São João is the biggest celebration of the city of Porto, being one of the most awaited events by its inhabitants!
It is celebrated on June 24th, but the festivities also start on the night of June 23rd and last until dawn. It’s a popular party in the city of Porto, with a lot of great music, traditional food, fireworks, and plenty of fun!
Even if this is your first time at this typical Porto party, you certainly can’t miss some traditional activities! We suggest that you wear comfortable clothes and shoes to enjoy the longest and most beautiful night in Porto.
1. Admire the Fireworks Over The Douro River
You will be enchanted by the beauty of the fireworks, which starts at midnight, over the Douro River!
It’s a pyrotechnical show that can be seen from several places in the city of Porto. The most common place is the Riverside (“Ribeira”), which is lit up with lights and colors!
A friendly tip: try to arrive as early as possible to the place, to find a spot with a good vision and not get lost in the crowd.
2. Try the Typical Foods at the Party
You have to try the delicious sardines, grilled on the grill, with corn bread (“broa”) and bell peppers, the soup called “Caldo Verde” or, for meat lovers, the tasty “bifanas” on bread.
This food should be, especially, enjoyed with Super Bock beer, the typical beer of the North, or wine.
The Riverside area has plenty of restaurants serving these typical dishes on this night, but you can also eat in one of the “tascas” by the Douro River.
3. Launch a São João Balloon at the City of Porto
This is one of the most beautiful traditions of this festivity. The dark sky of Porto is illuminated with several São João balloons, which is a beautiful moment to observe.
You are allowed to launch the balloons, but there are some restrictions: it is only allowed to be launched between 9:45 pm on the June 23rd and 01:00 am on the June 24th.
4. Dance to the Sound of Popular Portuguese Music in the City of Porto
Music is an essential element of a party, so during this night of concerts and music, there is nothing better than dancing to the sound of popular Portuguese music in the “bailaricos” on the streets of Porto.
5. Walk from Douro River to the Sea
To end the night in the best way, the walk along the Riverside of the Douro River to “Foz” is something unique.
You’ll see the essence of Porto, it’s beautiful views, and you won’t be alone, as many people do this path.
If you can make it through the night, you can watch a beautiful sunrise on the beach!
With this guide, it is impossible to miss the main activities of this typical Porto popular party! Don’t forget, also, to smell the basil, buy a São João hammer (not a real one, take it easy) and avoid the garlic!
We assure you, as locals of Porto, that this night is amazing! Enjoy it!