The rainy season is inconvenient for many travelers, but in Porto, it could turn into a magical experience.
And in this Northen city, you can do most sightseeing on foot. Not to mention, the city has a great metro system that will shelter you in its beautiful tunnels until you get to your desired destination.
There are also fun activities to do indoors when you want a break from the rainfall. But first, let’s talk about the rain season in Porto.
Rain season in Porto: An overview
The raining months in Porto (see graph) are stronger in the winter, but they’re also unpredictable. Even if you think you booked your ticket according to your “weather plans”, it’s always good to prepare for a rainy day. So here is our advice on what to bring and what to avoid when it’s raining in Porto.
What to bring when it’s raining in Porto
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You need to have a sturdy umbrella to combat the windy days and a pair of good rain boots. If you want to go the extra mile, you can bring a raincoat. Shop for good quality umbrellas at Casa Lima (Rua de Santa Catarina, 231) or at Decathlon (Rua de Fernandes Tomás, 508), where you can also find affordable rain boots. We advise you to not purchase umbrellas from the variety stores unless you’re desperate, because they will immediately break.
What to avoid when it’s raining in Porto
Other than the standard things to be mindful, some activities must be avoided when it’s raining in Porto like the Clérigos tower climb and going near the Felgueiras lighthouse. You can read what to do on a Winter break in Porto for more things to avoid when it’s raining or when it’s windy in Porto.
Now that you’ve learned about the rain season in Porto, we want to help you take advantage of every day you spend in this magnificent city, so we hope you enjoy our suggestions 🙂
Here are the top things to do when it’s raining in Porto:
Explore the temporary Mercado do Bolhão
Rua Fernandes Tomás, 506 / 508
Many of you know that the historic market, Mercado do Bolhão, is closed for rehabilitation work and won’t open until 2020. The same vendors are temporarily relocated to a new space that the city hall organized nicely.
There, you can stop by at one of our favorite vendors, a place called the Wine House which sells products from the Douro region. You can sit down and enjoy wine with some cheese and other appetizers.
You can’t leave without eating something savory and sweet at the market. Try Café do Ari for a ham sandwich, homemade desserts and a cup of coffee.
How to get there: Bolhão metro station is a 1min walking distance.
Visit the House of Architecture
Avenida Menéres, 456 | Matosinhos
In this building known as the first industrial building in Matosinhos, you will not only be inspired by the works of many architects like Fernando Távora, Eduardo Souto Moura and Paulo Mendes Rocha, but you will be amazed by the rehabilitation done on the building itself.
Inside, you will find exhibitions, archives, files, sketches and projects of the most prominent architects in Porto. There is also a shop and a bookstore. The entry is €5 per person. However, visits on Sundays from 10am – 1pm are free! Also, kids under 12 years old have free entry.
How to get there: the metro station Matosinhos Sul is a 4min walking distance.
Eat the best bifanas in Porto
There is nothing like a warm quick bite when it’s gloomy and raining in Porto. So instead of sitting at home, how about you try one of the most famous sandwiches in Portugal?
We’re talking about the bifana, a pork sandwich with bread, gravy and caramelized onion. They are known to be cheap and they are usually served with a glass of beer. O Astro, close to the Campanhã train station (Rua da Estação, 16) is famous for having the best Porto-style bifanas in town. If it’s too far of a destination, try Conga (Rua do Bonjardim, 314) located near the famous avenue, Avenida dos Aliados. Another option to eat bifanas with some yummy local cheese while drinking rosé or beer is Taxca (Rua da Picaria, 26) one of the best places to eat traditional food in Porto.
Enjoy a live music show
There are great venues in Porto for music enthusiasts. These places are excellent for those who like to stay indoors when it’s raining outside.
Another way to enjoy music while it’s raining in Porto would be to visit one of the many bars/restaurants in Porto with live performances from independent artists. Take for example o Rua, where you can enjoy music from different genres while having dinner. For jazz lovers the Hotfive Blues & Jazz Blues Club, is a great place to hang out, but be aware, it can get crowded in there. Also, there are several places to listen to live Fado for those who are curious about this unique genre.
Play board games
Rua de Santa Catarina, 801 or at home
We love board games! I mean if you want to spend hours playing Monopoly or Risk, count us in!
Indeed, board games give us an opportunity to escape the rain outside while we get to have fun, relax and order some food (Pizza from Luzzo or Francesinha from Santa Francesinha – the options are plenty).
Where do you get board games in Porto? The best place to do so is Arena Porto (Rua de Santa Catarina, 801), a shop with many game options where you can even sit down and have a tournament! People from all over the world visit this store, so don’t be shy to ask the staff for help if you need.
How to get there: Arena is a 5min walking distance from Bolhão metro station.
Visit a beer brewery
Rua Manuel Pinto de Azevedo, 65
There is an interesting craft beer scene in Porto and it has been growing in the latest years. So go the untraditional route and visit a craft beer brewery in Porto instead of a wine cellar. At the Sovina brewery, you get to learn about the history of the company, the beer revolution in Portugal, what is craft beer and what are its ingredients. Also, you get to see the production process at Sovina and learn about different beer portfolios.
The visits are 40 mins to 50 mins long. The price is €7 per person and it includes a tasting of two styles of beer.
How to get there: Ramalde metro station is a 6min walking distance.
Stop for a hot drink
There is nothing cozier than stopping for a hot drink while it’s raining in Porto. Thankfully, the city is full of teahouses and coffee shops like Fábrica Coffee Roasters (Rua de José Falcão, 122) which has a stunning interior, serves good coffee and yummy paninis. Also, rumor has it that Chocolataria das Flores (Rua Flores 121) serves the best hot chocolate in Porto so what are you waiting for?
Go book shopping
One of the best things you can do when it’s raining in Porto is to get a new book and read it while sitting in a local coffee shop absorbing the culture. So don’t waste a rainy day sitting at home, go book shopping!
There are several bookstores that sell books in English. There is also some second-hand books in Porto for English speakers. For comic book fans, you can head out to Mundo Fantasma (Shopping Center Brasília, 1º Andar – Loja 509/510) for hundreds of comic books. Another option would be to browse books written in English on Bertrand website and reserve them at a location near you.
Don’t forget Porto’s famous book fair is held at the Crystal Palace every September. There, you can get many books for a reasonable price.
Explore downtown Porto
I know, it’s raining, it might not be what you were expecting when you booked your flight to Porto. But don’t be discouraged, the city has its own magic on a rainy day. So take your umbrella, your rain boots and explore the streets of Porto. Go see the most beautiful buildings, the hidden places and the stunning churches. You can also take a walk on one of best parks in the city like the Crystal Palace or the Botanical Gardens.
One of our favorite places to go to when it’s raining in Porto is the Cedofeita neighborhood because you have almost everything in one place and at the beginning of Rua de Cedofeita there are no cars allowed so you don’t have to worry about being splashed by incoming traffic.
You can always join us on a private tour and we will take care of you 🙂
This is what people said about our rainy tours in Porto:
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