The Best 10-Day Portugal Itinerary by

Best 10 Day Portugal Itinerary

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Portugal is truly a phenomenal country to explore! The bustling cities are graced with amazing architecture and the distinct culture is as apparent as the rich history. Planning a Portugal Itinerary, however, requires some effort and careful consideration.

The cities in Portugal are not checklist destinations; they are best discovered with a little intrigue and a full dose of curiosity. It’s not a country to rush through, but one to experience. In our 10 Day Portugal Itinerary, we highlight the best of the country – from the seven hills of Lisbon to the fascinating landscapes of Madeira Island to the cobblestone lanes of Porto.


Why Plan a 10 Day Portugal Itinerary for Vacation

Once overlooked – perhaps for being not easy enough to reach or a bit too gritty – Portugal has surged to the top of popular European travel destinations. 

Luckily for us, we heard the positive chatter from fellow travelers ages ago. Our first trip to Portugal was in 2010 and we have returned many, many times since. On each visit, we become even more enamored with the country – and with our Best Itinerary for Portugal, we think you will be smitten, too!


Portugal 10 Days Itinerary FAQs

Before we get to the day-by-day outline of our best Portugal Trip Itinerary, we will answer a few of the frequently asked questions about planning a vacation to Portugal.


Which Destinations does this Portugal Itinerary Include?

Portugal is a small but diverse country – and the top things to see in Portugal are spread far and wide. If we were asked to name the single best place to visit in Portugal, we would be hard pressed to give an answer. Therefore, we think it is wise to include multiple destinations in your 10 Day Travel Itinerary Portugal (especially if you are visiting for the first time).

With limited time in the country, travelers will want to hone in on the very best spots in Portugal. Rather than spending an entire 10 days in Lisbon, we recommend also visiting Madeira Island and Porto.



Beautiful View of Lisbon, Portugal

The largest city in Portugal, Lisbon is a vibrant place to visit. Throughout its history, it has suffered devastation and regaled in riches. Spread over steep hills and segmented into unique districts, Lisbon is a buzzing yet charming destination that should be included on any Itinerary for Portugal. Learn more in our 3-Day Lisbon Itinerary.



Doca do Cavacas Natural Pools, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

A remote Portuguese island located in the North Atlantic Ocean, Madeira offers visitors a range of outstanding experiences. Top Madeira activities include hiking across mountaintops and swimming in natural lava pools. Additionally, there are attractions interspersed within the city of Funchal, like lush tropical gardens, and an epic culinary scene. Use our Madeira Itinerary for ideas for your trip.



Best View, Porto, Portugal

A place we happily return to time after time, Porto is inspiring from the moment you lay eyes on it. Situated along the Douro River that was once instrumental in the area’s iconic Port Wine trade, Porto beckons visitors to discover it’s pedestrian lanes, manicured parks and outstanding restaurants. Our Porto Itinerary provides more sightseeing tips.


Do I Need a Car for this Portugal Trip Itinerary?

We designed our plan for 10 Days in Portugal without a car. Renting a car and finding parking can be stressful and expensive – and nobody wants that on vacation!

Our recommended Portugal destinations are well-connected by plane. Furthermore, visitors can get around each place by walking, using public transportation and joining tours. We highlight all the best options for transport in the Portugal Travel Tips section at the end of the article.


Is it Expensive to Tour Portugal?

Portugal has long been known as an affordable destination. Accommodation, food and drinks all tend to cost less in Portugal than in other major European cities – like London and Paris. Therefore, it is fairly easy to plan a budget Portugal trip.

As budget-conscious travelers ourselves, we include many inexpensive and free attractions and activities throughout our Portugal trip plan.

On the other hand, it would be easy to create a Luxury Portugal Itinerary. There are a fair number of high-end hotels, upscale dining opportunities and exclusive tours for travelers who want to splash out on their vacation.


Who Should Use this Itinerary for Portugal?

Our trip plan for Portugal features top sights and attractions in the country’s hottest destinations. The outline will appeal to a range of visitors – especially those interested in cities, architecture, historic sites, nature and local cuisine.

It should be said that this is not a Portugal Beach Itinerary. While we do visit Madeira, it’s really not a place for sunbathing on the sand. The best beaches in Portugal are located in the Algarve region with Lagos, Albufeira and Tavira being top picks.

Our itinerary does include quite a bit of walking – and the hills in Lisbon, Porto and Madeira are impossible to avoid. Therefore, those with limited mobility or just aren’t keen on racking up a lot of steps during vacation, should take that into consideration.

We travel as a couple – but our plan could easily be adapted to a Portugal Family Vacation Itinerary or Portugal Solo Travel Itinerary. The outlined trip could also serve as the base for a Portugal Honeymoon Itinerary with the addition of a few more romantic activities!


How Many Days in Portugal?

When creating a Trip to Portugal Itinerary, one of the first things to consider is duration. We think 10 Days in Portugal is ideal for a vacation – but understand that fellow travelers have other timeframes.

Therefore, we share sample Itineraries for Portugal later – including advice for spending 5 Days in Portugal and ideas for what to do in Portugal for Two Weeks.


Planning a Portugal Vacation Itinerary

View of Lisbon Tram 12 on the tracks, Portugal

As we already mentioned, planning a trip to Portugal can take some effort, but our day-by-day itinerary helps to make it as easy as possible.

