Giving you a list of the best things to do in Portugal in February for the best way to your winter escapades.
If you’re looking for an enchanting blend of mild weather, cultural richness, and tranquil landscapes for your next trip, then a visit to Portugal is what you’re looking for!
There are a ton of things to do in Portugal in February, and the good thing about visiting off-season during wintertime is.
There are fewer tourist crowds, and everything’s more affordable, which is a big win for me!
This is why, in today’s post, I want to take a look at what activities to do and which places to see.
Make sure you add these to your itinerary to avoid missing out as you travel to Portugal!
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Table of Contents
Top Resources to travel Portugal
✈ Book cheap flights to Portugal with Skyscanner
✔ Book tours in Portugal with Viator
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❖ Rent a car with the best discounts at Discover Cars
✎ Never leave without travel insurance. I got mine at HeyMondo. It is cheap and easy to set up.
Overview: Things to do in Portugal in February
1. Explore Lisbon’s Historic Districts
If you’re visiting Portugal in February, you definitely have to wander the ancient streets of Alfama.
It’s Lisbon’s oldest neighborhood, has unique shops, not to mention breathtaking views, and is also home to traditional Portuguese music called Fado.
If you’re a fan of neoclassical architecture, I’m sure you’ll love Baixa, as I did, with its expansive squares covering Commerce and Rossio.
It was designed and reconstructed following an earthquake in 1755 and is a must-visit if you’re going to be in Lisbon in February.
To wrap up your day, let the eclectic energy of trendy bars and traditional Fado houses reel you in after dark in the neighborhood of Bairro Alto.
You may ask: is Portugal warm in February? The answer is no since it’s still winter, so ensure you’re properly dressed and have something for chilly evenings.
2. Experience Fado Music
If you’re looking for what to do in Lisbon in February, no trip to Portugal is complete without seeing a Fado performance!
Described simply as “a shawl, a guitar, a voice, and a lot of feeling”, Fado is said to come straight from the Portuguese soul and is a song of longing.
Consider visiting traditional Fado houses like Casa de Linhares if you’d like to see performances from famous Fado artists.
For a more laid atmosphere, another traditional Fado house to go to is A Bauica, though it’s pretty tiny (six tables only!), so check in advance and make a reservation.
A few other places to see Fado performances in Lisbon include Povo in Cais De Sodré, as well as Mesa De Frades in Alfama.
It’s impossible to describe with just words—you must hear it for yourself, like me, because it’s truly an experience.
It’s also a great way to get a feel of what the Portuguese are like through their music.
3. Visit the Pena Palace in Sintra
This deserves a spot on your list of things to do in Portugal in February: a visit to the dreamy and colorful Pena Palace!
Aside from being a UNESCO World Heritage site, Pena Palace is one of Portugal’s seven wonders.
More than wandering around the palace and allowing yourself a breathtaking panoramic view of Sintra, though, make sure you also visit the garden!
I nearly missed my first visit, and I don’t want you to make the same mistake.
The meticulously landscaped gardens add to the already fairytale feel of Pena Palace and are a sight to behold.
Whether you’re visiting because you’re interested in its history, to marvel at the palace’s unique architecture, or take amazing photos, this whimsical place has it all!
Though mild, the weather in Portugal in February can be icy, and there may be chances of rain, so dress appropriately and bring an umbrella just in case.
4. Whale Watching in the Azores
Is Portugal hot in February? Not so much, which is why it’s the best time for a marine adventure: whale watching in the Azores!
Known as a remote paradise with lush landscapes, volcanic formations, and pristine blue waters, it’s the perfect place for unforgettable encounters with different kinds of whales!
The Azores hosts 28 different cetaceans—7 baleen whales and 21 toothed whales, most of which can be spotted anytime.
Go on eco-tours that prioritize marine life. This is the best way to support conservation efforts to protect whales and other sea animals.
Whale-watching tours usually start from the Vila Franca marinas or Ponta Delgada‘s capital.
You may want to add more to your list of things to do in Ponta Delgada while you’re there to make the most of your trip.
While you’re at it and if you’re in the mood for hiking, here are the Best Azores hiking trails you can try out for yourself!
5. Celebrate Carnaval in Loulé
If you’re putting together a list of things to do in Portugal in February, you can’t miss the Carnaval celebrations in Loulé!
It’s one big party out on the streets, with dancers, performers, and giant caricatures representing famous Portuguese politicians and celebrities, though some international names are also featured.
