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São João in Porto

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June is known as the month of the Santos Populares. This is one of the most important times of the year in Porto as the city gears up for São João, the city’s largest festival.

Despite only taking place over one day (24th June), preparations for the festival occupy the best part of a month.

Recognized as Porto’s festival since 1911 thanks to popular demand, São João ended up being made an official holiday in the city, something that has been maintained to this day.

Every year in the month of June, Porto is full of both national and international visitors who join forces to party on the city’s streets.

However, it is the night of 23rd to 24th when São João reaches its peak. Local councils organize dances and musical performances for residents and even the city’s bars and hip cultural institutions join in with the celebrations by putting on special events.

In Ribeira, fireworks are traditionally launched from the Luís I Bridge and from anchored boats allowing you to watch the show from the banks of the River Douro, from one of the city’s many viewpoints, or even from on board a tourist boat on the river itself.

There are always special events taking place on the night of São Jõao which, whether or not they include dinner, are guaranteed to be a part of the fun and festivities.

During the daytime on 24th June, you will be able to take part in local festivities around the city, go to the Rabelo Boat Regata, or to a traditional São João Day concert in the Crystal Palace gardens.

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