In addition to outlining what to see and do, we also provide essential information about when to go, where to stay and how to get there.

While this Portugal Trip Plan provides an outline of sights, we also share detailed articles about specific attractions and activities throughout the itinerary.

Furthermore, travelers visiting Portugal from abroad will find it useful to read about How To Plan a European Vacation.


Organize your Portugal Vacation

When it comes to planning a trip in Portugal, there are heaps of details to consider. While using our Ultimate Portugal Itinerary as a guideline, keeping track of the specifics is essential.

We recommend using our Printable Travel Planner – to make sure nothing falls through the cracks!

Travel Planner Printables by



Giant Portugal Flag in Lisbon Park

We’ve covered some of the basics, now it’s time to get to the day-by-day details of our Best Portugal Itinerary. Be certain to read until the end for important Portugal travel tips and information.

Save, Pin or Bookmark this Portugal Travel Guide to plan your vacation!



View across the Main Square, Lisbon, Portugal

Start your 10 Days in Portugal Itinerary in the capital, Lisbon. Get the lay of the land, then set off on your own adventure to discover a classic neighborhood. End the night with a traditional Portuguese musical performance.


Guided Lisbon Tour

Lisboa, View over Lisbon, Portugal

Lisbon is a beautiful and complex place – and without the right context, it can be difficult to understand and fully appreciate the city. Therefore, we recommend starting your trip on a Guided Lisbon Walking Tour.

Let a local lead the way through the distinct districts of Alfama, Chiado and Baixa – while learning about the history and culture of Lisbon. Plus, on this highly rated 3-hour tour, participants get to taste a local snack, sample regional wine and indulge in a Portuguese pastry. Doesn’t that sound like the perfect start to your Portugal Itinerary?


Seafood Lunch with a View

Walking the hills of Lisbon will certainly work up an appetite – and a seafood lunch is an excellent choice for your first meal. With the city’s close proximity to the ocean, seafood is a staple of the local cuisine.

Dine in Praca do Comercio, the most opulent square in Lisbon, which opens to the Tagus River. Baia do Peixe, Museu da Cerveja and Martinho da Arcada are all good options. The restaurants on the dazzling, yellow square are a bit spendy, but the location is hard to beat!


Alfama Exploration

Best View of Alfama, Lisbon, Portugal

In the afternoon, explore more of the famous Alfama neighborhood on your own. The twisting, cobblestone streets are lined with buildings decorated in traditional azulejos tiles and freshly laundered clothes hang from windows to dry. The area is a delight to roam without a specific destination in mind, but there are a few sights worth seeking out.

Top Alfama attractions are the Se Cathedral, Sao Jorge Castle, Sao Vicente de Fora Monastery, Miradouro de Santa Luzia, the National Pantheon and the National Tile Museum.


Lisbon Fado and Dinner

Listening to Fado Singer, Portugal

The stirring sounds of Fado are soulful and sometimes heartbreaking. The melancholy music is said to have originated in the streets of Alfama – and listening to a live performance is a must during your 10-Day Portugal Vacation!

To ensure you get a seat for Fado performance, we recommend buying tickets for a combination Dinner and Fado Show in advance



View of Pena Palace from Park in Sintra, Portugal

Next up on your Portugal Travel Itinerary, set off for Sintra – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Once the whimsical retreat of Lisbon’s elite, the fanciful castles and elaborate gardens are now popular tourist attractions. Simple to reach by car or train, Sintra is a delightful day trip from Lisbon!


Sintra: DIY Trip or Organized Tour

Palace of Pena in Sintra, Portugal

The top things to see in Sintra are the colorful Pena Palace (and adjoining Pena Park), the ancient Moorish Castle and the beautifully eccentric Quinta da Regaleira Estate.

There are two options for visiting Sintra: Plan your own day trip using the train (and bus, once in Sintra) or join an organized tour.

The benefit of going on your own is that you have the freedom to choose what to see and what to skip – and it costs a lot less than a tour. Our detailed guide for Planning a Lisbon to Sintra Day Trip covers how to get there, what to see and do, ticket info and what to expect.

There are advantages to joining one of the organized tours to Sintra, too. Visitors are not encumbered with figuring out how to get there or how to get around. Instead, all the details are left to the knowledgeable guides. Additionally, most tours include multiple destinations – like the coastal town of Cascais – and the option to choose a full day or half day tour.


Sunset at Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara

Fountain and View from Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara, Lisbon, Portugal

Be back in Lisbon in time to catch a phenomenal sunset from the fabulous Miradouro de Sao Pedro de Alcantara. A favorite Lisbon viewpoint for locals and visitors alike, the bi-level park features benches, gardens, a fountain – and a stunning view of Castelo de Sao Jorge.

This miradouro can be reached on foot – or, after a long day of sightseeing, there’s no shame in using the Gloria – Sao Pedro inclined funicular for a little help getting up the hill!


Bairro Alto at Night

Spend the rest of the evening elevated in Bairro Alto – one of the best districts in Lisbon. Etched with a Bohemian vibe and trumpeting an entertaining nightlife scene, Bairro Alto is a top Lisbon destination after dark.

Walk along Rua da Rosa and wander down the side streets to enjoy the atmospheric area. Make your way to a Lisbon-style tapas bar, like Leve Leve or Tapa Bucho.

