Averages for Lisbon in December
December is one of the coolest months of the year in Lisbon, but as Portugal enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, the temperature stays fairly mild. The average temperature reaches up to around 14°C (that's about 57°F), and at night can dip as low as 8°C (about 46°F). The highest temperature ever recorded for the month was 23°C and the lowest 2°C. There will be no days when th...
December is one of the coolest months of the year in Lisbon, but as Portugal enjoys a subtropical Mediterranean climate, the temperature stays fairly mild. The average temperature reaches up to around 14°C (that's about 57°F), and at night can dip as low as 8°C (about 46°F). The highest temperature ever recorded for the month was 23°C and the lowest 2°C. There will be no days when the temperature reaches 21°C.
Five hours of average daily sunshine with 9 1/2 hours or daylight is what you will experience in December. The daylight hours are about evenly divided between sun and clouds. The sun rises between 7:15-7:30 AM and sets between 5:15-5:30 PM. The UV index is only at two, low, so unless you burn easily good sunglasses should be sufficient protection when outdoors.
The average monthly rain for December ranges around 120 mm. Over half the days in the month will see rain. At least five days it will rain over ½ inch or more. Thunderstorms occur once or twice in the month on average.
Average morning relative humidity is about the same as November at 86%, while the evening relative humidity averages 75%. Dew point reaches only 8°C so you will remain comfortable indoors or outdoors.
The average sea temperature is about 17°C (about 62°F), and combined with the cooler temperatures and likelihood of rain, it is not recommended that you go swimming. If you are a die-hard surfer you might get some good rides. The Beauford Wind Force Scale average for Lisbon in December is 22% with the wind blowing to the southeast most days. Average wind speeds are around 10 mph.
Fog is likely 18 days out of thirty one. Blowing sand or dust will obscure your vision on average two days per month.
The weather can be fairly changeable so it is a good idea to check the local weather forecast before you travel.
Where to Stay
In Sintra the luxury Lawrence Hotel is very close to the Sao Martinho Church and Moorish Castle. A 5-star property, there is a small restaurant and bar along with a free full breakfast.
The Amazonia Jamor Hotel has a large outdoor pool. A five minute walk to the national stadium, it is a smoke-free hotel and has free parking.
The Amazonia Hotel chain has another hotel, the Amazonia Lisboa, only one block from the Rato Subway Station. There is also a pool and bar at the property and you can have a free in-room continental breakfast each morning. The west side of the Parque Eduardo VII is three blocks away.
The 3-star MiraParque Hotel is on the opposite side of Parque Eduardo VII from the Amazonia Lisboa. Another smoke-free hotel, the self-parking is free and you can be at the Sant Justa Elevator within 20 minutes if on foot.
In Cascais, a few blocks inland from the sea, you will find the Vivamarinha Hotel Suites. A full-service spa is available here and they have a large outdoor pool. Self-parking is also free here.
Grande Real Villa Italia Hotel & Spa is another Cascais favorite. The rooms are large and there is a free huge breakfast for guests. Right by the sea, the main square in Cascais is very close by.
Vila Icuda has nice apartment-style rooms with kitchenettes. Parking is free and there is a pool, tennis court and bar.
The Senhora da Guia nearby has all the amenities you could want. The breakfast buffet is huge and the views excellent.
The Vila Gale Opera in Santo Amaro is very close to the Jeronimos Monastery by the 25th of April Bridge. Restaurant, pool, spa facility and health club are available to quests.
A reasonably priced 3-star hotel in Salhanha is the Hotel American Diamonds. You will find the Gulenkian Museum, Rossio Square and other attractions within a 2 mile radius. Bar/lounge and business centre are on-site.
A beautiful guesthouse very appropriate for couples is the Charm of Cascais. Smoke-free, there is an outdoor pool and barbecue area, poolside snack bar, and other amenities usually found in a 5-star hotel. They also have their own private sailboat that you can book for personal tours and there is a port wine tasting bar called the Vinoteca.
A nice Sintra hotel is the Chalet Saudade right in the centre of the town. The views are very scenic and the location is very quiet. The Sintra Train Station is only 100 metres away and the airport a 20-30 minute drive.
Sintra Bliss House by the Sintra Train Station has reasonable prices and all rooms have private baths. Rooms are air-conditioned and Wi-Fi is free.
