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The Best & Worst Times to Visit Porto (Updated for 2023)

The Best & Worst Times to Visit Porto (Updated for 2023)

Discover the best time to visit Porto, Portugal to take in the sights, taste the famous Port wine, explore hidden gems, and eat your way across this eccentric, lively city. 

We’ll show you the overall best, cheapest, least busy, and worst time to visit Porto so you can plan out the ideal vacation. Let’s jump in!

When Should You Visit Porto? A Summary

Two traditional Rabelo boats that carry wine barrels docked in the harbor at dusk on a nice day to show the best time to visit Porto

Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

  • Overall best time to visit: June-September
  • Cheapest time to visit: November-March
  • Least busy time to visit: October-April
  • Worst time to visit: December-February

When you go to Porto hoping for the best overall experience, the weather plays a huge role. There’s a short dry season in summer and slightly cooler, rainy weather in early spring, late fall, and winter.

Dry, sunny, warm weather makes it easy to sightsee and stroll through this walkable city, enjoy the beaches, and sip Port wine while you dine al fresco. 

That means the best time to visit Porto overall is from June to September, when you’ll find the driest conditions, highs from the low to mid-70s, and tons of festivals to check out. 

The cheapest time to visit the city is between November and March, which boast the lowest hotel rates of the year due to heavy rain and cooler weather that isn’t as tourist-friendly. 

Head to Porto during the low season between October and April if you want to sidestep the bigger crowds of the warm, dry months of late spring and summer. 

But if you can help it, you may want to avoid visiting between December and February. This is the rainiest and coolest part of the year in Porto, so indoor attractions may be your only option. 

Let’s take a closer look at the different times of year you can plan a visit to Porto next. 

Best Time to Visit Porto

A sunny, clear summer day in Ribeira during the overall best time to visit Porto with colorful houses close together along the river

Nataliya Nazarova/Shutterstock

The overall best time to visit Porto is in the dry season between June and September. Daily highs reach the low-to-upper 70s, festival season is in full swing, and the city is bustling. 

June, July, August, and September are the best months to visit Porto overall. If your travel dates are open, this is definitely the time of year to book your trip. 

It’s not the cheapest or least busy time of year to go – the peak season rarely is – but you’ll be rewarded with great weather, lots to do, and a lively vibe throughout the city. 

Daily highs reach the low-to-high 70s, keeping the air pleasantly warm without feeling hot. Rainfall is minimal with less than an inch to about 2.5″ falling during this period. 

Porto’s festival season is in full swing from June to September. This is one of the biggest reasons to plan your trip during this time of year! 

Head to the Serralves em Festa art festival, the Regata dos Barcos Rabelos (when wine barrel transport boats race to the finish line), and the lively Festa de São João with costumes and fireworks in June. 

July is when the Festival Mares Vivas (“Seas Alive”) happens at Vila Nova de Gaia. The famous Douro & Porto Wine Fest with food, wine, and retail booths is a mainstay in September. 

Because this is such a popular time to visit Porto, many of the hotels in tourist-centric areas book up quickly and see rates skyrocket this time of year. 

Here’s a look at how much Porto hotels cost from June to September:

  • June: $59-$155/night
  • July: $55-$144/night
  • August: $56-$147/night
  • September: $55-$146/night

Even though the rates tend to be higher in the most popular areas this time of year, Portugal is still very affordable to visit as a whole and the cost difference isn’t crazy between the peak summer season and cheapest season in the winter and spring. 

Cheapest Time to Visit Porto

Aerial view of a vineyard and rolling green hills around Porto in the Douro wine region during the cheapest time to visit Porto

Simon Dannhauer/Shutterstock

November to March is the cheapest time to visit Porto, aligning with the arrival of the rainy season and highs in the mid-50s to low 60s. 

Between the months of November to March, you’ll be able to find hotels for a lower price than any other season in Porto. Rooms can be booked for as little as $37/night! 

It’s not surprising that November through March is the cheapest time to visit because this is the bulk of the rainy season in Porto. You can expect anywhere from 8-11 rainy days each month this time of year. 

That means some of your plans to stroll through the city, play on the beach, or tour vineyards will be dampened by rainfall. Having backup plans is key if you visit this time of year! 

Daily highs are comfortable and cooler from November to March, so add that to the “pros” column for an off-season Porto visit. 

You won’t see highs above 62F or below 53F this time of year. Nighttime lows hang between 41-46F, so pack warmer clothes if you’ll be out and about in the evenings. 