Alternatively, tuck into a meal of traditional homemade cuisine among locals at the popular Toma La Da Ca, where every bite is delicious (just make an advance reservation).

For after dinner drinks, find your way up to the hip PARK Rooftop and savor the astounding view of Lisbon lit up at night while enjoying a beverage.



Why You Should Visit Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Your 10 Day Itinerary for Portugal continues by exploring more prime districts in Lisbon. In the morning, visit the riverside town of Belem – then after a scrumptious lunch in Lisbon city center, take a ferry across the Tagus to see the famous Cristo Rei Statue. Next, ride a tram to the west side for dinner and end your Lisbon stay in the Cais do Sodre District.


Belem and Pastel da Natas

Fountain at Praça do Império Garden, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Hop on a tram, bus or train – or walk along the riverside path – to the historic town of Belem. Just four miles from Lisbon, Belem was an important city during the Age of Discovery and is now a lively Portugal tourist destination.

Belem is home to many monuments and two UNESCO World Heritage Sites – Belem Tower and the Jeronimos Monastery – so expect plenty of company and long lines. After seeing the sights that pique your interests, be sure to stop by Pasteis de Belem bakery, the creator of the iconic Portuguese Egg Tart! Find more in our guide of Things To Do in Belem.


Lunch at Timeout Market Lisboa

So many food and drink options at Time Out Market, Lisbon, Portugal

The Time Out Market in Lisbon is a pioneer in the food hall concept that’s sweeping the globe. Gathering numerous top chefs under one roof, the food court boasts nearly 50 stalls of exceptional cuisine and local libations.

Patrons order from the individual kiosks and then gather at community tables in the center of the market. It’s a great opportunity to sample multiple Portuguese dishes in one location and meet fellow foodies!


Cristo Rei Statue

Tagus River, Cristo Rei, and April 25th Bridge, perfect Lisbon, Portugal!

Standing atop a cliff on the south side of the Tagus River is a gigantic statue of Jesus. The Cristo Rei Statue can be seen from various viewpoints around Lisbon, but seeing it up close is breathtaking.

To get to there, board a ferry and once at the Cacilhas Dock, take a bus, an elevator or walk up to the statue. We share all the need-to-know details in our Guide to Visiting Cristo Rei.


Lisbon Tram

Tram 28 makes it way through Lisbon, Portugal

After sailing back across the river, partake in a true Lisbon tradition and ride a classic tram. The old yellow trams that rattle down the tracks and up the steep hills, just as they have since the early 1900s, are a symbol of Portugal throughout the world.

The two best lines are Tram 28 and Tram 25 – and both transport passengers to the west side of Lisbon, which is where we go next on our Portugal Itinerary!


Lisbon Estrela District

Take a Walk through Estrela Park, Lisbon, Portugal

The Estrela District offers visitors a glimpse at local life in Lisbon. Even though there are far fewer tourists, the area boasts a number of attractions – including some of the Top Free Lisbon Things To Do

Important things to see are the impressive Basilica da Estrela Church (one of the Best Churches in Lisbon), the gorgeous Estrela Park, the gorgeous Tapada das Necessidade Park and the ornate Cemiterio dos Prazeres Cemetery.

Consider eating dinner at the nearby Mercado de Campo de Ourique, which offers a more authentic experience than Time Out Market. Alternatively, make reservations for a phenomenal feast of typical Portuguese cuisine at Coelho da Rocha.


Evening in Cais do Sodre

Make your way back to the city center via tram to Cais do Sodre. People watching or bar hopping in the revitalized neighborhood is an excellent way to end your time in Lisbon.

Pink Street is packed with fun bars, but Pensao Amor – a brothel-turned-cocktail bar with outrageous décor – is not to be missed! For something a little more low key, check out O Bom O Mau e O Vilao just around the corner or Musa da Bica for craft beer. Tchau, Lisboa!



View of the Funchal Seafront, Madeira, Portugal

It’s time to fly to the next destination on your Portugal 10 Day Itinerary: Madeira Island. After settling into your hotel (recommendations later), waste no time and begin your sightseeing in Funchal, the largest city on the island.


Classic Madeira Lunch: Prego Bolo do Caco

Prego Especial Sandwich, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

The cuisine in Madeira is distinctly different from mainland Portugal – and it is simply spectacular! 

For your first meal, sink your teeth into a comfort food classic: Prego Especial at Casa do Bolo do Caco. This massive sandwich features a piece of thinly sliced steak, lettuce, tomato, cheese, ham, bacon and a fried egg. It’s all stacked in between two slices of Madeira’s signature sweet potato bread, Bolo do Caco.

Be sure to save room for a Queijada, the island’s divine cheesecake-like pastry, and Pao e Companhia makes the best queijadas in Funchal!


Funchal Sightseeing Tour

Walking in Funchal Town, Madeira, Portugal

The history of Funchal and Madeira is intriguing. The island was discovered in 1419 and was soon an important trade route stop, as the inhabitants excelled in the sugarcane and wine making industries. 

Visitors can get a proper introduction to Funchal on a guided sightseeing tour. Local guides lead the affordable 2-hour walking tour, which features all the top sights, highlighted by history and personal stories.

Alternatively, use our guide of Things To Do in Funchal to create your own walking tour!


Madeira Wine Tasting

Madeira Wine Bottles for Sale, Portugal

In the late afternoon, get a taste of the island’s most well-known product: Madeira Wine. Islanders started making wine in the 15th century – and Madeira wineries still produce the sweet vino today.

