Porto Walking Tour: A Self-Guided Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal by JetSettingFools.co

Porto Walking Tour: DIY Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal

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Porto, Portugal is a stunningly beautiful city…and the absolute best way to experience it is on foot! We’ve created an easy-to-follow, Self-Guided Porto Walking Tour that includes all the top Porto sights. In addition to our step-by-step directions, we include a helpful Porto map at the end of this article.

 

Free Walking Tour Porto: A Self-Guided Porto Walk

Our Self-Guided Porto Free Walking Tour is perfect for visitors who prefer to discover at their own pace. For each Porto attraction, we include information about the sight, our insider tips and a location link.

 

About Our Free Tour of Porto, Portugal

We cover some ground in our Porto Walking Tour! There are 26 sights highlighted in our City Sightseeing Porto Tour. Plus, an additional 20+ attractions that are noted along the route. Visitors can enter these top Porto sights (some require a ticket) – or simply enjoy the walk and the atmosphere.

Our walking tour of Porto is a little over 5 miles in length. How long your Porto City Tour will take depends on your pace and how many sights you decide to enter. The Porto walking route itself – without visiting any churches or climbing the Porto bell tour – could take as little as 3 hours. However, travelers who want to step inside the markets and stop to see the cathedral interior could easily spend an entire day on our Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal.

Visitors who would prefer a leisurely pace can divide our route into 2 or 3 different Walking Tours in Porto. Below, we note the best places to break up the route into multiple days of Porto sightseeing.

 

Guided Porto Tours

While we think our Porto Self-Guided Walking Tour is the best way to explore the city. There are also numerous Porto Tours to consider. These include Porto Wine Tours, the Hop On Hop Off Porto Bus and Porto Boat Tours. We highlight top rated tours in Porto, Portugal that are led by local guides at the end of the article. 


 

Walking Tour of Porto: What You Will Need

Best Sights, Porto Walking Tour: A DIY Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal

Before you set off on your walking tour in Porto, make sure you have some of these travel essentials!

 

Walking Shoes 

Not only is Porto a hilly city, but many of the streets are cobblestone and some sidewalks have uneven pavement. For our DIY Free Porto Walking Tour, make sure you wear comfortable travel shoes. I wear these lightweight shoes by Columbia – and Kris prefers Merrell trail shoes for urban walks.

 

Travel Camera 

Don’t forget your camera for your Porto sightseeing tour. The city is filled with incredible architecture and quaint lanes – and you will want to capture it all! Rather than relying on your phone, we recommend upgrading to an actual camera for high quality photos. We carry a Canon Rebel with an everyday 18-135mm lens that takes excellent photos and is a fantastic DSLR budget camera option for travel.

 

Porto Weather Gear & Day Pack

Being so close to the sea, the weather in Porto can change quickly. While walking around Porto, we recommend bringing a travel umbrella or packable raincoat. In the summertime, a travel hat can provide protection from the sun – and it’s always a good idea to apply some sunscreen! As you explore Porto, you will also want to carry a great day bag to organize all your essential travel items.

 

WiFi in Porto

Our DIY Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal is highlighted with information, tips and maps. In order to access our advice while touring Porto, it is necessary to have a WiFi connection.

While cell phone plans can be adjusted for data usage in other countries, it can be extremely expensive. Instead, we use a GlocalMe Mobile WiFi Hotspot – which is not only ideal for free walking tours, but for frequent travels abroad.

Perfect for families or friends traveling together, the hotspot can connect up to 10 devices and supports both SIM cards or eSIM data packages. We would have literally been lost in Porto without it!

 

An Actual Map of Porto

Call us old-fashioned, but even with a Wi-Fi connection, we think it is a good idea to carry a Porto map – like this one – when touring the city. In fact, we think it is best to purchase a map in advance of your trip so that you can study the layout. You might even prefer to highlight our Porto Walking Tour route so that you can easily follow along. 

 

Portugal Travel Insurance

Travel insurance may protect against flight cancellations or lost luggage, as well as when travelers get ill or injured abroad. Find out more about rates and coverage at World Nomads.

