Here’s the best things you can do in Porto when it rains, including tourist attractions and secret places!
If you’re reading this, you’re probably in Porto and it’s raining cats and dogs. Or maybe, you’re planning to go and the weather forecast doesn’t look really promising.
You’ve probably came to Porto looking for sun (isn’t the south of Europe always sunny?) but the reality is, Porto usually experiences heavy rain periods, especially during winter and spring – actually you’re not even safe in summer! I live close by so I know what I’m talking about: it can rain non-stop for a whole week, which can be quite depressing, especially when you only have a few days to visit.
However, don’t let the rainy weather change your travel plans. You can still visit Porto under the rain! Actually, Porto looks even more pretty and melancholic when it rains. And to be honest, it’s not as rainy as it used to be.
In case you need some ideas about things to do when it rains in Porto, you’re in the right place. Keep reading to find out!
7 Best Things To Do In Porto When It Rains
Visit the beautiful indoors
Most tourists come to Porto looking for blue tiles and colorful buildings in Ribeira… but Porto has so many other beautiful buildings you need to visit for their wonderful interiors!
Do not miss these incredible buildings when visiting Porto:
- Sao Bento Railway Station
- Casa da Música
- Livraria Lello
- Sé do Porto / Porto Cathedral
- Palacio da Bolsa
- Casa de Serralves
- Soares dos Reis National Museum
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The most beautiful railway station. Ever. 💙 #Porto ~ I’m lucky to live close to Porto so I try to plan my visits when the weather is especially nice. However, if you’re visiting and it starts raining, there are still a lot of things to do (apart from eating delicious food!) ~ These interiors are really photo worthy: + Sao Bento Railway Station (as pictured!) + Livraria Lello + Palacio da Bolsa + Casa da Música + Porto Cathedral (especially its cloister) ~ However, don’t let bad weather ruin your trip – Porto looks even more romantic under the rain! 🥰 #visitportugal ~ *Disclaimer: the photo has been edited for colors (real ones are of a darker shade of blue) but I haven’t used Photoshop to delete people, just showed up early in the morning!
It doesn’t matter if it’s sunny or rainy, one of the most typical tourist attractions in Porto – and probably the most fun – is available 24/7!
You can visit one of the numerous wine cellars of Porto, join a wine tour or just go to any bar and start drinking!
Play with reflections
If you’ve come to Porto for the photos, don’t you worry!
Remember that ponds are perfect for playing with reflections. There’s no need to recreate instagram photos, you can get out of your comfort zone and make incredible pictures by using the ponds. Challenge yourself!
If you like to go shopping, then you’ll love Porto!
Porto has some pretty good options when it comes to shopping, and it’s a great alternative for a rainy day.
- You’ll find well known international shops in Rua de Santa Catarina – do not miss Bolhao market nearby to get a sense of the real Porto!
- A beautiful shop I love in Porto is A Vida Portuguesa, located close to Lello Library. It’s my favorite place for souvenirs, travel accessories and it also has some Portuguese designers’ creations that you need to check.
- My absolute favorite is Armazem, not far from Alfandega do Porto: an old warehouse that houses several antiquities shops, an art gallery and even a tapas bar!
- If you prefer to visit the malls with all the franchise shops, fast food restaurants and cinemas (because in Portugal they play movies in the original version) then pay a visit to Norte Shopping or any other mall you may prefer. Most of them close at midnight!
- In Gaia, El Corte Inglés offers a free shuttle service available from the Cable car station.
Visit the Cat Café
Can you imagine a better way to spend a rainy day than coffee and cats? I certainly don’t.
There are Cat Cafés almost everywhere in Europe, and Porto is no exception. Come here if you need some cat love – especially if it’s raining!
The Cat Café in Porto is called O Porto dos Gatos and it’s located in Av. de Rodrigues de Freitas.
Visit the exhibitions at Alfandega do Porto
You can also visit Alfandega do Porto, the conference center of the city. It’s a historic building (alfandega means customs in English) located by Douro river and with a few spaces that are being used as a museum.
They currently have a Banksy exhibition going on: go before it’s too late!
Check the weather and visit somewhere else!
If you’re tired of watching the pouring rain, maybe it’s time for you to plan something else.
The weather may be bad in Porto, but there are so many places around the corner where the weather can be totally different. You can easily rent a car to get to these places or just book a day tour.
On my opinion, the best options are:
- Costa Nova (here) and Aveiro
- Braga and Guimaraes
- Vila Real
- Geres National Park
- Fatima and Coimbra
Just check the weather and plan accordingly! You’re most likely to find good weather if you go south.
Best moment to visit Porto
I’ve visited Porto infinite times, in every single season and experienced all times of weather – including scorching hot! Last time I’ve visited I experienced a lovely sunny weather for a couple of days and it was pouring rain on our last day: this was in January!
Don’t let the weather deter you to visit this beautiful city. Bad weather is totally unpredictable, just like good weather!
In general, the best time to go should be late spring, summer and fall.
My favorite season though is winter, to avoid the crowds. Winter is never too cold and if you’re lucky enough to get a bit of sun, the city looks better than ever. And now you know what to do if it starts raining!
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