Things to do in Porto

Portugal’s second biggest city doesn’t disappoint with locals and views as sweet as the region's Port wine.

Our most recommended things to do in Porto

Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch

1. Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Cruise and Lunch

Start your full-day tour in the center of Porto where your guide will introduce you to the rich history of the city and share some intriguing anecdotes with you. Travel in style in a comfortable vehicle to Peso da Régua, in Northern Portugal for a short coffee break.  Next, head to the first winery stop on the itinerary. Discover and taste the region's famous wines while admiring the panoramic views of the vineyards that weave across the landscape. Around midday, you’ll move on to a restaurant for a delicious local Portuguese lunch. Choose from fish, meat, and vegetarian options. Continue your journey to the second vineyard where you will learn about the various stages of winemaking from a vineyard specialist and get to try out some of Douro’s finest Porto wine. As a special treat, stop at the Pinhão Railway Station, whose walls are beautifully decorated with blue glazed mosaic tiles depicting sceneries of the Douro Valley and its history of port wine production. Before returning to Porto, take a scenic 1-hour river cruise along the Douro River, where you can mingle with the other guests you've met along the tour. On your route back to Porto your vehicle will stop at an amazing viewpoint where you can take beautiful pictures of this UNESCO World Heritage site.

Douro Valley: Wine Tour with Lunch, Tastings & River Cruise

2. Douro Valley: Wine Tour with Lunch, Tastings & River Cruise

Explore the stunning beauty of the Douro Valley on a tour to 2 wine estates. Make a quick stop at the town of Amarante and taste regional wines at both wine estates. Sit down to a delicious lunch before sailing through the lush landscapes of the Douro Valley on a river cruise. Begin your tour in Porto and learn about the region's history and wine while driving to the Douro valley. Stop for a coffee break in the historic town of Amarante and admire the town's Church and Convent of São Gonçalo, or purchase some of the pastries at one of the iconic pastry shops. Continue to a wine estate in Sabrosa. Enjoy a guided tour of a family-owned wine estate. Learn about and try 3 of the estate's wines during a guided tasting. Savor a lunch paired with red and white Douro wines while overlooking the vineyards. After lunch, drive to Pinhão, with a photo stop at São Cristovão viewpoint. Take in panoramic views of the Douro valley. See where the Pinhão river joins with the waters of the Douro River before embarking on a cruise at Pinhão.  In the afternoon, take a guided tour of a famous wine estate (Quinta da Roeda – Croft/Taylor’s group or Quinta São Luiz – Kopke/Burmester group). Uncover the history of the vineyard and the secrets if the wine-making processes. Taste 3 of their fine wines before returning to Porto by one of the world's most scenic roads, the N222.

Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

3. Porto: Palácio da Bolsa Guided Tour

Explore the historic Palácio da Bolsa in Porto with an entry ticket and guided tour. Discover master architectural work completed over 3 generations and pass through the elegant rooms in a palace that's over 180-years-old. The Associação Comercial do Porto started the construction of the Palácio da Bolsa, its headquarters, and property in 1842. Over three generations, many masters and craftsmen worked to build this architectural jewel of the 19th century in neoclassical style. Great names in architecture, painting, sculpture, and decorative arts contributed to the construction of the building, which is now classified as a National Monument and one of the main attractions of Porto e Norte, receiving more than 450,000 visitors annually. During this guided tour with a certified guide from Palacio da Bolsa, you will visit the authentic and impressive rooms of a building that is now over 180 years old. Learn about how the building has received governors from almost every country in the world and is the location of most of the official state receptions held in the north of Portugal.

From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch

4. From Porto: Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch

Get out of Porto and into Portugal's gorgeous wine country. Take in views from the window of your vehicle, visit vineyards and taste their wines, embark on a boat cruise, and more on this all-inclusive trip. Take advantage of a morning pickup by choosing that option during booking. Begin your tour with a stop at a viewpoint to enjoy the views. Then, sit back and relax as your vehicle hits the road for the Douro Valley. Enjoy an excursion which includes a visit to different 2 visits to two distinct places, with the opportunity to taste some of the different types of wine which are produced there. You'll also experience a typical (and delicious) Portuguese meal. Partake as well in a relaxing ride along the Douro River. Your excursion also includes being taken by your driver to what the BBC called one of the most beautiful viewpoints in the world.

Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River Cruise

5. Porto: 6 Bridges Douro River Cruise

Board the original boats used to transport the Port Wine barrels from the Douro Region to Gaia and Porto. The boats have been adapted with the most modern navigation equipment to transport passengers with maximum comfort. Enjoy a journey that stretches from the historic center of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, upstream to Freixo and then downstream toward the mouth of the Douro. Take the opportunity to admire the rich and breathtaking landscape while you learn the history of the 6 bridges that unite Vila Nova de Gaia and Porto. Discover other points of interest in these two cities. 

Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

6. Porto: Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

Embark on a guided tour of the Cálem Cellars in Porto, enjoy wine tasting and an entertaining live Fado show. Listen and dance to Portuguese music as you get tipsy and enjoy an unforgettable night. Immerse yourself in Portuguese culture and listen to Fado, folk music that originated in Lisbon in the 18th century, also known as the Lisbon blues. Fado is an important part of Portuguese culture. Head to the Caves Cálem winery and embark on a guided tour of the facilities to learn about the history and traditions of port wine production. At the end of your tour, sample 2 port wines, a white port, and a special reserve. As you sip your wine, take in a live Fado performance, a style of music born in the taverns of the 19th century that has become an essential part of Portuguese culture. The performance features male and female vocalists accompanied by a traditional Portuguese guitar and a classical guitar. Don’t miss this opportunity to hear the music and experience the country's soul.

Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

7. Porto: Fado Show with Port Wine

According to Amália Rodrigues, the great fado singer, "The point is to feel fado. Because fado is not sung, it happens. It cannot be explained, only felt." The project "Fado by Casa da Guitarra" intends to offer to you the essence of this musical genre in an evening of enchantment and wonder. During the hour-long concert, you will come in contact with very unique Portuguese cultural elements - fado, Portuguese traditional stringed instruments, wine - all of which are deeply related with Portuguese history. The acoustic fado performance takes place in an intimate setting with a female leading singer, accompanied by a Portuguese guitar player and a guitar player (playing a viola de fado), who occasionally lends his voice to the fado songs. A traditional port wine will served during the interlude to round out your evening.

Porto Card with Transportation (1, 2, 3 or 4 Days)

8. Porto Card with Transportation (1, 2, 3 or 4 Days)

See the sights of Porto at your own pace with a Porto Card plus transportation, valid for 1, 2, 3, or 4 days. Enjoy up to 150 discounts and benefits, such as free entrance to 6 city museums, 20% off cruises on the Douro River, and a 2-for-1 port wine tasting at Espaco Porto Cruz. The Porto Card is your key to the city, offering price reductions at shows, theme centers, tourist excursions in Porto and north Portugal, restaurants, wine shops, and fashion shops. Created to provide easy access to the city’s sights, the add-on transport offer will help you save money and spend less time searching for spare cash. The following is a short list of some of the benefits you can enjoy: • Free Metro Do Porto (all lines) • Free Bus STCP (all lines) • Free Train CP Porto (Urbanos Valongo, Trofa, Espinho) • 50% of at Real Companhia Velha Port Wine Cellars • Casa Do Infante-Museu (free entry) • Casa-Museu Guerra Junqueiro (free entry) • Casa-Museu Marta Ortigão Sampaio (free entry) • Museu Romântico (free entry) • Museu Do Papel-Moeda (free entry) • Museu Do Vinho Do Porto (free entry) • Up to 50% off at the Casa Da Música • 25% off at the Tower + Exhibition Igreja E Torre Dos Clérigos • 50% off at the Museu Da Farmácia Do Porto • 50% off at the Museu Da Misericórdia Do Porto • 50% off at the Museu De Arte Sacra E Arqueologia • 50% off at the Museu Militar Do Porto • 50% off at the Museu Nacional Da Imprensa • 50% off at the Museu Nacional Soares Dos Reis • 50% off at the Museu Das Marionetas • 50% off at the Museu Dos Transportes E Comunicações • 50% off at the Teatro Nacional São João • 35% off at the Catedral (cloisters) • 35% off at the World Of Discoveries, Interactive Museum & Theme Park • 35% off at Paço Episcopal • 30% off at Sea Life Porto • 25% off at the Igreja Monumento S. Francisco • 25% off at the Zoo Santo Inácio (individual tickets only) • 25% off at the Palácio Da Bolsa • 20% off at the Museu De Arte Contemporânea De Serralves • 10% off on Tour FC Porto Museum + Stadium