 

Helpful Information about Porto, Portugal

We share heaps of pertinent information throughout our outlined Self Guided Porto Walk. That said, we offer even more detailed advice in these Porto Travel Articles. 


 

Porto Walking Tour Itinerary

Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal

Visitors can choose to complete our self-guided Porto walk without making any stops or they can opt to enter attractions along the way. That said, it is important to check opening hours before you set out to ensure that you can visit the sights of interest during your walk. Alright, lace up your shoes, because it’s time to start your DIY Free Porto Walking Tour!

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

 

#1 Liberdade Square and Statue of Dom Pedro IV

Liberdade Square and Statue of Dom Pedro IV, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Start your city tour of Porto in Praca da Liberdade – or Liberty Square. Designed in the 18th century, the square long served as the central hub of political, economical and social life in Porto. Ringed by opulent architecture that dates to the early 1900s, the south end of the square is marked by a large equestrian statue dedicated to King Peter IV. Note: The area’s currently a construction site for a new Porto Metro station.

Called ‘The Liberator’ and ‘The Soldier King’, King Peter IV is credited for freeing Brazil from colonization and fighting for a constitutional monarchy in Portugal. He so loved the people of Porto that he left them the gift of his heart, which today is housed in the Lapa Church.

Stroll north from the King Pedro IV Statue along Avenida do Aliados – and perhaps pop into the Imperial McDonald’s, which is often touted as the most beautiful McDonald’s restaurant in the world.

Directions: Walk to the City Hall building on the north end of the square.

 

#2 Porto Sign and Camara Municipal

City Hall, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Featuring a 230-foot-tall tower and carillon clock, the Camara Municipal – or City Hall Porto – is a must-see landmark on Porto city tours. Construction of the building began in 1920, but it wasn’t completed and finally occupied until 1957. Visitors can go inside to see the lavishly decorated lobby and get an elevated view of Praca da Liberdade.

Sitting in front of the City Hall building is a large, blue Porto sign. Visitors often climb on the sign to get their photo taken – but we prefer the view from in front of the fountain across the street, where you can see both the sign and City Hall.

Directions: Walk around City Hall to the north side. There you will find a pleasant square and the Trindade Church.

 

#3 Igreja da Santissima Trindade

Igreja da Santissima Trindade, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Continue your Porto City Walking Tour at the church behind City Hall. Built in the 19th century, the Igreja da Santissima Trindade – or Holy Trinity Church – features a neoclassical façade and rising bell tower. The interior of the church is decorated with marble and gilded woodwork.

Directions: Walk east on Rua de Fernandes Tomas to the Bolhao Market. Along the route, you will pass by A Favorita do Bolhao (#783 Rua de Fernandes Tomas), a traditional grocery store – stocked with tinned sardines and typical Porto eats – which has been open for more than 80 years. Step inside and take a look!

 

#4 Mercado do Bolhao

Vendor stalls at the new Mercado do Bolhao, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Established in 1914 and recently reopened after a complete renovation, the Bolhao Market is a bustling building where all the best tours in Porto make a stop. Visitors can set off on a shopping spree down the lanes of stalls on the ground floor. Then get a bite to eat from vendors who sell local prepared delicacies and regional wine by the glass. While many choose to gather on the stairs on the north end, the Porto Bolhao Market also features several sit-down restaurants on the top floor.

Directions: Exit on the north side from the upper floor and walk east to the Capela de Santa Catarina.

 

#5 Capela das Almas (or Capela de Santa Catarina)

Capela das Almas Church, Porto, Portugal

MAP. One of the most beautiful churches in Portugal, Capela das Almas is the next stop on our Best Porto Walking Tour. Also known as Capela de Santa Catarina – or Chapel of Souls and Chapel of Saint Catherine – the building dates to the early 18th century.

In 1929, the church was completely covered in the characteristic blue and white painted tiles, called azulejos. Although small, visitors should step inside to see the interior as well. It’s one of the best free things to do in Porto!

