Things are a little different this Christmas, but there is still a wonderful collection of events, tours and activities to do safely in Porto.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Porto in December, you’ll be rewarded with some pretty magical events in town. What are the best things to do in December? We’re glad you asked. We’ve got a calendar full of Christmas events. Just scroll down our December guide for the full deets!
What to do in Porto in December
#1 Get up early to watch the sunrise
Let yourself be charmed by the Jardim do Palácio de Cristal. The entrance is free and it’s worth a visit!
#2 Visit a Christmas Market in Porto
- The Mercado Porto Belo is among the first street markets in town. There you can find a wide range of items: vinyl records, illustrations, notebooks and books, natural cosmetics, jewelry, honey and fresh pasta, teas and herbs, ceramics, wooden toys or decorative items. It takes place at Praça de Carlos Alberto every Saturday morning.
- The Mercado de Artesanato do Porto is held on Fridays and Saturdays, every week, in Praça de Parada Leitão, and brings together the handmade products of about 80 local merchants.
- The Mercado de Natal do Porto will be held every day at Praça da Batalha, in Porto, from the 5th to the 31st of December. You can visit it from Monday to Thursday and on Sundays from 10 am to 8 pm and on Fridays and Saturdays from 10 am to 9:30 pm. On December 24, exceptionally, it closes at 16.00.
All the above events depend on favorable weather conditions and all are complying with the preventive measures for COVID-19.
#3 Let’s go to the Circus
To a year full of exceptions, Coliseu Porto Ageas responds with an exceptional Christmas Circus. From December 11th to January 3rd, the families’ favorite show returns with the best artists and a live orchestra. Rui Paixão, the first Portuguese to join Cirque du Soleil as an original creator, will be the circus ringmaster.
#4 Jump from one Porto Art Gallery to the other on the famous Miguel Bombarda street
The time flies by really slowly in this street. On the so-called Porto’s Art District or art’s block, there’s plenty to see: tons of contemporary art exhibitions, vintage shops, tea rooms. Visit one of Porto’s art galleries or museums and observe a variety of sculptures, art, and heritage… some of our recommendations include Ó! Gallery, Galeria Nuno Centeno, and Galeria São Mamede.
#5 Christmas shopping in Porto
The streets of Porto are always a good place to stroll and to do some shopping. With that in mind, we’ve put together a Gift Guide to give you some Portuguese inspiration for your Christmas gifts this year.
#6 Enjoy a socially-distanced concert
Três Tristes Tigres, a Portuguese band from the nineties, will be presenting their new album, Mínima Luz, at Passos Manuel. The event takes place on December 10th at 7:30 pm.
#7 Learn more about the famous Port Wine on our Vintage Food Tour
Our Vintage Food Tour is loved by first-time visitors and covers 3 kilometers of classic Portuguese food & drinks, history, architecture, and culture. This Food Tour includes a mini-masterclass in Port wine as well. Join us for a slice of Porto that you’ll never forget!
#8 Get mesmerized by the Douro region
Visiting Porto gives you the opportunity to experience the Douro valley, one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world. If you want to enjoy a day in the wine region where Port wine and other table wines originate from, we recommend Douro Exclusive for the most authentic experience.
#9 Plan ahead to welcome the arrival of 2021
We have been scouring the city the hottest places for you to enjoy your holiday break in Porto while ensuring you have a safe and sound New Year’s Eve. This being said, here are some amazing possibilities to consider for New Year’s Eve Celebration in Porto.
#9 Eat bacalhau
Our Christmas is not imaginable without eating at least one dish with codfish, aka bacalhau. We love bacalhau! Not only do we have more than 100 ways of cooking it, but some of us could also eat it every single day. Traditionally on Christmas tables for dinner or next-day lunch, you will see bolinhos de bacalhau, bacalhau à Zé do Pipo or bacalhau à Gomes de Sá. Try it and let us know which of the bacalhau dishes was your favorite.
#10 Make rabanadas
Like we cannot imagine Christmas without Bacalhau, we also cannot imagine it without various desserts served during the holiday season. One of the most typical deserts, that can be easily eaten also during breakfast is Rabanadas, also known as Portuguese style French toast. Here’s how to make rabanadas (Portuguese french toast recipe).
And there you have it, some of the best things to do in Porto this December are right here. These fun winter activities are guaranteed to beat the cold-weather blues.
Also, don’t forget to enjoy a bit of winter sun as well. Porto is blessed with a pleasant climate and amazingly beautiful scenery, which makes it the perfect city for a little time outdoors during the wintertime.