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What to See in Porto: 4-day Travel Guide

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Planning a trip and wondering what to see in Porto? I’ve got you covered with this in-depth travel guide!

I’m sharing my full itinerary for beautiful Porto. You can copy the entire four days for your trip, or just take bits and pieces from it. Either way, these are all my best recs and suggestions for how to lay out your itinerary so that you’re not wasting time hopping around the city.

Porto is absolutely stunning. I was blown away by its beauty!

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

I felt like while I was doing research before my trip on things to do in Porto, I could tell by other people’s pictures that it was a really pretty city. But I wasn’t really expecting just how beautiful it is!

There are so many picturesque spots and photo opps around every corner. I’ll definitely be writing up a top Instagrammable spots in Porto post with all the deets. But you definitely won’t have trouble finding beautiful photo spots.

While I think that Portugal has become a more popular European destination over the last five years or so, it feels like people are sleeping on Porto a bit.

I don’t know very many people who have been to Porto—most people I know who have been to Portugal visit Lisbon of course, and maybe The Algarve or the Azores.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

But skipping Porto (I think) is a big mistake! If your schedule allows, I would absolutely recommend making it up to Porto. It’s definitely one of the most charming European cities I’ve visited.

I was also surprised by how affordable everything is in Portugal. Food and accommodations is relatively cheap compared to other European countries, mostly because the average wage here is much lower. So enjoy your inexpensive holiday, and tip well!

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

How many days to spend in Porto

If you Google how many days to spend in Porto, you’ll probably see results that say two full days would be enough.

And while you’ll definitely want at least two full days in Porto and you can certainly hit up most of the sights with that amount of time, I’d recommend three if you can swing it, and four days if you want to do a half-day trip into either of the nearby wine countries (Vinho Verde or Douro Valley).

Porto city is pretty small, so two days will give you enough time to hit most of the major things, but you might be running around with a bit of a packed itinerary. Three days will help make your schedule more relaxed and not so jam-packed.

Getting around in Porto

If you’re going to be doing sightseeing in Porto and also want to take public transportation, you may want to get a Porto Card. This will give you free, unlimited use of public transportation, which includes the underground metro (which also goes to OPO airport), buses, and the trains that go to popular seaside towns nearby.

You’ll also get free admission to six different museums plus 50% off a lot of different attractions like Clerigos Tower, Museu Nacional Soares Dos Reis, and a Port wine cellar.

You can buy a Porto card for 1, 2, 3, or 4 Days on GetYourGuide here.

Since Porto isn’t huge, most of the top sights are easily walkable if you’re up for a 15 – 20 minute walk. So bring comfortable walking shoes! My favs are my blush-colored Allbirds.

Ubers are also readily available in Porto. They’re easy to get and reasonably priced.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Custom Map of Porto

You know I’ve got a custom map of Porto ready for you! I’ve added all the sights in purple and all my restaurant recs in green. (Hint: zoom all the way in for a better view and tap the icon in the top left for a map legend)

When it comes to food in Porto, even though it might be tempting, I wouldn’t recommend dining along Cais da Ribeira at one of the restaurants by the water. While it’s a pretty setting, the food will be mediocre at best. Just get a glass of wine and charcuterie board there and then head to a better spot for dinner!

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Where to Stay in Porto

Booking.com

I would definitely recommend staying somewhere close to the heart of Porto’s city. As I mentioned, it’s a very walkable city, so staying in a central location will make it easy for you to walk to most places.

Look for a spot that’s within a 15 – 20 minute walking distance from some of the top sights like Clerigos Tower, and/or close to Dom Luis Bridge. That’ll put you in a good place!

We stayed at NH Porto Jardim and it was fine. The location was great and they have a roof deck pool with awesome views, but we found the service to be a little lackluster.

Our main complaint was that they were rationing our Nespresso pods, and any time we asked for more pods (because one shot of espresso when you’re trying to get over jet lag is just not going to cut it) they made a big deal about it and usually said no. It was weird.

