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When our friends met us in Porto, Portugal, we were super excited to show them the top sights in one of our favorite European cities! For their trip to Portugal, we created a perfect Porto Itinerary that features the best of the city and the Douro Valley region. We are now sharing our day-by-day guide so that fellow travelers can experience the Top Porto Sights and attractions in 1-5 days.
Planning a Trip to Porto, Portugal
While Porto is a relatively small city, making a trip to Porto that flows easily does take some planning. Top Porto sights are spread out – and to really appreciate the charm of Porto it is sometimes best to simply wander down the lanes and up it’s steep staircases. Porto beaches along the Atlantic Ocean are just a tram ride away and the vineyard covered Douro Valley is easily accessible by train.
With so much to see and do in Porto, visitors need a good plan – and we feel our Porto Itinerary provides just that!
That said, you will want to make sure you keep the details of your vacation to Portugal organized – and the best way to do it is with a travel planner. Consider using our Travel Planning Printables to keep track of the specifics of your trip!
How Many Days in Porto, Portugal?
Determining how many days to spend in Porto depends on your overall Portugal Itinerary (or your overall European Itinerary, for that matter). We think visitors need at least 2 days in Porto, but travelers staying longer will have no problem filling their days (and their stomachs!).
Because some visitors to Porto will be limited on time and others are staying longer than a few days, we have designed a Porto Itinerary for 5 days, with each day building on the previous one. Therefore, if you are trying to see the best of Porto in a day, want to create a 3-Day Porto Itinerary or have 5 days to spend in Porto, we’ve got you covered!
Our Porto Itinerary
Our Porto Itinerary includes everything you need to plan your Porto trip. In addition to our day-by-day sightseeing adventures, we also include tips on where to stay in Porto, hacks on what to pack for your trip and tips about getting there…and around.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Porto Itinerary so that you can access it as you plan your trip to Portugal!
One Day in Porto
We don’t think one day in Porto, Portugal is enough…but if it is all the time you have, then we recommend making the absolute most of it! Visitors planning a Porto 1-Day Itinerary can see the highlights and get a taste of the local Portuguese cuisine.
1-Day Porto Itinerary
Visiting Porto in one day might see like a difficult task, but visitors can squeeze a lot of sightseeing into their day.
Porto Walking Tour
Route your way to the best Porto sights on a walking tour through the historic old town center of the city (which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site). Visitors can use our step-by-step, self-guided Porto Walking Tour that navigates to the top attractions.
Must-see Porto sights along the route are the beautiful Sao Bento Station (make sure to go inside Sao Bento Train Station to see the tiles), the iconic Clerigos Tower, the incredible Livraria Lello book store and the Mercado Ferreira Borges.
Our outlined walk also includes several stunning Porto viewpoints over the city center and the Porto Cathedral, called the Se Cathedral. Finish the walk by crossing the famous Luis the 1st bridge to the port wine cellars in Gaia.
Alternatively, guests visiting Porto can leave the details of the city centre walk to someone else and join a Guided Tour of Porto – find out more here!
Port Tasting with Fado Performance
In the evening, combine two of Portugal’s best activities – Port Wine Tasting and a Fado Performance – at a Porto wine cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia. First, learn about how Port Wine is made on a guided cellar tour, then get a taste of two Port Wines while listening to the soulful sound of Fado.
Pro Tip: Tickets for the Port tasting and Fado show need to be booked in advance!
While Fado was born in the Alfama district in Lisbon, but there are many Fado singers in Porto, as well. Visitors have several options for listening to a live Fado performance, even with a Porto Itinerary 1 Day. Options include Fado with Dinner (get the details), Fado on Stage (pre-book now!) and Fado with Lunch (only on certain Saturdays, find out more!).
Dinner of Local Portuguese Cuisine
End your Porto One Day Itinerary with a feast of typical Portuguese fare at the Mercado Municipal de Gaia. The marketplace features stalls representing some of the best restaurants in Porto. Visitors can sample an array of traditional Porto dishes – like Bacalhau com Natas, bifanas and codfish cakes.
Most vendors also sell local wine by the glass (and the bottle) and, of course, Port Wine. At the center of the market there is a Super Bock beer station (the locally brewed commercial beer) where guests can build their own tasting boards!
Pro Tip: Read more about what and where to eat in our Porto Food Guide!
Porto Itinerary 2 Days
With 2 Days in Porto, visitors have the opportunity branch out and see much more! In our Porto 2 Days Itinerary, travelers will go beyond the city center to explore the towns along the Atlantic Coastline.
Porto 2-Day Itinerary
Travelers who visit Porto in 2 days can spend the second day eating fresh-caught fish, walking on the beach and savoring the salty sea air. Then, be back in Porto in the evening for a fun night of local bar snacks and craft beer.
