Here is a seasonal guide to the best time to visit Porto Portugal
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The charming city of Porto, located along the Douro River in northern Portugal, is a sight to behold and a bounty of memories waiting to unfold.
The historic centre of Porto was declared a World Heritage Site and the beautiful history of the city is evident in the narrow cobblestone streets, colourful buildings and riverside attractions.
But when is the best time to enjoy this storylike destination? Whether you want to indulge in a juicy weekend in Porto, or plan a longer itinerary in the Portuguese city, one of the first decisions to make is when is the best time to visit Porto.
Best Time To Visit Porto Overall
The best time to visit Porto will largely depend on what you want to achieve out of your holiday. The main factors to look at are climate, events, crowds and, of course, the weather.
Porto, like many coastal European cities, boasts a moderate temperature. This makes the destination a top choice to visit all year round.
If I had to choose one single time of year to pull the trigger, I’d recommend between late summer and early autumn (September is ideal). That’s when I visited Porto.
During this time, the temperature is warm, the streets aren’t too busy and there’s hardly any rainfall.
You can enjoy the beautiful outdoors without feeling the wrath of the sun, and comfortably visit the main attractions without too many crowds.
Read my detailed guide on the top things to do in Porto Portugal.
Climate and Weather in Porto
Porto experiences a mild and moderate oceanic climate. As a coastal city, the weather in Porto is delightful.
A trip to the city will have you enjoying plenty of decadent Porto brunches in the sun, wine tasting in the Douro valley and dipping your toes in the sea.
The mild rainy season falls in the winter months, between December and February, but is not stormy or stifling. In fact, winter is quite a magical time to visit the charming destination.
The average temperatures during each season are as follows:
Summer – June to August – 20℃
Spring – March to May – 14℃
Winter – December to February – 10℃
Autumn – September to November – 16℃
Porto is also known to be quite a windy city, particularly during winter and leading up to summer, after which the faster winds are replaced by a softer breeze.
Although the ocean is beautiful and alluring, the water is quite chilly throughout the year, with the warmest being 19℃ during August.
Weather In Porto During Summer
Portugal summer weather is pleasant across the country but is particularly enjoyable in Porto. Although the temperature can get quite toasty during the peak months of July and August, there is still the ocean breeze to cool the city down.
The streets are buzzing with activity during the summer months, making it a fantastic time of year to visit Porto alone or with friends.
There’s always something to do, and people are friendly and in high spirits, although it can get crowded at times.
The summer months of July and August are considered to be high season. The temperature rarely pushes above 30℃ but the nights are warm enough to socialise on the urban terraces, walk the streets and stroll along the river.
Things to Do & Porto Weather In June
June is Porto’s introduction to summer. The temperature increases to a comfortable 23℃ during the day and the rainfall drops significantly from May.
Hotel prices begin to increase slightly as they prepare for high season, but you can still avoid the main crowds.
In late June, there is the ‘Festa de São João’ when locals gather in the city centre and pay tribute to Saint John the Baptist.
The party that makes up the event is a highlight on the Porto calendar, full of traditional festivities and joyful moods.
There are plenty of São João related activities organised throughout the month, making June a very exciting time to be in the city.
Things to Do & Porto Weather In July
July is the start of the high season in Porto. Temperatures will approach their maximum during the day, and rainfall will drop to barely existent.
As much of the Northern hemisphere goes on holiday, you’ll find a flock of tourists visiting the city. This is great if you love the city when it’s buzzing, but not as fun if crowds give you anxiety.
To add to the festive mood, July is also the month for Festival Mares Vivas, a popular and highly anticipated music festival.
As well as the Porto Wine Fest, which is a must-attend event for anyone who has a taste for the decadent adult beverage of which Porto is the namesake.
July is also a great month if you prefer to visit Porto with no plans, and want to simply go with the flow. You can visit the beaches, open-air cinemas and visit the many fantastic bars and restaurants.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in August
Porto tourism reaches its peak in August. Prices and temperatures are at their highest, and the crowds are at their fullest.
This can make for quite an adventure if you’re an extrovert, but should probably be avoided if you’re travelling on a budget and are intimidated by crowds.
But there’s a reason that August is so busy. The weather is fantastic and there are so many fun activities on the go. In addition to the usual availability of the beach, concerts, restaurants and river cruises, there are plenty of pop-up events to enjoy.
Top tip: As Porto is bustling during August, it’s highly recommended that you make any and all reservations ahead of time.
Weather In Porto During Autumn
Loved as a shoulder season in Porto, Autumn temperatures are warm enough to enjoy the outdoors, but without the crowds.
The colour of the natural surroundings turns their romantic shade of oranges and reds, while the beauty of the ocean remains turquoise blue.
The crowds start to dwindle and there are fewer lines at main attractions. Rather than spending your days soaking the sun on the beach, you may find that the many markets and museums are more appealing.
The temperatures begin to drop, but the days typically don’t get much colder than 20. Although the rain does begin to pick up in the later autumn months.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in September
September is arguably the best time to visit the city. The weather in Porto, Portugal, during this time is warm and pleasant, with very little rainfall and a festive atmosphere. The charm of the historical city is in full swing.
