That Lisbon is one of the most dynamic cities in Europe has not been a secret for anyone for a few years, and indeed the vivacity of its streets makes even those homegrown. Increasingly popular with tourists for the beauty of its monuments, the quality of the cuisine, the proximity to popular destinations such as Belem or Sintra, the capital of Portugal is a metropolis that has understood very well as a rich offer of cultural events and exclusive shows be able to continue to rejuvenate it. That’s why choosing Lisbon for your New Year’s tour, instead of the classic toast in the square under the house, is an excellent opportunity to visit a city full of surprises and enjoy the special charm that the period of the holidays has between these multi-ethnic and colorful streets from the myriads of azulejos. In addition, Lisbon continues to be a rather cheap city, which certainly does not hurt.
New Year’s Eve with Mirò
An exhibition not to be missed if you visit Lisbon these days is Joan Miró – Materialidade and Metamorfose, scheduled until January 8, 2018 and back from the great success in Porto, where it attracted more than 240,000 visitors. The exhibition dedicated to the famous Catalan painter showcases various works of his career from 1924 until 1981, with 85 masterpieces ranging from paintings to lithographs to tapestries. And after the exhibition, everyone at the Terreiro do Paço, from where you can admire the fireworks at the stroke of midnight on the Tagus and listen to the music of some of the best Portuguese ensembles.
Christmas is not Christmas without its songs and its music, and Lisbon is certainly no exception when it comes to offering a rich and varied offer in terms of festive concerts. In almost all the places of worship in the capital – and there are many, in addition to the many churches also the Lisbon Center Ismaili and the temple Radha Krishna – December, especially from the 2nd to the 17th of the month, is the time when we meet to rediscover the authentic spirit of these days of celebration and pay homage with singing and music.
New Year’s Marathon
Are you one of those who never give up a bit of healthy sport, even when I’m on vacation and, maybe, the climate is not the most clement? Lisbon has also thought of you. If you want to revive the limbs numbed by the cold (but here, thanks to the Gulf Stream, the temperature is usually very mild) on December 31 you can participate in the race of São Silvestre de Lisboa 2017, which starts from the center of the capital and winds through ten kilometers through the streets of the city. There are many categories, for those who want to take the race really seriously and those who just want to take the opportunity to see Lisbon from a different perspective, even with their children in tow, walking safely.
New Year’s Eve Concert
Like all major European capitals, Lisbon also hosts a concert where the most beloved classical music of the Festivals, from the Strauss waltzes to the polkas and the most unleashed marches, according to the Viennese tradition, is the masterpiece. A pinch of Austria arrives in Portugal thanks to the Strauss Festival Orchestra and the Strauss Festival Ballet Ensemble, which will compete in the most famous arias of the Central European canon, to conclude, of course, with the most anticipated moments, the waltz “On the beautiful blue Danube” and the Radetzky march. Every day from December 29th to January 5th, at 9.30pm (like all Iberian countries, even in Portugal it starts late) at the Coliseu de Lisboa, with tickets starting at € 28.
Let’s party at the movie
Until December 16th, lovers of the seventh art can enjoy the eighth edition of the important Latin American Film Festival, curated by Carlos Nogueira and Teresa Toledo. The selection this year includes more than 40 films based on a wide range of proposals and criteria, but all of high quality: an unmissable opportunity to discover the richness of the Spanish-American cinema, at the Cinema de São Jorge, in Av. Da Liberdade , 175, with tickets that are around 3 euros or so.
And the typical sweets of the holidays? Walking through the streets of Lisbon we will catch spicy and mellow scents, heirs of the perfect encounter between Arab and European cuisine since time immemorial, between hints of ginger and cinnamon and the round aroma of star anise. The most typical specialty is probably the aletria, which, like many traditional sweets, comes directly from the kitchens of the convents. In ancient times, the nuns used egg white to starch the linen, since often among the various conventual activities there was also that of ironing for families or hospitals. What was left, the yolks. it was used to make sweets: aletria is a kind of pasta made with very thin threads, then mixed with milk and egg yolks, arranged on a plate and sprinkled with cinnamon.
Filhos, on the other hand, remind us a little of our pancakes: they are made with flour and eggs, all covered with melted sugar and with the inevitable cinnamon and other sugar on top. Do not forget also the azevias, filled with chickpea cream with almonds and dried fruit, the broas de milho and the broas castelares, where honey, almonds, anise, cedar, corn flour create a delicious symphony of flavors, the formigos where hear all the taste of Porto and the opulent Bolo do rei, more suited to the days of the Epiphany but true ruler of the Portuguese table at the end of the meal: a small show already in sight, with different colors and textures, can be assimilated to a species of bundt cake with candied fruit, dried fruit and raisins. But if you can not give up the classic of the classics, even the Feasts are the perfect time to indulge in the inevitable Pasteis de Belem, in the most famous patisserie perhaps in all of Portugal, the Antiga Confeitaria de Belem: a real show for the palate!
Discover Lisbon during Christmas with Boscolo.