The best independent guide to Porto
The best independent guide to Porto
Porto has hot summers, pleasantly warm springs and autumns and winters which are mild but very wet.
The main tourist season is from June until the end of September, while the beaches of the Costa Verde (the coastline surrounding Porto) are at their busiest in July and August.
The weather is suitable for spending time on Porto’s beaches from June until the middle of September, and this aligns with the peak season.
The best season to visit Porto is late spring (May/June) or early autumn (September). This is when there are fewer tourists about the city, but the weather is still glorious.
Our favourite time of year to visit Porto is during the Festas Santos Populares celebrations (13th-24th June), when the city takes on a festival atmosphere.
The following weather charts display the average weather for Porto.
The summer months in Porto are hot, and daytime temperature routinely exceeds 25°C. As this is the average air temperature measured in the shade, it will feel much hotter while sightseeing under the intense summer sun.
During the summer, Porto has an average of 9.9 hours of sun per day, and this is very similar to Lisbon (11.4 hours) and the Algarve (11.9hours). In the winter this drops down to an average of 4.0 hours of sun per day (Lisbon 4.6 hours, the Algarve 5.5 hours). As a comparison Rome has an average of 3.6 hours of sun per day in January, London has 1.6 hours, and Paris has 1.6 hours.
Surprisingly, Porto is one of the wettest cities of southern Europe, and this high annual precipitation mostly falls in the winter months.
Between October and April over half of the days will have some rain (more than 0.1mm), and in the winter six days per month will have very heavy rain with 10mm or more falling.
Insight: April is a surprisingly wet month in northern Portugal, with heavy rain brought on by the seasonal winds. If you are planning a visit to Northern Portugal in the spring, it is much better to delay the trip until mid-May or visit the much drier Algarve region.
Recently there has been a massive increase in the number of tourists visiting Porto. This popularity has led to the extension of the tourist season, so that now, the tourist visit almost year-round.
In our opinion, Porto is not a year-round destination, and should never be considered as a winter sun destination.
That said, Porto will have significantly better winter weather than most European cities and will be much warmer than Northern Europe. If you visit during the winter, it is best to have flexible plans which could account for the wet weather.
The large volume of winter rain feeds the mighty Douro River, this is Douro close to the town of Régua
During the summer there is very high demand for accommodation in Porto and demand outstrips supply.
We strongly advise you to book your accommodation as far in advance as possible to secure the best hotels and prices.
To check current availability and prices and, enter your holiday dates in the search box below:
In general, Porto is cooler than Lisbon and the Algarve, and in the winter, Porto is much wetter.
Of the three, Porto is the best destination during the peak summer months. Lisbon gets too crowded with tourists in the summer, and the Algarve is overrun with package holiday tourists.
Porto and Lisbon are very similar, and both offer rich culture, fascinating tourist attractions, buzzing nightlife, and excellent beaches.
The Algarve is more focused on beaches and mass tourism, and the cities do not offer the same diversity as Porto or Lisbon. For a city break to Portugal; always plan to visit Lisbon or Porto
The Porto coastline offers beautiful beaches, such as this beach near Espinho
The peak tourist season is July and August, and during this period there is a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere about Porto.
The summer weather in Porto is hot, but not unbearable, as temperatures are moderated by the close proximity of the Atlantic Ocean.
The only issue with visiting Porto during the summer is that the demand for accommodation and flights often outstrips supply.
This means that prices become over-inflated and if left too late, are completely sold out. If you are considering visiting Porto during the peak season, always book your flights and accommodation far in advance.
For a guide to the best hotels in Porto, please see this link.
The mid-season is a wonderful time of year to visit Porto. There are many fewer tourists, but the weather is still hot and glorious.
This is a great season for sightseeing around the city, taking day trips or a touring holiday of northern Portugal. The best day trips of the Porto region include Braga, Aveiro, Guimarães and Viana do Castelo.
Related articles: Porto Day trips - 1 week in Porto
The Bom Jesus do Monte church is one of the highlights of northern Portugal
The low season is between October to April, and this is when the weather gets cooler and wetter.
The issue with the winter season is that the weather is unpredictable, one week could be sunny and pleasant, while the next could be very wet.
As Porto is a major city, all tourist attractions, restaurants and bars stay open year-round, unlike in the Algarve where many of the smaller towns completely close for winter.
Suggestion: The low season is ideal for a last-minute weekend break – check the weather forecasts and if the weather is predicted to be dry book an inexpensive weekend away.
Our favourite time of year to visit Porto is during the Festas Santos Populares (Popular Saints Festival), which are the middle two weeks of June.
During these festivities, Porto is decorated with tinsel and streamers, while at night there are street parties with traditional music and dancing.
The culmination of the Festas Santos Populares in Porto is on the night of the 23rd of June, and the Festa de São João do Porto.
On this night there are huge celebrations, fireworks and, bizarrely, everyone hits each other over the head with plastic toy hammers (historically it was a leek).
The 24th of June is the feast day of Saint John, the patron saint of Porto, and there is a regatta where traditional boats sail down the Douro River.
It surprises many visitors to Porto’s beaches that the sea waters are so cold. They only reach 18C at the height of the summer and drop to 14C in the winter. The cool sea temperatures are due to the waters being fed from the Atlantic Ocean.
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