What is The Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal?


Discovering Porto is loads of fun in any season. But picking the right time to visit will make your trip even more perfect. From the lively ambiance of summer to the crisp fall days, the city is always gorgeous and full of things to do. 

The best time to visit Porto Portugal, depends on what you want to get out of this marvelous city. I live down in southern Portugal, so when I visit Porto, I’m a tourist like you. I’ve seen Porto in the spring, summer, and fall – although, does November count as fall?! For me, every season has been incredible.

Spring brings baby grapes in the Douro Valley, summer has fantastic weather and outdoor festivals, and once the temperature drops, nothing is better than having a glass of Port underneath a heater on a restaurant patio.

But let’s look at what to expect from all of the seasons in Porto.

Where Is Porto?

Porto is a city in northern Portugal. It is not up against the Spanish border, but it is not central Portugal either. It is right alongside the Atlantic Ocean and sits across the famous Douro River from Vila Nova de Gaia.

Visitors often assume these two cities are the same, but don’t get confused; they are separate, and the rivalry is intense (now that rivalry is only between football teams… but it can still be pretty vicious). Continuing east from Porto, you could follow the river into the famous Douro Valley wine region. 


When Is The Best Time To Visit Porto Portugal?

The good news is that there’s never a bad time to visit Porto Portugal. The city’s most popular places are open year-round — so whether you want to stroll through the long days of summer or brave the strong winds of late winter, book that return flight and trust that you will have an amazing vacation.

Porto by the river during summer time, arguably the best time to visit Porto Portugal
The best time to visit Porto Portugal depends on what you want to do and see.
best time to visit Porto Portugal

What are the best months to visit Porto?

There isn’t a bad time to visit Porto. The right time for you depends on your preferences and where you are headed. That being said, it is widely recommended that shoulder seasons are the best time to visit — and I have to say I agree. The shoulder seasons are spring (March to May) and autumn (September to November).

These are the best times to visit for two reasons. The first is that the city, all of its attractions and tours, as well as the Douro Valley, is significantly less crowded as compared with summer. 

Porto temperature throughout the year in Celsius. (Photo: Weather Atlas, best time to visit Porto Portugal)

The second is the weather. I don’t think anything is more perfect than Portugal in early June and September. You can have the most immaculate days when the sun shines, but the heat is still very bearable. This is the perfect weather to go sightseeing or visit a beach.

If the Douro Valley and wine tasting are high on your list of priorities, I’d aim for autumn. If you can make it in early September, the vines will be heavy with ripe grapes or have just begun to be harvested. If you get your timing just right, you may even be able to stomp on grapes (but the exact timing of harvest varies from year to year, so it’s best to contact the wineries directly).

best time to visit Porto Portugal

What is the rainiest month in Porto Portugal?

The rainiest month in Porto is usually December when the city experiences its rainy season.

Porto rainfall throughout the year in mm. (Photo: Weather Atlas, best time to visit Porto Portugal)

While Porto has relatively mild winters, there is a definite increase in total rainfall. While December often has the highest rain, winter (December – February) is damp. If you visit during winter, you should focus your itinerary on indoor attractions and activities like eating and drinking to stay dry.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Summer in Porto: June — August

While Porto is a year-round destination, summer in Porto is the most popular time to visit and the peak season amongst tourists. Summer is the best time to visit Porto Portugal for beaches as nearby beach resorts are packed, and there is always a party going on.

If you are looking for sunny days, summer is home to the warmest months of the year. But it also comes with lots of crowds and long lines of tourists.

Temperature & Climate 

Porto has a Mediterranean climate and pretty mild temperatures, even during the summer. Highs usually peak in July and August, and though they are the hottest months, temps typically sit in the high 70s°F (around 25°C). 

It’s not uncommon for heat waves to roll through, which can mean a day or two of sweltering heat in the upper 90s°F (high 30s°C). When that happens, it’s time to head to the nearby beaches, up into the Douro Valley, or even some smaller towns to escape the city heat. 

July and August are also the driest months of the year, with minimal, if any, rainfall. If you want to avoid rain, August is the best month to visit Porto Portugal.

Average Sea Temperature

Porto beaches are all on the Atlantic coast. The water there warms up a bit during the summer, usually with the warmest days in mid-August. The water temperature during that time can go as high as the low 80s F (around 28 C), bordering on bath water levels.

