Festivals in Porto

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Festivals in Porto


If it’s festivals you want, then it’s festivals you get in Porto! Although largely known as the economic capital of the country, Porto does not pale in comparison to other cities like Lisbon, Coimbra or Braga when it comes to how people celebrate and throw a party. As a matter of fact, Porto even plays host to some of the most important annual events in the country.

Porto has festivities all year round, so you are sure to experience merry-making the Porto way. Still, it pays to know when the most festivities are happening so you can somehow plan your visit around the dates of the festivals you choose to witness. Porto festivals are a window to seeing the city’s true colors, so there is no better way of celebrating them than with locals who can give you not just the history behind the celebrations, but also a rich experience and a grand time that will forever be committed to your memory.

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Top Festivals in Porto

  • Experience how Porto welcomes the New Year by spending it with a local and his family. Watch fireworks displays on New Year’s Eve in the streets as you do the midnight toast and 12 raisins to bring in luck. Or you can head for bars and clubs to party the old year away.
  • Enjoy King’s cake from various delicatessens and bakeries on King’s Day, which is celebrated on the 6th of January and marks the end of the Christmas festivities.
  • View screenings of the latest local and international films, attend seminars and go on private viewings of movies at the Rivoli Teatro Municipal during Fantasporto or the Porto Film Festival, an annual festival held every February.
  • The Hot Air Balloon Race is another festival you shouldn’t miss. Held toward the end of March, this competition is participated by teams from different parts of the world.
  • Answer your soul’s longing for art with Serralves em Festa, the largest contemporary art festival in Europe. Held during the last week of May, this festival features 40 hours of nonstop entertainment that includes visual arts, theater, film exhibitions, music and dance performances.
  • Travel some 50 kilometers eastward of Porto and witness Festa de Sao Goncalo, a religious celebration with peculiar fertility and love rituals held during the first weekend of June.
  • On June 23, locals and tourists alike flock to the city centre to pay homage to Saint John the Baptist through different attractions like street dancing, street concerts and pagan courtship rituals. Locals also celebrate Festa de São João do Porto through overflowing wine and traditional food like sardines, codfish, meat and caldo verde.
  • Assumption Day, held on August 15, is yet another religious celebration marked by street partying. Locals attend costumed events and parades that take place in the morning and ends with a big firework display late in the evening.
  • Of course a Catholic country’s festivities would not be complete without Christmas, which locals spend by attending the Mass and partake in the Christmas Eve supper of turkey, octopus, cod, potatoes, collard greens and loads of pastries and other sweets.

This is what guests are saying about our hosts

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
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Sonya Nuno
Rating

Portuguese Cooking Workshop with a Local

I wanted something special for our second dinner in Porto and since my partner and I enjoy both cooking and Portuguese cuisine I chose a cooking class with Nuno. Of course we were also very interested in getting to know a local person under somewhat informal circumstances and the reviews seemed very promising.

We did not regret this for a single second. It was far beyond our expectations: not only the extremely delicious rice with seafood (let alone the best fruit salad I've ever had -- but come visit Nuno to learn the trick) but also the hospitality and openness of the host. Nuno is awesome, friendly, ready to share his stories and experiences, funny and knowledgeable. We spent far much more time at his cosy house than expected and had way much more fun than I would have imagined. I could not eat breakfast the next morning and barely made it to the restaurant for lunch.

I do not know when I will visit Porto again but there's much more to see than I have seen. Likewise there's much more to cook. Next time we will take a city tour with Nuno as well as another cooking class.

Withlocals guest
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James Teresa
Rating

Make Your Own Traditional Porto Tile

We had great fun making our tiles under Teresa's supervision, and we're hugely looking forward to receiving the final glazed version in the post. Teresa is full of knowledge and made us feel at ease straight away.

Withlocals guest
Withlocals host
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Sonia André
Rating

A customized trip with André

I really enjoyed my photo tour I had with André who is a very friendly, knowledgeable and cool guy! He is native from Porto, knows the city more than anyone and how to capture its atmosphere. He will show you hidden gems, help with your camera, encourage you, adapt conversation (history, politics, music)! I really had great time! I definitely recommend that tour. I still received many compliments on my photos taken on that tour! I'm really proud! Thank you André for the tips with the light. :-)