Blandy’s Wine Lodge offers visitors the opportunity to tour their wine-making facilities and sample the final product in their old-fashioned bar. 

HM Borges and Pereira d’Oliveira are two other atmospheric wine tasting rooms in the heart of Funchal.


Petiscos Plates for Dinner

Serving of Limpets, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

End your first day on Madeira Island with a leisurely dinner of petiscos at Tas’ca Principal. The tapas-style small plates are perfect for sharing – and the staff are friendly and happy to help explain the offerings.

We suggest trying a local dish – like limpets – and enjoy a refreshing drink with your meal!



Porto Moniz Swim in the natural pools, Madeira Island, Portugal

For Day 5 of our 10 Day Portugal Itinerary, you’ll want to get an early start visiting the famous sights on the west side of Madeira Island. Then reflect on your adventures over a magnificent Madeiran meal in Funchal.


West Madeira Tour

View down from Cabo Girao Skywalk, Madeira, Portugal

Western Madeira boasts striking landscapes and beautiful vistas. Visitors can see the sights on their own with a rental car or leave the hassle of driving to a professional and join an organized tour

There are numerous points of interest on Madeira West. Cabo Girao is a 1,900-foot-tall sheer rock ledge that ranks as one of the highest sea cliffs in the world. For a small fee and with a bit of bravery, you can step onto the glass-bottomed Cabo Girao Skywalk for a sensational view of the coast…and peek straight down at the waves crashing on the rocks far, far below.

Porto Moniz – on the northwestern tip of Madeira – is another must-see sight. Famous for the naturally formed lava pools, visitors can choose to swim at two separate complexes, both in an absolutely surreal setting.

Waterfalls, black sand beaches, quaint villages and more epic viewpoints are other top attractions in the west part of Madeira, Portugal.


Typical Madeiran Dinner: Espetada or Espada

Where to Eat the Best Food Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

The island’s two food specialties – Espetada and Espada – may sound similar, but they are vastly different. Both, however, are delectable!

Espetada is a dish of grilled, skewered meat, which is often served hanging from a hook. Espada is the famous Madeira seafood – Black Scabbard Fish – which is lightly fried and sometimes topped with banana or passion fruit.

To try either – or both – of the typical dishes, make reservations at Infinito Wine Bar. Although the restaurant lacks a menu, the proprietor-slash-waiter-slash-chef excels at making affordable, local dishes. Tell him what you’re in the mood for, and he’ll satisfy your culinary cravings…with a few surprises along the way!


Madeira Craft Beer

Vilhoa, Craft Beer Madeira, Funchal, Portugal

Coral is the local lager; it’s cheap and it’s everywhere. For a much better beer experience, head to one of the craft beer bars in Funchal – like Fuga Cidade or Funchal Tap. Although not much craft beer is being produced on Madeira, these bars pour a full lineup of inventive Portuguese brews from the mainland.



Trail to Pico do Arieiro, Madeira, Portugal

OK, it’s time to burn some of those calories you’ve surely pick up on your Portugal Travel Itinerary! Lace up your shoes and embark on a hike in Madeira’s pristine nature. Not up for a hike? No judgement here – we share an alternate plan for the day, too!


Hike Madeira Trails

View of Pico do Arieiro on Madeira, Portugal

From the majestic mountains to the forested hillsides to coastal rock formations, Madeira landscapes are mesmerizing. Even better, the terrain is covered with hiking trails that take trekkers to the highest peaks, into the depths of a Laurissilva forest and to the easternmost tip among otherworldly rock formations.

The Pico do Arieiro to Pico Ruivo Trail – or Peak to Peak Hike – is the most challenging and rewarding hike on the island. Starting at the third-highest mountain, Arieiro Peak, the trail winds through rocky mountains to the summit of Pico Ruivo – the highest peak on Madeira. Tour companies lead guided hikes – and offer drop off and pick up services for the one-way hike. 

Levada do Furado Trail is a 7-mile trek from Ribeiro Frio to Portela through the UNESCO Natural History Site Laurissilva Forest. The mostly-flat path follows a levada – an irrigation canal used to bring rain water to drier parts of Madeira.

The walk to the easternmost point is the Vereda da Ponta do Sao Lourenco Trek. It’s a 4.5-mile roundtrip hike, but the trail is completely exposed to the scorching sun and often very windy conditions.


Hike Alternative: Madeira East Tour

Portela Viewpoint on Madeira Island, Portugal

Those who are not up for a strenuous hike can opt to join an organized tour of East Madeira. The scenic route makes stops at more of the breathtaking panoramas – including the trailheads at Sao Lourenco Eastern Point, Portela, Ribeiro Frio and Arieiro Peak. Book the East Tour!



Funchal Poncha, Rum Punch, Madeira, Portugal

At the end of the day, find your way to Rei da Poncha Bar in Funchal to toast your adventures with a potent Portuguese rum punch. Called Poncha and known as the Fisherman’s Drink, the concoction is made with Madeiran sugar cane rum, honey and citrus.

At Rei da Poncha, it’s popular to order a tasting platter – just be aware that the sweet concoction is deceptively strong!