Wandering the Ribeira District
Early risers can start the second day of their Porto Two Day Itinerary by wandering the ancient lanes of the Ribeira district. Enjoy a breakfast of local pastries and fresh squeezed orange juice. Spend an hour or two getting lost in the tangle of Porto streets and lanes and watching the city wake up.
Explore the Matosinhos Neighborhood
A little before noon, catch Bus #500 to the Matosinhos district. The ancient port city has a wide beach and is well-known as the best place to eat fresh grilled seafood in Porto. At lunchtime, the restaurants (of which there are more than 600 in the small community!) fire up their grills and cook fresh fish over hot coals.
After a filling lunch, spend some time on the Matosinhos Beach – and maybe even get in for a swim. Then, walk off your meal with a stroll south along the beach, heading toward Foz. Stop at the Sao Francisco Xavier Fort or detour onto one of the trails at the Parque da Cidade do Porto (Porto City Park).
Walk along the Coast at Foz
In Foz, continue walking south along the rugged shoreline, passing through the picturesque Pergola da Foz. For a sweet treat, stop of Tavi Confeitaria. Visit the Sao Joao Baptista Fort and walk out to the 19th century Felgueiras Lighthouse (just watch out for the large waves that sometimes splash over the railing!). From there continue your walk through the pretty Jardim do Passeio Alegre Park and then hop on Tram #1 for a classic ride back into Porto city center.
Virtudes Viewpoint Park
Disembark the tram at the second to last stop, Alfandega (near the World of Discoveries Museum) and pop into Armazem antique store for a quick look around at some of the interesting finds. Then, wind your way up through the neighborhood (past Sao Pedro de Miragaia Church) to the Virtudes Park. The west-facing viewpoint is a popular hangout – especially at sunset – for amazing views over Porto.
Pro Tip: Join Porto locals along with other visitors and grab a bottle of Portuguese wine and some snacks from the Spar Market and enjoy the atmosphere and the view!
Craft Beer in Porto
The Craft Beer Scene in Porto is coming on strong, as in other European cities like Budapest, Amsterdam and Paris. Get a taste of locally produced microbrews at two nearby spots: Carmo Brewery and Catraio Craft Beer Shop.
Pro Tip: Find out more about what and where to drink in Porto with our dedicated article: Porto Craft Beer Bars.
Francesinha for Dinner
The Francesinha is a must-eat when in Porto! Nearly every café and restaurant in the city makes the iconic, gut-busting sandwich, but we think O Afonso makes the best ones!
Pro Tip: O Afonso is one of the featured restaurants in our guide of What and Where To Eat in Porto.
Porto Itinerary 3 Days
Building on our 2-Day Porto Itinerary, spend your third day in Porto discovering the Port Wine vineyards of the Douro Valley.
3 Days in Porto Itinerary
In a Porto 3-Day Itinerary, visitors have time to visit the beautiful Douro Valley where Port Wine grapes are grown and processed – just as they have been for centuries. To end your 3 Days Port Itinerary, you’ll return to the city for the evening and enjoy another classic and satisfying Portuguese meal and delicious drinks!
Day trip to Douro Valley
While the Douro Valley is nearby, a full day is required to explore the region. Travelers visiting Porto in 3 days can join one of the highly rated guided Douro Valley tours or plan their own trip.
The most popular guided tour includes minivan transportation, Port Wine tastings at two estates, an included lunch of typical Douro cuisine and a Douro River cruise on a traditional Rabelo boat ride. Reserve your seat now!
DIY Porto-Douro Valley Itinerary
Rather than join a tour during your Porto 3 Day Itinerary, you can plan your own day trip from Porto to Pinhao – which is what we opted to do. While we were limited to only visiting one winery (that was within walking distance of the train station), we felt it was a great introduction to the most famous Portuguese wine region.
Departing on the 9am train, we arrived in Pinhao around 11:30. After a quick walk around town, we indulged in a delicious traditional lunch at Segredos do Douro (right across from the train station).
We walked off our meal on a short jaunt through the vineyards to Croft Port at Quinta da Roeda, where we were lucky to join an inexpensive vineyard tour and Porto wine tasting. After our tasting, we walked back into town and caught the 4pm train back to Porto.
Pro Tip: We would not recommend this as one of the things to do in Porto with kids. While we were completely enamored by the hillside vineyard landscapes and enthralled by the process of making Port Wine, the young children on our tour were utterly bored.
Dinner in Porto
End your 3 days in Porto with dinner at a cozy establishment. Tapabento, next to the Porto train station, comes highly recommended, but reservations are likely necessary in order to get a seat. For a dinner of gourmet snacks and handmade cocktails, try the comfy and hip Drogaria Bar. Or, for a break from traditional Portuguese food, go to TerraPlana Cafe, where they make incredible pizzas served alongside craft beer and creative cocktails!
