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: River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise

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

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

6. 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.

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.

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

8. 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: 6 Bridge's Cruise

9. Porto: 6 Bridge's Cruise

Board the original boats used to transport the Port Wine barrels from the Douro Region to Gaia and Porto. The boats have been adapted with the most modern navigation equipment to transport passengers with maximum comfort. Over 50 minutes, enjoy a journey that stretches from the historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, upstream to Freixo and then downstream toward the mouth of the Douro. Take the opportunity to admire the rich and breathtaking landscape while you learn the history of the 6 bridges that unite Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto. Discover other points of interest in these two cities. 

Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

10. Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

According to Amália Rodrigues, the great fado singer, "The point is to feel fado. Because fado is not sung, it happens. It cannot be explained, only felt." The project "Fado by Casa da Guitarra" intends to offer to you the essence of this musical genre in an evening of enchantment and wonder. During the hour-long concert, you will come in contact with very unique Portuguese cultural elements - fado, Portuguese traditional stringed instruments, wine - all of which are deeply related with Portuguese history. The acoustic fado performance takes place in an intimate setting with a female leading singer, accompanied by a Portuguese guitar player and a guitar player (playing a viola de fado), who occasionally lends his voice to the fado songs. A traditional port wine will served during the interlude to round out your evening.

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 28,695 reviews

It was amazing; so much better than I expected! Rather cynically I thought: quick tour, mediocre meal, maybe one or two Fado songs- I was so very wrong. Excellent tour with multilingual guide, really tasty food served by charming waiters, and the Fado- wow! A lady and gentleman, accompanied by two musicians, did sets through the whole evening - over 2 hours perhaps? I really strongly recommend this tour; it was so good!

Such a fun and beautiful trip! The boat captain (well, 2nd captain since his adorable dog was the 1st captain ;) was knowledgeable, friendly, passionate about his job and the Duoro region. Highlight of my trip!

A very well organised and enjoyable cruise on the Douro River, with breakfast and lunch provided, ending at Pinhao with a port wine tasting at a beautiful vineyard. A long day, but to be recommended.

A wonderful visit well explained. It is worth the trip. Very nice restaurant is available on site.

Joana was amazing. Not just a brilliant baking experience, but such fun hearing her stories.