Our epic PORTO ITINERARY shows you all of the best things to do while you are in Porto - no matter your budget!
Interested? PIN NOW, read later!

Porto is nothing short of a fairytale city, full of charm, culture and fascinating history. It perfectly blends the romantic ideals of days-gone-by, with the convenience and beauty of modern design!

Whether you are planning a trip to Porto to indulge in the amazing food, sip on the famous wine, or marvel at the inspiring architecture, you’ll soon discover the layered beauty of the city. Despite being Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto is fundamentally authentic and traditional, making a trip to Porto an unforgettable experience!

An in-depth Porto itinerary will start you off in the right direction, gently guiding you to some of the best Porto landmarks and offering advice on when to visit Porto. Although the amazing city is renowned for it’s world-famous Port wine, there is so much more to explore and discover!

Best Time To Visit Porto

The climate in Porto is moderate, and rather pleasant all year round. While the summer season (June to August) gets rather warm, the temperature is still bearable. In fact, between the cool summer breeze and beautiful beaches, Porto is a rather popular tourist destination during summer!

when to visit porto
These are the best times to visit Porto! | Source: Vitor Oliveira (Flickr)

During winter, Porto does experience a fair amount of rain. This combined with the cooler temperatures makes it the least favorable season to visit – especially because the charm of the city is mostly outdoors!

The best time to visit Porto is during the months of May to September (which overlaps summer). During this time, the weather is warm, the sun is out and the mood on the street is incredibly festive!

 Average TemperaturesChance of RainCrowdsOverall Grade
January10°C / 50°FHighCalm😐
February11°C / 52°FHighCalm😐
March12°C / 54°FAverageMedium🙂
April13°C / 55°FAverageMedium😀
May15°C / 59°FAverageMedium😀
June18°C / 64°FLowBusy😀
July20°C / 68°FLowBusy🙂
August19°C / 66°FLowBusy🙂
September19°C / 66°FAverageMedium😀
October16°C / 61°FHighMedium🙂
November13°C / 55°FHighCalm😐
December12°C / 54°FHighCalm🙁

Where To Stay In Porto

If you are looking for the best place to stay in Porto, then look no further than the following suggestions. Firstly, you want to consider what your intentions are for your vacation in Porto.

If you are visiting Porto for the first time, then it’s best to stay centrally so that you can access key attractions and landmarks with ease. In this instance, Baixa is your best best. Baixa is the bustling central neighborhood in downtown Porto, full of markets, shops, convenient transport and stunning architecture.

where to stay in porto
These are the best places to stay in Porto! | Source: Apropos Images (Shutterstock)

If you are on a budget in Porto, then Boavista is a great place to stay. It is near the center of the city but consists of less tourist traps and is far easier to live on a budget! In Porto for the nightlife? Then Ribiera will is a great spot to stay. Not only does the area buzz at night, but it is also one of the most charming areas in Porto!

Lastly, if you are traveling as a family and want more of a peaceful environment to kick back at the end of a full day, then you should consider staying in Vila Nova de Gaia. This area is located on the southern banks of Rio Douro and is well known for its port wine cellars. Did someone say nightcap while the kids are sleeping?

porto itinerary
Cats Hostel Porto is our pick for the best hostel in Porto!

Best Hostel in Porto – Cats Hostel Porto

Conveniently located just around the corner from the Sao Bento metro station. The large rooftop terrace is a great way to relax after a full day exploring, and the ensuite bathrooms promise uninterrupted sleep! Cats Hostel Porto is a great spot to stay in the heart of the city!

CHECK FOR BEST PRICE
Cosy Studio Apartment, Porto
Cosy Studio Apartment is our pick for the best Airbnb in Porto!

Best Airbnb in Porto: Cosy Studio Apartment

The ideal spot for exploring what Porto has to offer, this bright and modern apartment is situated in a building in the heart of the city’s historical center.

Many of Porto’s top tourist attractions are within easy walking distance, and you’ll be close to vibrant restaurants and bars. The studio has its own kitchen so you can enjoy breakfast with views of the city skyline.

Check on Airbnb

Is this amazing Porto Airbnb booked for your dates? We’ve got your back with our Best Airbnbs in Porto guide!

porto itinerary
Zero Box Lodge is our pick for the best budget hotel in Porto!

Best Budget Hotel in Porto – Zero Box Lodge

What more could you ask for than a budget hotel that boasts a restaurant, a bar, free WiFi and a terrace? Zero Box Lodge offers all of these comforts in a stylish and centrally located setting! Also included on the site are a sauna and tasty á la carte breakfast. If you are looking for a budget hotel with luxurious frills – this is the spot!

Check on Booking.com
porto itinerary
The Gate is our pick for the best luxury hotel in Porto!

Best Luxury Hotel in Porto –  The Gate

The Gate offers everything that you need for a comfortable stay and is only a short walk away from City Market Bolhao. The staff has an excellent reputation for friendliness, and the rooms offer the perfect respite at the end of a busy day. The tidy, clean and modern rooms are a great home base for your time in Porto!

