The cultural dynamo that is Porto has a packed calendar of festivals, concerts, markets and countless other events throughout the year. There’s always something going on in the city, so weather and visitor numbers should be the prime considerations for planning your trip.
Whether you’re seeking warm weather and open-air celebrations or budget deals without the crowds, you’ll find your ideal scenario in this detailed guide to the best times to visit Porto.
The high season (June–September) is the best time for festivals and beach-going
Porto’s summer brings long warm days and plenty of cloud-free skies. The city gets less rainfall at this time of year, though even in summer, occasional showers are possible. June is also the kickoff to Porto’s busiest time of year for events, with outdoor music festivals, saintly processes (including one by fishing boat) and some of the city’s biggest celebrations.
The temperatures averages around 23°C (73°F) but periodic heatwaves push temperatures into the high 30s (high 90s). July and August are the warmest months of the year, and you’ll find tripeiros (Porto locals) cooling off at Praia de Matosinhos and other nearby beaches. Keep in mind that even on the hottest days, ocean temperatures can feel brisk on Portugal’s northern beaches.
Predictably, summer coincides with the peak visitor season in Porto. You can expect higher hotel prices and bigger crowds wherever you go, and you’ll want to reserve well ahead at top restaurants.
Enjoy mild weather and wine during Porto’s shoulder seasons (March–May & October)
Porto’s shoulder seasons fall during the spring and autumn months. Colorful blooms fill the parks around the city from late March to early May, and if you take a day trip to the countryside, you can see wildflowers on scenic hikes through northern Portugal’s nature reserves.
Late September and October bring bright autumn (fall) colors to the city’s parks and tree-lined streets. The spectacle is especially dramatic along the banks of the Douro River upstream from Porto. This is also grape-harvest season at wineries in the Douro Valley, so you’ll have the opportunity to see wine-making and grape-stomping in action.
The weather is a bit of a mix at this time of year, with more rain than in summer but fewer wet days than you’ll see in winter. Temperatures are near perfect for outdoor activities, with daily highs of around 17°C (63°F) in March, and around 20°C (68°F) in October.
Get cheap deals and see a more local side of Porto in the low season (November–February)
Porto has a reputation for cold, rainy days during the winter months. December is the city’s wettest month, with an average of around 15 days of precipitation. Even on those rainy days, however, you can get patches of dry weather in between the storms.
Traveling at this time of year means dressing in layers. You might have a cold, misty morning, followed by midday sunshine with highs of around 15°C (59°F) and evening showers. January is the coldest month of the year, though the evening lows rarely fall below 5°C (41°F).
In exchange for a bit of chilly, damp weather, you can avail of rock-bottom prices for flights and accommodation. Count on lodging discounts of up to 50% off high-season rates.
January is for cultural escapes
When the weather turns dry, plan your days around visits to art museums, medieval cathedrals and other indoor sights. When all else fails, retreat to a cozy cafe such as Café Candelabro or a candlelit wine bar such as Prova as the rains arrive.
Key events: Dia de Reis, IndieJúnior children’s film festival
February is for fantasy
Porto’s busy entertainment calendar doesn’t slow down during the cold days of February. In fact, this is a great month for catching concerts at the Casa da Música and other venues. Film lovers won’t want to miss Portugal’s premier fantasy film festival, Fantasporto, which often coincides with the costumed parades of Carnaval.
Key events: Carnaval, Fantasporto film festival
March is for garden walks without the crowds
The temperatures are rising but the rains are still falling as Porto creeps toward springtime. Pack your umbrella and enjoy verdant strolls through the Jardim Botânico do Porto, Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, and other green spaces around town.
Key events: Vinyl records fair, Essência do Vinho wine fair
April brings springtime flowers everywhere
While rain is still a possibility, the showers fall less frequently in April than in the previous four months. Easter processes bring yet more color to the streets both in Porto and in nearby Braga, which has Portugal’s biggest Easter festival.
Key events: Easter celebrations, Liberation Day
May is a great month for outdoor activities
Warmer temperatures and longer days make the month of May an ideal time for scenic walks along the riverbanks and across Porto’s bridges, as well as boat trips along the Douro and other outdoor activities. The crowds are beginning to arrive, with rising hotel prices, but you can still find better deals than you will in the summer.
Key events: Queima das Fitas, Senhor dos Matosinhos, International Festival of Iberian Expression Theater (FITEI)
June is full of summery celebrations
The summer kicks off with vibrant festivals such as the 50-hour, non-stop Serralves em Festa, and the revelry surrounding the Festa de São João, Porto’s biggest celebration, marking the feast day of St John the Baptist. Unsurprisingly, hotel rates rise as visitors come to experience the joie de vivre and warm weather.
Key events: Serralves em Festa, Festa de São João, Nos Primavera Sound, Festa de São Pedro da Afurada
July is for long days outdoors
The driesest month of the year is a great time to be out and about, though you’ll certainly have a lot of company throughout this beautiful but busy month. Book outdoor dining at terrace restaurants overlooking the city, catch open-air concerts and film screenings, and browse for treasures at street markets.
Key events: MEO Marés Vivas, LGBT+ Music Festival
August is the best month for seaside adventures
Porto packs in its biggest crowds in August, so you’ll need to book flights, accommodations and top-tier restaurants well in advance. This peak month coincides with the hottest temperatures, so be sure to include some days on the beach to escape the heat.
Key events: Cinema Fora de Sítio, Porto Busker Fest, Assunção de Nossa Senhora
September brings cooler temperatures to Porto
The soaring August temperatures plummet in September, though the crowds are mostly still around. Catch the tail end of Porto’s lively open-air summer festival season, markets, joining yoga sessions in the park and seeing open-air hitting performances.
Key events: Porto International Circus Festival, Concertos na Avenida
October is filled with autumn color
Cooler days arrive in Porto, it’s a lovely time to explore the city, though you’ll need to be prepared for and frequent showers. The city is less packed with out-of-towners, especially toward the end of the month.
Key events: Amplifest, Festival Gastronomico Francesinha
November is for budget-friendly accommodation
Things get even wetter in November, Porto’s third rainiest month. On the upside, you’ll find some amazing deals when it comes to flights and lodgings.
Key events: Porto Marathon
December is filled with holiday merriment
Those drizzly afternoons and long nights don’t dampen the city’s spirits. Cheery Christmas markets, roasted chestnuts and colorfully decorated squares form a memorable backdrop to visits to Porto in December.
Key events: New Year’s Eve, Artes & Ofícios Christmas market, São Silvestre do Porto race