Despite is beautiful to visit Porto every time of the year, in this post we are lightening some reasons why you should discover Porto in winter. The Portuguese city is a must-visit in Portugal. Doesn’t matter if you are just looking for a quick escape from the classic routes in Portugal, or you want to visit the city itself. Visit Porto in winter is worth, the city is charming and welcoming.
The first time we visited this Portuguese city it was during the springtime for our first year anniversary. After spending a couple of days in Lisbon we decided that we wanted to see more of this wonderful country. We rented a car and we drove from Lisbon to Porto, ended up staying a couple of night in Porto. A totally unplanned itinerary.
As we loved the city so much we decided to book a flight during Christmas and see what Porto has to offer during winter.
Porto in winter was the perfect Christmas present. That’s why we wrote down this list of things to in Porto in winter. We wanted to share with you that is possible to create a proper Portugal winter itinerary, despite the Region is often associated with the summer season.
How to spend winter in Porto
If you are visiting Porto in winter for your very first time, there are a couple of things that you can’t miss visiting. You can’t leave the city without seeing the famous Lello Library which inspired Harry Potters or walking pass the Clerigos Church with its beautiful azulejos, one of the most Instagrammed spots in Porto.
Those are the things that you can’t miss while visiting Porto in winter:
- Livraria Lello
- Luis I Bridge
- Porto Cathedral
- Clerigos Church
- Igreja do Carmo
- Bolsa Palace
- Porto Christmas Markets
Livraria Lello – Winter in Porto
One of the most beautiful and cultural things that you can do in Porto in winter is visiting the famous Lello Library. With its red staircase and books will make your trip to Portugal memorable.
The entrance fee is only €5 which if you are buying a book from the store those 5 euros will be deducted during the transaction. Amazing isn’t? We recommend you to buy the tickets online only to avoid the queue at the entrance.
TopTips: Before entering you need to leave your bags into the lockets at the shop where you can buy the tickets as well.
If you are a Harry Potter fan enjoy the famous tour in the city with the ticket that includes the skip the line to the library. Check this tour!
Where is it? R. das Carmelitas 144
Nearest Tube? São Bento Station (Line D – Orange) – Clérigos (Tram – 22)
Luis I Bridge
When we first arrived in Porto we straight away thought that, so far, it was the best city that we have ever visited. This should be one of the first things to note on your list of places to visit in Porto in winter. Like it was for us during our visit. The Luis I Bridge is charming and will leave you breathtaking. The amazing view over the river with the boats going up and down will leave you amazing memories in mind. Not everybody knew that the bridge has been projected by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. Yes, the engineer that built up the Tour Eiffel, that’s why you can find a lot of similitudes.
If you are looking for the perfect spot where to take pictures of this beautiful bridge make sure to check out our best photo spots in Porto post.
Where is it? Pte. Luiz I, Porto
Nearest Tube? São Bento Station (Line D – Orange) or Ribeira (Funicular)
Porto Cathedral – What to do in Porto in Winter
Another important and unforgettable sight that you can’t miss visiting is the Cathedral of Porto. Did you know that the cathedral is the most religious building in the city? Been declared as a National Monument the cathedral needs to be in your list of things to see during your winter in Porto. The entrance to the cathedral is free but if you want to visit the cloister you have to pay 3 euros.
Where is it? Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573
Nearest Tube? São Bento Station (Line D – Orange) or Batalha (Funicular)
The Clerigos church with its bell tower is one of the most visited places in Porto. The entrance to the church is free of charge, but if you want to visit the tower and the Museum of Brotherhood the ticket will cost you 5 euro.
Worth a visit, this stunning old church needs to be included in your planned itinerary in Porto in winter. The Clerigos church needs to be in your list of things to see in Porto. This sights of Porto is often ousted by tourists that are missing an authentic gem of Porto. Go a bit off the beaten path in Porto discovering its beauty.
