Things to do in
Porto

Portugal’s second biggest city doesn’t disappoint with locals and views as sweet as the region's Port wine.

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Our most recommended things to do in Porto

From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch

1. From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch

Get out of Porto and into Portugal's gorgeous wine country. Take in views from the window of your luxury vehicle, visit vineyards and taste their wines, embark on a boat cruise, and more on this all-inclusive trip. Take advantage of a morning pickup in a comfortable luxury vehicle. Begin your tour with a stop at a viewpoint to enjoy the views across Porto. Then, sit back and relax as your vehicle hits the road for the Douro Valley. Enjoy an excursion which includes a visit to different 2 wine estates, with the opportunity to taste some of the different types of wine which are produced there. You'll also experience a typical (and delicious) Portuguese meal. Partake as well in a relaxing ride onboard a Rabelo boat on the Douro River. Your excursion also includes being taken by your driver to what the BBC called one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the world.

Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch & Cruise

2. Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch & Cruise

Acquaint your taste buds with the gastronomy and wine of the Douro region on this relaxing day trip from Porto. Sit down to an authentic Portuguese lunch and enjoy the countryside at two local wineries and on a river cruise. Delight your sense as you try regional wines and olive oils. Be picked up from your accommodation in Porto and sit back and relax on the drive to a winery that is nestled in the countryside of the Douro valley. Savor a lunch with typical dishes of the region. Sample some of the wines from the winery. Marvel at the scenery during a panoramic cruise on the Douro River. Stop at a second renown winery for another guided tasting.  Have the chance to try local port wine, table wines, and olive oil. Return to your accommodation in Porto at the end of your tour.

Porto: River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise

3. Porto: River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise

Enjoy a traditional “6 Bridges Cruise” along the River Douro and follow in the footsteps of the old wine merchants that transported wine from the valley to the wine cellars. Board the boat at Ribeira Quay and sail for 50 minutes along the river. Admire the beautiful landscapes and buildings of Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia from the water. Known as "Rabelo Boats," in reference to the old boats that transported wine from the Douro Valley, the cruise is the perfect chance to learn more about the historic bridges that connect Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Learn more about their construction and curiosities, and upon arrival at the last bridge, see the Foz do Douro where the river pours into the ocean.

Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

4. Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

The Associação Comercial do Porto started the construction of the Palácio da Bolsa, its headquarters, and property in 1842. Over three generations, many masters and craftsmen worked to build this architectural jewel of the 19th century in neoclassical style. Great names in architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts contributed to the construction of the building, which is now classified as a National Monument and one of the main attractions of Porto e Norte, receiving more than 450,000 visitors annually. During this 30-minute guided tour with a certified guide from Palacio da Bolsa, you will visit the authentic and impressive rooms of a building that is now over 180 years old, has received governors from almost every country in the world, and which is the location of most of the official state receptions held in the north of Portugal.

Porto: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, River Cruise, & Port Cellar Tour

5. Porto: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, River Cruise, & Port Cellar Tour

Explore the picturesque and historic city of Porto at your leisure with a ticket that gives you access to 2 sightseeing bus tours. You can hop on and hop off at any stop in the city, taking in attractions such as the Avenida dos Aliados and the neighborhoods of Santa Catarina and Batalha. Located in the north of Portugal, the city of Porto has a rich history that dates to the Roman occupation of Iberia. This is a notable port city, situated on the estuary of the Douro River, where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean. You can also hop off the bus in the city’s oldest district, Ribeira, to enjoy a traditional Portuguese lunch in a quaint café nestled along the city’s medieval walls and discover Porto’s famous wines. Your ticket gives you access to the cellars of Cales Calém, where top quality port wines have been produced since 1859. You can also sample some of the goods, including white, dry and ruby ports. Once you have seen Porto on dry land, you can take the Douro River Cruise to see it from the water. This is included as part of your tour package and gives you a chance to admire the city from a comfortable river cruiser as you drift down the Douro under 6 of the city’s bridges.

Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Option

6. Porto: Cockburn’s Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Option

Visit the Cockburn’s cellars, also known as ‘lodges’, and discover the most extensive wine cellars in the historic quarter of Vila Nova de Gai. Located opposite the twin city of Porto across the Douro River, this region is known for its beauty. Take this unique opportunity to watch the dedicated team of coopers disassemble barrels stave by stave for maintenance and then reassemble them. Go inside the sturdy granite walls of the Cockburn’s lodge house which boasts 6,518 seasoned oak barrels of maturing Port and the equivalent of a further 10,056 barrels held in tones and vats. This sizeable and priceless stock provides the basis for the creation of Cockburn’s renowned Ports, including the famous Special Reserve. In this guided tour, you will have an authentic experience of a fully working Port cellar. Start your visit with a trip to the Cellars museum which charts Cockburn’s fascinating 200-year history. A series of exhibits reveal the stories of the families that built Cockburn’s; their planting of vineyards in the Douro Valley and the making of legendary Ports that turned Cockburn's into a world-renowned producer. Your visit continues through the working sections of the buildings where thousands of oak barrels and vats hold Cockburn’s valuable stocks of maturing wines. At this point, you will pass through the longest aging gallery of any Port cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia. Filled with the impressive sight of thousands of barrels, stacked 4 high you'll learn about the importance of maturing Port in seasoned wood as well as the central role of the cooper. In the tasting room, you will enjoy a classic tasting, or if you select the premium tasting option then you will have the following: • Cockburn's Fine White paired with Passion fruit chocolate  • Cockburn's 10 Years old paired with Yuzu cinnamon chocolate • Quinta dos Canais Vintage paired with Raspberry chocolate 

Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

7. Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

Learn about the uniquely Portuguese musical form of fado with a live show in the intimate surroundings of the Casa do Fado. Enjoy a glass of port wine as you hear more about this aspect of Portuguese identity, declared ‘Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity’ by UNESCO. Be transported to the Porto of old with a trip to Casa do Fado, a project developed by friends who love the music genre. Choose between two Casa do Fado venues in the historic center of Porto: the Ribiera, a 19th-century cellar, or the Sé, a former guitar luthier workshop. Listen to outstanding musicians as they perform live in a venue with acoustics ideally set up for fado. Sip on a glass of port wine, the drink that Porto is famous for, as you hear more about the music and its origins.

Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch

8. Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch

Start your full-day tour in the center of Porto where your guide will introduce you to the rich history of the city and share some intriguing anecdotes with you. Travel in style in a comfortable minivan to Peso da Régua, in Northern Portugal for a short coffee break.  Next, head to the first winery stop on the itinerary. Discover and taste the region's famous wines while admiring the panoramic views of the vineyards that weave across the landscape. Around midday, you’ll move on to a restaurant for a delicious local Portuguese lunch. Choose from fish, meat, and vegetarian options. Continue your journey to the second vineyard where you will learn about the various stages of winemaking from a vineyard specialist and get to try out some of Douro’s finest Porto wine. As a special treat, stop at the Pinhão Railway Station, whose walls are beautifully decorated with blue glazed mosaic tiles depicting sceneries of the Douro Valley and its history of port wine production. Before returning to Porto, take a scenic 1-hour river cruise along the Douro River, where you can mingle with the other guests you've met along the tour. On your route back to Porto your minivan will stop at an amazing viewpoint where you can take beautiful pictures of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Douro Valley: Wine Tour with Lunch, Tastings & River Cruise