Directions: Walk south on Rua de Santa Catarina, the famous pedestrian-only Porto shopping street.

 

#6 Rua de Santa Catarina (Shopping Street Porto)

Rua de Santa Catarina Shopping Street

MAP. A nearly 5000-foot-long shopping street, Rua de Santa Catarina is lined with name-brand stores, specialty shops, restaurants and cafes. The area is one of the top places to go in Porto – not only for shopping, but simply for strolling. 

As you meander south along the promenade, stop into Fabrica da Nata for a traditional Portuguese egg custard tart fresh from the oven. At the next intersection (R. Formosa), detour a few steps to the west and step back in time at the traditional A Perola do Bolhao shop where they sell sweet treats, cured meats, wine and deli items.

Directions: Continue walking south on Rua de Santa Catarina to Majestic Cafe (which will be on your left).

 

#7 Majestic Café

Classic Coffee, Majestic Cafe, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Porto’s glamorous Majestic Café was first opened in 1921 under the name Café Elite. The stylish establishment attracted Porto’s most renowned citizens – from politicians to poets. In the 1980s, the building was declared a Cultural Heritage Site, even though it was in a state of disrepair after being left abandoned.

Since its full renovation, the Majestic Café has been restored to its former glory. Tuxedoed waiters greet patrons at the door and the coffee is ridiculously expensive for Porto, but the french toast gets rave reviews and the lavish interior is truly a sight to behold. All in all, it’s a great place to take a quick break during your Porto Walking Tour Self-Guided Route. 

Directions: Continue walking south to Rua de Passos Manuel, and turn left. Walk east past the art deco Coliseu Porto Ageas theater to Praca dos Poveiros square. Pass through the square to the quaint park on the southeast corner.

 

#8 Jardim Marques de Oliveira Porto

Card Games, Jardim Marques de Oliveira, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Porto’s oldest park, Jardim Marques de Oliveira, opened in 1834. The lovely space features an old gazebo, fountains, statues, benches and bright flowers. An ideal place to rest weary feet, the park is also the meeting place for older gentlemen who come to play cards.

Several of our favorite restaurants are located in the area around the park – like Casa Guedes, Venham Mais 5 and Cafe Santiago. If you’ve managed to hold out for lunch, we recommend eating at one of these iconic spots. Find all of our foodie tips in our guide to Porto Food: What and Where To Eat in Porto.

Directions: From Praca dos Poveiros, walk west on Rua de Santo Ildefonso to Igreja de Santo Ildefonso church.

 

#9 Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and Praca da Batalha

Amazing Church, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The Baroque Igreja de Santo Ildefonso – or Church of Saint Ildefonso – was built in the early 1700s. It took 30 years to complete – and was officially opened in 1739. In 1932, the church’s facade was covered in 11,000 of the traditional Portuguese azulejo tiles. The tiles were painted by Portuguese artist, Jorge Colaco, who is responsible for many of the azulejo murals that you will notice while on Porto walks.

If the gates are open, the interior is also quite impressive and free to visit. There is a small museum on-site as well that requires a ticket to enter.

Praca da Batalha – or Batalha Square – expands around the corner. The open space is bordered by the Batalha Palace (which dates to the 18th century), the Royal Theatre of Sao Joao Opera House (built in 1908 on the former site of a theater dating to 1794) and the Cinema Batalha (an art deco theater built in 1947). A statue of King Pedro V, which was dedicated in 1866, stands in the center of the square.

Directions: From the church, walk west and downhill on Rua de 31 de Janeiro, enjoying the view of Clerigos Tower. At the bottom of the hill, turn left onto Praca de Almeida Garrett and enter the Sao Bento Train Station.

 

#10 Sao Bento Train Station Porto

Tile Art Inside Sao Bento Train Station, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The always-buzzing Sao Bento Railway Station was constructed in the early 1900s – and the true gem of the stately 3-story granite building is the grand entrance hall. The interior of São Bento is decorated with 20,000 azulejo tiles – a project that took 11 years to complete (by artist Jorge Colaco, of course).