Porto Itinerary 4 Days
Building off our 3 Day Porto Itinerary, visitors with 4 days in Porto can take in many of the sights that weekend visitors miss! In our 4-Day Porto Itinerary, we delve into the attractions that are west of the city center.
4 Days in Porto Itinerary
On the fourth day of a Porto Itinerary, discover some of the best parks and museums that are on the west side of Porto.
Porto Museums and Parks
Begin your day at the Museu Soares dos Reis Art Museum housed in an 18th century palace (ticket required). Next, explore the winding trails of the elegant Jardins do Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens – free to enter) and consider visiting the Museu Romantico da Quinta da Macieirinha (historic house featuring period pieces, ticket required) that sits on the west end of the garden.
For an extravagant lunch, dine at the Michelin star Antiqvvm or, for something a little less formal (and a lot less expensive), go to the Mercado Bom Sucesso marketplace. After lunch, walk around the Rotunda da Boavista park and admire the Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War.
Across the street is the modern Casa da Musica concert hall, which is open for tours (ticket required). Nearby is the Agramonte Cemetery (free to enter) that is worth visiting – especially for a break from tourist crowds. While it may seem strange to include a cemetery as a city attraction, the cemeteries in Portugal are beautifully decorated with exquisite architecture and sculptures. Another pleasant place to visit is the Porto Botanical Garden, which is small (but free).
Even further west is the famed Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. More than just a museum, the complex includes multiple galleries, unique architecture and sprawling gardens. We have yet to visit, as the price is quite steep, but we heard that visitors can easily spend half a day exploring this Porto museum.
End your 4th day of Porto sightseeing with a lingering meal of drinks and food. Similar to tapas, Petiscos are small plates of food that are typically eaten while drinking and can be shared. Bifana sandwiches, Alheira sausage and Octopus Salad are all common petiscos. There are numerous restaurants and taverns that feature petiscos, but we think Taxca is an ideal place for visitors to get an introduction to this particular style of eating in Porto.
Porto Itinerary 5 Days
Visitors staying 5 days in the city will find that there are still more things to do in Porto! From neighborhood exploration to Porto day trips, travelers have an array of choices on how to spend their final day.
5-Day Porto Itinerary
On the last day of a 5 days in Porto, join a tour to learn more about the city or venture out on a day trip. Alternatively, visit any sights that you may have missed in Days 1-4 – or navigate to a neighborhood you have yet to discover (like Bonfim or Cedofeita).
Tours and Day Trips from Porto
One of these highly-rated tours might be the perfect Porto day trip to add to your 5 Day Itinerary Porto, Portugal!
Douro River Boat Tour
If you were not able to squeeze the 6 Bridge Boat Tour into your first day, consider adding it to your last day! The 50-minute boat ride departs on the hour from the Ribeira waterfront.
Food and Drink Tours In Porto
Learn more about the culture of food and drink in the city on a guided tour. Guests can join a local on a Secret Food Tour that includes locals only spots or join a tour that highlights the best food and beverage in the city on a Food and Wine Tour. For a guided introduction to locally brewed beer, book a spot on the Craft Beer and Food Tour.
Peneda-Geres National Park
Take a trip north of Porto and immerse yourself in nature at the Peneda-Geres National Park. Hike mountain trails, swim in blue lagoons, visit small villages and get a taste of local food on an all-day trip from the city. Find out more!
Braga and Guimaraes, Portugal
Learn about the history of Portugal in two ancient cities: Braga and Guimaraes. In Braga, visit the Cathedral and old city center, then venture into the small town of Guimaraes to see the Medieval castle. Get more details!
Travel south of Porto to Aveiro, the ‘Venice of Portugal, on a half-day tour from the city. Take a cruise along the city’s canals in a traditional Moliceiro boat and take in the beauty of the charming town. Learn more here!
Fatima and Coimbra, Portugal
Make the pilgrimage to Fatima, one of the most important religious sites in Portugal where the Virgin Mary is said to have appeared to 3 children in 1917. Then, travel to Coimbra to visit one of Europe’s oldest universities. Book it now!
Travel Tips for your Porto Visit
As you start to make your Porto travel plans, we have a few tips for your trip. Whether you are staying in Porto for just one day, spending a weekend in Porto or plan to visit Porto in 3 days or longer, these tips will help you plan your time in the city.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Porto?
Choosing the best time to go to Porto depends on a few different factors – like desired activities and your overall Portugal travel budget.
Summertime in Porto
Porto is busiest in the summer when the weather is hot and the sun is shining. June, July and August are ideal for swimming at the nearby beaches – however, the city is swarming with travelers. Prices go up in the summertime and crowds are thick.