Check on Booking.com

Porto Itinerary

Although an ancient city, Porto boasts a very efficient public transport network which makes it super easy to explore every nook and cranny of the vibrant town!

As the city is very old, many of the cobbled streets are narrow and winding, meaning that walking through the city is one of the easiest (and most beautiful) ways to get around. Not only is this a free way to explore, but with so much beautiful architecture and quaint stores, you will essentially be conducting your own Porto walking tour while moving from point A to point B!

Another great way to get around, especially for further distances, is the metro! Porto operates six metro lines that run from 6 am to 1 am on a daily basis. With over 80 metro stations located around the city, you can be sure to find a convenient stop near you.

porto itinerary
Welcome to our EPIC Porto itinerary | Source: Leonid Andronov (Shutterstock)

Buying a Porto Card allows for unlimited transportation during your time in Porto. A card costs around USD $14,50 for one day in Porto, USD $24 for 2 days in Porto, and only USD $30 for three days in Porto!

Riding the tram is also a very unique Porto experience, allowing you to tick off a bucket list item while moving around!

Private transportation is also available in the mode of rental cars and taxis, but these will be significantly more expensive.

Day 1 Itinerary in Porto

Livraria Lello | Carmo and Carmelita Churches | Clérigos Church Tower | Sao Bento | Casa da Música

On your first day in the city, we suggest that you focus your Porto itinerary on discovering the beautiful history and architecture of the city!

Day 1 / Stop 1 – Livraria Lello

  • Why it’s awesome: An antique book store that has been preserved since the early 19th century!
  • Cost: USD $5,5
  • Food nearby: Open from as early as 8 am, As Sogras is a quaint little cafe near Livraria Lello, the perfect spot to grab a coffee and a pastry to start your day!

Stepping into Livraria Lello is like stepping into a fairytale world – and that’s not just because the design was inspired by JK Rowling (who spent a lot of time there)! The bookstore is one of the oldest bookstores in the world and is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores across the globe!

Despite the connotations of bookstores being quiet and uninspiring places, Livraria Lello has become a buzzing Porto point of interest, hence the entry fee to quieten things down a bit. Nevertheless, the little bookstore is a must-see spot!

Everything about the store is magical. From the stained glass that makes up the ceiling to the giant wooden forked staircase – prepare to be blown away! If you want to really enjoy the enchanting atmosphere of Livraria Lello without the crowds, then make it the first stop on your itinerary for Porto! If you don’t consider yourself an early worm, then the next best time to go is about an hour before it closes.

Livraria Lello
Livraria Lello, Porto | Source: Farbregas Hareluya (Shutterstock)

Speaking of which, the opening hours for the bookstore are 9:30 am to 7:30 pm. Tickets for the bookstore can be bought in an alley nearby, but can also be bought online.

If you are a Harry Potter fan, then a visit to Livraria Lello is a must! One step into the doorway  and you are whisked away into a wizarding world! Make sure that you take as many photographs as you can, otherwise, no one would believe that you were ever there!

Insider tip: If you buy a book from Livraria Lello, you don’t only get to take home an epic souvenir, but you also get your entry free deducted from the cost!

Day 1 / Stop 2 – Carmo and Carmelita Churches

  • Why it’s awesome: Explore some of Porto’s most distinguished and revered landmarks – the churches!
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Nonna Piazza serves great food at a spot right next to the park. The pizzas are larger than expected – so keep that in mind when ordering!

From the outside, the Carmo and Carmelita churches appear as one, large place of worship. In reality, they are two separate churches separated by an incredibly narrow house. The extremely narrow house is rumored to have been built to separate the nuns and the monks.

The architecture of these ancient churches is exquisite! Designed in Baroque style, as many other buildings in Porto, the churches give significant insight into the influence of the city in days gone by.

Carmelita church (locally known as Igreja dos Carmelitas Descalços) was built in the 17th century for Carmelite nuns, while Carmo Church (Igreja do Carmo) was built a little bit later in the 18th century. Both churches are regal in appearance, and quite a sight to behold!

Carmo and Carmelita Churches
Carmo and Carmelita Churches, Porto | Source: Vector99 (Shutterstock)

Looking for the perfect Instagram shot? The outside wall of the Carmo church, in particular, is truly spectacular. It is made up of blue and white azulejo tiles put together in an iconic Portuguese manner!

The churches are open to visitors from 7:15 am to 7 pm from Monday to Friday, and from 9 am to 6:45 pm on weekends.

If you have a little bit of extra time, and you find the narrow house in between the churches particularly fascinating, then you can also peek inside! This, however, comes at a small fee.

Day 1 / Stop 3 – Clérigos Church Tower

  • Why it’s awesome: Climb the 225 steps and be rewarded with the most outstanding panoramic view of Porto from the top of the tower
  • Cost: USD $5
  • Food nearby: If you want a little tapas snack before (or after) your adventure, Brick Clérigos has you covered with super tasty tapas dishes!

While you’re out visiting churches, you have to also stop past Clérigos church and marvel at the breathtaking view from the top of the tower. The Clérigos Church is a short walk away from Carmo and Carmelita, but offers a slightly different experience.