The colorful upper tiles feature the different modes of transport that have been used in Portugal. The blue and white tile murals depict important scenes in Portuguese history. The station is featured in all of the best Porto Free Walking Tours and sightseeing guides – and for good reason!

Directions: Exit the station and turn right. Walk north across the street to the Church of St. Anthony.

 

#11 Igreja de Santo Antonio dos Congregados

Igreja de Santo Antonio dos Congregados at night, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The Igreja de Santo Antonio do Congregadas – or the Church of St. Anthony – has a history that stretches to the late 17th century. Dedicated to St. Anthony (the patron saint of Lisbon), the exterior tiles portray the story of the saint’s life. The church is free to visit – and many of Porto’s faithful residents are often found inside praying. 

Directions: Walk west (passing where this tour began) and start the climb toward the Clerigos Bell Tower. On the south side of the street is O Mundo Fantastico das Sardinhas Poruguesas – a popular Porto tinned sardine store. Further up is Confeitaria dos Clerigos, which is a local bakery offering traditional Portuguese snacks. Continue walking uphill and find the entrance to on the north side.

 

#12 Igreja dos Clerigos and Porto Bell Tower

Igreja dos Clerigos and Bell Tower and Tram passing, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The Igreja dos Clerigos – or Church of the Clergymen – was built in the mid-1700s in the Baroque style (one of the first of its kind in Portugal). The iconic bell tower stands nearly 200-feet-tall – and has long been a symbol of Porto.

Climbing the 240 steps to the top requires a ticket. It includes entrance to the museum and is one of the top things to do in Porto. The church interior own it’s own can be visited for free. It is well worth spending some time here when walking Porto to enjoy these sights. 

Directions: Walk north across the Praca de Lisboa. Go through the shops or on the grassy park on top of them to the Livraria Lello Bookstore.

 

#13 Livraria Lello (Famous Porto Bookstore)

Livraria Lello Bookstore, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The Livraria Lello – or Lello Bookstore – ranks as one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. When it first opened in 1906, the incredibly ornate bookshop was an instant hit with intellectuals and quickly became a part of the cultural life in Porto.

Lello Bookstore is said to be the inspiration for some of the scenes in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series. There are rumors that she even wrote the book in the shop. Due to it’s insane popularity, visiting is no longer one of the free things to do in Porto, Portugal. Tickets are now required to enter and should be booked in advance.

Directions: Walk northwest on Rua das Carmelitas toward the 19th century Fonte dos Leoes (Lions Fountain) that fronts the stoic University of Porto building. Continue walking northwest across the square and tram tracks to the famous tiled ‘double’ churches.

 

#14 Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas

2 Churches In 1, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas – the Carmo Church and Carmelitas Church – are both a stunning and peculiar sight in Porto. The two extravagant churches stand side-by-side, separated only by a narrow house.

Carmelitas Church, which is on the left, was built in the 17th century as part of a convent; it features a bell tower and an intricately decorated interior. The Carmelitas Church is free to visit.

The Carmo Church, on the right, was built in the 18th century for Carmelite monks. Designed in the Baroque style, the exterior has dynamic embellishments on the front and extensive azulejos tiles on the east-facing wall. The interior of the Carmo Church is lavishly decorated with gilded woodwork. To visit the Carmo Church, guests need to purchase a ticket – which also allows entry into the ‘Hidden House,’ the crypt, rooftop and other rooms within the complex.

Best Churches in Porto, Portugal

Theories abound as to why the two churches were built next to each other but separated by a slender home; some say it was to keep the monks and nuns from becoming too friendly, while other tales say a law prohibited two churches from being built with a common wall. In any event, the cramped house was actually used as a residence until the 1980s!

Directions: Walk north along the east side of Carmo Church to the small square, Praca de Carlos Alberto.