9. Douro Valley: Wine Tour with Lunch, Tastings & River Cruise

Explore the stunning beauty of the Douro Valley on a tour to 2 wine estates. Visit the town of Amarante and taste regional wines at both wine estates. Sit down to a delicious lunch before sailing through the lush landscapes of the Douro Valley on a river cruise. Begin your tour in Porto and learn about the region's history and wine while driving to the Douro valley. Stop for a coffee break in the historic town of Amarante and admire the town's Church and Convent of São Gonçalo, or purchase some of the pastries at one of the iconic pastry shops. Continue to a wine estate in Sabrosa. Enjoy a guided tour of a family-owned wine estate. Learn about and try 3 of the estate's wines during a guided tasting. Savor a lunch paired with red and white Douro wines while overlooking the vineyards. After lunch, drive to Pinhão, with a photo stop at São Cristovão viewpoint. Take in panoramic views of the Douro valley. See where the Pinhão river joins with the waters of the Douro River before embarking on a cruise at Pinhão.  In the afternoon, take a guided tour of a famous wine estate (Quinta da Roeda – Croft/Taylor’s group or Quinta São Luiz – Kopke/Burmester group). Uncover the history of the vineyard and the secrets if the wine-making processes. Taste 3 of their fine wines before returning to Porto by one of the world's most scenic roads, the N222.

Porto: Private Transfer to/from OPO Airport

10. Porto: Private Transfer to/from OPO Airport

Ensure your trip to Porto is hassle-free with a convenient private transfer to or from Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO). Choose from 3 suitable vehicle options that all give you the comfort and space your transfer needs. For groups of 3 passengers or fewer, choose from a Sedan vehicle that can fit 4 standard-sized pieces of luggage. Alternatively, for groups of up to 8 passengers, choose the minivan option that can fit 6 standard-sized pieces of luggage. On the day of travel, enjoy a friendly meet and greet service from an English-speaking professional driver at the airport's arrivals hall. Have assistance with your luggage, then board the comfortable air-conditioned vehicle. Sit back, relax, and enjoy the ride as you are taken to your destination.

Frequently asked questions about Porto

What top attractions are a must-see in Porto?

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Porto

Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports. To read more about what they have to say about Porto click here!

What should I do on my first trip to Porto?

You will find plenty of signficant attractions in Porto for a first-time visitor but one of the best things to do is to take in the iconic view of Ribeira from across the Luís I Bridge. This double-deck bridge passes over the Douro River and connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. Once you walk across the bridge, you will see the spectacular view of Porto that lands itself on so many postcards! When you make your way over to this side of the water, pop into Calem Caves for a port wine tasting through their extensive cellar and portfolio of the famous drink.

What are some hidden gems to see in Porto?

Porto is a maze of hidden gems and corners and one can't-miss stop for coffee lovers is to hit up Combi Coffee Roasters. They coffee shop was founded in 2015 and now includes two sops where they roast their coffee and work alongside ethical cooperatives and farms to source top-quality, single-origin coffee from all over the world. Another fantastic thing to do in Porto when visiting is to take a day trip to Sistelo, a mountain village known for its terraces and ability to adapt to the high topography. It is about 1.5 hours away from Porto and is easily reached by train for an 11 Euro ticket.

How much time should I spend in Porto?

You can see most of the highlights in Porto within two days easily, but if you really want to dive deeper into the city, it is recommended to stick around for a few extra days and explore its beaches and embark on some cool regional day trips. You can visit the Douro Valley, Braga, and Aveiro all rather easily from Porto and they are all some of the top destinations in the country.

What food is Porto known for?

Porto is synonymous with world-famous Port wine and you can enjoy a tasting at almost any bar or wine cellar throughout the city. Calem Caves is a popular choice for a night out. Don't leave without tasting the heavy, yet hearty Francesinha sandwich, a traditional sandwiches that stuffs two thick layers of bread with ham, steak, and cheese before topping it with beer gravy and a fried egg. Be sure to also visit the many markets throughout the city (or take a food tour)!

What is the best way to get around Porto?

There are plenty of ways to move about Porto and the best way to explore is on foot! You will stumble upon so many gems and hidden secrets this way! However, you can also take the Porto Metro light rail network around the city or buses. You will also get transportation discounts and freebies if you purchase the Porto City Card.

What are the best months to visit Porto?

While it may be the high-season and hotels may be pricier, the best time to visit Porto is from May until October. During this time, you will experience a lot of sun and the temperatures are warm but the close proximity to the ocean helps things stay relatively manageable.

What is neighborhood Ribeira known for?