But if I’m being honest, it’s a rare day that I find the water warm enough to immerse myself fully. The Atlantic maintains quite a chill year-round. 

What to do in Porto During the Summer 

One of the best day trips from Porto is the incredible Douro Valley — one of my favourite places in all of Portugal.
  • Smack people on the head with hammers during Dia de São João. Most cities in Portugal have saints — João is Porto’s saint (translated to Saint John), and June 24th is his saint day — it’s one of the key events in Porto. The city’s streets overflow with people, and everyone smacks each other on the head with hammers — they’re big and plastic and make squeaking sounds.
  • Take a day trip to the Douro Valley and see the grapes grow. Depending on the weather throughout the year, some grapes may begin to be harvested in late summer. But it’s a great time to see the vineyards just before that as they are lush and green with big, fat grapes hanging off them.
  • Attend music festivals and live concerts held in various parts of the city. Porto is alive throughout the summer with all sorts of events, big and small. 

Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal: Summer  

Porto is great to visit in the summer as the days are longer, you have more hours of sunshine, and therefore more time to explore and see the sights. If you are looking for great warm weather the temperature in Porto Portugal at this time is perfect.

The city is also more alive than at any other time of the year. You can find concerts, shows, festivals, and more almost every day of the summer season.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Fall in Porto: September — November 

Porto weather September temperatures the best. The weather Porto still feels like summer, but the crowds have gone away.

Fall is one of two shoulder seasons in Porto. Fewer people visit the city than in summer, so things like guided tours are less crowded. I am a strong beleiver that the best time to visit any major city in Portugal is during the shoulder season.

Temperature & Climate 

Porto gradually becomes slightly cooler from September to November throughout fall, with more comfortable temperatures than in summer. That being said, September mirrors the same temperatures as the summer months. But by October, you can expect temperatures to start to cool.

And by November, nights can get as low as the high 40s°F (about 9°C), but daytimes still have pleasant weather in the low to mid-60s F (17 C).

Average Sea Temperature

While it cools off slightly, the average sea temperature in Porto in the fall remains pretty inviting, sitting in the low to mid-60s (found 17 – 18 C). Depending on your relationship with the cold, this may still be swimmable. Either way, it’s a great time to stroll along the beaches and enjoy the quiet. 

What to do in Porto During the Fall 

Temperatures Porto tend to start to drop in late October and November. But the shoulder season is still the best time to go to Porto Portugal.
  • Take a Douro River cruise. Experience the beauty of Porto in the fall by taking a river cruise up the Douro. As autumn sets in, the scenery changes and darkens to browns, reds, oranges. The vines drop their greenery, and the entire scene differs from just a month ago.
  • Visit a winery during the harvest. While many wineries continue their normal programs of tastings and tours, some allow you to participate in the winemaking process — and this is the time of year when a lot of that happens. The grapes are picked and then processed. You can stomp on the grapes at some wineries before enjoying the harvest. 
  • Explore the Ribeira District: Wander through the historic UNESCO World Heritage Site neighborhood. Exploring the narrow streets can be much more pleasant during the milder fall temperatures. Check out the colorful houses, visit cafes, and soak in the unique atmosphere of this riverside neighborhood.

Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal: Fall 

Porto in the fall is a great time to enjoy the city’s beauty with fewer tourists. You can also take advantage of lower hotel prices and fewer crowds.  Porto is also the perfect gateway to the Douro Valley, where you can experience the vineyards’ grape harvest.

For me the best time to visit Porto Portugal is during spring and fall — the shoulder seasons.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Winter in Porto: December February

If you are looking for warmer temperatures, winter is not the best season to visit. But even if it’s cold, Porto is still magical in the wintertime.

If you’re looking for festive cheer, the best time to visit Portugal is in the winter. If we look at Porto weather by month, this is the coldest time — but winter in Porto still has a lot to offer. 

Temperature & Climate 

Winter in Porto sees a temperature drop, with January being the coldest month of the year. Daytime temperatures throughout the winter hover around the mid-to-high 50s°F (14°C). Remember that a sunny day will feel much warmer, while an overcast day, with the dampness and humidity, can chill you to your bones. 

