Porto
Culture & History

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Our most recommended Porto Culture & History

Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

1. 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: 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 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 Porto at the end of your tour.

Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

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

4. 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 

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

5. 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: Fado Show with Port Wine

6. 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.

From Porto: Braga and Guimarães Full-Day Tour with Lunch

7. From Porto: Braga and Guimarães Full-Day Tour with Lunch

Embark on a full-day guided tour of Guimarães and Braga from Porto. Pass through the scenic Minho region and explore the historical centers of these two cities. Enjoy a traditional restaurant lunch. Minho is known for having some of the most beautiful natural landscapes in Portugal, as well as being one of the richest regions in history. Explore the area and visit the cities of Guimarães and Braga on a full-day trip from Porto. Guimarães is the birthplace of Portugal and of the first Portuguese king. See the medieval castle of Guimarães and spend some time in the historical city center, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The streets and monuments of Guimarães are so well-preserved that it is easy to imagine the past. Go on to spend the afternoon in Braga, one of the oldest Christian cities in the world. After lunch in a local restaurant, visit the cathedral and the historical center. See 2 important sanctuaries, the Sameiro Sanctuary and the Bom Jesus do Monte, before making your way back to Porto.

From Porto: Off-Road Buggy Adventure

8. From Porto: Off-Road Buggy Adventure

Your journey will begin with the Rally de Portugal Shakedown, where you will ride a buggy for a fascinating and delightful 3-hour ride. You will explore every corner of our magnificent mountains. The first stop is a visit to Castromil's gold mines. The next stop will be in the Roman ruins of Castro Mozinho, where you can absorb and understand a little more of the history of Portugal. To top it off, nothing like a visit to the ever surrounding Quintandona Preserved Village, a place where all buildings are in shale.

Porto: World of Discoveries Entry Ticket

9. Porto: World of Discoveries Entry Ticket

Discover Portugal's history with a ticket to Porto’s World of Discoveries. Explore this interactive exhibition that recreates the journeys of the Portuguese navigators who crossed oceans to discover unknown parts of the world. Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco da Gama, Bartolomeu Dias — this is the perfect opportunity for visitors to learn the stories of Portugal's famous and charismatic explorers. Uncover Portugal's fantastic odysseys while enjoying interactive multi-sensory exhibits. Take yourself on an adventure that changed the world, visiting the 20 permanent themed areas. Find out how Portugal's Age of Discoveries propelled humankind into the era of globalization by creating new maritime routes and promoting the circulation of people, animals, and plants all over the globe. Round off your visit at the Mundo de Sabores restaurant (at your own expense) and enjoy a culinary voyage. Sample exotic foods from Portugal, Brazil, India, China, Japan, and a number of African countries.

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting

10. Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting

In a healthful balance between Port tradition and new technologies, you will discover Douro region and Port wine – from “terroir” to the wine grapes, from the categories up to the aromas, trough our recently interactive museum, with personalized and intuitive access. In the guided visits to Cálem caves you will learn about the Douro Demarcated Region, know how the Port is produced and stay abreast of all the details of the history of this House. The cellars themselves remain active and visitable. It is there that you will learn more about the unique characteristics of each type of Port, even next to the barrels where they grow old, protected from light and heat. Then, you will be invited to a Cálem wine tasting: a white Port and a Tawny Port. With one of your guides, you will have the possibility to learn some more Port secrets and taste our wines.

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What people are saying about Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 6,186 reviews

The quads made quick work of the trails and there was no shortage of speed for the adrenaline junkies out there. The guides were incredibly friendly and outgoing, eager to share this experience with everyone. The ride was long but you definitely get your money's worth. 10/10, would go again.

Good look at Costa Nova houses but no time to look at beach. The boat ride was really good and our guide was very informative.

Great show. Excellent playing and singing. The music is very moving.The story of Fado was also interesting.

An unexpected beautiful cozy atmospheric and emotional evening, highly recommended and valuable

So cool! Sweet, quaint and traditional experience.