If you want to really win at Christmas shopping this year, head over to the Centro de Congressos* de Lisboa right now! The Diplomatic Bazaar is taking place there today and tomorrow, November 20th and 21st (11:00 – 19:00), and it’s an annual event that you just can’t miss. I love it because it has fantastic, unique gifts; it’s in aid of a good cause; and there’s delicious food everywhere you go. It gets me feeling all Christmassy, and makes buying unique, quality gifts at great prices a breeze. If buying gifts isn’t your forté, this place may just turn that around… Have a look at some sneak peak photos below and get excited: Christmas just hit Lisbon!
Some background: The Diplomatic Bazaar is ran by the Associação das Famílias dos Diplomatas Portugueses, which works with various embassies in Portugal, the Portuguese islands (Madeira and Azores) and other industries to help a worthy cause. This year, the proceeds go to various institutions focusing on maternity and infants (in my opinion, a very fitting focus given the reason we celebrate Christmas!).
The countries participating this year (apart from Portugal, of course) are: Angola, Algeria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Egypt, Germany, France, Guatemala, Indonesia, Iran, Luxembourg, Morocco, Nigeria, Malta, Palestine, Panama, Pakistan, Paraguay, Peru, Philippines, Romania, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey, USA and Vietnam.
What to do: My single most important tip for you is to buy some raffle tickets. Last year, I won a lunch for two at a French restaurant in Lisbon. Every year, several people (not one, several) I know win fantastic prizes such as trips abroad, spa vouchers and Christmas gift baskets. I’ve bought a few in advance already: not only is it a pleasure to give to such a great cause, but I have a good feeling about my chances again this year!
One aspect of the diplomatic bazaar that I love is the fact that you can sample food from all over the world. Whether you’re in the mood for Portuguese Pastéis de Belém or Angolan moamba, you’ll regret not coming with an appetite.
The only downfall to getting your gifts here is that you’ve set the bar really high for next year…
*Centro de Congressos de Lisboa: Praça das Indústrias, 1300-307 Lisboa