The most famous neighborhood in Porto is Ribeira, the old city that sits along the Douro River and is lined with cozy bars, eateries, and charming buildings. This is also where you will find colorful homes from the 18th-century and neoclassical Palacio da Bolsa, one of Porto's most famous attractions.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

If you wander about Ribeira, you will find plenty of restaurants but many cater to tourists and the prices are proof of that. If you're looking for fine dining and an interesting take on Portuguese cuisine, opt for a place in Vila Nova de Gaia across the river from Ribeira. The Yeatman is a Michelin-star restaurant located in the neighborhood. If you're seeking overall diverse food options, head to Baixa. There are also plenty of markets in the area where you can grab ingredients for cooking at your accommodation if the place allows it.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Porto is a goldmine for shopping and you will find boutiques, high-end shops, thrift stores, and many food markets throughout the city. Around the Bolhão Market, you will find many mercerias, or old fashioned grocery stores that sell traditional ingredients and fare. Book lovers will love Livraria Lello, one of the world's most beautiful book stores. You will also find several of the city's most famous shopping along Rua de Santa Catarina street in the city.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Porto?

You will find hotels, guesthouses, and hostels all throughout Porto but the top neighborhoods to stay in as a traveler are Ribeira, Bonfim, Marques, Cedofeita, and Baixa. Each has its own perks and own drawbacks. If you opt to stay in Ribeira, do be aware that it is busy and can be noisy. However, it may be a great option for those who are older or those unable to walk far distances.

What is the best thing to do in Porto for couples?

Porto is so beautiful and aesthetically charming that it is a fantastic place for a romantic getaway with your signficant other. One can't-miss activity is to check out a Fado show in Porto. There are plenty of places to enjoy this but you can combine it with a Port wine tasting at Calem and other cellars in the city. Another fantastic place to visit is Serralves, a contemporary art museum that is surrounded by extravagent parks and gardens. You can have a picnic here or just enjoy a stroll. Another top pick is to take a cruise on the river or to bolt out of town and enjoy a day trip to the Douro Valley!

What are the best beaches around Porto?

Porto has so many beaches nearby that it is hard not to feel the lure to visit one when you are in Portugal's second city. One of teh best beaches to visit during your time there is Praia dos Ingleses, a city renowned for its long boardwalk and natural beauty. Another one, and perhaps the most accessible and largest is Praia de Matosinhos, a port area konwn for being only 15 minutes away from the center of the city.

Planning Your Visit

  • When to go?

    Porto is almost permanently warm and sunny between April and September, and it's usually a good gamble to book at either end of that long tourist season if you want to avoid higher prices. However, if you want to see the city at its most festive (and crowded!) arrive for the Saint John Feast in mid-June.

  • Where to stay?

    The city center is actually quite affordable and booking a hotel there will suit most tourists. For those more interested in Porto's relaxed beaches and cafe culture though, the sophisticated district of Foz is the best area in which to stay.

  • How many days?

    You could cover most of Porto's top attractions in 3 days, however, it's well worth booking a couple extra to tour the Douro river and explore some of the scenic towns just a short trip away.

Good to know

  • Language
    Portuguese
  • Currency
    Euro (€)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+00:00)
  • Country Code
    +351
  • Best time to visit
    For pleasant weather and fewer crowds, plan to visit Porto in April or September!

Other Sightseeing Options in Porto

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What people are saying about Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 30,160 reviews

Diana was our guide and did everything to make the day go smoothly. Introductions to fellow travellers at the start meant that we all mixed very well. She was very knowledgeable and explained what was planned for the day. We had a great time throughout. Wineries were very good, as was lunch.

This tour was amazing! We took our three young kids with us and Carla was so sweet with them. All the vineyards served some kind of juice and had orange trees to pick. There is also a playground in Pinao where you get on the river cruise.

Just our favorite activity in Porto! Federico was wonderful and explained everything we needed to know about the main places. Usual guides are not so concerned about giving all the info. Thanks again so much and see you soon!

This is a fun bus tour! We had a great group of people on our bus and that, combined with a super caring tour guide, we had a blast!

I enjoyed this very much. For my first live Fado experience I’d rate it an A+. And, the wine was pretty tasty as well. Thank you!