 

#15 Praca de Carlos Alberto

Beautiful tile sidewalk at Praca de Carlos Alberto, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Named after an exiled king who lived in a palace on the square in the 1800s, Praca de Carlos Alberto – or Carlos Alberto Square – is small, but beautiful. The black and white tiled pavement (which is so characteristic of Portugal) draws the eye to the solemn World War I monument (Monumento aos Mortos da Grande Guerra) that stands on the north end.

On Saturdays, the Porto Belo Street Market takes place here. The quaint square is one of our favorite places to pass through on a walk around Porto.

Directions: Retrace your steps past the Carmo Church and continue walking south on Praca de Parade Leitao (on the west side of the University of Porto building). Enter the shaded Jardim da Cordoaria and cross the street to Largo Amor de Perdição in front of the massive Centro Portugues de Fotografia Museum. If time allows, detour to the immaculate Igreja Sao Jose das Taipas Church. Next, walk Rua de Sao Bento da Vitoria south to Miradouro da Vitoria.

 

#16 Miradouro da Vitoria Porto

View from Miradouro da Vitoria, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Offering one of the best views of Porto, Miradouro da Vitoria is a small gated viewpoint that sits in front of the Igreja de Nossa Senhora da Vitória church. The panoramic vista encompasses the Se Cathedral, Ponte Luis I Bridge, the Douro River, Vila Nova de Gaia and the tiled rooftops of the Ribeira district. This a top spot for amazing Porto photos.

Directions: Exit through the gate and turn right. Then left onto Rua da Vitoria and right at Rua do Ferraz and follow it down to Rua das Flores. 

 

#17 Rua das Flores Pedestrian Street

View of Rua das Flores, walking street Porto, Portugal

MAP. Another one of the pretty Porto walking streets, Rua das Flores is a must to stroll down at least once on your visit. Coffee or chocolates, wine or cocktails, window shopping or people watching, Rua das Flores has it all, and you’ll never walk alone!

Directions: At the bottom (south end) of Rua das Flores is Largo São Domingos square. Pause to enjoy the architecture and ponder the odd pillars. Then continue down R. de Sousa Viterbo and up the red iron staircase to Mercado Ferreira.

 

#18 Mercado Ferreira Borges

The Red Market Hall, Mercado Ferreira Borges, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Dating to 1885, the Ferreira Borges Market – which was named for a famous local politician – is a historic Porto landmark…yet, oddly it was never used as a marketplace. Instead, it served various random purposes – such as a military warehouse and local soup kitchen.

The city nearly tore it down in the 1970s to build a parking lot, but it was saved for its unique iron design. In 2010, the space was renovated to host a night club, live music venue and restaurant. During the day there’s a small cafe and bar where you can grab a beverage and enjoy it al fresco with a beautiful Porto view! (Plus, there are free public toilets inside.)

Directions: Exit the market building and walk south into the Jardim do Infante D. Henrique park. At the center is a statue dedicated to Prince Henry the Navigator. On the west side of the park is Palacio da Bolsa.

 

#19 Palacio da Bolsa

The Stoke Exchange Building, Palacio da Bolsa, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The neoclassical Palacio da Bolsa – or Stock Exchange Palace – took nearly 70 years to complete, from 1842 until 1910.  Still the headquarters of the Commercial Association of Porto, the UNESCO World Heritage Site is also a museum (tickets required), conference center and restaurant.

Directions: Walk to the south side of the Palacio da Bolsa and take the stairs up to the Igreja Monumento de Sao Francisco.

 

#20 Igreja Monumento de Sao Francisco

Monument Church of Saint Francis, Porto, Portugal

MAP. A stunning Gothic structure, the Igreja Monumento de Sao Francisco – or the Monument Church of Saint Francis – was built between 1383 and 1425. While the exterior has remained relatively the same through the years, the interior was renovated in the 18th century with a grandiose Baroque flair.

It is estimated that 650 pounds of gold decorate the church’s interior. In 1832 during the Siege of Porto, a fire destroyed the attached cloisters (which is now where the Palacio da Bolsa stands), but thankfully the church was left undamaged. A ticket is required to enter.