Chalet Relogio is outside the city in a quiet neighbourhood overlooking the Moorish Castle. The rooms are “old world” style with lots of wood and are quite spacious. The train station is a five minute drive from the hotel.
Hit the Beach
The Santa Rita North and South Beaches have unusual currents that make it dangerous to swim. The beaches however are good for sunbathing with white sand and plenty of it.
The beaches in Ericeira are a favourite with the surfing crowd. Sao Julia sees 6-foot waves at times and is a good place for beginning surfers to learn the sport.
Fox do Lizandro has consistent waves with a great sandy beach for sun worshippers to soak up the rays while watching the surfers.
Sao Lourenco to the north of Ericeira is another good beach to learn how to surf. The waves are relatively small but slow and regular.
Where to Eat & Drink
There are lots of great sushi places to eat in Lisbon. The Sushic Fusao in Almada has good service and great atmosphere. It is open for lunch and dinner.
Art Sushi is a small place with a friendly and helpful staff. The chef, if they are not too busy, will take special requests that are not listed on the menu.
You can find great local food prepared in the traditional Portuguese manner at the Restaurante Galia. The portions are large and they have a reputation of making you feel right at home.
Ponto Final in Almada is set right on the bank of the Tejo River. Fish and meat dishes are served. It is a very popular lunch establishment.
Tasca Vinhos & Petiscos serves wine and tapas. The address on Rua Comandante Antonio Feio is about four blocks from the river.
Restaurante Solar Beirao is another place by the river in Almada. The cuisine is local and the clientele a mixture of locals and tourists. Mostly seafood, they also serve some meat dishes.
Traditional fish fare is what is served at The Fonte da Pipa. Prices are very reasonable. It is within a few blocks of where the ferry drops passengers in Almada.
Things to do
Many people who enjoy running head to Lisbon in December for the Lisbon Marathon.
The Museu Nacional de Arte Antiga on the Rua das Janelas Verdes houses their collection in a former palace. Paintings, textiles and metalwork from primarily the 15th and 16th centuries make up the majority of the items one can view here.
There are so many other museums to see and experience one could spend weeks in Lisbon wondering through collections. The Museu da Electricidade highlights the history of electricity and energy and the profound effect advances in energy production had on civilization. You will find it in central Tejo on Av. De Brasilia.
The Arpad Sxenes Vieira da Silva Museum is dedicated to the works of Arpad Szenes and Maria Da Silva. Landscape painting was there specialty. The building housing the museum is an old silk factory.
The Central Mosque of Lisbon is the main mosque of the Muslim community in the capital. Built in 1985, it has become a very popular tourist attraction. Make sure you dress appropriately, especially women, due to religious sensibilities.
It is worth the trip by small boat across the River Tijo to view the Castelo de Almourol. Built on a small island, the foundation dates back to Roman times. It is a favourite with photographers due to its location and architecture.
The Museu Nactional de Etnologia is very child-friendly with exhibits tailored to children’s interests. Various cultural displays such as shrunken heads and other oddities make it a favourite for families looking for a museum experience that won’t bore the children.
The Aquas Livres Aqueduct has fantastic views of the city. Built in the 18th century, it is still possible to walk along the length of the aqueduct for about 1 kilometre. These walkways used to be used by people from the countryside to access the city of Lisbon. It is located along the southern roadway network that leads to the 25 April Bridge.
December events in Lisbon
Óbidos Vila Natal - Christmas in the Castle
1st December 2017 to 31st December 2017
Christmas in the Castle, a festival is full of fun and surprises at Vila Natal especially for kids. There are lots of activities and shows like ice skating, ice slides, pedal carts and much more.
Dia do Bairro Alto Festival
11th December 2017 to 18th December 2017
Bairro Alto offers a night time party zone , whilst during the day it is relatively quiet. All of the cafes, shops and bars come alive in the calçada streets at night. It is one of the most popular areas in Lisbon. The event occurs from 11th December to the 18th.
New Year’s Eve
31st December 2017
Lisbon, a great place New Year's Eve. The 2015 event will be held at Comercio Square which is the biggest in Portugal. Expect to see sparkling lights and fireworks beside the Tagus River.
1st December 2017
Independence Day on 1st December is a commemoration of the independence from Spain. Like other parts of the country, the people of Lisbon celebrate this day with great honor.