We were also annoyed because when we checked in we found out that due to the panny, we had to make reservations to use the roof deck pool. The roof deck pool was one of the main reasons we booked this hotel, so it was frustrating to hear we couldn’t pop up there whenever we wanted. If they had at least let us know ahead of time about the pool situation, we could have reserved a time that worked with our itinerary.

So I wouldn’t not recommend it, but if there’s a different boutique hotel in a central location, with great reviews, I might opt for that.

You can also check out my Airbnb Porto list for some great Airbnb options and my Top Boutique Hotels in Porto post for hotels!

Alrighty, that’s the scoop on where to stay and how to get around this city, now let’s get into my full itinerary and what to see in Porto!

What to See in Porto: 4-Day Travel Guide

What to See in Porto: Day 1

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Walking Tour or E-Bike Tour

Start your trip by getting some historical context on the city and a lay of the land.

You can sign up for a free walking tour with a local, or if you really want to zip around and see some of Porto’s top sights, book this E-Bike tour. Either way, you’ll get to see some of the best spots in Porto and ask a local for their best recs for restaurants.

On the E-Bike tour, you’ll get to explore the medieval streets of Porto, see some incredible views and highlights like the Porto Cathedral, and learn about Porto’s history and how it became a UNSECO World Heritage site.

Lunch at Cantina 32

After you’ve worked up an appetite from your bike tour around the city, head to Cantina 32 for lunch.

This restaurant is casual but chic with its industrial interior decor. They have delicious plates and do roasted meats really well.

Pro tip: Say yes to the banana butter and bread. It sounds weird but it’s salty and sweet and so freaking good.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
Top things to do in Porto Portugal, by travel blogger What The Fab

Step into Harry Potter’s world at Livraria Lello

Next up, walk over to Livraria Lello, an incredible bookstore in Porto that’s dubbed itself “the most beautiful bookstore in the world.”

Livraria Lello is said to have inspired J.K. Rowling when she lived in Porto. Once you step inside, you can easily see how. The grand, winding staircase absolutely feels like something straight out of Hogwarts, and the book carts on tracks feel very reminiscent of taking a ride into the depths of Gringotts bank.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

This bookstore has become so famous that you have to purchase a ticket just to enter, and there may be a long line to get in after you’ve purchased your ticket online.

When we arrived on a Saturday morning, they let us know that the wait to get in was at least 1.5 hours. While we were standing in line, we realized there was an option on their site to purchase a skip the line ticket which they call a “Priority Entrance” ticket.

It costs 15,90€ for the Priority Entrance ticket to skip the line (vs 5€ for a regular ticket where you have to wait in line), but I feel like that’s worth it to not have to spend an hour and a half standing in line!

It’s definitely the most beautiful bookstore I’ve ever seen, and we had fun snapping photos in here.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Walk over the Dom Luis Bridge

Head over to the Dom Luís Bridge for some epic views. If you can time this to hit golden hour, even better—your photos will be absolutely magical! The scenery here is unreal.

The Dom Luis Bridge was designed by Gustav Eiffel (yes, like Eiffel Tower), and not only is the bridge beautiful, but so are the views from it.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

It’s a double-decker bridge, with the first level reserved for cars, and the second level for the tram and pedestrians. It’s definitely unique and the red roof buildings surrounding the river make for the most charming European scene!

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Drinks at Telerifico Terrace

Once you’ve crossed over the Dom Luis Bridge to the Vila Nova de Gaia side, you’ll be right at Telerifico Terrace, which has awesome views of the Douro River, the bridge, and Porto’s red roof buildings.

Grab a cocktail here or a small glass of Port and enjoy the views.

We also shot some photos right next to Telerifico Terrace near the bridge. There’s a concrete platform that you can walk up to and it’s a great spot to sit and watch the sunset over the city.

There’s also a monastery here (Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar), which would be another amazing spot to stroll around and watch the sunset from.

Dinner at Brasão

After drinks, head back into the city center for dinner at Brasão Aliados (Cervejaria Brasão Aliados). This place has amazing steaks, reasonable prices, and a super chic ambiance.

