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


€20.00 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
Cat Joao

A customized trip with Joao

We did Joao's tour on our second last day in Lisbon, and it was honestly the perfect cherry topper to an already great trip.

Joao was not only incredibly kind, patient, and ready to answer any/every question we had, but he was essentially bottomless fountain of knowledge. Every single point of the tour managed to top the point before it. I've already started recommending people back home to check this out if they're ever in Lisbon, and I would happily do the tour again myself if I'm ever back.

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
David Lisbon

Off the Beaten Track with a Local in Lisbon

We had a great private tour with Bruno through Lisbon! We were running a little late so Bruno happily met us at our restaurant, where sat for a little. He is very personable, knowledgable and through and through Portuguese! I am convinced that for as long as I am in Portugal, Christopher Columbus was born in Portugal. (Now that we are in Italy I might revise that opinion...) Also, he did an amazing job of keeping our walking tour "down hill" even though Lisbon is very hilly. Highly recommend.

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
Ashley Bruno

Belém District Private Tour

Bruno is an amazing guide! So fun and knowledgeable! You won’t regret having a tour with Bruno!