Where is it? Clérigos
Nearest Tube? São Bento Station (Line D – Orange) or Clérigos (Tram – 22)
Igreja do Carmo
Located in a lovely square Igreja do Carmo is a beautiful church from inside and outside. Made by amazing Blue Azulejos on the outside facade, for many, it is the symbol of the city. For sure it is one of the most recognizable sightseeing of the city. The light blue texture of the outside has becomed one of the most photographed streets of Porto.
Fun Facts: If you look more closely the Igreja do Carmo is standing side by side to Igreja dos Camrelitas. These two churches are separated by a small hole to limit any connections between the nuns of Camrelitas’s church and the monks of Carmo’s church.
This site is easily reachable from the Livraria da Lello, a walkable distance there is between the two buildings, and you can start to admire the outside of the church while queueing to enter the library.
Where is it? R. do Carmo
Nearest Tube? São Bento Station (Line D – Orange) or Carmo (Tram – 18/22)
Bolsa Palace – Places to see in Porto in winter
Considered today the headquarters of Porto’s commercial Association, the Bolsa Palace is one of the most impressive landmarks to visit in Porto. The inside central courtyard known as Pátio das Nações offers a beautiful natural light which is considered the most interesting monument in Porto. This popular building is also offering spaces for events and guided tours. Book yours through us for an amazing experience in Porto. The Porto Tourist Card will take you everywhere from just 13 euro for a day, allowing to take the public transport and free entrance to the sightseeing of the city. Book your Porto Card here.
Where is it? Rua de Ferreira Borges
Nearest Tube? Infante (Tram – 1)
Porto Christmas markets
When it comes to Christmas markets, Alessia is the first one ready for it. She loves going around and exploring every single market in every city. During your Porto in winter itinerary, you need to visit the gorgeous Xmas markets in the city centre. From the Urban markets to the Flea market, you will see that the Porto Christmas markets are so popular during the festivities.
There are many markets that are taking place in Porto during Christmas. Some are just temporary and a few are stable during the period. The most famous Christmas market in Porto is the Artesanatus, going on until a few days before Christmas in the Jardim de São Lázaro. The Mercado da Alegria is an authentic gem in the Markets world of Porto, something you have to watch out. More than 40 exhibitors with varied suggestions, from handcraft, jewellery, handmade toys, clothing, packed regional food products, among others. This market is taking place at Largo de Sto. Ildefonso and Praça da Batalha from November to end of December.
Porto weather November
We found Porto beautiful in spring, summer and in winter. The temperature in November is not that bad as the autumn is still there and you can find the highest 17 and lowest 9.
As Alessia’s birthday is coming in November we are always trying to discover new cities. This time we decided to come back to Portugal to enjoy Porto in winter.
Porto weather December
For us, every city in December looks beautiful as Christmas is coming the city has got a different atmosphere. Even if it is December the temperature in Porto Portugal is not going below 8 which is not too cold. During the day, when the sun is out you might find the highest temperature around 14/15 degrees. Remember that be open to Ocean Stream, makes Porto tend to be cold at night, dropping massively the temperatures.
Weather in Portugal in January – Visiting Porto in January
Usually, January is the coldest month together with February, but you will be surprised about the Weather in Portugal in January. The first month of the beginning of the year seems to be pretty good in Porto. During the day the high temperature can reach 14 degrees and after the sunset, it will reach around 6/5 degrees.
Porto Weather February
Usually, during the month of February, the temperature is similar to December/January. If you are travelling in winter in Porto you might find a couple of days where it will be raining.
The highest temperature can reach 15 degrees and the minimum around 4. In this case, if you really want to discover Porto Portugal in winter, don’t forget to bring with you warm clothes.
Book a free walking tour! Your list of Free things to do in Porto Portugal
If it is your first time in Portugal and in this case Porto what we always suggest is to book a free walking tour to be able to get to know the city. You can book here your spot and yes, it is completely free, if you want to can give a tip at the end of the tour on based on your satisfaction.