Autumn and Spring
During autumn and spring Porto sees far fewer guests, which means hotel prices are lower and it’s easier to get into the city’s top attractions. The weather tends to be sunny, but it is too cold for swimming at Porto beaches.
Porto during Winter
Winters in Porto are mild, but wet. Wintertime visitors need to plan ahead with wet weather gear, like a travel umbrella and raincoat. Otherwise, winter is a great time to visit as prices are low and there is no problem getting into attractions and restaurants.
How To Get to Porto, Portugal
Porto can be reached by plane, train, bus, boat or car. We traveled to Porto by plane from London and departed on a flight to Madrid. Our preference is to fly – we are JetSetting Fools, after all! When we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the best prices on Skyscanner.
The Porto Airport, Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO), is located north of the city. Visitors to Porto can use public transport, Uber, taxis or pre-arranged private transport to get to and from the city.
Getting Around Porto
Despite the hills, Porto is a fairly easy city to get around on foot. A Porto Map – like this one! – will aid in getting around the city. Additionally, there is a network of public transportation that includes buses, trams and metro lines. Find out more on the official Porto transport website.
Where To Stay in Porto, Portugal
There are numerous options when it comes to Porto accommodations. Guests can choose from luxurious hotels, affordable Airbnb apartments and bargain hostels.
On our first trip to Porto, we had a short visit and decided to stay at the well-located Hotel da Bolsa in the city center. We loved being in the heart of Porto’s tourist district and our upper-level room had a Douro River view.
Start your search for the best hotels in Porto on Booking.com!
On our most recent trip, we opted to stay in an Airbnb apartment in the Bonfim neighborhood. Close to many sights and some of the best restaurants in Porto, we thought it was an ideal location to stay. We often choose to stay in apartments, rather than hotels, because they usually offer more space (including a kitchen and outdoor space) for less money.
Check prices and availability for apartments on Airbnb!
What You Will Need For Your Trip to Portugal
We also have a few last travel tips and our best packing hacks for your trip to Porto! We share more packing advice – like Why Packing Cubes are Essential and my Ultimate Packing List – on our Packing Tips blog page. Need a Packing Checklist? Get your FREE Packing Checklist here!
Travel Shoes for your Porto Trip
Our Porto Itinerary includes a lot of walking – it’s the best way to see the city sights! Be sure to pack a pair of comfortable city walking shoes for your trip. I like to wear lightweight shoes, like these by Columbia – and Kris is most comfortable exploring cities in his Merrell shoes.
Appropriate Clothing to Pack for Porto
Porto experiences all four seasons, but the weather tends to be fairly mild. Summers are sunny and can be hot, so bring loose-fitting, breathable clothes – and a swimsuit if you plan to spend time at the beach. Winters are cool and rainy; therefore, it is advisable to bring a travel umbrella or packable raincoat. Spring and Autumn are both pleasant, but there is a greater chance of rain than in the summertime.
Best Travel Camera to Photograph Porto
Porto is incredibly photogenic! We strongly recommend capturing the sights of the city with a real camera (rather than your phone camera). We travel with a Canon Rebel and use an everyday 18-135mm lens. A fantastic budget camera option for beginner photographers, the Canon Rebel comes with a bundle of accessories!
WiFi in Porto
Staying connected is important for things like looking up directions, ordering an Uber or checking restaurant reviews. We use a GlocalMe Mobile Wifi Hotspot so that we can be connected anywhere we travel!
With the GlocalMe hotspot, we can connect up to ten devices at one time (making it perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together). We can either purchase SIM cards for the device or purchase data online (so that it is available the instant we land!). Another great feature is that it doubles as a power bank for late in the day when our phone batteries need a boost.
Day Pack for your Trip to Porto
We highly recommend carrying a great day bag to organize and secure all of your everyday travel items. While we’re talking bags, get our advice on the Backpack Vs Suitcase debate!
Travel Insurance for Portugal
In addition to insuring trip cancellations, travel insurance may cover lost luggage, unexpected illness or injury while abroad. Find out more about coverage and rates with World Nomads.
Choosing Between Porto or Lisbon?
Do you need to choose between Lisbon or Porto? To be honest, it would be difficult for us to pick one city over the other. If at all possible, we would recommend including both cities in your Portugal itinerary! For example, if you are planning a Week in Porto Itinerary, rather than spending all 7 days in Porto, we recommend splitting your time between Porto and Lisbon.
Travelers designing a Porto to Lisbon Itinerary can use our detailed 3-Day Lisbon Itinerary for tips on what to see and do (including a Day Trip To Sintra!).
Start planning your trip to Portugal! Search for the lowest airfares, the best accommodations and fun things to do…then start packing! Want more travel planning tips? Head over to our Travel Planning page for more information and tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides page!
We Want To Know: Is there anything you would add to our Porto Itinerary? Give us your best tips and recommendations in the comments below!
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