Plan to go to Feira do Artesanato do Porto – an arts and crafts fair – in December, the Dia de Reis, or King’s Day, in January, and costumed Carnaval, as well as the international film festival, Fantasporto, in February/March. 

Here’s a look at the average hotel rates in Porto from November to March, the cheapest time of year to visit:

  • November: $39-$103/night
  • December: $41-$108/night
  • January: $37-$98/night
  • February: $39-$102/night
  • March: $42-$111/night

January is the cheapest month of all for a visit, but it’s also the second-wettest month of the year in Porto. December is the rainiest month of the year here with nearly 7″ of rainfall.

November and February see 6+ inches of rain, making March (4.4″ of rain) the best month to visit if you want to go during the cheapest time of year. 

Least Busy Time to Visit Porto

An empty, narrow stone-paved street in the Old Town of Ribeira with moss and plants lining the walls during the least busy time to visit Porto

Artur Bogacki/Shutterstock

The least busy time to visit Porto is from October to April. This is the rainy low season in Porto when the fewest tourists come to the city. 

With the rainy season in full effect starting in October, tourist numbers in Porto start dwindling fast. More people come to the city when it’s drier and warmer in the summer and early fall. 

That means those looking for less-crowded conditions in Porto will find October through April the perfect season to visit! It’s not the best weather, but prices are low and crowds are extremely limited. 

During the slow rainy season, you’ll find more hotel availability, lower prices on food and tours, shorter or nonexistent lines at most attractions, and empty beaches. 

While the Atlantic Ocean is cool this time of year, you can brave the water and still enjoy a swim in October if you’re dedicated. 

Head to the Festival da Francesinha (in honor of the dish by the same name) in October, observe All Soul’s Day (All Saints Day) in November, and the country’s Independence Day on December 1.

Venture over to nearby Lisbon for Carnaval in February and check out Fantasporto, a large film festival here, in February or March. 

Holy Week is major in Portugal, with Passion Sunday (2nd Sunday before Easter) parades and processions held in Porto by the Nossa Senhora da Esperanca church. Locals burn effigies of Judas on Easter Day. 

Hotel prices are one of the reasons visiting during the less-busy off season can be worth it in Porto. Here’s a look at the average hotel rates this time of year: 

  • October: $49-$129/night
  • November: $39-$103/night
  • December: $41-$108/night
  • January: $37-$98/night
  • February: $39-$102/night
  • March: $42-$111/night
  • April: $54-$142/night

While there are certainly downsides to visiting during the rainy season, low crowds and prices with several festivals happening can make it worth your while. 

Worst Time to Visit Porto

Wooden wine barrels lined up along the stone cellar with an arched ceiling overhead in a dim room during the worst time to visit Porto in the rainy season


The worst time to visit Porto is between December to February. This is the wettest part of the year and heavy downpours are unavoidable.

Heavy rainfall – the most of the entire year – is the main problem with visiting Porto in winter, especially between December and February. 

These are the wettest months of the year in Porto, with the city seeing up to 6.9″ of rain in a single month during this time of year. 

That means leisurely strolls through the city to admire architecture, enjoy a glass of wine or cocktail at an outdoor table, or meander across a bridge over the Douro River may be crossed off the list with so much rain. 

There are 8-11 rainy days per month during December, January, and February. It’s the worst time of year to visit Porto, but that doesn’t mean it’s a period you should avoid altogether. 

Hotels are cheaper during the winter, which is part of Porto’s low season. You might pay as little as $37/night for a room if you come during the rainy winter season:

  • December: $41-$108/night
  • January: $37-$98/night
  • February: $39-$102/night

While you’ll need to make backup indoor plans in case of imminent rainfall, this time of year can be good for visiting book shops, touring wineries, or hitting the many museums here. 

Things to Consider

One of the world's most beautiful bookstores, Lello Bookstore, seen from the inside with stained glass and intricate woodwork. Shown as example of things to do during the best time to visit Porto

Interior view of the intricate Lello Bookstore (Livraria Lello) in June ’15/Nido Huebl/Shutterstock

What else should you know about traveling to lovely Porto? Here are some helpful travel tips to make the most of your stay in this charming city. 