Try to make reservations here ahead of time as it’s a popular spot. If you don’t have rezzies, you can try arriving earlier for dinner, at 7pm when they open, since this is Europe after all and restaurants don’t get bumpin’ until 9pm.

What to See in Porto: Day 2

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Igreja do Carmo

Time to check out some of Porto’s famous blue tiles! Igreja do Carmo was built between 1756 and 1768 and features azueljo tiles on its facade.

It’s a great photo opp from the outside, but you can also enter the church to view the stunning, baroque interior.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

If you’re looking for other epic blue-tiled buildings, Chapel of the Souls was another favorite and so beautiful. If you head that way you could also grab coffee at Majestic Cafe on Rua Santa Catarina—it’s a famous spot in a nostalgic and beautiful building. I’ve heard the food isn’t amazing so grabbing coffee and a pastry there might be your best bet if you want to experience it.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Climb Torre Dos Clerigos Tower

Stroll over to Clerigos Tower and climb up the stairs all the way to the top for sweeping views of Porto.

You can purchase tickets ahead of time here so you don’t have to wait in line.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

They did an excellent job managing the flow of people here. I don’t know about you, but I’ve climbed enough old European towers to have experienced a little anxiety and claustrophobia when people are trying to get through and navigate tiny, steep steps that just keep winding and winding. That wasn’t the case here and they only allowed the flow of people to go one direction at a time (rather than people trying to go up and down at the same time).

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Lunch at Do Norte

You’ll probably be hungry after all those stairs, so head over to Do Norte Cafe for lunch.

This spot is super cute and they have a fun back patio. They have great coffee if you need a little pick me up, and some yummy brunch/lunch options.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Stop by São Bento Train Station

Head just around the corner to São Bento Train Station. You don’t need to be going anywhere or purchase a ticket to pop inside and admire the azueljo tires here that depict Portugal’s history.

It’s really pretty and definitely worth popping into, plus it’s another great photo opp.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Port Wine Tasting at Lagar D’ouro

Stroll towards the river and grab a table at Lagar D’ouro for a Port wine tasting. They do Port wine flights here and you’ll get to try both tawny and ruby Port. They also have small bites if you want some yummy cheese and olives to go with your Port tasting.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Douro River Cruise

Once you’ve had your Port tasting, you’ll be right by the Douro River so it’s the perfect time to hop on a river cruise!

There are a lot of different cruise companies to choose from and even if you book online it can be a bit confusing figuring out which one you’re supposed to be boarding.

I’d recommend booking your Douro River cruise through GetYourGuide here. They vet all their tours and I always have a great experience when I book through them.

Plus this one includes a glass of Port at the end, so who doesn’t love that?

When you research what to see in Porto, a Douro River cruise always comes up. It’s just a nice way to spend an hour—out on the water, getting a different perspective of Porto’s beautiful buildings and bridges.

Dinner at Element

Wrap up day two with dinner at Element. They have some fun cocktails but they also do a nice wine pairing. You can do their tasting menu or order a la carte.

What to See in Porto: Day 3

  • What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
  • What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Explore Serralves

Now that you’ve hit up most of the top historical sites around the center of Porto, it’s time to branch out a bit more. Serralves is a great option for a unique place to explore a bit.

There’s a Contemporary Art Museum here, as well as gardens, the Serralves house, and a treetops walkway.

While we were there, they had some Ai Wei Wei pieces I was excited to check out, and some other funky contemporary art.

  • What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
  • What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
  • What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab
  • Top things to do in Porto Portugal, by travel blogger What The Fab

Palacio Crystal Gardens

The gardens here are pretty with gorg views of the river. Plus there are peacocks that live here, so that’s fun.

There’s a little castle/tower here that’s fun to climb up for some photos. And while the Crystal palace that these gardens are named for was torn down and replaced by a dome event center building, you can climb the stairs around the outside of it if you’re feeling frisky.

Lunch at Café Restaurante O Afonso

Head to nearby Café Restaurante O Afonso for lunch, and try francesinhas, a typical Portuguese sandwich. But when I say sandwich, I don’t mean your usual sandwich.

