Looking to spend some time in Porto, Portugal? Here you can find suggestions for your Porto itinerary. If you’re spending time in Portugal, we also recommend you check out our blog on what you can do and see in Lisbon.
Sean and I spent one month in Porto, Portugal in July, so these are our recommendations for what you can include on your itinerary for one month or less.
Explore. Porto is a fairly small city so you can explore it pretty easily. Though it is an extremely hilly city so you will either need to walk up and down steep streets or take buses. However, if you have time to explore, do so! You will find amazing architecture, street art, and hidden gems.
Go on a free walking tour. This goes along with exploring, and that is, do a free walking tour. We recommend Porto Walkers. These are great ways to see the city and learn about the history. You’ll also get some great recommendations from the guide.
Visit Igreja do Carmo, Porto Cathedral, Chapel of Souls, and Igreja de Santa Clara. Porto has some of the most amazingly tiled churches and cathedrals in the world. Some of these include:
Igreja do Carmo
Built in the mid-18th century, this is actually two churches, which are located at Praça de Carlos Alberto and Rua do Carmo, that are attached by a very narrow house. Igreja do Carmo is highlighted by its beautifully tiled facade. Although, if you’d like to visit the museum inside and go up to the roof, it costs 2 Euros per person. While visiting, make sure to also check out the Fountain of the Lions.
Next, visit Porto Cathedral. Porto Cathedral is probably one of the most recognizable buildings in the city and can be seen from almost any viewpoint. Built in the 12th century it is one of the city’s oldest monuments. Entrance to the cathedral is about 3 Euros per person and is, undoubtedly, worth it to see the wonderful architecture and get a great view of the city from one of it’s towers.
Chapel of Souls
Afterwards, visit Chapel of Souls. This church is pretty small and dates back to the 18th century. The distinguishing feature is the facade covered in azuelo tiles. Though we would recommend skipping the inside. It is still beautiful but the outside is what makes this church so impressive.
Igreja de Santa Clara.
Finally, take a peek inside Ingreja de Santa Clara. Obviously, with many of the churches in Porto exhibiting fantastic exteriors, Igreja de Santa Clara is one that you must enter to experience its wonder. Tickets for the church cost about 4 Euros per person and is so worth it! Construction started in 1416 and was completed in 1457. Indeed, entering the chapel dazzles the eyes because the interior is covered in gold.
Go for a port wine tasting. Regardless of how long you are staying in Porto, if you’re an alcohol drinker, you’re Porto itinerary must include a port wine tasting. Vila Nova de Gaia is the port wine hub. Easily accessed by boat, train, walking, or taxi/ride share. There are an abundance of port wineries to chose from. However, our recommendation is Sandeman since that’s the one we visited.
Take a boat tour. If you have the time in your itinerary, go for a boat tour. We did the 6 bridges tour. This was a bit lackluster, but is fairly affordable at about $15 Euros per person. However, you get lovely views of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia from the water. So if you have time and money, check out some options for cruises or boat tours.
Have a picnic and watch the sunset in Crystal Palace Gardens. Grab your favorite foods and make your way to Crystal Palace Gardens. Since the landscape here is beautiful, it’s a great place to enjoy a picnic, walk, and sunset.
Visit Bolsa Palace. Your Porto itinerary is not complete without a visit to Bolsa Palace (Stock Exchange). Built in 1842, Bolsa Palace is an architectural gem with its famous Arab room being the highlight . However, a guided tour is required to enter, as business continues to be conducted in the building. Thus, the price for Bolsa Palace is around 10 Euros per person.
Head to the beach. Next in your Porto itinerary, you should spend some time at the beach. So, take the bus (or drive if you have your own car) to Matosinhos.
Enjoy the pink 1930s art deco of Casa de Serralves. Serralves includes a contemporary museum, park, and villa. Therefore, if you visit, there are different tickets for the various attractions or you can buy a general ticket to see everything.
Visit some architectural gems. Porto has some of the most beautiful architecture. Be sure to visit Sao Bento train station and admire the gorgeous tiles that depict Portugal’s past. Also, check out Majestic cafe for its art nouveau style facade and interior. Considered the most beautiful cafe in the world, it’s great for a visit but can be on the expensive side. Finally, the weirdest recommendation, visit the McDonald’s at Praça da Liberdade to see the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world.
Finish off your Porto itinerary with a day trip. After all, there are many easily accessible locations for a day trip from Porto. In order to do that, you take the train from Sao Bento station to Aveiro, Braga, Guimaraes, or take a tour of the Duoro Valley.
End the day with a wonderful sunset. Walk across the Luis I bridge to Gaia for a wonderful sunset over the stunningly colorful buildings of Porto. The best locations for the sunset are Jardim do Morro or Miradouro da Serra do Pilar. While in Gaia, be sure to also take the cable car for great views. A 1 way ticket is 6 Euros for adults and 3 Euros for children 5-12 years old. A round trip ticket is 9 Euros for adults and 4.50 Euros for children.
Climb Clerigos Tower. For incredible views of the city, if you can, climb the 240 stairs to the top of Clerigos Tower.
Where to Eat
Porto has some amazing places to eat. For example, some of our recommendations include:
- Casa Guedes Tradicional for an amazing pork sandwich with cheese.
- CHURRASAQUEIRA ICARAÍ for amazing chicken with a local vibe.
- Farinha Restaurante for delicious pizza, but make sure to get there early! They open at 7 PM so we recommend being there 10 to 15 minutes early to get a table. It is first come first serve.
- Taberna Santo António for a fresh, local meal.
- Zenith for wonderful breakfast or brunch options.
- Taipas Burgers for cheap, delicious burgers.
- Taberna Real do Fado to experience dinner and a fado show.
- And finally, our highest recommended place: The Door! Located at Rua das Taipas 94 a 96, The Door is a bit more expensive than other places but offers fresh, organic, delicious food. However, it’s the service that make the place stand out. Afonso treats everyone like family! We loved the food, drink, and service so much we went back 5 to 6 times.
We would advise you to avoid paying and standing in line for Livraria Lello. It is considered the most beautiful bookstore in the world and it surely is beautiful. However, it is so extremely crowded that it is almost impossible to enjoy. You are better off looking at picture online.