January is also one of the wettest months, with an average of 13 rainy days — this is after the Portugal rainy season. Nevertheless, compared to many other major European cities, just about every winter day in Porto seems mild.

If you visit Porto in winter, be prepared for the temperatures to feel much colder than they read, thanks to the winds. Strong Atlantic depressions can bring in bitterly cold winds throughout the winter.  

Average Sea Temperature

The sea around Porto gets coldest in the mid-50s F (about 13°C), usually at the end of winter, around late February/early March. You’ll probably still see people diving (or surfing), but this time, they’ll be equipped with wetsuits.

Porto is one of the only major cities in Portugal where you can take your surfboard on the metro and head to the beach.

If you’re a surfer, winter brings bigger waves than the rest of the year. 

What to do in Porto During the Winter  

  • Celebrate the holidays: what to do in Porto in December? Enjoy the holidays! Throughout December, a Christmas market is set up in the Gardens of the Crystal Palace. Plus, there are lights and various holiday displays all over the city. On New Year’s Eve, fireworks are set off over the river. 
  • Take a food walking tour: When the temperatures drop, there is no better way to spend your time indoors than eating and drinking. There are many great local dishes (try a francesinha) and an awesome food tour that will take you around the city, sampling foods and wines.
  • Explore Porto’s indoor attractions: Wondering what to do in Porto when it rains? Why not visit a museum or go on a wine tour? Most of the best things to do in Porto remain open year-round, and sticking to indoor activities is a good idea for cooler days. 

Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal: Winter

It can be fun to visit Porto in the winter for the charm of the festive atmosphere. Prices tend to go up around Christmas and New Year, but outside of that, you can find great deals during this low season — especially Porto in February or January. Plus, the crowds are super thin during those months, so you’ll get to explore popular attractions without a stranger looking over your shoulder. 

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Spring in Porto: March-May 

The beautiful weather in Porto in spring is very welcoming. With warmer days and budding flowers, some consider this the best time to visit Douro Valley.

Porto weather May edition is gorgeous. My recommendation? If you can take a tuk-tuk tour around the city.

Temperature & Climate 

With the spring season comes a gradual and welcome rise in temperatures. March is still chilly, with the daytime maximum temperature hovering around the low 60s°F (17°C). But by early May, you’ll look at summer-like weather with daytime highs in the upper 60s°F (about 20°C). There can still be reasonably substantial rainfall throughout spring, with nearly nine days per month. 

Average Sea Temperature

The sea temperature around Porto rises, signaling the arrival of beach-friendly weather. But it’s still not bath-water warm yet. Especially in March, you can expect winter-like water temps. By May, though, temperatures climb up to the low 60s (around 18-19°C), which can be comfortable for a quick dip.

What to do in Porto During the Spring  

  • Celebrate Holy Week: The week leading up to Easter is an exciting time to be in Portugal as religious processions are happening everywhere — some are very small. You likely won’t be able to find out about them ahead of time, so it’s best to wander the city and stop whenever you happen upon something. 
  • Take the Six Bridges cruise: with cooler temps, smaller crowds, and blazing sun, this can be a perfect time to go on a guided tour by boat, whether it’s the Six Bridges cruise or a trip up the Douro to the wineries. 
  • Go on a bike tour: again, the warm sun and cooler air temperatures are ideal for physical exercise, and a bike tour is a great way to see the city. 

Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal: Spring

Consider visiting Porto in the spring for a laid-back trip marked by milder temperatures, landscapes coming to life, and cultural activities. You’ll also enjoy fewer tourists, less-crowded attractions, and lower prices. 

For me the best time to visit Porto Portugal is during spring and fall — the shoulder seasons.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

What to Pack For A Trip to Porto 

The best time to visit Porto Portugal? Regardless of the season make sure to pack the right clothes.

Packing strategically for your trip to Porto is essential for your comfort and enjoyment. Porto’s weather changes quite a bit throughout the year, so when you’re going matters a lot. Here’s a guide on what to pack for each season regardless of what tourist attractions you want to see.

Of course, this is in addition to all the basics like your toiletries and travel insurance, which you’ll wish to do regardless of the time of year. 


Summer in Porto tends to have moderate temperatures, so pack lightweight, breathable clothing and light layers for late nights or early mornings. Wear shorts, comfortable walking shoes, sunglasses, and a wide-brimmed hat for outdoor activities. 