Directions: Retrace your steps to the southeast corner in front of the church. Cross the street to the south and make a short stop at the blue tiled Church of St. Nicholas. Then continue west to Rua da Alfandega, turning right to walk south toward the river. Take your first left onto the narrow Rua da Fonte Taurina and walk along the narrow curving street to Praca da Ribeira. 

 

#21 Ribeira District and Cais da Ribeira Porto

View of Ribeira District and Cais da Ribeira Porto

MAP. One of the oldest neighborhoods in Porto and a UNESCO site, the riverside Ribeira District is a tangle of medieval streets and ancient structures. Once a bustling port, the old warehouses are now prime locations for many of the most popular Porto restaurants and bars. The upper, terraced residences still serve their original purpose. While many have been converted to tourist accommodations, some are still occupied by locals, whom you may see hanging laundry or watering plants.

View looking at Ribeira Square, Porto, Portugal

At the heart of the district is the Praca da Ribeira. Long serving as a center of commerce and community, the Ribeira Square opens to the Douro River. The city walls were torn down in the 1800s. At the north end is a fountain – and above it is a Portuguese coat of arms that dates to the late 1700s and a statue of St. John the Baptist.

Best Tour, Porto Walking Tour: A DIY Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal

The Cais da Riveira – or the Waterfront – is a wide, pedestrian zone lined with cafes and restaurants. Across the Douro River you’ll have a clear view of Vila Nova de Gaia and it’s numerous Porto Wine Cellars. We will visit these later in our Porto Walking Tour.

Many of the popular Rabelo boat tours – like the 6 Bridge Tour – depart from the docks here along the riverside. If time permits, go ahead and give your feet a rest and hop on a Douro River Tour!

Directions: Continue along the Waterfront to the east and pass under the bridge. Either take the Funicular dos Guindais up to Batalha station (ticket required) or walk up the stairs (just past the funicular station) to the south end of Batalha Square. Walk west along the south side of Rua de Saraiva de Carvalho to the small park. Find the nearly hidden Igreja de Santa Clara Church.

 

#22 Igreja de Santa Clara Porto

Igreja de Santa Clara, Gold Church, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Built in the early 1400s, the Igreja de Santa Clara – or St. Clara Church – has a modest exterior, but a dazzling interior. Originally constructed as part of a convent, the church was modified throughout the years and now features an exquisite glittering gold interior.

An inexpensive ticket is required to enter – which includes visiting the main church, plus the upper room. 

Directions: Continue walking west to the Se do Porto Cathedral.  

 

#23 Se do Porto Cathedral

Exterior view of the Porto Se Cathedral, Portugal

MAP. The Se do Porto – or the Porto Cathedral of the Assumption of Our Lady – marks the historical center of Porto. It took more than 600 years – from the 1100s to the 1700s – to complete, in which time many adjustments and alterations were made to the original plans resulting in a mix of architectural styles. In the mid-1700s, famous Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, added a Baroque flair to the cathedral. 

The dominating hilltop structure features two towers, an ornate interior and a cloister. There is a fee to enter the church, but the ticket allows visitors to climb to the top of the tower for great views of Porto.

Blue skies over the Se do Porto Cathedral, Porto, Portugal

Fronting the church is a large square which also offers nice views over the river and Vila Nova de Gaia. At the center of the square is a decorated pillar, which once served as a place for hangings.

Directions: Exit to the north of the Cathedral, taking a closer look at the azulejos tiles that decorate the walls. Turn right (south) onto the pedestrian-only street and walk onto the upper level of the bridge.

 

#24 Ponte Luis I Bridge Porto

Blue SKy above Ponte Luis I Bridge, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Designed in the late 1800s by Théophile Seyrig, a student of Gustave Eiffel, the double-decker iron Ponte Luis I Bridge is the most beautiful bridge in the city. Connecting Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, the bridge was an engineering feat of its time. Originally, both levels were utilized for vehicles, but since the early 2000s, the top deck only accommodates trams and pedestrians, while the lower crossing is used by cars and people – although the sidewalks are quite narrow and crowded.