Porto: Fado Na Baixa Live Performance with Port Wine

9. Porto: Fado Na Baixa Live Performance with Port Wine

Four artists, male and female Fado singers and top musicians, open their hearts and invite you to get intimate with Fado in all its unique and different expressions. Immerse into the experience, with hand-picked personal testimonials in various languages, and see Fado up close and personal. Experience first, traditional Fado, a highly marketed and intense style from Lisbon, where it all began. Then, enjoy the stylings of the unique Portuguese Guitar while tasting a Tawny Port. Listen and witness the nuances of the Lisbon and Coimbra playing techniques. Discover the Coimbra Fado genre, completely unique to the Portuguese people and sung live by a male singer, a former student at the Coimbra University, as tradition demands. Then, in the fourth segment, discover Amalia Rodrigues, the queen of the Portuguese Fado. Watch how she transformed traditional Fado and brought unprecedented recognition. Finally understand how Fado survives and thrives through the years. Through different poetics, fusions with other musical genres, and honoring tradition, Fado is preserved, as you will see by the end of the show. Arrive early and informally get together with musicians and Fado singers as they arrive at the venue.

Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch & Cruise

10. Porto: Douro Valley Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch & Cruise

Acquaint your taste buds with the gastronomy and wine of the Douro region on this relaxing day trip from Porto. Sit down to an authentic Portuguese lunch and enjoy the countryside at two local wineries and on a river cruise. Delight your sense as you try regional wines and olive oils. Take advantage of an option to be picked up from Porto and sit back and relax on the drive to a winery that is nestled in the countryside of the Douro valley. Alternatively, meet your tour group in Porto and depart together on your wine and food-tasting tour. First, savor lunch with typical dishes of the region. Sample some of the wines from the winery. Marvel at the scenery during a panoramic cruise on the Douro River, then stop at a second renowned winery for another guided tasting. Before leaving, try local port wine, table wines, and olive oils that are local to the area. Return to Porto at the end of your tour to either your hotel or the same spot as the group meeting point.

Frequently asked questions about Porto

What top attractions are a must-see in Porto?

What are the best day trips and excursions from Porto?

The best day trips and excursions from Porto are:

Aveiro

Insider tips: Planning a trip to Porto

Megan & Aram is a travel blog that focuses mostly on travel in the Nordics and Eastern Europe with the occasional trip beyond those regions. We love coffee, promoting small businesses, and sports. To read more about what they have to say about Porto click here!

What should I do on my first trip to Porto?

You will find plenty of signficant attractions in Porto for a first-time visitor but one of the best things to do is to take in the iconic view of Ribeira from across the Luís I Bridge. This double-deck bridge passes over the Douro River and connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. Once you walk across the bridge, you will see the spectacular view of Porto that lands itself on so many postcards! When you make your way over to this side of the water, pop into Calem Caves for a port wine tasting through their extensive cellar and portfolio of the famous drink.

What are some hidden gems to see in Porto?

Porto is a maze of hidden gems and corners and one can't-miss stop for coffee lovers is to hit up Combi Coffee Roasters. They coffee shop was founded in 2015 and now includes two sops where they roast their coffee and work alongside ethical cooperatives and farms to source top-quality, single-origin coffee from all over the world. Another fantastic thing to do in Porto when visiting is to take a day trip to Sistelo, a mountain village known for its terraces and ability to adapt to the high topography. It is about 1.5 hours away from Porto and is easily reached by train for an 11 Euro ticket.

How much time should I spend in Porto?

You can see most of the highlights in Porto within two days easily, but if you really want to dive deeper into the city, it is recommended to stick around for a few extra days and explore its beaches and embark on some cool regional day trips. You can visit the Douro Valley, Braga, and Aveiro all rather easily from Porto and they are all some of the top destinations in the country.

What food is Porto known for?

Porto is synonymous with world-famous Port wine and you can enjoy a tasting at almost any bar or wine cellar throughout the city. Calem Caves is a popular choice for a night out. Don't leave without tasting the heavy, yet hearty Francesinha sandwich, a traditional sandwiches that stuffs two thick layers of bread with ham, steak, and cheese before topping it with beer gravy and a fried egg. Be sure to also visit the many markets throughout the city (or take a food tour)!

What is the best way to get around Porto?

There are plenty of ways to move about Porto and the best way to explore is on foot! You will stumble upon so many gems and hidden secrets this way! However, you can also take the Porto Metro light rail network around the city or buses. You will also get transportation discounts and freebies if you purchase the Porto City Card.