If you’re wondering when the best time to visit nearby Douro Valley, then this is it! Harvest season in the valley happens in spring and the mood is as giddy as you’d imagine after enjoying the grapes in their fermented form.
This also makes Porto a good time to visit for a 30th birthday city break, if you’re a wine-lover like myself.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in October
The temperature begins to drop a little bit more in October, averaging a comfortable 20℃. While this makes walking the streets very comfortable (especially considering the decreased crowds) the rain does pick up – so pack your umbrella!
Overall, the weather in Porto in October is cooler and wetter, but the attractions don’t become any less enjoyable.
From the Soares dos Reis National Museum, the oldest public museum in Portugal, to the iconic Lello bookstore, there are plenty of indoor experiences to enjoy when rain falls from the sky.
The prices of travelling in Porto in October are noticeably lower, so this is a fantastic time to visit if you’re on a budget.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in November
This month marks the start of the low season and prices for flights and accommodation drop considerably.
November is cool, but not cold, meaning that you can comfortably explore without breaking a sweat or wearing layers, upon layers of clothes. While the weather is mild, the rain increases quite a bit.
If you’re visiting Porto in November, then you can fill your itinerary by exploring historical attractions and enjoying the Porto nightlife. From visiting Palácio da Bolsa to exploring the Ribiera, your choices are endless.
Weather In Porto During Winter
The winter months are the rainiest, reaching up to 175 millimetres in the wettest month of December.
The coldest month is January and the temperature averages about 13,5℃ during the day, which is not as cold as other European destinations during winter.
The streets are quiet during these months, and the queues at various attractions are a lot shorter than during the peak season.
With that being said, the time around Christmas and New Year pick up quite a bit and the atmosphere becomes quite festive. Overall, winter is the cheapest time to visit Porto.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in December
Christmas markets line the streets and the mood is light, despite the darker days in December.
Although the weather is a bit damper, and the days are chilly, there are festivities in the city that are wonderful.
There are romantic lights, charming markets, warm drinks and lots of laughter. The most popular of these Christmas markets is Artesanatos, a favourite among locals and visitors alike.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in January
Although January is the coldest month in Porto, it’s still very pleasant. There’s nothing like an extra jacket and cosy beanie to warm up your adventure. The rain is still quite prevalent, but there is plenty to do.
In addition to the usual palaces, museums and delicious wine bars, there are also great New Year parties that are organised. And you won’t want to miss the annual Dia de Reis, a traditional parade that celebrates Portuguese history.
Top tip: If you’re looking for the cheapest flight from London to Porto, you’ll probably find it in January.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in February
February is the final month in Porto’s low season. It’s still one of the more affordable months to visit the city, but there is still a fair amount of rain and the temperature is still cold.
If you plan on visiting Porto in February, then expect to get swept away in a magical world with a wet and frosty tone.
Celebrate the quiet atmosphere in Porto by visiting various wine cellars, indulging in delicious Portuguese food, and enjoying the sights crowd-free.
Weather In Porto During Spring
During springtime, the wind and rain begin to slow down and the conditions become more temperate. The days become a bit warmer but the crowds are yet to overwhelm the streets.
Another major plus is that the costs of flights and accommodation are still low, making spring a beautiful and affordable time to plan a trip.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in March
Porto in March is quite beautiful. The flowers start to bloom and the public parks and gardens are particularly relaxing.
There is still a fair bit of rain so make sure that you pack an umbrella, but all of the usual attractions, such as Torre dos Clerigos, are fully operative.
If you’re looking for an extra-special treat, then make sure that you book a Fado and port wine experience. This offers a great taste of both local wine as well as tradition.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in April
April introduces the final bit of rain before the summer season begins – and the sky makes sure that it gets every last bit out.
However, there are beautiful moments of sunshine between the random showers. Tourism starts to pick up slightly and the Easter festivities are set in motion.
Fun activities during April include spending time outdoors, such as on a riverside bicycle tour. This is a great way to enjoy the breathtaking nature as you cycle past quaint buildings. Just make sure that you check the Porto weather forecast before.
Things to Do & Porto Weather in May
May is another fantastic time of year to visit Porto. There’s still a fair amount of rain but the weather begins to get warmer, reaching around 20℃ during the day.
The sunshine is welcoming, and the parks are a great place to spend your day or visit in a gap between attractions. Popular parks include Serralves, Porto City Park, and The Crystal Palace Gardens.
Final Thoughts on Season Guide to Porto
Bar Douro in London manages to conjure up some of the magic in the Porto wine region, but nothing can quite compare to being there in person. So whether you want to enjoy the vibrant streets in high season, or experience a magical winter wonderland, a trip to Porto is always a win.
Although Porto can experience a fair amount of rain during winter, the cost of visiting the city is significantly less during this time.
Overall, the weather in Porto in September is the best, allowing you to enjoy all of the best that the city has to offer.