As a unique celebration, it’s a great way to truly experience the culture of Portugal and get to know the Portuguese people even more.
This is also your chance to dress up in costumes, but take note of the February weather in Portugal.
Since it can become cold, especially at nighttime, dress in layers or bring something to keep you warm when the temperature drops.
6. Relax on Algarve’s Beaches
There’s no shortage of beaches in Portugal, and going to one while visiting is a must.
That said, consider spending winter in Algarve to visit as many beaches and coastal towns as possible.
Ponta Da Piedade in Lagos has to be my favorite beach: it’s one of the best places in Algarve because of how stunning it is!
Not only is the green water crystal clear, but there are caves, cliffs, and other fantastic rock formations that will take your breath away.
While you’re there, aside from dropping by Praia De Camilo, another more popular beach in the area, consider these things to do in Lagos to fill up your itinerary further.
The Algarve weather in February is mild, so remember to bring something for the cold. This way, you can enjoy sunshine during the day without suffering under the heat.
Here are even more beaches in Algarve if you’re interested in beach hopping while you’re there!
7. Discover Porto’s Wine Culture
If you’re all about wine, you must visit Porto in February while in Portugal!
The best place to start for me is at Vila Nova de Gaia, considered the heart of the port wine industry.
This means there’s no shortage of wine-related tours and tastings, which should be part of your list of things to do in northern Portugal if you visit.
Some wine cellars I enjoyed visiting include Graham’s Port Lodge and the Cálem Cellar Tour, which also consists of a Fado show.
Whichever tour you choose, most of them include wine tastings of famous Porto wines so make sure you look at the details of each one.
These wine tours also give an overview and history of Porto’s winemaking traditions, and they are as educational as they are delicious!
8. Attend the Algarve Smooth Jazz Festival
If you’re looking for more things to do in Algarve, then add the Algarve Smooth Jazz Festival to your list!
While it’s not necessarily scheduled to happen in Portugal in February, if you stay until May, you don’t want to miss this.
Not only is it your chance to watch international jazz artists perform, but it’s also held in the Pine Cliffs Resort in Albufeira, a beautiful spa resort with a fantastic view of the Atlantic.
Plus, there are more things to do in Albufeira and its surrounding areas, so you’ll never run out of activities.
If you spend time in Algarve in February leading up to the festival, it’s your chance to explore the area.
Aside from its many beaches and coastal towns, I enjoyed hiking in Algarve to reconnect with nature!
Are you looking to do and see more? Since it’s nearby, here are some things to do in Sagres to add to your itinerary.
9. Explore Terceira’s Angra do Heroísmo
Let’s return to the Azores for a bit because here’s another place you should visit and add to your list of things to do in Portugal in February!
Considered a UNESCO World Heritage site, Angra do Heroísmo is the central city of Terceira Island and is rich in history and overflowing with natural beauty.
Walk its charming streets, marvel at the extinct volcano nearby Monte Brasil, now a forest park, and allow yourself to feel a bit of the past in the preserved architecture.
A few other places to check out include the Fortress of São João Baptista, Duque da Terceira Garden, and the Fort of São Sebastião.
As always, don’t forget to dress for the weather: the temperature in Portugal in February can be mild to cool, so bring something to keep you warm, especially at night!
10. Savor Portuguese Cuisine
No trip is complete anywhere in the world without food, and whether you’re in Portugal in November or February, you must try the cuisine!
Let me start with the classic- there’s a reason it’s Portugal’s most famous dessert: pastel de nata!
The Portuguese egg tart is beyond words, and the only way to know it’s good is to try it for yourself—you won’t regret it!
Another dish is Polvo à Lagareiro, octopus served with slow-baked potatoes, that’s out of this world!
Roasted to perfection and cooked the Mediterranean way, which means lots of olive oil and garlic, this one’s delicious despite its simplicity.
Of course, if you’re a foodie like me and want to eat Portuguese food even after you’re home, it’s always a good idea to join cooking classes.
Cooking classes for Portuguese egg tart is aplenty, and you’ll have many options.
If you’re looking for something more regional, check in advance before your trip since the types of classes available and for what cuisines may vary depending on where you’re staying.
Don’t forget to visit the local markets to get the best of local ingredients and fresh produce.
Speaking of markets, you should also add this to the list of things to do in Portugal in February: drop by the Mercado de Santa Clara, also known as Feira da Ladra, the oldest market in Europe.
