Last update : 06/09/2023
Are you exploring Portugal and looking for what to do in Porto? You’ve come to the right place! Perfect for a city break, Porto has become one of Europe’s hottest weekend destinations. Just two hours by plane from Paris or Bordeaux, it’s easy to discover Porto and Portugal in general. We headed to Portugal this summer for two weeks, to enjoy Alex’s family who live in Aveiro. With the city of Porto less than an hour away by train, we decided to head there for a weekend.
If you have time when you’re in Portugal, we’d also recommend exploring Lisbon, the country’s capital. In this article, you’ll find a list of our must-sees in Porto, with some great addresses to go to! We hope this blog post helps you know what to do in Porto. Let’s hit the road!
What to do in Porto, where to sleep?
This apartment hotel in Porto, close to the Ribeira district, appealed to us above all for its designer decor! In addition to being beautifully decorated, these apartment-hotels are super functional because you could cook in them, which makes it feel like you’re living in Porto during your few vacation days! The hotel’s location is a real plus, right opposite the Douro river. Price-wise, you can find a night for 80€.
Sao Joao Novo Apartments
This apartment hotel in Porto is very well located and offers a breathtaking view of the city and the Douro. We found it super cosy and loved its terrace! It is equipped with a kitchen, which is very practical for visiting Porto over several days. You can rent a loft or studio there for a night, at around 80/100€ a night too.
Would you like to discover more good places to stay? We recommend you take a look at our dedicated article on the best hotels in Porto.
What to do in Porto? Our must-sees
São Bento Station and its Azulejos
The city of Porto boasts one of the most beautiful railway stations in Europe, thanks to its Azujelos walls. What are Azujelos? Sets of decorated tiles that have become a symbol of Portugal. The tiles in the station are magnificent, depicting the major discoveries and conquests of the Portuguese people. As the station is very well located and well served, it is the first stop for many visitors to Porto.
Little tips: If you have several days during your stay in Porto, don’t hesitate to take the train to Aveiro. Located just an hour from Porto, the city nicknamed “Little Venice” is a must-see in the region 😉
La Rua Santa Catarina & le Café Majestic
Then head for Porto’s main street, Rua Santa Catarina. This is where you’ll find numerous boutiques and cafés, including the most famous of them all: Café Majestic. An emblem of the 1920s, this café is one of the top 10 most beautiful in the world, no less! So don’t hesitate to stop in to admire the architecture and enjoy a sweet or two. Lovers of pastéis de nata? You’ve come to the right place! 😜
What you need to know: Watch out for prices that are (much) higher than average. For example, coffee is €3.90 compared with €1 elsewhere in the city. Despite the price difference, the products on offer are very good and the setting exceptional, enough to make you want to go there at least once during your stay!
The Mercado do Bolhão
For fans of Azulejos: Don’t miss the Capela Das Almas (understand Chapels of the Souls), which is less than 50 meters from the market!
La Livraria Lello
Change of atmosphere with a visit to the very famous Livraria Lello. Ranked third best bookshop in the world by the Guardian and Lonely Planet. A special mention for its double staircase, which we just loved! Opened in 1906, it attracts many tourists every day, so be prepared to queue before you enter 😉 Fun fact: Harry Potter fans, you’ve come to the right place 😉 And yes, J.K. Rowling, who lived in Porto for several years, is said to have written several pages of the first volume in the series Harry Potter in the café on the second floor. The place is even said to have inspired the Fleury & Bott bookshop in the series! If you’re looking for what to do in Porto, this could be a great idea for an unusual visit!
View this post on Instagram
Le Clérigos Tower
Once out of the bookshop, continue your exploration of the city with the Clérigos Tower. After paying the entrance fee (€4) and climbing the (very) many steps of the bell tower you’ll get a magnificent 360° view of the city!
Practical info: The staircase to the top of the cloister is very narrow, making it difficult for people with reduced mobility to climb. As there is no elevator, we advise you to avoid the visit if you are concerned.
La Rua das Flores
Then head for one of Porto’s best-known streets, Rua das Flores. It’s impossible to visit Porto in 3 days without taking a stroll here. Long ignored, this street has been completely rehabilitated in recent years. It’s a landmark street for tourists and locals alike. It’s a great place to stroll through the artisanal stores and grab a bite to eat. Indeed, it’s an ideal place to find a wide range of restaurants at all prices. What’s more, the street is lively both day and night, with the presence of many talented musicians and other street performers.
Where to eat? : If you like typical, accessible and delicious dishes we recommend the Picota: typical Portuguese cuisine with great value for money, ideally placed on the street. Prego no Prato and other Francesinha have to watch out! 😜
The Ribeira district, Old Porto and the Dom-Luís Bridge
A Unesco World Heritage Site since 1995, the Ribeira district is the city’s tourist heart. Its highlights? Its multicolored facades, its restaurants and its incredible view of the Douro and the Dom-Luís Bridge. The atypical, unconditional charm of the buildings is sure to win you over, just as it did us! A not-to-be-missed spot on your visit to Porto!
This is also where you’ll find the departure point for boat cruises on the Douro. Then continue your tour of the district by crossing the Dom-Luís Bridge on foot, to enjoy a pleasant stroll and a unique panorama of the entire district!
Good address: stop for a coffee at the bar Ponte Bresil which is located just a few meters from the Dom-Luís Bridge to enjoy an exceptional view ! 🙂
Lthe Taylor’s Port cellars
Finish your day with a visit to an old wine cellar, Taylor’s Cellar. For 12 euros, you’ll be treated to an hour-long audio tour on the history of port wine. You’ll also be treated to a tasting of two ports in a magnificent garden. All in all, a great visit not to be missed! 🍷
Practical info: If you end your stay in Porto here, allow 30 minutes to reach São Bento station on foot.
Visiting Porto, how to organize your trip well?
How to find the best tickets to visit Porto?
To find the best mode of transport (plane, train, bus) to get to your destination, we advise you to always look on the OMIO comparator. This will give you an overview of all the modes of transport available for your destination, and allow you to compare prices very easily.Learn more
How to rent a rental car at the best price in Porto
If you’re looking to rent a car during your trip, we recommend you take a look at the RentalCars website. This will enable you to find the best prices and conditions for your rental.Learn more
How to find the best hotels to visit Porto
In order to find the best hotels and benefit from the best conditions (security, cancellation…) we go almost exclusively through Booking.com for our trips. We recommend that you take a look at the available hotels and filter them according to their ratings. The customer reviews are very numerous and recent, which helps to avoid unpleasant surprises when traveling!Learn more
What to do in Porto? How can you find ideas for things to do on your vacation?
If you want to get ideas for things to do on your vacation and want to book in advance, we’d also recommend taking a look at the GetYourGuide website. This will give you an overview of the activities on offer in your destination, so you don’t have to wait until you get there to book your places.Learn more
Thank you for reading
We hope the tips and good addresses on our travel blog will help you know what to do in Porto !
You can also follow our daily adventures on Instagram 🙂
Clem & Alex