If you’re thinking of visiting Porto in the winter then you may be wondering: does it snow in Porto?
Well I actually spent a whole month living in Porto during the winter so I can tell you exactly what to expect.
In this post I’ll let you know if it ever snows in Porto and how cold it gets during the winter.
Table of Contents
Does It Snow In Porto, Portugal?
It doesn’t usually snow in the city of Porto itself as it doesn’t get cold enough but it does occasionally snow in other towns in the wider Porto district.
As a general rule, snow only forms when the temperature is at or below 32ºF (0ºC).
According to holiday-weather.com, the average temperature in winter in Porto is between 50ºF (10ºC) and 54ºF (12ºC).
They say that the average low temperatures in the winter are between 43ºF (6ºC) and 46ºF (8ºC).
As it very rarely (almost never) gets to 32ºF (0ºC) in Porto even during the coldest month of the year, it doesn’t usually snow.
Every now and again during particularly cold winters it may drop below 32ºF (0ºC) but it very rarely snows and even if it does, it’s not enough to cover the city in a blanket of white.
For example, the coldest ever temperature in Porto was recorded in January 1941 at 25ºF (-4ºC) and this is very rare. It hasn’t gotten that cold since 1941.
I’m actually currently living in Porto and I’ve spent most of January (aka Porto’s coldest month of the year) here.
Interestingly, I actually picked Porto because they experience mild winters compared to the rest of Europe.
I’d had enough of the cold weather in the UK (where I’m from) and wanted to spend the winter somewhere a lil bit more comfortable weather-wise so I chose Porto.
And luckily for me and my usually cold toes, it doesn’t snow here so I left my wooly hat, snow boots and big scarves at home.
Although snow doesn’t generally fall in the city of Porto, it does sometimes fall in the wider Porto district.
Some towns within the district sit at higher altitudes so they get colder than Porto does during the winter and sometimes they even get cold enough for snow to fall.
These include Penafiel which does get snowfall from time to time.
Penafiel sits at a much higher elevation than Porto. Whilst Porto has an elevation of 104m, Penafiel has an elevation of 241m so naturally it gets much colder in the winter and snow makes an appearance from time to time.
When Was The Last Time It Snowed In Porto?
Snow is very rare in Porto. The last time it snowed heavily in Porto was in February 1983.
There have been a couple of incidences of snow since then but this has only consisted of very light snowfall that didn’t settle.
As I said, it doesn’t usually snow in the city of Porto itself so you’re unlikely to see the Dom Luís I Bridge covered in a blanket of snow (hey, but with climate change, maybe you will).
How Cold Does It Get In Porto?
The coldest it gets in Porto is around 43ºF (6ºC). This is the coldest average temperature and it usually only drops this low during the nighttime in winter. In the daytime, it rarely drops below 50ºF (10ºC) in winter.
During the winter months, it does get cold in Porto but not as cold as most other European cities.
In fact, Porto’s winter temperatures are quite mild and you can still head out and about into the city, do some sightseeing and eat at local restaurants.
Even during the coldest month of the year, I often see people eating at outdoor restaurants here.
To give you an idea of how cold it gets in Porto in the winter, I’ve put together a table of the average high and low temperatures.
|Month||Average High Temp.||Average Low Temp.|
|Dec||59ºF (15ºC)||46ºF (8ºC)|
|Jan||57ºF (14ºC)||43ºF (6ºC)|
|Feb||57ºF (14ºC)||45ºF (7ºC)|
Not too bad, huh?
As Porto is located in northern Portugal, it’s one of the coldest cities in the country.
Yep, Porto is colder than Lisbon and it’s colder than most other Portuguese towns and cities too. It’s still a great place to spend winter though.
What Is Winter Like In Porto, Portugal?
Winters in Porto are mild. Daytime temperatures tend to average around 57ºF (14ºC) and at night it rarely drops below 43ºF (6ºC) however it rains often. You do still get many sunny days though.
From time to time, you’ll get heavy periods of rain during winter where it rains non-stop for a few days but then it becomes sunny and bright again.
Winter is the rainiest time of year in Porto. During the winter months, on average it rains 15 days out of the month.
Here’s the exact rain statistics according to holiday-weather.com:
|Month||Average Rain Days||Average Rainfall|
However, I would take these statistics with a pinch of salt as I’ve been living in Porto for almost the entire month of January and I’ve found these statistics to be far from true.
According to the official statistics, it should rain 15 days out of the month but I’ve spent most of January here and it’s only rained a handful of times (I’d say 4-5 times).
For a few days, it rained so much that I barely left my apartment but then it cleared up and we had a couple of weeks of bright, sunny days with barely a cloud in the sky.
For example, it’s currently January 27th as I write this and here’s what the sky looks like out of my window:
Today’s peak temperature is around 55ºF (13ºC) so it’s still cold but the bright sunshine makes you feel a little bit warmer.
I’ll be heading over to Majestic Café later for a hot chocolate to warm me up!!
Does It Snow In Portugal?
Yes, it does snow in some parts of Portugal. It only really snows in the mountainous regions in central Portugal that are located at a higher elevation.
Although the majority of the country experiences mild temperatures during the winter that don’t go low enough to get snow, there are a few regions where snowfall in the winter is basically guaranteed.
The main place where it pretty much always snows in Portugal is around the mountain range known as Serra da Estrela.
This mountain range is located in the center of the country and has several cities and towns surrounding it that, due to their high elevation, get snow regularly in the winter.
Temperatures in this region of Portugal regularly drop below freezing during the winter especially at night.
According to timeanddate.com, this area has an average high temperature of 45ºF (7ºC) during January and February and an average low temperature of 34ºF (1ºC).
This mountainous region gets snow so regularly in the winter that it has a popular ski resort.
Warmest Place In Portugal In Winter
The warmest place in Portugal during the winter is the Algarve region which is located on Portugal’s southern shore.
Here are the average temperatures in the Algarve during the winter (according to holiday-weather.com):
|Month||Average High Temp.||Average Low Temp.|
|Dec||63ºF (17ºC)||48ºF (9ºC)|
|Jan||61ºF (16ºC)||43ºF (6ºC)|
|Feb||64ºF (18ºC)||45ºF (7ºC)|
As you can see from the above table, January is the coldest month in the Algarve and daytime temperatures still reach an average of 61ºF (16ºC).
This is much more pleasant than what some of us are used to in the winter (I’m used to almost freezing temperatures!).
It might not be quite hot enough to bring your bathing suit and take a dip in the ocean, especially as the waters in the Algarve are especially cold (I visited in July and I can tell you, the water is cold).
You can still visit the Algarve in the winter to explore the various picturesque towns that dot the coastline.
Lagos is my personal favorite but you can also explore Albufeira, Vilamoura, Tavira, Sagres and Silves.
And that’s it!
Thanks for reading this post all about if it snows in Porto, Portugal.
If you’re looking for somewhere not too cold to spend the winter then Porto is a fantastic choice.
If you’re planning a visit to Porto then you might be interested in my 5-day Porto itinerary which covers everything you need to know.