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Our perfect Porto Itinerary features the best of the city and the Douro Valley region. From famous Porto attractions to Port Wine vineyards to prime viewpoints, our day-by-day guide shows visitors how to experience the top Porto sights in 1 to 5 days.
We created this itinerary when friends met up with us in Porto for a five day trip. We were excited to show them the amazing allure of one of our favorite European cities, so we packed their itinerary for Porto with our preferred spots, hidden gems and best eats. Now, we’re sharing it all with you!
Planning a Porto Itinerary
Planning a trip to Porto takes some effort because there really is so much to experience! While it is a relatively small city, intriguing Porto sights are spread far, wide, high and low. To really appreciate the charm of Porto it is sometimes best to simply wander down narrow lanes and trek up steep staircases. Porto beaches along the Atlantic Ocean are just a tram ride away and the vineyard covered Douro Valley is accessible by car, train or tour.
With so much to see and do in Porto, visitors need an excellent plan – and our Porto Itinerary provides just that!
How Many Days in Porto, Portugal?
Determining how many days to spend in Porto depends on your overall Portugal Itinerary (or your complete European Itinerary, for that matter). We think you need at least 2 days in Porto, but those staying longer will have no problem filling their days – and their stomachs!
Because visitors to Porto will likely be on different timelines, we have designed a Porto Itinerary for 5 days, with each day building on the previous. So if you are trying to see the Best of Porto in a Day, creating a 3-Day Porto Itinerary or have 5 Days to Spend in Porto, we’ve got you covered!
Itinerary for Porto Summary
We provide detailed information in our Itinerary of Porto below, but this summary highlights our recommended trip plan.
One Day in Porto
See top Porto sights and take a river boat ride, then sample Port wine and Fado music. Dinner at a local market.
Porto Itinerary 2 Days
Enjoy wandering Old Town, a seafood lunch in Matosinhos and coastal exploration. Eat a Francesinha for dinner and taste local craft beer.
3 Day Porto Itinerary
Take a day trip to the Douro Valley for a tour and tasting at a Port wine estate. Have a casual dinner at Porto’s most famous sandwich shop.
Porto Itinerary 4 Days
Spend the morning exploring the urban parks, then discover a Porto museum in the afternoon. Eat Petiscos – Porto-style tapas – for dinner.
5 Day Porto Itinerary
Embark on a day trip – either north to historic Braga or south to beautiful Aveiro. For dinner, feast on a traditional Portuguese meal.
Organizing your Porto Trip
As you make your plans, you will want to make sure you keep the details of your vacation to Portugal organized. We suggest using our Travel Planning Printables to keep track of the specifics of your trip!
Our Porto Itinerary
Our Porto Itinerary includes everything you need to plan your trip. In addition to our day-by-day sightseeing adventures, we also include advice on where to stay in Porto, hacks on what to pack and suggestions about getting there and around. Plus, we share additional Portugal travel tips that include Lisbon and other top destinations.
Save, Pin or Bookmark our Porto Itinerary to plan your trip to Portugal!
1-Day Porto Itinerary
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! Ambitious explorers with a good plan can squeeze in a lot of sightseeing when visiting Porto in one day, and we’ll show you how to maximize your time.
We recommend planning a Porto 1-Day Itinerary that features the highlights of the city and a taste of the local Portuguese cuisine. Start by seeing the sights on a walking tour and taking in the views on a river boat trip. End the day learning about Port wine, listening to Fado music and eating typical Porto fare.
Porto Walking Tour
Make your way to prime Porto sights on a walking tour through the historic old town center, which is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Visitors can use our free 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, the iconic Clerigos Tower, the incredible Livraria Lello book store and the recently renovated Mercado do Bolhão.
Our outlined walk also includes several stunning Porto viewpoints and the Porto Se Cathedral. Finish the walk by crossing the famous Luis the 1st Bridge to the port wine cellars in Gaia.
Alternative Option: Guided Tours in Porto
Travelers attempting to visit Porto in one day might find that it is easier to leave the details to someone else. There are an array of top-rated tours that aim to help tourists who are short on time get a full dose of the city.
Visitors can join a local on a Guided Walk of Porto – or upgrade the experience and combine sightseeing, culture, food and drink on a single guided tour.
Guests can participate in a Secret Porto Food Tour that includes locals-only spots or join an excursion that highlights the premier food and beverage on a Porto Food and Wine Tour. For a guided introduction to the latest from independent Porto breweries and traditional Portuguese snacks, book a spot on the Craft Beer and Food Tour.
