Porto travel guide: 10 exciting things to do
Looking for a city trip in Europe? Think about Porto! This city is very diverse and offer possibilities which take the best out of your city trip! Read more in this post.
Porto is the second city of Portugal, located in the north-western side of the country. After the Algarve and Lisbon, it’s probably the most popular place to visit in Portugal. Travelers mostly go to Porto for a city trip. The city is well-known for its porto wines and wine houses, but it also offers historical architecture, beaches and cultural sights. The historical center of Porto even is part of the UNESCO world heritage list.
The historical center of Porto exists out of small and steep streets and therefor you come across multiple stairs around the city to reach parts of Porto which are located higher or lower.
Exciting things to do in Porto
There are so many things to do in Porto! Hereby a list of 10 options which you can do during your trip to this beautiful city.
1. Walk over the Dom Luís I Bridge
Ponte Luís I (Dom Luís I Bridge) may be the Image of Porto and one of the most popular sights to visit when travelling to Porto. The bridge features beautiful architecture and is very photogenic. You can either walk over the bridge as underneath it. Both give a nice experience and some really nice views. There are no cars driving over the bridge, but only trams (and you can walk over the bridge of course).
2. Take a port wine tour at Cálem
If you would like to take a tour through a port wine producer’s cellars, Cálem in Vila Nova de Gaia may be a nice option. Together with a guide, you’ll get a tour through the cellars & museum and afterwards you’ll have a port wine tasting. At the end of the tour, you get the chance to buy something in the shop of Cálem. The ports come from the Douro Valley and are aged in the cellars of this place in Porto. You can also do the tour in combination with a Fado show. For more information and prices you can have a look at the official website.
3. Walk along the quay of Porto
It’s a must to stroll along the quay (Cais da Ribeira) during your time in Porto. Not only does the quay offer you some beautiful views over Vila Nova de Gaia, the Douro and the bridge, it also offers nice terraces and places to eat/drink something. It’s a very lively place during day and night.
4. Wander around São Bento Station
The São Bente Station is not only a train station, but its hall is a real sight as the walls are beautifully covered by azulejos (the Portugese blue tiles). It’s nice to walk around for a bit, even if you’re not taking the train.
However, if you’ve enough time and would like to explore more outside the city, think about a day visit to the Douro Valley! We did it during our time in Porto and I’ll write an extensive post about it later, so stay tuned!
5. Taste some ports at one of the many wine bars
Porto is full of lively and cosy wine bars! These bars are open most of the time until 07:00 PM / 08:00 PM, just before dinner. People go here to drink a (port)wine and to eat some tapas. In the Netherlands, it’s usual for us to have dinner around +/- 06:00 PM, so it was really nice for us to experience the rhythm of the Portuguese locals, to have dinner at 09:00/10:00 PM and to enjoy a port wine before that. My personal favorite wine bar is A Copo Wine e Tapas.
6. Visit Livraria Lello
The Livraria Lello is a spectacular bookstore located in the historical center of Porto. If you love books and beautiful architecture, you should definitely pay a visit to this bookstore. It’s recommended to buy a entrance ticket online before your visit, as the queue can be quite long. A tickets costs 5 euros per person and you can buy it at the official website.
7. Climb the Torre dos Clérigos
The tower ‘Torre dos Clérigos’ is part of the Baroque chruch Clérigos. You can pay a visit to the tower and walk the steps towards the top for some amazing views over Porto. This visit can be combined with a visit to the museum of the church. A ticket for entrance costs 6 euros.
8. Take the cable car of Porto
From Cais de Gaia market to Jardim do Morro you can take the cable car. A nice experience during which you have some great views over Porto. A one way ticket costs 6 euros and a return ticket costs 9 euros. More information via the official website.
9. Wander around the quarter of Ribeira
Ribeira is thé place to be during the day and night. It’s a lively quarter where you can find shops, cosy eateries and fun cafés. Your trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without paying a visit to the quarter of Ribeira.
10. Visit one of the beautiful beaches of Porto
Just outside of the city center and easily reached by the metro, you can find the beautiful beaches of Porto. It’s therefor easy to combine your city trip to Porto with a visit to the beach. You can pay a visit to the beaches in combination with the lighthouse Farolim de Felgueiras. More to the southern part of Porto you can find the beautiful beach of Praia de Valadares Norte.
Book your tickets in advance
I often book my tickets for attractions or tours online via GetYourGuide. This website is great if you have short time in a place and would like to book everything in advance. Below you can find some options for things to do in Porto!
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