During the holidays, I don’t really need any particular reason to go to the Christmas markets in Porto.
More than shopping, I like to go there to see happy faces, friends gathering together, charming Christmas lightnings…
And Porto, with its mild temperatures and airy squares, is asking for you to go shopping on the little markets, instead of going to shopping malls where all the shops look exactly the same!
What you should know about Christmas in Porto:
Even though the Christmas season is very strong in the city, don’t expect it to be as in Central Europe. We don’t have a centralised Christmas market in Porto, but rather small markets spread all over the city, where you can find not only the traditional Christmas decoration stuff, but also traditional Portuguese food products, urban design and much more.
Moreover, we don’t have snow, nor glue wine. But that is a good thing, because glue wine s***s. There, I said what everyone thinks 😛
On the other hand, we have a very welcoming weather and you can always go for a fabulous rabanada at Café Guarany or at Café Majestic – trust me, it’s to die for!
More importantly, our City Hall makes a tremendous effort to have a diversified 5 weeks Christmas programme with plenty of activities such as choirs, street animation, free concerts, free workshops, free cinema with live music and dozens of Christmas markets in Porto. You can check the programme for the holiday season but it is huuuuuuge or you can simply read my Complete guide to Christmas in Porto, as it congregates the best events.
Given this introduction, let me introduce you to…
…the best Christmas markets in Porto! 🙂
14th – 22th December, 10h-19h | Jardim de São Lázaro
Artesanatus gathers traditional handcraft from all around the country on a giant plastic bubble, which makes it one of the most traditional Christmas markets in Porto.
This year it takes place in Jardim de São Lázaro, the garden dedicated to the women of Porto.
After / before visiting the market, drink a single origin coffee at Combi to fight the cold.
How to get there: the subway station 24 de Agosto is 5min walking distance.
Porto Belo and Mini Porto Belo
Praça Carlos Alberto and Praça General Humberto Delgado
Mercado Porto Belo is one of the most popular markets in Porto, due to the variety of products being sold (from used vinyls to organic onions) and to its intimate atmosphere. It takes place in Praça Carlos Alberto between December 21st and 23rd.
This year there will be also the Mini Porto Belo: meaning that it will be mostly children selling their things to other children for a symbolic price. To add some magic, it takes place at Praça Humberto Delgado, near the giant Christmas tree in Porto. A very special Christmas market in Porto that will take place on the 7th and 8th of December.
How to get there: the subway station Aliados Aliados is 10min walking distance.
Several dates | Several locations (check below)
The Urban market, as the name points out, is a reference of urban handicraft markets in Porto. It is so hard to choose among so many fun, irreverent and unique products! The only downside, for me, is that it usually doesn’t have food vendors (I am Portuguese, there must always be food options nearby).
This Christmas market in Porto will take place in different occasions, always on the weekends. These are the locations:
5th to 8th Dec • 11am to 7pm • Praça das Cardosas
5th to 8th Dec • 11am to 7pm • Praça Carlos Alberto
13th 15th Dec • 11am to 7pm • Hard Club
19th to 23rd Dec • 11am to 7pm • Ateneu Comercial do Porto
How to get there: it really depends on the location – make sure to check on google maps!
Artes e Ofícios
30th Nov to 23rd Dec | Praça dos Poveiros
This Christmas market in Porto is perfect to buy Portuguese products and handcraft objects (made from pottery, wool, linen, wood, leather, stone and iron, traditional toys and games, handcrafted soap, rag dolls, homemade liqueurs, among others), with the participation of 30 certified exhibitors.
If you get hungry just cross the street to have a smoked pork sandwich at Casa Guedes, one of the most famous taverns in Porto.
How to get there: the subway station 24 de Agosto is 5min walking distant.
Arca de Natal
11th – 12th Dec, 10h-18h | Estação de S. Bento
All the revenues generated in this cute little market will be donated to NGOs that support the local community of Porto. And, besides the great feeling of knowing that your money is going to the right hands, take a moment to appreciate São Bento train station, the old train station where the market takes place.
How to get there: take the train or the subway to São Bento train station.
Veggie Christmas market
13th – 15th Dec | Rua de Monchique, 120
If there is one Christmas market in Porto that I will not miss this year it is this one. After all, it combines several things that I am passionate about: sparkling wine, sustainable gifts and vegan & vegetarian products (if you have been reading my most recent articles, you probably noticed that I don’t eat meat).
It is indeed a different concept for the holiday season in Porto, that introduces you to a more sustainable and ethical lifestyle. I will certainly be there!
How to get there: you can go walking from Luiz I bridge, it is a short distance and it is flat.
14th Dec, 10h – 19h | Silo Auto
The Flea Market is regarded as one of the coolest markets in the city, where you can find pretty much everything. It takes place on a circular car park called Silo Auto (yes, it is a car boot sale). There is also a section selling Christmas sweets and harm drinks, to help you fight the cold.
Because this Christmas market in Porto takes place at an open space, make sure to bring warm clothes and good shoes.
How to get there: the subway Trindade is 10min walking distance.
Mercado da Alegria
30th Nov to 31st Dec | Largo de Sto. Ildefonso and Praça da Batalha
Among lights, decorated trees, entertainment, music and workshops, there is a Christmas Market in Porto that gets together 40 exhibitors with varied suggestions, from handcraft, jewellery, handmade toys, clothing, packed regional food products, among others.
This is a very special Christmas market in Porto because over all the weekends until Christmas there will be some sort of “street animation” taking place, from DJs to workshops and professional clowns, so it is a nice market to take the kids.
How to get there: this market is split in two locations, so just look for the addresses (below the name of the market) and look for them on google maps.
Pink Market – Christmas edition
Dec 7th and 8th | Edifício Transparente
A free market with a superb location: at Edifício Transparente, a glass building in front of the ocean, very close to the magnificent sculpture of a giant fish net by the artist Janet Echelman. The pink market will have not only the typical vendors but also a kids’ catwalk show and performances by musicians and dancers. If the weather is good, it is a wonderful afternoon doing some Christmas shopping by the beach 🙂
How to get there: the subway station Matosinhos Sul is 15min walking distant.
Rua Miguel Bombarda
All Saturdays in Dec | Rua Miguel Bombarda
I wasn’t entirely sure if I should include this on my list of the best Christmas markets in Porto because technically it is not one but it includes one 😛
On the three Saturdays before Christmas, entertainment is back to the most artistic block of the city, Rua de Miguel Bombarda (intersection with Rua da Boa Nova).
Music, dancing, workshops, an urban art market (here we go!), video mapping and other surprises on a programme developed in partnership with local independent projects and small businesses.
How to get there: the subway station Lapa is 15min walking distant.