Pedestrians can get a peek at another famous Porto bridge, Dona Maria Pia, which is also made of iron, that straddles the Douro just upstream. The twin bridges are named after Portugal King Luis I and his wife, Maria Pia of Savoy.

Directions: Cross the bridge from Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia – taking in the views of the river from both sides – just watch for trams! Once across, continue walking south on the east side of Avenida da Republica. At the first intersection, make a sharp left U-turn onto the ramp that leads up to the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar.

 

#25 Miradouro da Serra do Pilar

View from Miradouro da Serra do Pilar, Porto, Portugal

MAP. The round, white Serra do Pilar church – part of a former 16th century monastery – can clearly be seen from many places around Porto. While most of the monastery is now used by the military, part of it is open as a museum (ticket required). However, it’s the Porto city views from the elevated square that make it worth trekking up the hill!

Directions: Take the ramp back down and cross through Jardim do Morro park (which also has nice views and plenty of places to sit and relax). On the far side, find the staircase that leads down to Calcada da Serra Street. Turn right and start the downhill trek (including the hairpin left just after passing under the bridge) to the Vila Nova de Gaia Riverside. Alternatively, buy a ticket and take a ride on the Teleferico Gaia Cable Car!

 

#26 Vila Nova de Gaia

Street Art, Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Portugal

MAP. Vila Nova de Gaia – or just Gaia – is a separate municipality from Porto, yet it is a must-see for Porto visitors. Gaia is famous for being home to numerous Port Wine Cellars and the views of Porto from the waterfront are simply spectacular.

For those who may not know, Port is the famous Portuguese fortified wine made exclusively in the Douro Valley. The vineyards are located upstream from Gaia and we include a day tour to the region in our Complete Itinerary for Porto.

Gaia view from Porto over the Douro River, Portugal

The wine was traditionally transferred by rabelos boats to be processed and stored in Gaia warehouses along the river and in the sprawling neighborhood to the south. When the Port wine was ready, it was loaded onto bigger boats and shipped all around the world.

A wide pedestrian walkway in Gaia parallels the river – and port wine tasting rooms, restaurants and cafes line the path. Visitors can join cellar tours (book in advance), sip port on an elevated terrace or get an inexpensive tasting along with petiscos – small plates for sharing – at the countless number of bars and cafes.

Typical Porto Wine Tasting, Gaia, Porto, Portugal

At the west end of the waterfront is the Natas D’ouro bakery (one of our favorite Pastel de Nata bakeries!) and the Mercado Beira Rio, which features an array of cuisine from top area restaurants.

You can continue touring the area on a Gaia cellar walk (use these directions) and seek out some of the interesting street art down the narrow lanes. Another way to end your day of Porto sightseeing is with a combined evening port wine tasting and Fado show at the Calem cellars (but you need to book your seat in advance).

That ends our Self-Guided Free Porto Walking Tour! Below is our Porto Map of Sights, as well as tips for other interesting tours in Porto.


 

Shorter Porto Walking Tours

View from Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Portugal

Our Porto walk can easily fill an entire day of exploration. Those who would rather break it up into multiple Porto, Portugal walking tours, however, can easily do so. 

 

2 Porto, Portugal Self-Guided Tours

To split our Self-Guided Porto Free Walk into two tours, we recommend seeing sights 1-21 on Day 1, then exploring sights 22-26 on Day 2.

 

3 Self-Guided Walking Tours: Porto, Portugal

For shorter routes, our Walking Tour of Porto can be divided into three separate outings. First see sights 1-10 from our DIY Free Tour Porto, then explore stops 11-21 for historic Porto attractions. Finally, discover Gaia with sights 22-26.

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Porto, Portugal Map

Use this Google Map to find an interactive version of all the stops on our Free Porto Walking Tour below. You can also pick up a free Porto tourist map at the Tourist Information Office.

Porto Walking Tour Map by JetSettingFools.com

 

Porto Walking Tour Map and Directions

In our Porto Walking Tour Self Guided route, we include written directions, as well as a map link to each sight – and the above Porto Map of Attractions.