Burgers for Dinner

Hamburgueria 351 Bistro, Funchal, Madeira Island, Portugal

While travelers should definitely sample an array of traditional food while visiting Portugal in 10 days, eating global dishes with a local twist is also important…and in Madeira, there’s a strong affection for hamburgers!

Hamburgueria 351 Bistro excels at making gourmet burgers (the Ranch Burger and 351 Burger are our favorites). Other popular burger restaurants in Funchal are Hamburgueria do Mercado and Rota 23.



View of the Monte Palace Tropical Garden, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Spend Day 7 of your Portugal Tour Itinerary discovering the vibrant and colorful gardens on the island – and use some of Madeira’s most interesting transportation options to do it! In the late afternoon, set sail on a cruise and then end the day eating dinner on the most popular street in Funchal Old Town.


Funchal Gardens, Cable Cars and Toboggan Rides

Madeira Botanical Gardens in Funchal, Portugal

The tropical climate on Madeira Island is conducive to flowering plants and thriving greenery. Two of the most beautiful gardens are the Madeira Botanical Garden and Monte Palace Tropical Garden.

Start at the Botanical Gardens (use the public bus to get there) to see local flora along with plants from around the world. After touring the grounds, ride the 1-mile cable car to Monte, but before setting off to see the sights, eat lunch with a view at Local Shop Cafe.

Next, enter the 17-acre, hillside Monte Palace Tropical Gardens – which are the most exquisite gardens on Madeira. We recommend walking all of the trails, but don’t miss Central Lake, the traditional Santana House, the Oriental Gardens, the Alley of Hydrangeas and the pink flamingoes.

To travel back to Funchal you can ride a bus or cable car – but careening down the road on a Monte Toboggan Sledge is much more entertaining (terrifying?)!


Alternative Plan: Madeira Village Discovery

Best View of Nuns Valley, Madeira, Portugal

While we thoroughly enjoyed visiting these gardens above Funchal, others can instead opt to travel to one of the nearby villages. Valley of the Nuns is a picturesque town tucked into the interior mountains that is known for its chestnut products. Another option is to visit Camara de Lobos, which is a fisherman’s village on the coast just west of Funchal.


Madeira Sunset Cruise

Amazing Sunset Cruise, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

A scenic sunset cruise is the perfect way to end your stay on Madeira Island. Catamaran cruises depart in the late afternoon when the sun idyllically illuminates the Funchal coastline and dolphins are often active in the deep blue waters.

The cruise then sails to the base of the Cabo Girao Cliff – and stops to allow passengers to jump off the boat for a cool and refreshing swim. As the sun dips toward the horizon, the catamaran slowly makes its way back to the marina while guests enjoy the sublime scene.


Dinner on Rua de Santa Maria

Mermaid Painted Door on Rua de Santa Maria, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

Rua de Santa Maria is one of the oldest streets in Funchal. Lined with restaurants, bars and fabulous street art, it’s one of the most popular places to dine in the city.

Make advance reservations at one of the top eateries – like Restaurante Taberna Ruel. Consider ordering a local dish that you have yet to try and get ready to say adeus to Madeira, Portugal!



Amazing View, Porto, Portugal

Plan for an early start on the eighth day of your Portugal Itinerary 10 Days, because it’s time to fly to Porto. Get settled into your hotel and waste no time becoming acquainted with this marvelous city!


Francesinha for Lunch

Francesinha for Lunch, What to eat in Porto, Portugal

There is, perhaps, no Porto Food more popular than the impressive Francesinha sandwich. Stacked with meat and cheese, drowned in sauce and sometimes topped with an egg for good measure, the Francesinha is a must-eat in Portugal and Porto is the place try one!

It seems nearly every restaurant in Porto serves their own version of the Francesinha, but our favorite spot is Café Restaurante O Afonso. Their sandwiches are absolutely massive, so you may want to share one…and then spend the rest of the day walking it off.


Self-Guided Porto Sightseeing Walk

View of Rua das Flores, walking street Porto, Portugal

The beautiful city of Porto sits on the Douro River, and brightly colored buildings crawl up the hillside. Mosaic black-and-white Calcada Portuguesa sidewalks wind through the Old Town, parading through pretty squares and passing landmark sights.

A great way to get a first impression of it all is to embark on a walk. Our easy-to-follow (and completely free) Porto Walking Tour features a route that showcases all the prime sights – and crosses the Douro River into Gaia, where Port Wine cellars line the riverside and traditional rabelos boats bob in the water.


Port Wine Tasting

Typical Porto Wine Tasting, Gaia, Porto, Portugal

Gaia is all about Port Wine – and visitors have a range of choices for sampling Porto’s signature drink, from in-depth tours to casual tastings. For those with a keen interest in Port Wine, book a cellar tour in advance, but you can also simply find a seat at one of the many cafes that offer five samples for a bargain price.


Dinner in Gaia

Fresh Fillet Bacalhau Ca, Porto, Portugal

The riverfront in Gaia is rife with dining establishments – including everything from café petiscos tapas to a hip market to cozy restaurants.

We prefer to graze our way along the street. Start with a Cod Fish Cake at Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau (one of the most beautiful places in Gaia). Next, take a seat on the patio at Gourmet da Emilia for a round of petiscos – along with a glass of Vinho Verde (Porto’s ‘young’ wine). Finally, step inside the fun Mercado Beira Rio food hall where the choices of fantastic fare are plentiful!



