Christmas arrives in Porto on December 1st and promises weeks of entertainment, joy and many surprises, in a year focusing on the gardens of Palácio de Cristal. The “Palácio de Natal” [Christmas Palace] thus promises stage and traveling entertainment, workshops, a market and lots and lots of music making up a completely free programme designed for all ages.

This year, the Gardens of Palácio de Cristal are the main Christmas meeting point in Porto. On weekends and bank holidays until Christmas Eve, from 10:30 am to late afternoon, families can enjoy a variety of artistic and fun activities spread across different spaces.

Wandering around the gardens or sheltered in the Tenda de Neve [Snow Tent], the programme will feature storytellers, actors, clowns, magicians, musicians, dancers and even a caricaturist.

In the other covered area of ​​the space, the Tenda de Cristal [Crystal Tent], there will be a series of workshops inviting you to write letters to Santa Claus, play percussion instruments and create soaps, candles, ornaments or puppets.

On Avenida das Tílias, a Mercado de Natal [Christmas Market] will bring together dozens of regional exhibitors, with a special focus on handicrafts or food products, which will be set up right next to Casa do Pai Natal [Santa's House], where the “old man with a white beard”, the most famous in the world, will write down wishes of all the children.

Music highlighted in the programme

Music will be everywhere. A Capella voices or with musical accompaniment, folk or classical, in moments of introspection or with hands up in the air, there is a lot to hear (and feel) during this period.

On the Main Stage, located in front of the Super Bock Arena - Rosa Mota Pavilion, the major concerts promise to bring even more entertainment to the venue, with performances by Bárbara Bandeira (1 December), Rui Massena Ensemble (3 December), Saint Dominic's Gospel Choir (11 December) and Nuno Lanhoso and Os Quatro e Meia (17 December). The concerts start at 6pm and admission is free.

At the Tenda de Neve or at the Concha Acústica, there will be much more to hear, from jazz bands to traditional choirs, including students’ music groups and carols that will create the atmosphere of a true Palácio de Natal.

Concerts in the streets, on unexpected stages and in Bolhão

In Christmas or timeless mood, the music will sound beyond the Palácio de Cristal. Groups of various styles, prepared to play in a fixed location or be on the move, will take the party to streets and neighbourhoods of all the parishes in the afternoons of the three Saturdays before Christmas – 3, 10 and 17 December. The events include lively brass bands and moments of pure magic.

The Porto Sounds Secrets initiative will arrive in a triple dose. Three well-known names in Portuguese pop will perform in unusual settings: Irma will perform in the Regimento de Sapadores Bombeiros on December 4th; the Best Youth will perform at Quartel do Monte Pedral on December 10th; and Joana Almeirante plays at the Tram Museum, on December 18th. The shows always start at 6 pm and have a capacity of 250 seats, free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis, with the doors opening one hour before the shows.

Music, including opera, theatre and live caricatures will also help to give Christmas tones to the refurbished Bolhão Market, on the morning and afternoon of December 3rd and from 19 to 23 December, with special highlight for the famous Ópera de Bolso.

Find the full programme here!

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    Last updated 2022-12-06