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Welcome to Porto – Portugal’s second-largest city.

This charming city is known for its colorful buildings, delicious food, and port wine. 

But what do you do when the rain starts pouring down?

Don’t let a little rain dampen your spirits or ruin your travel plans. 

There are plenty of indoor activities and attractions in Porto that will keep you entertained and dry during your stay. 

In this blog, I’ll share my favorite spots in Porto for rainy days and give you a one-day plan for when the forecast looks gloomy.

When is the Best Time to Visit Porto?

The ideal time to visit Porto is during the summer months of June, July, and August.

Just keep in mind that it gets pretty crowded and pricey then.

The rainy season kicks in around late September till April, with December being the wettest month.

Top Things to Do on a Rainy Day in Porto

Visit the Livraria Lello Bookstore

Step into the magical world of Harry Potter at Livraria Lello, one of the most stunning bookstores in the world. 

Its intricate architecture, stained-glass windows, and winding staircase make it easy to see why J.K. Rowling – the genius behind Harry Potter – found inspiration here.

This Porto bucket list spot isn’t just a bookstore – it’s a portal to a magical world.

Spend a few hours browsing through the shelves and getting lost in the literary atmosphere.

This famous bookstore is always busy, so purchasing tickets online ahead of time is a good idea.

You can also use the ticket cost to buy a book or two here.

Livraria Lello Bookstore
WebsiteLink to website
Hours09:00 AM – 07:30 PM Daily

Closed on December 25th, January 1st, Easter Sunday, May 1st and June 24th.
Tickets8 Euros (2024)

Buy tickets here

Go Shopping at Mercado do Bolhão

Craving a slice of local life?

Be a Porto local for just a day at Mercado do Bolhão, Porto’s oldest market. 

This indoor market is the perfect place to wander and pick up souvenirs or fresh produce. 

The colorful stalls and lively atmosphere will surely brighten even the gloomiest day.

In fact, one of my favorite rainy day experiences in Porto was at this market—I tried a mix of seafood and wine for just 10 Euros.

Have an Espresso at Cafe Majestic

When rain falls on the cobblestone streets of Porto, popping into Cafe Majestic is simply a delight.

This cozy café, with its cool retro vibes and adorable winter garden, is just the spot to indulge in some yummy treats when you need a break from the rain.

Cafe Majestic not only oozes old-world charm but is also where J.K. Rowling got her Harry Potter inspiration.

Rowling lived in Porto and was an English teacher. People often said she’d be at this cafe, jotting down notes on napkins.

Don’t miss checking out this excellent art nouveau café, enjoying your coffee while taking in history and creativity on a rainy day in Porto.

1The menu items here are very expensive, so just be mindful. I had a cappuccino, which was about 6 euros.
2This splendid cafe is just a quick stroll from Mercado do Bolhao. Grab a snack or meal at the market, then top it off with an espresso at Cafe Majestic.

Explore The World of Discoveries 

Did you know that Portugal embarked on explorations to various corners of the globe, venturing into Africa, India, China, Timor, Japan, Macau, and Brazil?

Take a journey through time at The World of Discoveries, an interactive museum that tells the story of Portugal’s Age of Discoveries. 

Learn about these daring explorers who set sail from Porto and their groundbreaking discoveries around the globe. 

This is a fantastic activity for children and adults, with hands-on exhibits and multimedia displays to entertain everyone.

Indulge in Port Wine Tasting

When in Porto, trying the famous port wine is a must. 

And what better way to do it than on a rainy day? 

Head to one of the many port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, just across the river from Porto. 

Take a tour, learn about the production process, and enjoy some tastings. 

It’s a cozy and educational experience that will warm you up on a cold and rainy day.

Pro-Tip: There are several Port Wine Tasting opportunities available in Porto. Since I wanted flexibility in my schedule, I went to Taylor’s, which accepts walk-in guests.

Visit Serralves Museum

For art lovers, Serralves Museum is a must-visit on a rainy day.

This contemporary art museum is housed in a stunning modernist building and features works by renowned international artists. 

Take your time exploring the galleries and admiring the museum’s beautiful gardens.

Relax at a Thermal Spa

If you’re looking for ultimate relaxation, head to one of the many thermal spas in Porto. 

These natural hot springs are believed to have healing properties and offer a variety of treatments, including massages and thermal baths. 

Chill out and relax while you listen to the rain tapping on the windows.

Sample Traditional Portuguese Cuisine

Rainy days call for comfort food, and in Porto, that means hearty and delicious traditional dishes. 

Cozido à Portuguesa, Francesinha, Tripas a Moda do Porto, or Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá are some must-try traditional dishes. 

Find a cozy restaurant and enjoy these comforting meals while listening to the rain outside.

RestaurantsTraditional Porto Dish
Restaurante AbadiaTripas a Moda do Porto
Cafe Santiago FFrancesinha
Cervejaria GazelaCachorro Especial (little hot dogs)

Attend a Fado Performance

Fado, Portugal’s traditional music genre, is known for its melancholic and soulful melodies. 

What better way to spend a rainy evening than to cozy up in a fado club and listen to talented musicians serenade you? 