Francesinhas are made with bread and different meats (usually ham, sausage, steak and/or other roasted meats), and covered with melted cheese (mmm) as well as a hot spiced tomato and beer sauce.

If that sounds heavy to you, it’s because it is. Two people could probably split one portion here, and Café Restaurante O Afonso is known for having the best francesinhas in Porto, so you have to try it for yourself.

What to see in Porto, by travel blogger What The Fab

Try Vinho Verde wine

The whole reason I was in Porto in the first place was to attend a press trip with the Vinho Verde wine region!

While we left Porto to explore Vinho Verde and different producers throughout the region, you can try Vinho Verde wines without having to step foot out of Porto.

You can book a tasting at the Casa do Vinho Verde in Porto. They have beautiful gardens with beautiful views of the Douro River, where you can sit and sip different Vinho Verde wines and learn about the different varietals that they produce there.

If you like white wines, you’ll love trying some of their crisp, bright whites and enjoy their minerality and balanced acidity.

Dinner at BOA-BAO

After your tasting, enjoy a delicious dinner at BOA-BAO. They serve pan-Asian cuisine and the inside is super cute.

They’ve got great cocktails, and you’ll definitely have to try at least one of their baos. Our server recommended the one with sea bass and we loved it!

What to See in Porto: Day 4

Go Wine Tasting in the Douro Valley

Book a wine tasting tour in the Douro Valley to experience and taste more Portuguese wine. The Douro Valley is known for producing Port, but they also make light whites and reds that are fun to try.

I’d recommend booking this tour that will take you to three different wineries and also includes lunch at one of the vineyards. You’ll get to enjoy several different types of Ports and wines, while soaking up the beautiful landscape of the Douro Valley.

This wine tour takes six hours including travel time, so you’ll be back in Porto late afternoon.

The Palácio da Bolsa

If you’re not too sleepy from all the wine, there are still a couple sights to hit up in Porto!

The Palácio da Bolsa, or the Stock Exchange Palace, is a really cool place to visit.

This huge buiding used to be the city’s stock exchange. While you can admire the exterior for free, you’ll want to go inside to check out the epic glass-domed Patio das Nacoes (Hall of Nations) and the golden Salao Arabe (Arabian Hall).

São Francisco Church

Right next to the Stock Exchange Palace, you’ll find São Francisco Church, which has jaw-dropping interiors.

It’s worth popping into for the epic carvings covered in over 800 pounds of gold.

Ride the Cable Car

Take a ride on the cable car for some pretty, birds-eye views of Porto. It’s a short five-minute ride, but it’s fun and you’ll love the views.

Drinks at the Yeatman Hotel

Head over to the Yeatman Hotel to grab drinks at Dick’s Bar. This is a really popular place because the views are awesome. I’d recommend enjoying a glass of wine here over their cocktails, as their cocktails aren’t anything amazing (unlike the views!).

Dinner at Nogueira’s Porto

Round out your trip to Porto with dinner at a Portuguese steakhouse. The interior is beautiful and it has a really nice atmosphere.

They do cocktails well and you can expect your steak to be perfectly cooked.


Whew, that was a lot! But omg, isn’t Porto gorg? Hopefully, I answered your questions on what to see in Porto and now you know—there’s a lot to see and do!

It’s such a beautiful city and if you’re planning a trip there, I know you’re going to love it. Don’t forget to tag me @wtfab in a Story or two so I can see which recs you get up to in Porto!

Planning a trip to Porto? Don’t miss all my other Porto recs here!

Best Boutique Hotels in Porto
Airbnb Porto: Best Places to Stay
Top 20 Things to Do in Porto Portugal
14 Most Beautiful Places in Portugal

FAQs

What should I not miss Porto?

You should definitely not miss:
– Livraria Lello
– Dom Luis Bridge
– Igreja do Carmo
– Torre Dos Clerigos Tower

What is Porto very famous for?

Porto is most famous for its port wines. Besides their wine, you can find a lot of beautiful sights.

What is the best time to visit Porto Portugal?

The best time to visit Porto Portugal is from May to September when the weather will be at its best.

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