11. Visit the Sanctuary of Fátima
If you want to immerse yourself in Portugal’s culture, just like me, visit and attend a mass at the Sanctuary of Fátima.
It’s considered one of the most important Marian shrines in the world. Construction began as early as 1919 with the Chapel of Apparitions, located at the center of the sanctuary.
Remember that mass is celebrated daily in different places across the sanctuary at different hours, so check in advance.
If you’d like a more spiritual experience, join the nightly candle procession, which begins at 9:30 pm: it begins with Rosary praying, followed by the procession around the sanctuary led by priests and altar boys.
Here are more things to do in Fátima so that you can make the most of your visit.
12. Hike São Miguel’s Geothermal Trails
Interested in anything related to volcanoes? Because I sure am, and there’s no better place than São Miguel!
Furnas Valley is a great place to explore geothermal wonders since it has two active volcanic sites.
Among the places to stop is Terra Nostra Park for some swimming in the hot springs, which is perfect since Portugal weather in February can be very cold—an excellent opportunity for a warm soak!
Don’t forget Furnas Lake if you’d like to do some hiking, an activity that I always want to do if there’s a chance and which you’ll need to do anyway if you wish to have stunning views of the Sete Cidades crater.
Of course, explore the rest of São Miguel if you have the time!
My recommendations for where to go are the Boca do Inferno Viewpoint, Mosteiros Beach, and my favorite: the Road of Hydrangeas!
13. Attend Winter Festivals in Lisbon
If one of your main stops in Portugal is visiting Lisbon in February, then make sure to attend the local festivals and events there.
One such celebration is called the Lisbon Carnival, also called the Carnival of the Villains, which happens mid-month.
The party happens across the city, but if you want to be at the heart of the celebrations, you can go to Praça do Comércio or Barrio Alto.
We’re talking about dancing for hours and lots of unique and traditional Portuguese food!
Other smaller events happen around this time of the year across the city, so check out the places near you and ask the locals.
Don’t forget to consider the Lisbon temperature in February when going out for a night of partying and celebrating.
It tends to get cold, especially in the evenings, so bring something to keep you warm or dress in layers.
14. Visit Porto’s Livraria Lello
Whether you love bookshops, beautiful places, or fantastic architecture, here’s another thing you can’t leave out of your list of things to do in Portugal in February.
Many consider Livraria Lello in Porto one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. It is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and is well known for its central wooden staircase.
Stepping inside, it feels like being in another time and place: it’s both fairytale-like, but, at the same time, it speaks volumes about the bookshop’s history.
Thanks to the stained glass and intricate carvings throughout, you’ll especially love Livraria Lello if you’re into architecture.
If you’re lucky, there may be a book-related event happening when you visit so check in advance to make sure!
15. Winter Birdwatching in Ria Formosa
Are you a fan of birdwatching? If you answer yes, you can’t miss a trip to Ria Formosa, Algarve!
The natural park runs through Loulé, Faro, Olhão, Tavira, and Vila Real de Santo António, and at least 200 species of birds, including spoonbills, ospreys, and flamingos, have been spotted here.
These municipalities have various habitats, such as lagoons and marshes, which are ideal for migratory birds.
You can do birdwatching by joining eco-tours; you can go on foot or by boat, whichever you prefer—I like walking around.
If you’re spending the majority of winter in Algarve, make sure to drop since some of the birds visit all year round.
You’ll spot a lot of them no matter when you’re visiting!
16. Explore Alentejo’s Historic Towns
It’s always fun to stroll around historic streets, and the perfect place to do that is when you visit Alentejo.
I enjoy walking around Évora, considered a world heritage site, with its unique landmarks, notably the Templo Romano and the Cathedral.
It was the residence of Portuguese kings, reaching its golden age around the 15th century, and there’s just so much history everywhere you look by way of architecture.
As always, if your itinerary of things to do in Portugal in February includes food, there’s local Alentejo cuisine to try.
Among the things to try include porco preto, or black pork, as well as the traditional Alentejo bread, which should be available in every bakery.
But the best dish I’ve tried, fitting considering the Portugal weather in February, is the açorda or sopas de pão.
It’s a bread stew or soup made with old bread, olive oil, garlic, salt, water, coriander, or pennyroyal.
Depending on factors like the season, though those above are the base ingredients of all açordas, more can be added, like a poached egg.
