo and the Atlantic Ocean, a concert and fireworks will light up the Tower of Belém.
  3. Parque das Nações: The futuristic waterfront Parque das Nações will have music and fireworks. The Vasco da Gama Tower is the best vantage point to watch the fireworks go off at midnight.
  4. Almada: The south bank of the River Tejo, is probably one of the best spots to watch Lisbon’s fireworks. Just take the ferry from Cais do Sodré to Cacilhas’ celebrations.
    The fireworks set off at midnight from both sides of the river.
  5. Cascais: On the citadel of Cascais, there’ll be DJ music and a colourful display of fireworks above the bay (if the weather permits) or above the pier.

 

This year we will dine at home in our very small flat on the Graça Miradouro

And we will get the best of the best food 🙂

Just before midnight we will go to Tings Lisbon on Miradouro da Senhora do Monte with a bottle of Champagne and see the fireworks from there….

We leave it to the Party Gods to decide what will happen then – but our local Cafe Do Monte will be open.

 

Annette & Thomas

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