Have you ever imagined a celebration, a one-of-a-kind celebration throughout the longest and equally shortest night of the year, when nobody goes to sleep? A night in which thousands of people walk cheerfully towards the river mouth to watch the sunrise, after a delightful fireworks show and with music and entertainment to be found everywhere!

It this magic occasion, a unique blend of both sacred and profane sides, hundreds of balões (sky lanters) light the sky, scents mix and the sound of play hammers are multiplied by a thousand, no offence taken...

This night really exists... It's the São João night!

Let the joy of São João celebrations in Porto surprise you and be part of the magic of the Longest Night of the Year! We have prepared a 4-day programme, especially for You, called "Noite de São João" (São João Night), with the keywords colour, joy and amusement. But unique experiences are not limited to the Longest Night: we are providing You single emotions and experiences on a trip exploring Porto and its World Heritage Site!

23 June

In this day we celebrate Porto's Longest Night. Begin by visiting one of the traditional bakeries and try the "Bolo de São João", and the famous Port Wine. Then feel free to explore the city.

Experience the city's inner spirit: Talk to us through Live Chat and discover one of the several walking city tours we have to suggest you. Enjoy the scent of basil, leek flower and lemon balm displayed at any city centre street seller. Go in one of the many spaces that evoke São João (Saint John), the Baptist and be part of the sacred ambience inside Churches and Chapels that gather the artistic tribute by renowned national and international masters.

At dinner enjoy typical dishes - roast goat kid or grilled sardine, with broa (corn bread) and caldo verde (kale soup). Those who appreciate comfort can choose one of the restaurants offering programmes and menus related to the Festivities or have dinner aboard a Rabelo (typical Port Wine boat), the very best place to watch the fireworks. For the most daring ones and those who enjoy the bustle of the crowd, the popular stands spread all over the city are a suggestion to be considered, particularly all through the Fontaínhas area and Rotunda da Boavista.

And now, magic is in the air. See the Santos Noventeiros - Revenge of the 90's with Romana, Saúl, Marante and many other, at 8pm on Gardens of Palácio de Cristal. If you prefer, Toy and José Malhoa, will be performing in Largo do Amor de Perdição, at 10pm.

Take your plastic hammer and walk to Praça da Ribeira to watch the imposing fireworks at 00:00. Within the spirit of the celebrations try your dancing ability at one of the many open-air São João dances, throughout the city.

The night is still beginning. Walk along the waterfront up to Foz and then along the seaside.

24 June

Day of São João (Saint John), the Baptist and Porto's holiday. After a thrilling night, the day should probably be quieter. take this opportunity to explore Porto's Historical Centre, designated World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Visit the Cathedral, the Palácio da Bolsa or the Igreja de S. Francisco do Porto and discover the richness of monumental and artistic heritage. Head to Ribeira, have lunch in one of the many Ribeira outdoor restaurants/cafés.

In the afternoon cross the Luiz I Bridge and admire Porto from the other side of the river. Pay a visit to the cellars and get to know the history of Port Wine, also tasting this precious nectar of the Gods. You won't be able to resist going on a Bridges Cruise and "sailing" on the River Douro aboard a typical Rabelo (Port Wine boat). At the end, at 6:30pm, watch the Rabelo Boat Regatta.

As an alternative and before attending the Banda Sinfónica Portuguesa concert, at 6pm, in the Concha Acústica - Gardens of Palácio de Cristal, visit the Soares dos Reis National Museum and admire the varied pieces on display.

Get energised in one of the city's restaurants serving author's cuisine or try the famous "tripas à moda do Porto" (Porto-style tripe) in a traditional one.

25 June

Take the morning to do some shopping. If you like traditional shops stroll along Rua de Santa Catarina and take a break at the traditional Café Majestic. Go to Bolhão Temporary Market and discover the typicality of traditional products.

In the Praça de D. João I you will find Rivoli . Municipal Theatre, one of the country's most significant entertainment venues. Cross the Avenida dos Aliados and admire, on your right side the Porto City Hall, with its 70m high tower, and continue up to Cândido dos Reis and Galeria Paris, icons of Nouveau Art in Porto. Visit the Livraria Lello, on Rua das Carmelitas. If you have the stamina, climb the 225 steps of the Tower of Clérigos and enjoy a magnificent view over the city.

If you prefer, go on a tram ride from Batalha up to Carmo. Relax and have lunch sitting on the terrace of the mythical "Café Piolho" and admire the tile panels of the Carmo Church. Continue to the Gardens of Palácio de Cristal and admire some of Europe's unique trees and plants. The Romantic Extension is right beside it, offering a nineteenth-century ambiance.

You can also choose to walk around the most enchanting places in the city. If you're an art fan or you're interested in the new tendencies of alternative life you must visit the dozens of galleries at Rua de Miguel Bombarda, one of today's cultural routes, as well as restaurants, bookshops and retro-cool furniture shops, alternative decoration, design and music.

For dinner, there is always the famous "francesinha" (a very unique kind of sandwich), that you can try a beer bar or restaurant, and close your night in one of the many bars close to the Clérigos Tower, meeting point for several generations.

Live the magic of the night in the streets of Porto!

26 June

You can also explore the seaside, walking along the Atlantic, feeling the sea breeze, up to Castelo do Queijo and to the reinvigorating green of the City Park. Take the opportunity to visit SEA LIFE Porto, where you can admire unique sea species and live an “underwater” experience.

Have lunch in one of the many outdoor restaurants/cafés in Foz with the sea nearby. If you enjoy contemporary art, you cannot miss visit the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art , designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. If you're really interested in contemporary architecture, you must also visit the Casa da Música, by Rem Koolhaas.

Say farewell to the city enjoying one of the restaurants offering author's cuisine.

Now that you have gone through singular experience with the São João Festivities, be aware that Porto has a lot more to offer you. Come and explore it!

Come to São João with Porto.CARD!

Do the São João programme with the city pass and save money while having fun.

Buy now your card online or at one of the Official Porto Tourism Offices.

  • VisitPorto

    Last updated 2022-12-06

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