Porto Weather December Averages, Portugal
What's the Weather Like in Porto in December
December is by far the wettest month of the year, but fortunately for the location itself, there is still a healthy amount of sunny days to enjoy, although at lower temperatures than previously incurred. The winters in Porto are generally mild and rainy, and there hasn't been any frost in decades, so rest assured that the worst you could possibly get here is just rain. Make sure you pack a good coat and umbrella though, for your own comfort.
The average temperature drops to a chilly 12°C (53°F), with a higher end estimated to reach 15°C on warmer and sunny days. The nights are quite crisp though, at just 8°C on a low average, definitely colder than November. The days are also the shortest out of the calendar year, sporting up to just 4 hours of full sunshine.
Chances of sunny days drop to an average of 20%, but when they do happen, they tend to really brighten up the spirit of the entire city of Oporto.
Humidity is at an increased 82% on average, with chances of rainy days jumping to 47%. Rainfall volume reaches a record average of 180mm, and a total of up to 17 days of gloom, the annual peak. The third and fourth week in particular are expected to be quite grey and wet so it is worth checking the local forecast.
Chances of cloudy days also increase to 30%, which simply adds on to our statement about enjoying the interior wonders of the city, and warm up to some local spirits and wines.
The winds blow mostly from the north in December, quite cold and with an icy feel during the night, and chances of windy days increase to 22% on average. Wind speeds reach an average speed of 5m/s, best felt along the coastline, where the waves gain height and continuously pummel the rocky sides of the beaches.
The North Atlantic Ocean temperature also drops to 16°C (60°F), no longer recommended for any kind of swimming or even dipping toes, as the waters here often feel colder than they really are in the winter. However with a good neoprene suit and plenty of mulled wine afterwards, you can still engage in some pretty wicked surfing sessions, as the coastline experience generous tubular waves in December.
Hotels for Porto in December
December is a month for peaceful holidays and the wonderful times of Christmas, so you can certainly make sure Santa drops you a hotel reservation to Vincci Porto, a 4-star wonder of close proximity to the Cristal Palace Gardens. Its rooms go for £149 per night during the winter holiday period, but it is well worth it! This stylish hotel is hosted inside a renovated landmark building known as Bolsa do Pescado.
The rooms are elegant and come fitted with air conditioning, flat screen TV, minibar and en suite bathroom with all sorts of luxury amenities. Breakfast is included in the price, and the hotel's restaurant serves a wonderful variety of traditional Portuguese dishes.
Apartamentos Villa Bolhao
You will find self-catering apartments for just £60 per night in an excellent location in Apartamentos Villa Bolhao. This building features a neoclassical façade, and it is right in front of the Bolhao Market in the heart of the Ribeira District, Porto's historical center. All the suites have fully equipped kitchens, private bathrooms, seating areas with plush sofas, and free Wi-Fi. Breakfast can be served upon request and there is also a shuttle service available for the airport.
Porto Palacio Congress Hotel & Spa
But if you really want to spoil yourself for Christmas with a great deal, the Porto Palacio Congress Hotel & Spa is 5-star extravaganza that offers stunning suites from £84 per night for couples. It's situated in the beautiful Boavista quarter, and it features a rooftop lounge with panoramic views of the city and Douro River. The gorgeous Casa da Musica is just 5-minutes' walk from the Porto Palacio Congress, and it also features a luxurious spa with massage rooms and indoor pool.
The rooms are decorated in a modern style, fitted with soundproofing, large flat screen TVs, seating area and minibar, as well as beautiful marble bathrooms with underfloor heating. The Nautilus Restaurant, Porto Beer and Gosho Japanese Restaurant are all part of this sumptuous complex, along with a hot tub, squash court and a large fitness center.
Beaches for December for Porto
Foz do Douro
Due to a significant amount of rainfall pouring throughout the month of December, it's very unlikely that you'll want to spend much time at the beach. However if the sunnier days permit it, you can still head down to the splendid Foz do Douro, which sports a large number of golden sand beaches with rocky outlines, wooden walkways, cafes and terraces sprinkled all across the coastline of that posh district of Porto.
Praia de Mira
Praia de Mira in Figueira da Foz is particularly charming this time of the year with a beach on one side and a splendid lagoon on the other side, its waters deep and dramatically blue, it's easy to lose yourself in the landscape. On top of that, this area has several bike hire facilities and some wicked pine trails for those of you who enjoy trekking through the hillside around beautiful Oporto.
Restaurants and Bars for Porto in December
Book Restaurant and Bar
The pricy Book Restaurant and Bar is obviously the best choice for a hip dining experience, its long and modern space flanked by literature reflecting its past life as a sumptuous bookshop. The menus and the bill also appear in books, keeping with the theme of the place, while the food consists of some new twists on Portuguese traditions. The bar serves cocktails named after famous writers and works of literature, and the resident DJ does spin some great tunes in the evening.
For a taste of contemporary Portuguese in a ritzy setting, you most certainly have to try the Yeatman Restaurant, a prestigious venue of Porto, located on the south bank and first open in 2013. It has already earned a Michelin star and it sports incredible views over Douro River, matched only by the fabulous cuisine created by Ricardo Costa, their award-winning chef. There are over 25,000 bottles of wine in the cellar, and the service is beyond proper.
While we're on the subject of books, you can also try the cool, cozy and artsy Café Candelabro, encompassed in a beautiful bookshop and lined with all kinds of literature. The offer on spirits and beers is certainly impressive, and given the low lamped lighting and chequered tile floor, it certainly looks like a good spot to stop and read a book over a glass of wine! And don't worry about forgetting to bring a book; the place also sells books on photography, cinema, theatre and arts.
Things to Do in Porto in December
From time-warp grocery stores to fancy art nouveau style boutiques and fashion emporiums, Porto has plenty of excellent shopping spots to browse through during a holiday. The main shopping street is the Rua de Santa Catarina in the beautiful Ribeira District, filled with a variety of stores selling design items and all kinds of trendy accessories and jewels. Another good place for fashion shopping is Rua da Bombarda, riddled with small independent boutiques.
Clube Literario do Porto
You can also head down to Clube Literario do Porto on Rua Nova da Alfandega, a huge historic bookshop, the perfect destination for some cool and yet intelligent Christmas prezzies for your loved ones! For some excellent local wine shopping, you might as well go to Garrafeira do Carmo, which boasts a large selection of Portuguese wines, some of which are well over 100 years old.
If you haven't browsed through the buzzing Bolhao Market, now is your chance to truly enjoy it, as it is filled with seasonal goodies and artisanal Christmas delights! Alternatively, regular markets take place on Rua de Santa Caterina, particularly specialized in antiques, arts and crafts. Rua Candido dos Reis and Praca das Cardosas also host a number of weekly and monthly markets and boot sales. But for the real shopping experience you most certainly have to head down to Via Catarina, Porto's most charming shopping center, its storefronts designed as replicas of facades typical of northern Portugal's old village shops.