17. Culinary Delights in Porto
Of course, we’re going to do more food, and this time, we’re going back to Porto, where it’s not just about wine.
A unique invention from this place is the famed Francesinha sandwich created by Daniel David de Silva in 1953.
At first, it was just him trying to recreate an entirely different sandwich only to pave the way for a new one: it’s a must, and you can’t miss it when you visit Porto.
With four or more different meats simultaneously, the Francesinha has melted cheese and a sauce made with beer and tomatoes.
A sunny-side-up egg is the finishing touch and is placed on top of this one-of-a-kind sandwich, traditionally served with french fries, all while everything sits in a pool of sauce.
Another thing to do in Porto in February is exploring Mercado do Bolhão right at its center, a historic and iconic market close to Ribeira.
It’s a hub for fresh produce, meats, fish, and other goods for generations and dates back to the 19th century, making it an essential part of Porto’s cultural and culinary heritage.
Walk and shop around, try new food, and enjoy the atmosphere!
While you’re at it, check if there are available cooking classes in the area during your stay so you can recreate traditional Portuguese recipes when you get home.
18. Sunset at Cabo da Roca, Sintra
Looking for an amazing and unforgettable sunset view? You have to to Cabo da Roca near Lisbon!
Seated at the westernmost point of continental Europe, you feel right on the edge of the world, which is especially true as you watch the sunset sink across the horizon.
Add the view of the Atlantic Ocean and the cliffs alongside the Cabo da Roca lighthouse, and it’s so picturesque.
No words can describe the breathtaking sunset here; you’ll have to see and experience it yourself.
Thankfully, getting to Sintra from Lisbon via train is easy, and you can take a bus straight to Cabo da Roca.
However, if you can, I recommend driving through the scenic route to appreciate the surrounding hills in Sintra.
And speaking of scenic drives, nothing beats a Costa Vicentina road trip, a drive along the Aljezur province and its magnificent coastline.
19. Attend Cultural Events in Coimbra
If you want to learn more about Portugal’s culture and history, you can do that at the University of Coimbra!
It’s one of the oldest universities in the world and is the oldest Portuguese-speaking university, recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site thanks to its historical and cultural significance.
More than just a cultural heritage or architectural splendor, thanks to its fantastic buildings, the university is also a symbol of excellence.
It is known for its influential role in shaping education and literature within the Portuguese-speaking world.
The campus is spread over 81.5 hectares of land and is home to the Joanina Library with a very distinct Baroque design, built in 1728 in honor of King John V.
It houses a collection of 60,000 texts, and you’ll have to join a tour to access the library, which is worth it. Trust me—it has to be one of the most beautiful libraries in the world.
Another thing to experience is the Clérigos Immersive Concert at the Clérigos Church, a Baroque church in Porto.
Combined with the impressive architecture, it features a 360º multimedia projection alongside live performances of classical compositions and is an experience all on its own.
20. Winter Surfing in Nazaré
Of course, with access to coastal towns, we can’t forget about surfing, and Nazaré is perfect!
Known for its giant waves, the massive Nazaré Canyon creates a double wave effect, so if you’re an experienced surfer, you’ll love it here.
Weather in Portugal in February is ideal since winter is the perfect time to witness these massive waves thanks to the onshore winds, which complement the natural conditions.
As a result, Praia do Norte in Nazaré offers an excellent location for surfing lessons and there isn’t a shortage of surf schools to choose from.
After surfing or learning how to surf, enjoy the rest of your stay by the seaside and try the fresh local seafood!
I recommend either Sitiado or Pangeia to get your fill before you call it a day!
My final thoughts on things to do in Portugal in February
There are so many things to do in Portugal in February, and believe me, these are just some of them!
An off-season trip means there are fewer people, and while it’s a bit colder than usual, it’s totally worth it, especially since everything is also more affordable.
If you’re also looking to book unique and authentic accommodation here, the best Airbnbs in Portugal are exactly what you need.
I’ve often been to Portugal and know I’ll return to old and new places—but how about you?
If you’ve been to Portugal, what experiences can you share, and which places and activities can you recommend?
Share it with everyone in the comments so that people who have yet to visit will have as much fun as we did!
Hola! I am Paulina, a fervent travelette who crossed the Atlantic Ocean by Boat HitchHiking. On my blog, I help you to make the most of your holiday. Get ready to enjoy outdoor and sustainable travel like hiking, cycling or sailing. Let’s hit the road!