Douro River Boat Tour
After your walking tour, set sail on the Douro River in a traditional boat. The incredibly popular 6 Bridge Boat Ride is a fantastic way to see Porto from an alternate vantage point. The 50-minute Rabello boat ride departs frequently from both the Ribeira and Gaia waterfronts.
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 enjoy a tasting while listening to the soulful sound of Fado.
Pro Tip: Tickets for the Port tasting and Fado show need to be booked in advance!
Dinner of Local Portuguese Cuisine
End your Porto One Day Itinerary with a feast of Portuguese fare at the Mercado Municipal de Gaia. The marketplace features stalls representing some of the celebrated restaurants in Porto. Visitors can sample an array of traditional Porto dishes – like Bacalhau com Natas, Bifanas and codfish cakes – as well as a selection of international cuisine.
Pro Tip: Use our guide on the Best Porto Food for advice on what to eat!
Most vendors at this food hall also sell local wine by the glass and, of course, Port. At the center of the market there is a Super Bock beer station (the locally brewed commercial beer) where guests can create tasting boards to match their palate.
Porto 2-Day Itinerary
With 2 Days in Porto, visitors have the opportunity branch out and see much more. In our Porto 2 Day Itinerary, you will go beyond the city center to explore the districts along the Atlantic Coastline.
Spend the afternoon eating fresh-caught fish, walking on the beach and savoring the salty sea air. Then, get back to Porto in the evening for a fun night of local bar snacks and craft beer!
Wandering the Ribeira District
Early risers can start their second morning by wandering and marveling in 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, watching the city come to life.
Explore Matosinhos and Eat Seafood
Next up on your Porto 2 Day Itinerary is the coastal neighborhood of Matosinhos. Travel to the Matosinhos District by Bus #500 or Metro. The ancient seaside settlement has roots as a fishing village, but has grown tremendously in modern times. In addition to the vast port and contemporary cruise ship terminal, the area features a wide beach that’s popular with sun worshippers and soul surfers.
However, Matosinhos is best know as the 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. We recommend eating grilled squid and other seafood delicacies at Restaurante O Lusitano.
After a filling lunch, spend some time on Matosinhos Beach and then walk off your meal with a stroll south along the coast toward Foz. Stop at the Sao Francisco Xavier Fort and consider a detour onto one of the trails at Parque da Cidade do Porto (Porto City Park).
Walk Along the Coast to Foz do Douro
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. Use caution and watch out for the large waves that sometimes splash over the railing and seawall!
From the Foz Lighthouse, visit the Fortaleza de São João da Foz and continue your trek through the pretty Jardim do Passeio Alegre Park. Next, hop on Classic Tram #1 for an old school ride back into Porto city center.
Virtudes Miradouro Viewpoint Park
Disembark the tram at the second to last stop, Alfandega, and perhaps pop into the World of Discoveries or Transport Museum. Then, wind your way up through the Miragaia Neighborhood (past Sao Pedro de Miragaia Church) to 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 to enjoy at the scenic panorama – or order a fresh craft beer from Musa.
Craft Beer in Porto
As in other European cities (like Budapest, Amsterdam and Paris), the Craft Beer Scene in Porto is coming on strong. Travelers who appreciate better beer will definitely want to make room in their Porto trip plan to sample a few.
We recommend heading to one of the dedicated craft beer bars in Porto. In addition to Musa, visitors can get a taste of locally produced microbrews at other nearby spots, like Cervejaria do Carmo, Baobab or Catraio Craft Beer Shop.
Pro Tip: We share more about what and where to drink in our Porto Craft Beer Guide.
Francesinha for Dinner
The Francesinha is a must-eat when visiting Porto in 2 days. Nearly every café and restaurant in the city makes the iconic, gut-busting sandwich, but we believe O Afonso makes the best ones. Fair warning; they’re big enough to share, especially with the essential order of fries!
Pro Tip: O Afonso is one of the featured restaurants in our guide of What and Where To Eat in Porto.
3 Days in Porto Itinerary
Building on our 2-Day Porto Itinerary, spend your third day discovering the Port Wine vineyards of the Douro Valley, where they have been growing and processing grapes for centuries.
To wrap up your 3 Days Porto Itinerary, you’ll return to the city for the evening and enjoy another classic and satisfying Portuguese meal at one of the top dining establishments!
