Holidays in Portugal

What’s in a holiday? More than your usual food and drink fare, Portugal holidays are the stuff dreams are made of – fireworks, music, dancing and copious amounts of fantastic food and wonderful wine enjoyed with hearty fun only locals can provide. Here are the top holidays in Portugal, so you can plan a trip around it and live traditional customes like a local.

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Holidays in Portugal

The Portuguese love to celebrate and anything is used as a convenient excuse to party the day (and the night) away. If you need proof, just look up all the festivals held in Portugal. You will see that not only are there country-wide celebrations but also festivities held in respective regions that have the same amount of pomp and revelry.

Like any other country, Portugal also celebrates public holidays or feriado público, a mix of religious, town city and national observations when students are let off school and employees take the day off. During these days, some banks, shops and tourist attractions may be closed, and bus and train schedules may be altered a bit, especially during Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and Easter Sunday.

Things to do during the holidays in Portugal

Essentials of Oporto Tour


€25.00 p.p.

Charming Historical Tour in Alfama


€18.00 p.p.

Porto/Gaia Bike Tour


€35.00 p.p.

National Holidays in Portugal

  • Like the rest of the world, Portugal welcomes the New Year with festivities on New Year’s Eve. Residents make a midnight toast with champagne and twelve raisins, each raisin symbolizing the months of the year. Head to Madeira if you want to see and awesome show of New Year’s Eve fireworks in Portugal.
  • Good Friday is another national holiday that the Portuguese celebrate. You can spend this day until Easter by watching fascinating evening processions in Braga.
  • Easter Sunday is not just a holiday but a day of festivities marked by the burning of Judas effigies in churches, the kissing of the figure of Christ and the serving of folar, a sweet savory bread with a boiled egg in the center, which is representative of the resurrection of Christ.
  • Liberty Day, held every year on the 25th of April, is a very important holiday for the Portuguese. During this day they commemorate the end of a 48-year political regime through military uprising. While some museums, monuments, shops and restaurants may be closed, visitors can still head to the malls, most of which are open during this day.
  • During the 1st of May, locals – especially those who live along the N125, in the Alfandanga to Olhão area – dress up mannequins and put them up on display in the streets to celebrate Labor Day.
  • June 10 marks a very special day for the Portuguese, as they celebrate Dia de Portugal or Portugal Day. It is a day for getting together with family and friends and remembering their roots while sharing some port wine, listening to marvelous Portuguese music and eating fabulous food.
  • Because Portugal is 88 percent Catholic, some religious feasts are also considered national holidays, like the Assumption of Mary in August 15 and Immaculate Concepcion in December 8. Both holidays are celebrated with Masses and processions.
  • Of course, Portugal’s list of national holidays will not be complete without Christmas. On this day, locals hold consoda, a morning feast where extra seats at the table are reserved for the souls of the dead. At lunch, they eat stuffed turkey and traditional sweets during lunchtime, while carolers sing Janeiras in the streets.

This is what guests are saying about our hosts

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Evelina Marco

Marco&Friends Jeep Tour around Lisbon and Belem

We had an absolute blast spending time with Marco! He's knowledgeable, funny and very accommodating! We will be recommending him to everyone who we know goes to Portugal. We got to see more in 1 day than we would have in at least 3. I feel extremely lucky to have found this site and and coming across this tour offer. Thank you so much to Marco for making our trip so memorable and fun!

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Judith Marco & Ricardo

Let's Ride Vespas Around Lisbon!

Lisbon on a Vespa was terrific fun. We had never ridden Vespas before so after a brief introduction we were off! We saw loads; from the tiny streets in Alfama to the tops of the hills to take in the amazing views and finishing at LX factory where we enjoyed a well earned beer on the rooftop bar. Lisbon is such a cool city and riding Vespas is the coolest way to see it. Fantastic fun. Thankyou "With Locals" will certainly come to you for more activities on my next city break.

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Khaled Lisbon

Lisbon's Favourites and Hidden Gems Tour

I would highly recommend this tour to anyone coming to Lisbon for the first time. The tour was an excellent way to see the city and get our bearings. Isabel was excellent, knowledgeable, so welcoming and friendly throughout the tour. Half way through the tour we stopped off and had coffee and typical & delicious Portuguese pastry which was included in the price. Her knowledge about the city was second to none. Highly recommended and thoroughly enjoyed this 3 hour tour.