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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.

Our most recommended things to do in Porto

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

1. 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 vehicle 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 vehicle will stop at an amazing viewpoint where you can take beautiful pictures of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

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

2. 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 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 by choosing that option during booking. Begin your tour with a stop at a viewpoint to enjoy the views. 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.

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

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

4. 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: River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise

5. 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 along the sparkling Douro river. Admire the beautiful landscapes and red-roofed buildings of the towns of Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia from the water. Let the old-fashioned charm of the Rabelo Boat (old wine transport ship) transport you back in time. Listen as your guide tells you about the historic bridges that connect Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, as your boat glides under them. Learn more about their construction and curiosities, and upon arrival at the last bridge, see the sandy beaches of the seafront area Foz do Douro where the river pours into the ocean.

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

6. 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. Hop on and hop off in areas like Santa Catarina and Batalha. Sample wines at the Calém Wine Cellars and sail on the Douro River on a cruise. 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. Bus routes: Porto Histórico:1 - Estação de S.Bento2 - Sé Catedral3 - Praça da Batalha4 - Cais de Gaia / Caves Cálem5 - Porto viewpoint / Yeatman / Caves Cálem6 - Lg. dos Aviadores / Boeira Garden7 - El Corte Inglês8 - Câmara Municipal do Porto9 - Jardim do Morro10 - Alfândega / Caves Cálem11 - Cordoaria / Clérigos12 - Igreja do Carmo13 - Ribeira / Cruzeiro 6 pontes / Palácio da Bolsa / Caves Cálem Porto dos Castelos:1 - Estação de S.Bento2 - Sé Catedral3 - Praça da Batalha4 - Praça da República5 - Pavilhão Rosa Mota – Suspensa6 - Casa da Música7 - Av. Boavista (Hotéis)8 - Fundação de Serralves9 - Parque da Cidade10 - Castelo do Queijo / Sea Life Porto11 - Anémona12 - Matosinhos Restaurantes13 - Posto Turismo / Terminal Cruzeiros14 - Praias Matosinhos15 - Anémona16 - Castelo do Queijo / Sea Life17 - Passeio Alegre18 - Fluvial19 - Museu do Elétrico20 - Ribeira / Cruzeiro 6 pontes / Palácio Bolsa / Caves Cálem

Porto: Tour and Tasting of 3 Port Wines at Poças Cellar

7. Porto: Tour and Tasting of 3 Port Wines at Poças Cellar

Your wine-tasting tour will start with a guided visit to the aging cellar, where distinguished wines have been maturing for more than 100 years. Here, you’ll get to know what makes Port wine so special and learn all about the place where it’s made, the Douro Valley.  Next, you’ll take a walk to the tasting room, where a harmonized sample of three different Port wines awaits your palate. As you sample the wines, learn about which foods pair well with Port wine and discover unique Port styles you might not have tasted before. Before the experience is over, you'll also have the chance to buy your favorite Port wines in the winery's store to enjoy them in the comfort of your home.

Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River Cruise

8. Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River 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. 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: Burmester Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Options

9. Porto: Burmester Cellar Tour with Tasting & Pairing Options

Burmester has long been recognized for its Port wines and Douro DOC (Denominação de Origem Controlada).  Its history started long ago in London in 1730, when Henry Burmester joined with John Nash to create Burmester, Nash & Co. and from Vila Nova de Gaia they started exporting Port wines all around Europe. Over the years, Burmester has triumphed from generation to generation, demonstrating its inherent character and determination. Character is the holistic principle of the brand, and of its wines. Arrive at the Burmester winery for an unforgettable experience. You will visit the Burmester Cellars, located next to the beautiful Luiz I bridge, with an expert guide. Learn about Port wines and the Douro DOC production process, and taste different port wines.

Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

10. 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 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. Learn about how the building has received governors from almost every country in the world and is the location of most of the official state receptions held in the north of Portugal.

Frequently asked questions about Porto

What top attractions are a must-see in Porto?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Porto?

The best day trips and excursions from Porto are:

Aveiro

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

Want to discover all there is to do in Porto? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 30,160 reviews

Our tour was on August 22, 2022. Our guide Tania was fun, she didn't burden us by talking all day. She made an excellent recommendation for gelato . She shared selected nuggets of information at selected intervals on the bus ride. Our driver Hamoush really is a DRIVER, he's got SKILLS . He got us there and back in one piece. A lovely restaurant 'The River' had been selected for lunch and it was very good. The 2nd winery we were taken to CROFT was situated on beautifully kept grounds which made for some GREAT photo's. The boat cruise down the Douro River was nice but too crowded and therefore very HOT and it was already a very hot day. The vessel was partly covered as well which didn't allow for air flow which is why it was very hot specially if you didn't get a seat in the open air part of the boat but other than that stunning views from the boat. All in all a great day in the Douro Valley. Would do it again. Thank you Tania and Hamoush.

I highly recommend the experience with this tour to see the beauty of Douro Valley and port wine tasting. Ivo was our tour guide and he was fabulous. He made our drive very entertaining by including humor; he spoke great English, was knowledgeable and gave very interesting explanations of Douro Valley/port wine. The drive felt very safe and the views are amazing. Lunch was delicious and the boat ride was very refreshing even on a hot day. Without a doubt, I will choose this tour again and request Ivo as my guide!

What a lovely day. You can’t not visit Douro Valley. Weather was perfect. Not too hot. Plenty to drink. I think lunch was good for my choice although my vegetarian friend got a single asparagus in her pasta so she wasn’t impressed. Great conversation throughout the day from Ivo. Highly recommend

Meeting up with the guide was a pretty easy process. And it was a beautiful day for a very enjoyable relaxing cruise . Very good experience, I would recommend this. Going through the dam was interesting.

Loved the tour. Paulo was an excellent guide. Explained things very well and kept us entertained.