What are the best months to visit Porto?

While it may be the high-season and hotels may be pricier, the best time to visit Porto is from May until October. During this time, you will experience a lot of sun and the temperatures are warm but the close proximity to the ocean helps things stay relatively manageable.

What is neighborhood Ribeira known for?

The most famous neighborhood in Porto is Ribeira, the old city that sits along the Douro River and is lined with cozy bars, eateries, and charming buildings. This is also where you will find colorful homes from the 18th-century and neoclassical Palacio da Bolsa, one of Porto's most famous attractions.

What are the best neighborhoods for food?

If you wander about Ribeira, you will find plenty of restaurants but many cater to tourists and the prices are proof of that. If you're looking for fine dining and an interesting take on Portuguese cuisine, opt for a place in Vila Nova de Gaia across the river from Ribeira. The Yeatman is a Michelin-star restaurant located in the neighborhood. If you're seeking overall diverse food options, head to Baixa. There are also plenty of markets in the area where you can grab ingredients for cooking at your accommodation if the place allows it.

What are the best neighborhoods for shopping?

Porto is a goldmine for shopping and you will find boutiques, high-end shops, thrift stores, and many food markets throughout the city. Around the Bolhão Market, you will find many mercerias, or old fashioned grocery stores that sell traditional ingredients and fare. Book lovers will love Livraria Lello, one of the world's most beautiful book stores. You will also find several of the city's most famous shopping along Rua de Santa Catarina street in the city.

What neighborhood should I stay in when I visit Porto?

You will find hotels, guesthouses, and hostels all throughout Porto but the top neighborhoods to stay in as a traveler are Ribeira, Bonfim, Marques, Cedofeita, and Baixa. Each has its own perks and own drawbacks. If you opt to stay in Ribeira, do be aware that it is busy and can be noisy. However, it may be a great option for those who are older or those unable to walk far distances.

What is the best thing to do in Porto for couples?

Porto is so beautiful and aesthetically charming that it is a fantastic place for a romantic getaway with your signficant other. One can't-miss activity is to check out a Fado show in Porto. There are plenty of places to enjoy this but you can combine it with a Port wine tasting at Calem and other cellars in the city. Another fantastic place to visit is Serralves, a contemporary art museum that is surrounded by extravagent parks and gardens. You can have a picnic here or just enjoy a stroll. Another top pick is to take a cruise on the river or to bolt out of town and enjoy a day trip to the Douro Valley!

What are the best beaches around Porto?

Porto has so many beaches nearby that it is hard not to feel the lure to visit one when you are in Portugal's second city. One of teh best beaches to visit during your time there is Praia dos Ingleses, a city renowned for its long boardwalk and natural beauty. Another one, and perhaps the most accessible and largest is Praia de Matosinhos, a port area konwn for being only 15 minutes away from the center of the city.

Other Sightseeing Options in Porto

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What people are saying about Porto

Overall rating

4.5 / 5

based on 30,160 reviews

We had a great time on this tour. We went on this tour during the off-peak season which helped us feel unrushed and able to fully experience the tour. We had 20 people on our tour. The event description is not accurate when it says you’ll be in a smaller group. There were lengthy drives (1.5 hours) at the beginning and the end of the tour but everything in between was short. Milena did a great job making sure we stopped for the toilet when we could. We were not rushed during any point of the tour and had plenty of time at each stop to take pictures, learn about the ports and wines and shop for what we liked. Lunch was very filling and included 3 entrée options (meat, fish and vegetarian), soup, dessert and never-ending table wine. Milena did a great job keeping us on schedule as well as being very knowledgeable. It’s not easy to heard a bunch of drunk adults into a van. She was friendly, outgoing and professional; everything we could have wanted in a tour guide.

The tour was cool. Nice adventure and different way to see Douro Valley. It would be nice if they’d switch the order of cars midway. You stay on the same line order the entire tour, so if you’re at the back of the line you may struggling to hear/see any signals and you’re stuck depending on how well the car in front of you keeps up with the group.

We're not port wine drinkers but this trip was still a must do to see Duoro Valley region. Everything was very organized and our guide Paulo was very knowledgeable. W

Very good trip. Enjoyed the boat trip with lovely views. The two wineries complimented each other well. Guide provided lots of interesting facts too.

Our guide Francisco was very good ! He kept our spirits up even in the pouring rain! I recommend this tour.