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We have visited Lisbon 5 times and love it we are coming for Xmas this year and understand most restaurants will not be open . We are stay in Baixa My Story Hotel do you know if any restaurants will be open on Xmas day , I do think a Chinese might be our only option. Thanks
Definitely good to keep the Chinese as a fallback option. I often go to a Chinese restaurant on New Year’s Day – usually to Mr Lu’s on Rua António Pedro 95. I imagine the “illegal” Chinese restaurants will be open as well. That could be quite a unique way to spend Christmas.
If you’d prefer to eat something other than Chinese on Christmas Day, you could try using thefork.pt to book a restaurant. In theory, it should only show you which restaurants are open on Christmas Day and, if you book now, the restaurant has plenty of time to let you know if they’re not open.
I’m not sure, but I imagine that some of the restaurants inside hotels would be open as well.
Hope all of that helps.
Just returned from my first visit to Europe. I chose Portugal since my world traveler friends have said they would live in Portugal if they ever left the United States. What an adventure I had in Porto and on a river boat up the Douro River on a Road Scholar Tour! I hope to return to Portugal in 2020!
So nice to hear that you enjoyed your trip and are planning on coming back to Portugal next year. Hopefully, you’ll get lots of inspiration on Portugalist 🙂
Hi James, I am from Ireland (Waterford) and I am visiting Lisbon on December 6th for 3 days and I am really looking forward to our visit. Can you recommend a nice restaurant to visit whilst in Lisbon, something quirky or unusual would be nice ?
Go to Frade dos Mares for octopus. It’s a nice restaurant, and the dish (which is basically an entire octopus) is very different to anything you’d get in Ireland.
hi James; My wife and I have only two days in Porto and will be staying in the Ribiera District. We don’t want to schedule an expensive mid-day one-way flight from OPO to LIS on Mon 20 Jan 2020, so we need to choose between the more affordable 9am & 2pm flights. While the early morning flight to Lisbon is logistically attractive, we fear missing out on an “unknown” something in Porto Monday morning. Any suggestions?? Love your blog — Aloha (Lee & Jackie)
I would take the morning flight. I can’t think of anything happening on a Monday morning that wouldn’t be available on the other days.
Hey James I plan on heading to Portugal next September . It sounds like that would be the perfect time to go . I read some of the notes above an the weather sounds good and the tourist season is over . I feel that your feedback is invaluable .
You are Greatly Appreciated Duane B.
I think it’s a great time to visit. Good choice!
Hi James, my 23 year old daughter and I will be visiting Lisbon for 2 days on December 12-14. Yes it is only 2 days but we are visiting 7 other cities. We are staying downtown Lisbon close to Praca da Figueira and have a pre-booked hop on hop off bus tour on the 13th which is a Friday. What advice could you give to do on the day we arrive the Thursday and the Friday evening. We are looking for a good wine and food experience. And also how to get the most of sightseeing on the bus tour? I would greatly appreciate your feedback please. Thanks
A food tour is a good way to try lots of different bits of Portuguese food rather than ordering an entire meal. Culinary Backstreets is an example of one company with a variety of walks: https://culinarybackstreets.com/culinary-walks/lisbon/
If you use the code PRT5, you get 5% off. It’s not much but it’s something.
I’d also recommend taking in a fado show one of the evenings. I’ve written a bit more about Fado here: https://www.portugalist.com/fado/
Hi James I am moving to Portugal in 18months when I retire staying for six months of the year , really frustrating trying to find if I will be able to get a Fiscal number when the UK comes out of the EU. Will I need to change my driving licence is another concern ? all questions I have and no answers , any help much appreciated my friend.
It’s really hard to say as it depends on whether the UK leaves with a deal and what kind of deal that is. I wrote a blog post about “Brexit and Portugal” earlier in the year, but the UK didn’t leave in March, it got a new PM, the PM negotiated a different deal, the UK didn’t leave in October, and now there’s going to be a general election which could change things again.
I don’t think the fiscal number is going to be an issue. Assuming you’re able to live in Portugal, you’ll be able to get a fiscal number. The issue will be how complicated it will be for you to move to Portugal. I don’t think it’ll be ever be impossible, but it’s likely that it won’t be as straight-forward as it is now.
As for the driving licence, again it’s difficult to say at this point. Back at the start of this year, expats living in Portugal were being told to switch to a Portuguese licence in case there was a no deal Brexit. Who knows what the situation will be in 18 months’ time.
Will you need to switch, though? If your main residence is going to be in Portugal then probably, but it might not be necessary if you’re going to be resident somewhere else (you said you were only going to be spending 6 months of the year in Portugal).
Unfortunately, I think you’re going to have to wait and see what (if anything) happens over the next few months. It’s quite frustrating but I imagine a lot of other people are in the same boat.