Don’t forget sunscreen, a reusable water bottle (tap water is almost always safe to drink around Portugal), and a swimsuit for beach outings. A light jacket or sweater for cooler evenings is also a good idea.


For Porto’s mild winters, the best way to dress is in layers that you can easily remove and put back on. Temperatures tend to fluctuate, it can be nice and warm in the day and freezing once the sun goes down. Include a mix of sweaters, long-sleeved shirts, and a waterproof jacket and umbrella for occasional rains. Comfortable walking shoes are crucial for exploring Porto’s cobbled streets, which can get quite slippery in heavy rains. 

Bring a scarf, gloves, and a hat for warmth, especially in the evenings. Also, remember that interiors are poorly heated and have colder temperatures, so bring cozier clothes to sleep or lounge in than you might need for the rest of the year.

Spring // Fall 

During Porto’s shoulder seasons, pack a mix of light and heavier layers from March to May in spring and September to November in fall. Include a combination of short and long-sleeved shirts, a light jacket, and clothing that can be easily paired together for varying temperatures. 

Me in Porto in November. Why to visit Porto? It is one of the most stunning cities in Portugal.

An umbrella may be needed for spring showers, while fall may require warmer layers as temperatures cool — especially in the evenings. Don’t forget comfortable walking shoes for city exploring to get you to spots like the famous train station.

best time to visit Porto portugal: Frequently Asked Questions

How many days do you need in Porto Portugal?

Deciding how many days to spend in Porto, Portugal, really depends on what you want to experience. If you’re looking to just hit the main attractions and discover a few hidden gems, three nights in Porto could be ideal.

If you are going to spend time in Porto Portugal remember to try some Port wine

However, if you have more time, spending 5 to 7 days in the city can provide a more relaxed pace, allowing you to dive deeper into Porto’s culture, laze on the beaches, and interact more with locals. With extra days, you can also consider day trips to explore northern Portugal’s beautiful towns and landscapes​.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Does Porto have a rainy season?

Yes, Porto does have a rainy season. The rainiest months in Porto are typically November through February, with December often being the wettest month.

During this period, the city experiences a significant amount of its annual rainfall, making for cooler and wetter conditions compared to the drier summer months. Also this is the general rainy season in Portugal, so if you are going to Lisbon, except rain as well.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

What is the rainiest month in Porto Portugal?

December is the rainiest month of the year in Porto, Portugal, with nearly 7 inches of rainfall. This is followed by November and February, which also see significant rainfall, each with over 6 inches on average .

If it rains, one of the best things to do in Porto is take a food tour, or try some of Porto’s specialities like the francesinha.
best time to visit Porto Portugal

What are the hottest months in Porto Portugal?

The hottest months in Porto, Portugal, are typically July and August. During these summer months, the average high temperatures are around 25°C (77°F) to 26°C (79°F), although it can sometimes get hotter.

best time to visit Porto Portugal

What is the coldest month in Porto?

The coldest month in Porto is usually January, with average low temperatures around 5°C (41°F) and average high temperatures around 14°C (57°F).

best time to visit Porto Portugal

Is Porto warmer than Lisbon?

Lisbon is generally warmer than Porto. Lisbon, located further south, enjoys a slightly warmer climate year-round compared to Porto, which is in the north of Portugal.

Although Lisbon is warmer than Porto, the best time to visit Lisbon is also during the shoulder season.

This means Lisbon has higher average temperatures, especially during the summer months, while Porto experiences milder weather with a bit more rainfall due to its northern location and proximity to.

Final Thoughts: Best Time to Visit Porto Portugal

So when is the best tim to visit Porto Portugal? Every season is a good option! Different seasons offer different things.

Summer, or high season, offers sunny beach days, while fall provides milder temperatures and a quieter atmosphere. Winter months, though cooler, are captivating with festive celebrations. Late spring brings in a warmer average temeprautre, plus some of the best cultural festivities to do.

Whether indulging in port wine, exploring beautiful beaches in early September, or discovering the best places the city of Porto has to offer,  it welcomes you with its richness in every season, and you’re guaranteed a good time. Plan your visit for the ideal time that aligns with your preferences and interests.

Get ready to enjoy all that Porto offers — from the city center to Parque da Cidade, the Festa de São João, and good weather and stunning coastal areas.

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