Train Station, Pinhao, Portugal

Day 9 of your 10 Day Trip to Portugal is spent exploring beyond Porto to see more of the region. Return to the city by evening for craft beverages and a favorite local meal. 


Porto Day Trip Destinations

Boat on the Douro River, Pinhao, Portugal

Visitors will need to choose one of the many great Northern Portugal locations for a day trip. We are highlighting our three top picks: Braga, Aveiro and Douro Wine Valley.


Day Trip to Braga

View of Bom Jesus, Braga, Portugal

On a day trip from Porto to the north, visitors can see the beautiful Baroque sights of Braga. Home to the first cathedral in Portugal and the UNESCO Heritage Site, Bom Jesus do Monte, Braga offers guests the chance to see elegant architectures and experience old world charm.

Braga can be reached by train or via an organized tour (which also includes a stop in Guimaraes and a typical Portuguese lunch). Read our complete list of the Best Things To Do in Braga!


Spend a Day in Aveiro

View of Aveiro, Portugal

Aveiro is just a short train ride from Porto to the south, but may feel a world away. Known for its historic canals and traditional Moliceiros boats, Aveiro is a colorful town with a few splendid attractions and some remarkable architecture. Not to be missed is the town’s trademark pastry, Ovos Moles.

It’s easy to plan a day trip to Aveiro from Porto with our guide of the Top Things To Do – but visitors can also join a tour that includes a canal cruise in a Moliceiro boat.


Douro Valley Wine Day Trip

View of the many vineyards, Pinhao, Portugal,

The Douro Valley Wine Region to the east of Porto is a spectacular place to see during your trip to Portugal! Wine estates featuring terraced hills lined with vines dot the valley. Visitors are invited on tours to learn about the history and process of making Port Wine – all of which end with a sample of the product.

Travelers can take a train to the Douro Valley (but it’s about 2.5 hours each way) or join a tour that visits multiple winery estates and includes lunch and a river cruise. 


Porto Craft Beer

Pint at Catraio Craft Beer Shop Porto, Portugal

Back in Porto by the early evening, rehydrate and then get ready to sample some local craft beer! The robust Porto Craft Beer scene is in full swing, with brewery tap rooms and dedicated beer bars popping up across the city.

Try the beers at Letra – one of our favorite Portuguese craft brewers – or pop into Catraio, Bao Bab or Armazem da Cerveja, where they feature beers from around Portugal and Europe.


Casa Guedes for Dinner

Casa Guedes, Pernil Com Queijo Sandwich, Porto, Portugal

End your day with an incredibly satisfying meal at Casa Guedes Tradicional. A long-time favorite of both locals and visitors, Casa Guedes is best known for their succulent roasted pork sandwiches topped with gooey sheep cheese.

There is often a line that snakes out the door and down the street, but it moves pretty fast. Once you put in your order, grab a seat on the patio to enjoy your meal al fresco! Note: Casa Guedes does have 3 other locations in Porto, but the original spot is our choice.



Light House at Foz do Douro, Porto, Portugal

On the last day of your Mainland Portugal and Madeira Itinerary, soak in a few more sights around Porto. In the morning, travel to the stunning coastline and savor a seafood lunch. Back in the city by the afternoon, enjoy a different perspective on a river cruise from Porto, then watch sunset from a unique vantage point. Finally, indulge in one last Portuguese meal to end your vacation!


Coast of Porto

Surfers on the beach at Matosinhos, Porto, Portugal

In the morning, ride Tram #1 to the gorgeous coast near Porto. The 3-mile stretch of shoreline is marked with both golden sand beaches – as well as a few sights, like the Farolim de Felgueiras Lighthouse, the Sao Joao da Foz Fort, and the Parque da Cidade do Porto.

Use the seaside promenade to walk north towards the fishing village of Matosinhos (or hop on bus #500).


Fish Lunch in Matosinhos

Grilled Squid Fish Lunch in Matosinhos, Porto, Portugal

Renowned for its seafood restaurants (there are said to be more than 600 in the area!), the fisherman’s village of Matosinhos is the perfect place for a fresh fish feast. At lunchtime, the tantalizing scent of fish being grilled over hot coals wafts through the air – and diners are spoiled for choice of fare.

Many of the restaurants line Rua Herois de Franca (Restaurante Lage Senhor do Padrao is a top pick) – and nearly all of them feature seafood rice, octopus salad, savory sardines and whole grilled fish as menu items. That said, our favorite Matosinhos restaurant is O Lusitano for their fair prices and friendly service.


Porto River Cruise and Final Sights

Take a river cruise on the Douro River, Porto, Portugal

After that tasty seafood lunch, travel back to Porto in the afternoon for a river cruise. The Douro River is an integral part in the history of Porto – and you can get a better understanding of its importance on a relaxing boat ride.

The popular 6 Bridges Cruise is a classic tour of the Douro River – allowing passengers to marvel over the scenic views, while floating along the same route as the old Port Wine rabello boats.

Travelers can also use the time in the afternoon to visit anything that they skipped on the first day of Porto sightseeing. We highly recommend at least getting a peek inside the Se Cathedral, Majestic Café, Sao Bento Train Station and Palacio da Bolsa if you haven’t already.

Additionally, visiting the lovely Livraria Lello Bookstore, climbing to the top of Igreja dos Clerigos Bell Tower and seeing the golden gilded interior of Igreja Monumento de Sao Francisco are other activities to round out your time in Porto.