Travelers who wish to divide up the route or want step-by-step directions can use these Google Map links for our Porto Walking Tour to navigate from one sight to the next.


 

More Tours in Porto, Portugal

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

While we think our walk outlines the best Porto free tour to begin your visit, there are many other tours that provide an excellent experiences. Below we share some of the top rated offers with the option to book your spot!

 

Douro River Cruise Tours Porto

There are numerous Porto river trips – but a 6 Bridges Cruise is the most popular way to see the sights by boat. On this affordable 50-minute Porto boat cruise, visitors board a traditional Rabello boat for a tour on the Douro River. Book it now!

 

Porto Wine Tour

Wine is part of the culture in Porto – and it’s not just about port! Join an afternoon tour for an introduction to Porto wine. On these guided tours participants will get to taste 3 wines and learn about the history of wine making in the region. Get the details!

Pro Tip: Visitors can also take a Porto Cellar Tour that details the process of making port – with a p tasting at the end! Learn more!

 

Porto Food Tour

We love the food in Portugal! Fellow travelers can use our Porto Food Guide to create their own foodie tour. For those who would rather a guide lead the way can join this highly-rated group Food Tour in Porto. Reserve your spot!

 

Guided Walking Tour Porto

We won’t take it personally if you would rather a guide show you the sights – and there are many top-rated Guided Walking Tours in Porto to choose from. On this 3-Hour Guided Porto Sightseeing Tour, you learn about the history of the city from a local and get insider tips, too. Find out more!

 

Porto Private Tour

Travelers who prefer a private tour of Porto can also hire a local guide. On this popular half day Porto tour, guests get a personalized introduction and local knowledge. Book it!

 

Guided Free Tour Porto

Visitors looking for a Guided Oporto Free Tour should check out the Porto Sandemans Tour. Just keep in mind that the Free Walking Tour Porto Guides expect – and hopefully deserve – to be tipped. Guests who do not want to pay a guide should stick with our outlined Self-Guided Walking Tour Porto!

 

Porto Bus Tour: Hop On Hop Off

To avoid walking the hills and battling the crowds, take the Hop On Hop Off Bus in Porto instead! The Porto Sightseeing Bus has two routes that make stops at major attractions and includes commentary in 8 different languages. Book it now!

Pro Tip: Experience top Porto attractions with a combo ticket that includes the Hop On Hop Off Bus, a River Boat Ride and a Port Cellar Tour. Get the Details!

 

Porto Tram Tour

An alternate way to see the city in a DIY style is on a Porto Tram City Tour. Although not really an official Porto tour, visitors ride the historic trams to many of the sights. Find more info about using the trams to tour Porto on the official transportation website.

 

Porto Bike Tour

While we think we have given you the best walking tour Porto, bike tours in Porto are a fabulous way to sightsee! Rather than walking in Porto, follow a guide on two wheels on a 3 hour guided tour across town. Get the details!


 

More Portugal Travel Tips

View of the classic architecture and Buildings of Porto, Portugal

We’ve got you started with the best free walking tour in Porto. However, there is a lot more involved in planning a trip to Portugal. We share our top tips for what to do and see – plus advice on where to stay and how to get there – in our Detailed Itinerary for Porto.

For those visiting Porto from abroad should also read our Advice for Planning a European Vacation.

More Travel Tips for Portugal can be found in our other free travel guides. 

 

Stay Organized with a Travel Planner

As you research and make reservations for your Porto, Portugal trip, you need to stay on top of the details. With our Printable Travel Planner – you can keep organized so that nothing falls through the cracks!

Travel Planner Printables by JetSettingFools.com

 

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 advice? Head over to our Travel Planning Page for more tips on traveling – and for country-specific information, take a look at our Travel Guides Page!

 

Click here for a Free Vacation Budget Planner Banner by JetSettingFools.com

 

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Porto Walking Tour A DIY Walking Tour of Porto, Portugal by JetSettingFools.com