Wonderful weather in summer and mild winters, Porto offers a variety of exploring, relaxing, (and drinking) activities no matter the season. Other than the typical things to do in city like visiting the famous Stock Exchange Palace, your trip to Porto might coincide with one of the many festivals the city has to offer! Not only are festivals fun, but they are often located in the city’s most relaxing and beautiful parks.
It’s a great way to get around and see the city while also enjoying food, wine and music. We’ve chosen a few of the best festivals in Porto to share with you!
The best festivals in Porto are:
February in Porto can be a quieter month, great if you prefer to come without the busyness of tourist season. For those of you here, the perfect late-winter festival is Fantasporto, Porto’s premiere international film festival! It features 100 short and full-length films out of 600 entered, with 4 awarded competitions in Fantasy, Directors’ Week, Orient Express and Portuguese Cinema.
Price: A ticket to a session costs between 3.75€ (students) to 5€.
Simplesmente… Vinho is by far one of my favourite festivals in Porto as it is solely dedicated to… wine J During two days you’ll be able to taste wine of small scale wine producers from all the extraordinary Portuguese wine regions, as well as some from Spain.
What I particularly enjoy about this festival, besides the obvious learning opportunity, is its relaxed atmosphere mostly due to the unusual choice of venues, such as abandoned convents. Moreover, during the tastings you’ll be able to taste some finger food (maybe I should use the fancier word appetizers, shouldn’t I?!) of some of the best restaurants in Porto, whilst listening to some live music. It’s amazing.
Price: 18€ / day. Food vouchers available for 3 – 5€.
Essência do Vinho
Essência do Vinho is the most important wine festival in Portugal, taking place at the stunning Stock Exchange Palace, by the riverside.
During four intensiv days, you’ll have access to around 3,000 wines from 400 national and international producers. The alignment of parallel activities highlights rare and exclusive references, priceless labels, and Michelin-starred chefs.
You can also take the opportunity to deepen your wine knowledge by taking one of the numerous workshops and masterclasses with international wine experts, but these are rather expensive experiences that range from 35€ to 75€.
At this festival it is also elected the Top 10 Portuguese wines, so watch out for the selected wines as their prices will surely raise in the upcoming months!
Price: 20€ / day, if you buy it online one the website, 25€ if you buy it on the spot. Workshops and masterclasses are paid separately. There are also some special conditions for public transport users, make sure you check all the available information on the event’s website.
DDD – Festival Dias de Dança
Dias de Dança is one of the most best festivals in Porto not only because it is solely dedicated to contemporary dancing but also because it is one of the rare examples of cooperation between three neighbor cities: Porto, Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia.
During three days, those of you who love dancing (as much as I do) will have the opportunity to watch performances at some of the best concert houses in those cities, such as Teatro Rivoli (in Porto), Teatro Constantino Nero (in Matosinhos) and Convento Corpus Christi (in Gaia).
Price: The tickets to this festival in Porto range from 5€ to 10€, but if you’re not in the mood for paying you can simply hope that you’ll be around when one of the many open air performances take place at one of the many squares and gardens in the city.
Serralves em Festa
The perfect blend of art, culture, and music is the majestic festival at the incredible Serralves Museum grounds. Starting at 8 on Friday morning, the festival lasts 50 straight hours until Sunday night with exhibitions of dance, theatre, concerts, films, photography, and more. It is a truly spectacular event offering many conceptual and contemporary performances by artists across Europe.
Thousands of people attend this highly distinguished festival in Porto and it’s a must-see if you wish to experience something extraordinary. Admission is free and with the wide variety of events, you can keep entertained for hours! Kids can stay entertained as many of the events are for children too.
The gardens and grounds are picturesque so there will be plenty to walk around and see. Late-night time-slots are usually filled with electronic music and dance lasting until morning, but if you prefer something quieter, there are readings and stories (puppet shows too!) and you can always enjoy the current exhibitions happening within the museum.
Price: free of charge!
If you’re a fan of live music, Primavera Sound is one of the most prominent music festivals in Porto. With the lush Parque da Cidade as its backdrop, there is plenty of space for 4 stages among the hills and trees.
The festival exhibits over 40 musicians renowned and emerging with a wide variety of genres, music to suit everyone’s tastes. Great food and drink are available on-site and you can enjoy the park’s charming greenery and while experiencing the festival spirit.
If you need some time away from the crowds, the beach at Matosinhos is only a five minute walk away with plenty of amazing seafood restaurants and quaint seaside bars for a break between your favourite bands.
Price: Full festival ticket costs 105€.
Porto Beer Fest
There is no better way to enjoy a hot summer evening than by tasting many of Portugal’s craft beers. Located in the Jardim do Palácio de Cristal, the Porto Beer Fest offers free music alongside 30 different breweries from Portugal, Spain, and Brazil serving over 200 varieties of craft beer!
Entrance is free, but if you want to taste the beer you’ll have to buy tokens and a small beer glass. The beer glass is designed with different Porto themes (mine had a silhouette of the city) and can be returned after enjoying or kept as a souvenir!
And the best part? Take your drink and a snack from one of the many food trucks and enjoy the sunset in the lower part of the gardens!
Price: 3€ / branded glass and then you pay for each beer you have.
Looking for an easy dinner? The Festival Comida hosted by Continente is a great pick for those who want to taste gourmet food at one of the best festivals in Porto. Seven chefs of Portugal under one grand tent offer 7 unique dishes, each of their own creation.
Last year they served dishes with octopus, tripe, and ceviche! It’s 4€ per plate with reasonable serving sizes so you and your friends can try a few of the dishes.
Alongside the chef-inspired food, the festival has another tent with wine, cheese and charcuterie selections, as well as hosting showcookings and workshops. The entire event is located in the Parque da Cidade with different stages for live music and a big lawn to entertain the kids too!
Noites Ritual is one of the oldest music festivals in Porto, held since 1992 in the beautiful Crystal Palace gardens.
The program of the festival, which is usually free, includes a small market of clothing and accessories, handcraft and second hand items, as well as a couple of exhibitions.
We suggest you to head there an hour before the concert starts, to have a relaxed walk in the gardens and watch the most amazing sunset overlooking the Arrábida bridge.
Porto Photo Fest
If you are a photographer lover Porto Photo Fest is for you!
It doesn’t matter what level of photographer you are, or if you are a blogger, a creative artist or a freelancer in any creative arena – you’ll learn new insights you can apply in your work. And where better to learn it then from the best in the world, right in the heart of our World Heritage Site of Porto?
The festival is a full week of activities, workshops, talks, exhibitions given by world renowned photographers, from National Geographic, Fuiji, TIME, amongst others. The festival is held in many locations around the city including the CPF and Avore, Seminário de Vilar, Casa Diocesana as well as the streets of the center or Porto.
Price: masterclass tickets are €25 and workshop prices vary depending on the length of the workshop. There are also some free events that will be advertised nearer the time.
Porto / Post / Doc
Film & Media Festival is one of the few (and in our opinion, probable the best) cinema festivals in Porto.
It has an eclectic philosophy, ranging from the International Competition and parallel programmes (such as Transmission, for documentaries about music and night parties; or the Forum of the Real, with debates with specialists and academics.
The festival occupies four venues of Porto: Teatro Municipal do Porto – Rivoli, Cinema Passos Manuel, Faculdade de Belas Artes da Universidade do Porto and Maus Hábitos, all located in downtown Porto and close by to restaurants, bars and subway stations. This festival is definitely a must – go for all the cinema lovers in Porto.
Price: In between 3,5€ (students, seniors and Tripass card holders) and 5€ per session.