Day Trip to Douro Valley
While the Douro Valley is nearby, a full day is required to tour the region. Those 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 provides minivan transportation, Port Wine tastings at two estates, an included lunch of typical cuisine and a Douro River cruise on a traditional Rabelo boat. Reserve your seat now!
DIY Porto-Douro Valley Itinerary
Rather than joining a tour during your Porto 3 Day Itinerary, you can opt to plan our own day trip from Porto to Pinhao. While the DIY trip will likely be limited to visiting only one winery that is within walking distance of the train station, it is still a great introduction to the most famous Portuguese wine region (and will cost a fraction of the price for a tour).
Depart Porto on the 9am train and arrive in Pinhao around 11:30. After a quick walk around town, indulge in a delicious traditional lunch at Segredos do Douro, which is right across from the train station.
Walk off the meal on a short jaunt through the vineyards towards Croft Port at Quinta da Roeda, where you can join an inexpensive vineyard tour and Porto wine tasting (book in advance). Afterwards, stroll back into Pinhao in time to catch the 4pm train to Porto.
Pro Tip: We would not recommend this as one of the things to do in Porto with kids, as the children on our vineyard tour and tasting were utterly bored and distracting to fellow guests.
Dinner in Porto
Complete your third day with a casual dinner at one of Porto’s most popular restaurants: Casa Guedes. The house specialty is a tender roasted pork and sheep cheese sandwich. It’s so simple, yet so divine!
Pro Tip: Casa Guedes now has four locations in Porto, but the original spot, Casa Guedes Tradicional, is our favorite.
Alternatively, take a break from traditional Portuguese food and try out some international cuisine. Our preferred place for a truly exceptional burger in Porto is Simplex Virtus, which also features a nice line-up of craft beer. If burgers aren’t your jam, check out TerraPlana, where they make incredible pizzas that pair nicely with their creative cocktails.
4 Days in Porto Itinerary
Building off our 3 Day Porto Itinerary, those with 4 Days in Porto can take in many of the sights that long weekend visitors miss! In our 4-Day Porto Itinerary, we delve into the attractions that are located west of the city center.
Partake in one of the best things to do in Porto, Portugal and discover the pretty parks and fabulous museums that are on the west side of the city. We recommend spending the morning at one (or more) of the urban parks and then enjoy the afternoon at one (or more) of the top Porto museums.
To help you tailor the day to your specific interests and budget, we are highlighting a few different options for what to see and do. All of these Porto points of interest can be reached either on foot or by public transit.
The elegant Jardins do Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens) rank as one of the best parks in Porto. The planted gardens are especially beautiful in the spring and summer – and peacocks freely roam the grounds year-round! It is free to enter the park and explore the winding trials and savor the views.
The charming Porto Botanical Garden is another gorgeous green space. The grounds are free to enter, but a ticket is required to enter the intriguing Biodiversity Gallery.
For those interested in exquisite architecture in a unique setting, check out the Agramonte Cemetery. While it may seem strange to include a graveyard as a city attraction, the cemeteries in Portugal are beautifully decorated with sculptures and mausoleums.
Travel Tip: After touring gardens in Porto, you have no doubt worked up an appetite. For an extravagant lunch, make reservations to dine at the Michelin Star Antiqvvm on the grounds of the Crystal Palace Gardens.
For something a little less formal (and a lot less expensive), go to the Mercado Bom Sucesso food hall. After lunch, walk around the Rotunda da Boavista park and admire the towering Monument to the Heroes of the Peninsular War.
The National Museu Soares dos Reis Art Museum, which is housed in an 18th century palace, hosts an excellent permanent collection of paintings, ceramics and sculptures.
Music lovers will not want to miss the Casa da Musica concert hall. A modern marvel of contemporary design, Casa da Musica offers guided tours of the unique space.
Museu Romantico da Quinta da Macieirinha is a historic house featuring period pieces. The museum sits on the west end of the Crystal Palace Garden.
The famed Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is so much more than just a museum. The complex includes multiple galleries, impressive architecture and sprawling gardens.
Travel Tip: Each Porto museum on our list requires a ticket to enter. The Porto Card provides free or discounted entry to these museums (and many other attractions in Porto!). Get complete details and prices here.