  • Take advantage of public transportation. Porto is a difficult city to drive in, with narrow streets and hilly terrain that gets slammed with traffic and pedestrians. Take advantage of the city’s wonderful public transportation system by grabbing a Andante Card and adding credits when you arrive. You’ll be able to take the metro, tram, bus, or funicular cable car to get where you need to go.  
  • Ride the train to Lisbon. Portugal’s capital city, Lisbon, is only about 3 hours away and has so much to offer. If you’re in Porto, it’s worth taking the very scenic train ride south to Lisbon! You’ll pass through charming small towns like Aveiro and Coimbra on the way while avoiding tolls and the need to rent a car or take the bus. 
  • Bring comfortable walking shoes. Porto is a hilly city with steep streets that can leave you winded as you walk through town. Bring comfy shoes for walking to take stress off your knees, back, and feet while you walk and explore the sights of the city. It makes a huge difference – this isn’t a place to walk in heels or dress shoes! 
  • Make reservations at fine restaurants. Porto is known for its amazing gastronomic scene – it’s home to 2 Michelin-starred restaurants! Fine dining in the city is a must if you’re a foodie, but you’ll want to make reservations in advance. Book at least 2 weeks in advance if you’re visiting in the off season or a month in advance if you’re traveling between May and September. 
  • Learn a little Portuguese. Portuguese is the official language in Portugal (and Porto, by extension). While many tourist attractions, hotels, and restaurants will have English-speaking staff, it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with basic Portuguese phrases before you go. At minimum, you should learn how to say hello (“olá”), goodbye (“adeus”), and thank you (“obrigado”).

Frequently Asked Questions

Concept of outdoor dining with Port wine in a decanter with glasses and snacks as the table overlooks the river and houses across it for a frequently asked questions section in a piece about the best time to visit Porto

Diana Rui/Shutterstock

Got more questions about the best time to visit Porto and other cities you should consider nearby? Here’s a look at the most frequently asked questions travelers have about this fascinating city on the Costa Verde. 

How many days is enough in Porto?

Plan on spending 2-3 days in Porto to give yourself plenty of time to sightsee, try local wines, dine at a few restaurants, and visit the beaches without feeling rushed.

Porto’s area is about 16 square miles, so it doesn’t take a long time to explore the city. With at least 2 days (preferably 3, if you want to check out the cool bookstores and tour a vineyard), you’ll be able to get a sense of the city and see the most prominent sights.

Do you need more time in Lisbon or Porto?

You need more time in Lisbon than in Porto. Lisbon is larger (39 square miles to Porto’s 16), more populated, and home to more museums, architectural sights, and historic landmarks than Porto.

While 2-3 days is perfect for a trip to Porto, you’ll want to spend 3-5 days in Lisbon to fully experience and explore the many sights and attractions in the capital city.

Is October a good time to visit Porto?

October isn’t the best time to visit Porto, but it’s one of the least busy months to go and a great time to book a hotel for an affordable price. October is very rainy in Porto, making it less than ideal for sightseeing.

It rains about 11 days during October. Temperatures in October are on the cooler side (highs around 69F with lows in the low 50s), so beach days and swimming are possible but not ideal.

Is 7 days in Porto too long?

Most people find that 2-3 days is enough in Porto. You could spend 7 days in Porto if you want to try as many restaurants as possible, visit lots of shops, tour vineyards and wineries, and spend a few days relaxing and playing at the beach.

If you feel you’ve seen all the city has to offer, you can always head about 3 hours south to Lisbon for more sightseeing and entertainment!

How many days to spend in Lisbon vs. Porto?

Plan on spending 4-5 days in Lisbon, while 2-3 days in Porto will give you time to see the most essential sights and attractions.

Lisbon is bigger with more attractions, sights, and entertainment than Porto, but both are incredible cities in Portugal.

So, What’s the Best Time to Visit Porto?

Overall, you’ll have the best visit if you go to Porto between June and September. This is the dry peak season when the weather is warm, sunny, and perfect for all activities – the beach, festivals, sightseeing, eating, drinking, and tours. 

Go to Porto between November and March if you’re after the best deals. This is the cheapest time to visit Porto and aligns with the rainy off season. 

From October to April, you’ll find the fewest tourists in Porto as the rainy season begins, peaks, and recedes. Several festivals happen during this time, but know that it’ll be wet this time of year! 

The height of the rainy season occurs in winter, from December to February. This is the worst time to visit, but it’s also cheap and less crowded. 

Porto may seem small compared to the larger capital city of Lisbon, but it’s got so much to offer – a beautiful, rugged coastline with sandy beaches, historic architecture and sights, a thriving food and arts scene, and more. 

Head to Porto with 2-3 days to spend taking in all the wonders and charm of this gem in Portugal and you’ll be better for it. Don’t forget to enjoy a glass – or three – of Port wine!