Porto Sunset at Virtudes Miradouro

Best Viewpoint, Porto, Portugal

In the late afternoon, make your way to Virtudes Park for one last fabulous view. The large lawn is certain to be buzzing with both locals and tourist and provides an ideal spot to watch the sunset on your last night in Portugal.

Grab a craft beer at Musa or a bottle of wine from the Spar convenience store – and then settle in for a sensational sunset.


Last Portuguese Dinner

Eat a meal of Traditional Porto Food, Portugal

For your final meal in Portugal, partake in a casual dinner in a truly classic place. Make reservations at Taberna Santo Antonio for an authentic, Portuguese homecooked-style meal.

Alternatively, book ahead to dine at Antunes for a hearty meal of traditional Portuguese meat or fish dishes. Bom Proveito!

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Map of Portugal

Our plan for what to see in Portugal features three destinations: Lisbon, Madeira and Porto. Use this Portugal Itinerary Map for the location of each place; for an interactive map, use this link to Google.

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Alternate Portugal Itineraries

Amazing view across the Douro River, Porto, Portugal

We’ve shared our ideas for how to plan a trip to Portugal for 10 days. However, we understand that not all travelers will have ten days in Portugal. Therefore, we are sharing a Portugal Suggested Itinerary for 5, 7 and 14 days.


Portugal 5 Day Itinerary

In our outlined Itinerary for Portugal for 10 Days, we squeeze in about as much sightseeing as possible. So, with half the time – only 5 days in Portugal – it is best to limit yourself to just one or two destinations.


Sample Portugal Itinerary 5 Days

In order to make the most of Portugal in 5 days, we recommend visiting only Lisbon and Porto.

Spend two days in Lisbon (with one possibly being a trip to Sintra) and then 3 days in Porto – as we outlined on Days 8 through 10 above.


Portugal 1 Week Itinerary

Travelers planning a Portugal One Week Itinerary can see quite a bit more – but we think it is still best to stay in only two destinations, and again, we would choose Porto and Lisbon.


Sample Portugal Itinerary 7 Days

With 7 Days in Portugal, we recommend following our timeline for both Lisbon and Porto (3 days in each city). However, choose one more day trip.

For example, travelers who are interested in nature could stay one more day in Lisbon – and take a day trip to Parque Natural da Arrábida. On the other hand, tourists who want to see both the Douro Wine Valley Estates and the canals in Aveiro should plan one more day in Porto.


Alternate Portugal Itinerary 10 Days

We’re confident that our 10 Days in Portugal Sample Itinerary showcases the top places and best cities in Portugal. However, some may want to stick to the mainland, rather than flying to Madeira Island, and we have some tips on how to do it!


10 Day Mainland Portugal Itinerary

There are quite a few different ways to plan a Mainland Portugal Itinerary for 10 Days. Which you choose will depend on your interests and whether you rent a car.


Portugal for 10 Days by Train or Plane

Travelers sticking to the mainland can plan a 10-Day Portugal by Train Itinerary that includes just Lisbon and Porto – with five days in each. Both cities offer more plenty to entertain you for 10 full days!

The fastest train between Lisbon and Porto takes just under 3 hours. There are several daily flights between Porto and Lisbon; the short and inexpensive flight takes about an hour.

However, train journeys in Portugal can also include additional stops. For example, you could plan a Portugal Train Itinerary for Lisbon, Coimbra, and Porto. We recommend spending 4 days in Lisbon, 2 days in Coimbra and 4 days in Porto.

Those interested in the beaches in the south of Portugal could opt to create a Porto, Lisbon, Algarve Itinerary by train. For this route, we advise spending 3 days in Lisbon, 3 days in the Algarve and 4 days in Porto. Note: the direct train between Faro and Porto takes 6 hours; it is also possible to fly between Faro and Porto.


Road Trip Itinerary for Portugal

Travelers who prefer to drive can create an excellent 10 Day Portugal Road Trip Itinerary. In our opinion, the best Portugal Self Drive Itinerary would include visiting top destinations between Lisbon and Porto. Popular choices are Obidos, Nazare, Batalha, Fatima, Coimbra and Aveiro.


Portugal 14 Day Itinerary

Those planning a 2 Week Portugal Itinerary can simply add more time in each of the 3 location that we recommend for 10 days…or pick a fourth destination!


Sample Portugal Itinerary 14 Days

We think an ideal way to spend 2 Weeks in Portugal is 4 days in Lisbon, 6 days on Madeira and 4 days in Porto.

Alternatively, the Algarve could be added in. Begin with our 10-day plan – and spend the final 4 days in the Algarve (Lagos, Albufeira and Faro are all good options).


Mainland Portugal and Azores Itinerary

While we highly recommend visiting Madeira Island in our 10-Day Travel Plan for Portugal, the Azores are also a very tempting destination. The top activities on the Azores are hiking the nature trails, soaking in hot springs and chasing waterfalls.

Travelers who would rather visit the Azores than Madeira can swap one island for the other. Flights are nearly as frequent to the Azores from the mainland as they are to Madeira.


Spain and Portugal Itinerary

Many tourist – especially those from overseas – plan a vacation to see both Portugal and Spain on the same trip.