End your 4th day of Porto sightseeing with a lingering meal of drinks and food. Similar to tapas, Petiscos are small plates that are typically eaten while drinking and are intended to be shared. Bifana sandwiches, Alheira sausage and Octopus Salad are all common petiscos.
There are numerous restaurants and taverns in Porto that feature petiscos – from the hip Tapabento at the Sao Bento Train Station to the casual Gourmet da Emilia in Gaia. That said, we think Taxca is an ideal place for visitors to get an introduction to this particular style of eating in Porto.
5-Day Porto Itinerary
Those spending 5 days in Porto can embark on another day trip to see more Northern Portugal destinations. The best Porto day trips take visitors to stunning sights within an hour or two of the city – and we are highlighting some of the most popular options.
Alternatively, complete your Porto in 5 Days Itinerary by visiting any sights that you may have missed on the previous days – or navigate to a neighborhood you have yet to discover (like Bonfim or Lapa).
Tours and Day Trips from Porto
Conclude your 5 Day Itinerary for Porto, Portugal by either traveling north to Braga or south to Aveiro. Visitors can plan their own perfect Porto day trip – or forgo the details and meet other travelers by joining an organized tour. We have suggestions for both!
North to Braga, Portugal
Travel north of Porto to the historic and beautiful town of Braga. The Bom Jesus do Monte hilltop church – and it’s stunning staircase – is a top attraction. The Braga Old Town also boasts numerous opulently decorated churches, including the Braga Cathedral (which is the oldest in Portugal). Use our guide of the Top Things To Do in Braga to plan your time.
Alternatively, book an organized tour to two ancient cities: Braga and Guimaraes, Portugal. In addition to seeing the sights in Braga, participants also venture into the small town of Guimaraes to see the Medieval castle. Get more details!
South to Aveiro, Portugal
Travel south to Aveiro, the ‘Venice of Portugal, on a day trip from Porto using our Guide of Aveiro Things To Do. Take a cruise along the canals in a traditional Moliceiro boat and soak in the beauty of the colorful town. Rather go by tour? Learn more here!
More Porto Day Trip Ideas
While we think Braga and Aveiro are the best Porto day trip options, fellow travelers might be more interested in visiting a national park or seeing a religious pilgrimage site.
Peneda-Geres National Park
Take a trip northeast 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 the regional food on an all-day outing. Find out more!
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 in front of 3 children in 1917. Then, travel to Coimbra to visit one of Europe’s oldest universities. Book it now!
Traditional Portuguese Dinner
Be back in Porto for one last traditional meal of Portuguese food for dinner. Make advance reservations at Taberna Santo Antonio, where the rotating menu features in-season specialties. Alternatively, enjoy an epic family-style meal of roasted pork at Antunes. Bom Proveito!
Travel Tips for your Porto Itinerary
OK, we know you’re ready to make your Porto travel plans – but we have a few important tips for your trip. Whether you are staying in Porto for just one day, spending a weekend in Porto or looking to visit Porto in 3 days or longer, these tips will help you plan an enjoyable vacation to Portugal.
When is the Best Time to Travel to Porto?
Choosing the best time to go to Porto depends on a few different factors – like length of stay, desired activities and overall Portugal travel budget.
Summertime in Porto
Porto is busiest in the summer when the weather is hot and the long days are full of sunshine. June, July and August are ideal for swimming at the nearby beaches – however, the city is swarming with fellow tourists. Prices peak in the summertime, getting reservations will be difficult and touring the sights can test even the most patient of travelers. We avoid Porto in the summer.
Autumn and Spring in Porto
During autumn and spring Porto sees fewer visitors, which means hotel prices are lower and it’s easier to get into the top attractions. The weather can be damp and fickle, as Porto is actually one of Europe’s wettest cities, with October typically seeing the most rain. The ocean is also likely too cold for swimming at Porto beaches.
Porto During Winter
Winters in Porto are mild for Europe, but still a bit wet. If you’re prepared, winter can be a great time to visit as prices are low and there is no problem touring attractions and getting into restaurants. Plus, Porto in December is lavishing decorated for the holidays, like many of the Best European Christmas Destinations.
How To Get to Porto, Portugal
Porto can be reached by plane, train, bus, boat or car. We’ve traveled to Porto by train from Lisbon and plane from London and Funchal and departed on cheap flights to Barcelona and Madrid. Our preference is to fly – we are JetSettingFools, after all – and when we need to purchase plane tickets, we start our search for the lowest fares on Skyscanner. But, first, read our tips for Getting the Best Flights for Cheap.