Many restaurants and bars offer fado performances, so be sure to check them out during your stay.

Take a Cooking Class

Why not learn how to make some traditional Portuguese dishes yourself? 

Join a cooking class and get hands-on experience creating delicious meals while also learning about the culture and history behind them. 

The best part? You get to enjoy your creations afterward, making this a perfect rainy-day activity.

Connecting the Spots via Uber

If you’re wondering how to navigate Porto, Portugal, on a rainy day, fear not.

Uber offers a cost-effective, reliable, and efficient solution.

With Uber as your transport, crafting a rainy-day itinerary becomes a breeze.

One Day Itinerary on a Rainy Day in Porto

If you happen to be in Porto on a rainy day, here is an itinerary I suggest that will leave a lasting impression on you.

You can connect all of these sites through Uber.

TimePorto Bucket-List
9:00 – 11:00 Livraria Lello Bookstore
11:00 – 1:00 Browse and Brunch at Mercado do Bolhão and have an espresso at Cafe Majestic
1:00 – 3:00Visit a Museum
3:00 – 5:00Port Wine Tasting
5:00 – 9:00Watch a Fado performance then dinner at a recommended restaurant or attend a cooking class
Abadia Restaurant has one of the best Tripas a Moda do Porto

Porto Travel Essentials

To ensure a memorable and stress-free experience, here’s a list of my top 15 travel essentials you should consider packing on your trip to Porto.

1. Travel Adapter: Porto uses the Europlug (Type C); some places may have Type E sockets. Bring a universal travel adapter to charge your devices hassle-free.

2. Comfortable Walking Shoes: Porto is a city best explored on foot. Pack comfortable shoes to wander through charming streets, museums, and parks.

3. Weather-Appropriate Clothing: Check the weather forecast before your trip and pack clothing suitable for the season. Layering is vital, as the weather in Porto can be unpredictable.

4. Light Jacket or Sweater: Even in summer, evenings can get cooler. Bring a light jacket or sweater to stay comfortable during nighttime activities.

5. Scarf or Shawl: A stylish scarf or shawl complements your outfit and comes in handy during cooler evenings or to cover up when visiting religious sites.

6. Daypack or Crossbody Bag and a Money belt: A small daypack or crossbody bag is perfect for carrying essentials during your explorations. A money belt is also highly recommended to avoid getting pickpocketed.

7. Reusable Water Bottle: Bring a reusable water bottle to stay hydrated and reduce plastic waste. Tap water in Porto is safe to drink.

8. Travel-sized Umbrella: Porto’s weather can be unpredictable, so carry a compact umbrella for unexpected rain showers.

9. Personal Identification: Keep your passport or a copy in a secure location. Additionally, have an ID with you at all times. Photocopy your passport, scan it, and send it to your email so you can easily pull it up when necessary.

10. Prescription Medications: Bring an adequate supply and a copy of the prescription if you take any prescription medications.

11. Travel Insurance: Consider purchasing travel insurance to protect yourself from unexpected events or medical emergencies.

12. Portable Charger and Power Bank: Ensure your devices stay charged throughout the day with a portable charger or power bank.

13. Travel Guidebook or Offline Maps: A physical guidebook or offline maps on your phone can be invaluable when navigating the city. Google Maps lets you download city maps on your phone to access them offline.

14. Translation App: While many people in Porto speak English, knowing a few basic Portuguese phrases (“obrigado”) can enhance your interactions with locals. I also like using Google Translate’s camera function to translate written Portuguese into English.

15. Camera or Smartphone: Capture the beauty of Porto with a camera or smartphone to preserve your cherished memories.

Remember to pack these essentials while leaving some room for souvenirs and treasures you may discover during your adventure in Porto.

How I Saved Money on This Trip to Porto

I used a combination of credit card points and money-saving offers and promotions for this trip to Porto.

The table below summarizes the points and money I spent on my airfare and hotel.

AirfareI used 88,000 American Express Membership Rewards points earned from the American Express® Business Gold Card and transferred to ANA for the round-trip flights from Newark to Porto. Taxes were about $55.
Hotels I stayed four nights at Hospes Infantes Sagres, a Small Luxury Hotel. Redeemed a $200 credit from The Platinum Card® from American Express to book three nights at this property. Amex Travel also offered a “stay three nights, get the third night free promotion”. I used 20,000 World of Hyatt points to cover for the fourth night. Total amount spent on this 4-night stay: $157.50
I used my no-ATM-fee Charles Schwab Debit Card to withdraw Euros for tipping and other expenses that required cash.
During my trip, I used my travel credit cards that do not charge foreign transaction fees such as the Chase Sapphire Preferred® Card and Capital One Venture X Rewards Credit Card.
TAP Air Portugal Business Class for 88,000 ANA Miles

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Final Thoughts

So, you see, even a downpour can’t dampen your Porto adventure. 

With this list of engaging indoor activities, you’ll be well-equipped to turn a rainy day into a memorable and enriching experience. 

Embrace the cozy atmosphere, delve into Portuguese culture, and discover the hidden gems Porto offers, rain or shine.

EDITORIAL DISCLOSURE – Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. The content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.