Ideally, visitors would plan a 2-Week Spain-Portugal Itinerary; one week in each country. Use our guide for How To Spend 1 Week in Spain and the above advice for spending a week in Portugal.


Portugal Trip Travel Tips

Padrão dos Descobrimentos, Monument, Belem, Lisbon, Portugal

Are you ready to start planning a trip to Portugal? Of course you are! Stick with us because we have a few very important travel tips for Portugal that we want to share.


When is the Best Time to Visit Portugal

One of the biggest challenges is figuring out the best time to go to Portugal. The weather in Portugal tends to be mild and temperate in the winter and hot and hotter in the summer.

Porto and Madeira historically get the most rain in October, while Lisbon is wettest in November and December.

Taking this into account, we think it is best to travel to Portugal in springtime, when there is the highest chance for ideal weather.


How To Get to Portugal

You will likely travel to Portugal by plane. In addition to the ample flights to Portugal from numerous European cities, there are several direct flights that connect Portugal to the United States. In fact, many US to Portugal flights are now operating year-round!

For this 10 Day Itinerary in Portugal, we recommend starting in Lisbon and ending in Porto. Both cities have excellent international airports and direct flights from the USA. If possible, it would be ideal to fly into Lisbon (LIS) and out of Porto (OPO) or vice-versa; flying to Madeira (FNC) in between.

Read our hacks to scoring Great Deals on Flights and then jet over to Skyscanner to search for plane tickets to Portugal!


Best Way to Get around Portugal

Take a Basket Ride Funchal, Madeira, Portugal

In our Multi-Day Itinerary for Portugal, you will also need to fly from Lisbon to Madeira and Madeira to Porto. There are affordable, year-round flights between the island and the two cities, providing easy connections in Portugal for our trip plan.


Getting Around Portugal Destinations

As we have stated, you do not need a car for our Portugal Trip Itinerary. In fact, a car is completely unnecessary.

Lisbon and Porto both have excellent public transportation systems that include trains, metro lightrail, trams and buses. In Funchal there is a fine network of buses as well as limited service to the rest of Madeira.

All of the destinations in Portugal offer an array of organized tours. However, those who opt for traveling around Portugal with a car should read our advice for getting Cheap Car Rental Prices.


Where To Stay in Portugal for 10 Days

View of the classic architecture and Buildings of Porto, Portugal

Choosing accommodations is a big decision for your Portugal 10-Day Trip. Each destination offers an array of lodging options in a range of prices.

For short stops, we think it is ideal to stay in a centrally located hotel – and we are sharing our top pick for each city. Before booking, we recommend reading our advice for finding the Best Hotels at the Best Prices.


Lisbon Top Pick: My Story Hotel Augusta

My Story Augusta Hotel in Lisbon is located in the heart of the city. While the rooms are a tad on the small side, they are comfortable, clean and a good value. Plus, the included breakfast gets rave reviews. Check rates and availability! 


Best Hotel in Madeira: Barcelo

Ideally positioned in the Funchal Old Town, Barcelo Madeira Hotel is hip and chic. The air-conditioned rooms are stylishly decorated and the top amenities at the hotel are the fabulous rooftop pool and bar and the tasty included breakfast. Check rates for your stay! 


Porto Accommodation: Hotel da Bolsa

Hotel da Bolsa was were we stayed on our first trip to Porto in 2010 due to its exceptional location in the historic center. While the property could use some updating, rooms are clean, equipped with air-con and the price for the area really can’t be beat. Check rates for your stay!


Packing Tips for Portugal Trip Itinerary 10 Days

Hikers enjoying the view in East Madeira, Portugal

Finally, it’s time to discuss what to pack for a trip to Portugal. We dish all our packing advice on our Travel Packing Page. Need a packing checklist? Get a free one here! 


Proper Shoes for Portugal

Our 10 Days Itinerary Portugal covers some ground in more ways than one – so you will definitely want a good pair of walking shoes. Between the steep hills and cobblestone streets, it is wise to pack shoes that are comfortable, lightweight and have a good sole.

My everyday sneakers were great for walking around Portugal – and Kris was most comfortable in his trail shoes. You can also read our reviews on the Best Shoes for Travel


Best Travel Camera for Europe

Our Portugal Holiday Itinerary visits some of the most picturesque places in the country! In order to truly capture the beauty of Portugal, we recommend upgrading to a real travel camera for your trip.

We use a Canon Rebel with a 18-135mm lens – which we think it is one of the best budget cameras for traveling!


Functional Day Bag

With long days of sightseeing, travelers will want to carry a day bag to stow all of their everyday necessities. We use small backpacks with multiple zippered compartments – which are big enough to carry lightweight rain jackets, camera, refillable water bottles and snacks.

Use our reviews on the Top Day Packs for Travelers for ideas on which one is best suited for you.


Portugal Travel Insurance

Even though you carefully planned your perfect Portugal Itinerary, we all know how quickly things can go wrong. The airline can lose your luggage, someone can get sick while abroad or you may have to cancel your vacation in an emergency situation.

A good trip insurance policy may help cover the costs of unexpected travel woes. Check the coverage and affordable rates at World Nomads.


Portugal Travel Documents

Never forget the most important travel docs – like your passport, plane tickets, pre-booked excursions and completed Travel Planner – by keeping them secure in a Travel Organizer.


Start planning your trip to Portugal! Search for the lowest airfares, top accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing!  Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more advice – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!


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