The modern Porto Airport, Francisco Sa Carneiro Aeroporto (OPO), is located north of the city center. Served by major European airlines and low-cost carriers, there are also direct flights from the US to Porto year-round. After landing in Porto you should use the Metro, Uber or pre-arranged private transport to get to your accommodations.
Getting Around Porto
If you can handle the hills, Porto is fairly easy to get around on foot. Studying a Porto Map – like this one – in advance will aid you in navigating the city. Additionally, there is a robust network of public transportation in Porto that includes buses and rail.
Where To Stay in Porto, Portugal
There are numerous options when it comes to Porto accommodations. Guests can choose from luxurious Porto hotels, affordable apartments and bargain hostels.
On our first short visit to Porto, we stayed at the well-located Hotel da Bolsa in the Ribeira District. While the property could use a refurbishment, we loved being in the heart of Porto’s most popular tourist area and our upper-level room had a Douro River view!
For our subsequent extended stays in Porto, we opted to use Airbnb. For longer visits, we usually choose to stay in apartments, as they offer more space and a kitchen. However, for 5 Days or less in Porto, we recommend booking a centrally located hotel.
What You Need For Your Trip to Portugal
Now onto our packing hacks for your trip to Porto. We share more packing advice – like why Packing Cubes are Essential along with our Ultimate Packing List – on our dedicated Packing Tips Page. Also, go ahead and grab your Free Packing Checklist!
Travel Shoes for your Porto Trip
Our Porto Itinerary includes a lot of walking – it’s really the ideal way to see the city. Just be sure to pack a pair of comfortable travel shoes so you’re ready for the hills, stairs and cobblestones! I like to wear lightweight walking shoes, like these by Columbia – and Kris prefers these trail shoes by Merrell.
Appropriate Clothing to Pack for Porto
As we explained above, Porto experiences all four seasons and a fair amount of rain any time outside of summer. For the long, hot and sunny summer days, bring loose-fitting, breathable clothes – and a swimsuit if you plan to spend time at the beach in Porto. During winter, spring and especially autumn in Porto, it is advisable to bring a travel umbrella and packable raincoat.
Best Travel Camera to Photograph Porto
Porto is incredibly photogenic! We recommend capturing the stunning sights with a real travel camera rather than your phone. We travel with a Canon Rebel and a 18-135mm lens. It’s also a fantastic budget camera option for beginner photographers, as it comes with a bundle of accessories!
WiFi in Porto
Staying connected is important for things like looking up directions, ordering an Uber, checking restaurant reviews and making reservations. We use Pocket WiFi for Travel so that we can be connected the minute we land off that long flight.
With this GlocalMe Hotspot, you can connect up to ten devices at one time; making it perfect for families or groups of friends traveling together. You can either purchase SIM cards or buy eSIM data online in advance. Another great feature is that it doubles as a power bank for when your phone batteries need a boost!
Day Pack for your Trip to Porto
Travel Insurance for Portugal
More Tips for your Trip to Portugal
The itinerary that we outline above provides a good starting point for planning the Porto segment of your Portugal trip. Many travelers, however, prefer to visit multiple Portugal destinations – like Lisbon, Madeira Island and the Azores. Our trip planning guides cover the top places to visit in Portugal!
Lisbon and Porto Itinerary
Travelers designing a Porto to Lisbon Itinerary can use our detailed 3-Days in Lisbon Guide for advice on what to see and do – and we highly recommend including a Day Trip To Sintra! We provide more tips for Lisbon in these articles:
- The Best Lisbon Viewpoints and Most Beautiful Lisbon Churches
- What To See in Belem, Portugal
- How To See Lisbon’s Cristo Rei Up Close
- Best Free Lisbon Things To Do
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 in your Portugal Itinerary! For example, if you are planning a Week in Porto Itinerary, rather than spending all 7 days in Porto, consider splitting your time between Porto and Lisbon.
Add Madeira for a Longer Trip to Portugal
Have more time to explore Portugal? Fantastic! How about adding on an island adventure to create the Ultimate Itinerary for Portugal? It is simple enough with several direct, short flights from Porto to Madeira Island. Get started with our Best Things To Do in Funchal (including where to eat) and then plan your complete Madeira Itinerary!
We Want To Know: Is there anything you would add to our Porto Itinerary? Give us your tips and recommendations in the comments below!
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