This tour will walk you through the most important sightseeing of the city, starting from Praça da Liberdade, in the heart of Porto and ending exploring Batalha neighbourhood.
Top things to do in Porto in winter! Porto wine tasting tour
If you are planning a winter trip in Porto you need to try the local wine. And, what’s better than a wine tasting tour?
Porto’s wine is worldwide popular, a different taste compared to French or Italian wine. We have tried it in Porto, it was good for Toti, but really bad for me. So, it is up to you, but the taste was amazing. I will just let you figure out a possible experience in Porto in winter. Thanks to the lovely temperatures and the geographical position of the city, the ideal day is strolling around the riverside. Watch at you sipping a tasty glass of Porto wine on the bank, with the fishing boats up and down the stream. A lovely photo of a relaxing winter holiday in Porto. Isn’t it?
Even if you are not a wine lover we suggest you give it a chance as the Porto wine is delicious, but remember that is not for everyone.
Douro River Cruise
Most of the times, especially when it is winter, people start to be lazy and when visiting a new city they are limited to visit only the top sightseeing. During your Porto in winter itinerary, it will happen that instead of a cloudy or raining day the sun will be out and the temperature is warmer than usual.
Day trips from Porto – Lisbon winter break
If you are planning your itinerary in Portugal you can’t miss visiting Lisbon in winter. You can easily reach Lisbon from Porto by bus for only 10 euros. The journey will take you around 4/5 hours but at least it’s worth to visit Lisbon in winter. If you don’t want to spend those hours sitting on a bus you can always book an internal flight for 37 euros and be in Lisbon in an hour. Check here you most comfortable journey from Lisbon to Porto.
Day trips from Porto to Fatima and Coimbra
One of the best things we have done in Portugal was renting a car and explore the neighbourhood. We started our journey from Lisbon, passing by Fatima, Aveiro, Coimbra and then arriving in Porto.
What to pack for your Portugal winter itinerary
That’s a good question, right? Every time we have the same problem, especially for Alessia.
We found the Portugal weather not too bad, in comparison to what we are used to in London.
Things not to miss for your Portugal winter itinerary:
- If you are UK based we recommend you to use MetroBank, Monzo or Sterling Card as the exchange rate is really good
- Have with you some spare cash as sometimes they don’t accept cards or they got a minimum to pay
- Don’t forget to pack a first aid kit in case something will happen
- Bring the essentials as Porto is cheap you can buy everything once you arrive in the city
- Buy a Porto Card which allows you to take free transports and free entrance to almost all the sightseeing of the city. Porto Tourists Card starts from 13 euros per day.
Porto in winter what to wear
Few things you don’t have to miss in your luggage heading to Porto in winter.
- Comfortable shoes (You will walk a lot)
- Spare umbrella
- Waterproof shoes and backpack
- Trendy scarf
- Colourful dress but warm at the same time (if you are a woman)
- Cosy hat
- Warm Jacket
Where to stay in Porto in winter
Crowne Plaza Porto
InterContinental Porto – Palacio das Cardosas
Porto Palácio Hotel & Spa – S.Hotels Collection
HF Ipanema Park
Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa
Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace
Axis Porto Business & Spa Hotel
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Things to do at Christmas in Porto
During your Porto itinerary, you should put in your list all the things to do at Christmas in Porto. If you are visiting Porto in winter you should check your itinerary in December when Christmas is approaching.
The lights, the Christmas markets will make your stay in this Portugal city amazing and unforgettable.
Plan your Porto in winter itinerary
Porto is a lovely city and I think that now you understand why we loved it so much. There are so many things to do and see but if you are planning your Porto in winter itinerary in advance you will be able to discover the city in a proper way.
What are you waiting for? Book your tickets and fly to this lovely Portugal city.
P.S: If you are UK based you might want to hurry up, there are a lot of deals from London to Porto on the Ryanair website. Remember we paid our flight only 10 euros return.