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

Porto: River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise

1. 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.

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

2. 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.

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Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

3. 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.

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Porto: Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine

4. 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 the Casa do Fado. Located in a 19th-century building in the historic center of Porto, Casa do Fado as a project was developed by a group of friends who love the genre.  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.

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Full-Day Douro Wine Tour with Lunch and River Cruise

5. Full-Day Douro Wine Tour with Lunch and River Cruise

Admire the beauty of the Douro Valley on a full-day tour from Porto. Traveling by air-conditioned vehicle, enjoy views of the picturesque landscapes along the route, learning about the region's rich culture from your local guide. Once there, visit 2 beautiful Douro Valley wine estates. Learn about the production of port wine, walk through the vineyards, and later taste the local wines. Continue to the village of Pinhão, where you’ll stop for lunch at a local restaurant with traditional Portuguese food and DOC Douro wine. At the 18th-century railway station in Pinhão, marvel at the Portuguese tiles that depict the beauty of the Douro Valley. Take a 1-hour river cruise on a typical rabelo boat used in the past to transport wine along the river.

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Porto: World of Discoveries Entry Ticket

6. Porto: World of Discoveries Entry Ticket

Discover Portugal's history with a ticket to Porto’s World of Discoveries. Explore this interactive museum that recreates the journeys of the Portuguese navigators who crossed oceans to discover unknown parts of the worlds. 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.

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Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

7. Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

Fado is an important part of the collective Portuguese soul, born in the taverns of the 19th century and an iconic symbol of the Portuguese culture. This 75-minute program includes a visit to the Cálem wine cellars to learn about ancestral traditions. The visit is followed by a tasting of two port Wines (white and special reserve), which are served to you while you enjoy a Fado performance. The Fado performance features both male and female voices accompanied by traditional Portuguese guitar and classic guitar. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear to the music and experience the soul of the country.

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

8. 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 for 2 days. 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.

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Porto: City Highlights 3-Hour Guided Electric Bike Tour

9. Porto: City Highlights 3-Hour Guided Electric Bike Tour

Explore the ancient city of Porto with the convenience of an e-bike to climb the hills on this guided tour. The many old houses of the city of Proto seem to perch over the Douro River, huddled together from the quay to the sea. Discover the old palaces, the churches, the emblematic neighborhoods, the people, and all the picturesque corners that the city has to offer. Porto is Portugal's second-largest city with many highlights to explore. The historic core of the city was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. On your tour, see the Cordoaria Garden, the Clérgios Tower, Gomes Teixeira Square, the Lello Bookstore, Aliados Avenue, the Porto Cathedral, and the Dom Luís Bridge. 

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Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Guided Tour and Wine Tasting

10. Porto: Graham's Port Lodge Guided Tour and Wine Tasting

Explore the 1890 Graham's Port Lodge on a guided tour where you will learn about the history of the cellar, the production process of Port wine, enjoy a classic wine tasting, and marvel at spectacular views of Porto and the iconic two-tier bridge. Visit the historic Graham’s Lodge, which was built in 1890 on a commanding ridge in Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River from Porto and only a few hundred meters from the river’s south bank. Admire unique and spectacular views of Porto’s historic city center and the iconic two-tier bridge that connects the two cities of Oporto and Gaia. Graham’s is still a working cellar which makes this tour an even more unique experience. Hear the sounds of the Coopers’ hammers and see the lodgement collecting samples for the tasting room.  Learn about the history of the cellar and the production process of Port wine in a building currently housing over 2,000 pipes (oak casks) and 40 large oak vats of aging Port wine, as well as extensive cellars of Vintage Port. Throughout the tour, depending on your selected option, enjoy a classic tasting or premium wine tasting experience. The classic option includes tastings of Graham’s Six Grapes, LBV, and 10-year-old Tawn. The premium option includes tastings of Graham’s LBV, Graham’s Crusted, and Graham’s Quinta dos Malvedos.

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Frequently asked questions about Porto

What top attractions are a must-see in Porto?

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!

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.

Other Sightseeing Options in Porto

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What people are saying about Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 26,877 reviews

This was by far the best tourist activity I have had. Ricardo was an amazing tour guide and kept us engaged with stories on the way to the mountains. We had cookies from the oldest bakery in Porto and eventually went up the mountains. The drive up and down the slopes was insane and felt like a roller coaster while we screamed and took pictures. We came down at different points to hike and explore the hills and Ricardo took pictures of us and eventually made a 2 minutes slide show of our exploration. We finished the tour with a beautiful lunch by a spectacular view of the high hills and spring water. It was a dream

We thoroughly enjoyed our day with our guide, Milena, who has a fine grasp of the English language and a charming and outgoing personality. The day is well-thought out with welcome stops along the way to take in the beauty and to stretch your legs. The two visits to the Porto makers were informative and entertaining. Lunch was nice and the boat ride at the end was a nice change in perspective.

Paulo was amazing with our group and our kiddos in particular. The tour was on time, the group was perfect and Paulo was perfect with a mix of knowledge and history. I highly recommend this tour to anyone in Porto for a couple of days!

The best tour I've attended. Excellent and interesting guides, delicious wine, hearty and mouth-watering lunch. Recommends!

the TukTuk send you everywhere what you have to see in Porto. Excellent!