While Clérigos church boasts the same intricate architecture and detailed design as Carmo and Carmelita, the main attraction on the site is the church’s tower. Not only are the delicate carvings magnificent, but the climb to the top promises an outstanding panoramic view of the city that is unparalleled!

Clérigos Church Tower
Clérigos Church Tower, Porto

The ornate bell tower stands tall at a height of 75-meters and is an iconic shape in the city’s silhouette. It was first opened in 1763 and has since been visited by countless people on a daily basis.

The church is open from 9 am to 7 pm for a day pass, and from 7 pm to 11 pm for a night pass. Whether you climb to the top at day or night, the view is an unforgettable sight!

Insider tip: The space on the tower is limited, and so each ticket will have a fixed hour for viewing. Make the most of exploring the interior of the church and visit the nearby restaurants while you wait for your slot!

The Best Travel Backpack?!

Pssssst! Not picked the perfect travel backpack yet? The Broke Backpacker team has tried out over thirty backpacks this year! Our favourite carry on backpack is the Nomatic Travel Backpack.

Check out this post to read our full review!

Day 1 / Stop 4 – São Bento

  • Why it’s awesome: Visit one of the world’s most beautiful train stations
  • Cost: Free!
  • Food nearby: Tapabento S.Bento is a warm, authentic restaurant at the bottom of the station’s staircase and serves some of the best food in Porto

There’s a very good reason that São Bento is loved as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world. The intricate design is so mesmerizing that you might miss your train.

The station was built towards the end of the 19th century as a central hub of commute and greetings. It was named after a Benedictine monastery that once occupied the space two centuries back.

Five years after the station was built, it’s most famous feature was installed – an intricate tile display!

More than 20,000 azulejo tin-glazed ceramic tiles decorate the walls. Take the time to look at the tiles as they tell fascinating tales of Portugal’s history. The illustrations on the tiles are considered a true masterpiece, depicting key moments in history involving stories of war, royalty and transportation.

São Bento
São Bento, Porto

As the railway station is a central location for commuters, you are guaranteed to come across all sorts of interesting people passing through. Taxis are available just outside the station, so if you plan on traveling further after your visit, you won’t have to venture too far.

While the station is open at all hours to visit, the ticket offices only operate from 6:40 am to 8:35 pm. At night, the outside of the station is beautifully lit up, highlighting the site as one of the most beautiful Porto attractions.

Insider tip: The Porto Metro Line D (Yellow) stops at São Bento. So if you want a quick and easy way to get there, jump on the metro. However, a walk to the station offers a great experience in the local streets.

Day 1 / Stop 5 – Casa da Música

  • Why it’s awesome: A rare music venue that appears to be from outer space
  • Cost: Free guided tours
  • Food nearby: Café Vitória is a cozy restaurant nearby Casa da Música, and the perfect spot to enjoy a traditional Portuguese meal.

Casa da Música is one of the most interesting sites in Porto. Known in English as the ‘House of Music’, the building fully encompasses a musical mood within the walls of the contemporary building.

The famed concert hall can be experienced in a variety of ways. Firstly, if you simply wish to tour the building, there are free English guided tours every day at 11 am and 4p m. A tour outside of this time costs USD $7 for children older than 12.

The hall consists of seven floors, filled with rooms dedicated to every musical genre that you can imagine. From jazz and rock to electronic and classical, every genre has a space of its own. The above-mentioned tour takes you through the entire hall in just an hour.

Casa da Música
Casa da Música, Porto | Source: Jose Luis Hidalgo R. (Flickr)

There is even a room called Digitópia where you can try out all of the digital and technological resources used to create music!

Another great way to experience Casa da Música is to attend one of the events. There on concerts being held on a daily basis, inviting both locals and travelers to enjoy the beautiful art of music.

Whichever way you choose to enjoy Casa da Música, take a moment to spot the young skaters who have improvised the smooth transitions and ramps to serve the function of a skate park.

Insider tip: If you want to watch a show without the little ones, you can drop them at the purple room which offers a babysitting service!

Check Best Price

Cats Hostel Porto
Conveniently located just around the corner from the Sao Bento metro station. The large rooftop terrace is a great way to relax after a full day exploring, and the ensuite bathrooms promise uninterrupted sleep!
  • $$
  • Free WiFi
  • Linen Included

Day 2 Itinerary in Porto

Ribeira | Igreja de São Francisco | Wine Tour | Foz do Douro | Cândido dos Reis

After spending the first day in Porto exploring the beautiful architecture and history, day two is dedicated to embracing the lifestyle of the city.

Day 2 / Stop 1 – Ribeira

  • Why it’s awesome: Ribeira, which means ‘river’ in Portuguese, is one of the liveliest and festive areas in Porto
  • Cost: Free to explore
  • Food nearby: Start off your 2-day itinerary in Porto at Majestic Café, enjoying a pastry and a coffee in their 1920s style, art nouveau styled shop!

What better way to kick start your second day in Porto than exploring the Ribeira district? Located on Porto’s riverside, Ribeira is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods, and this is evident in the design, layout and architecture of the area.

In fact, the area of Ribeira is a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site! One the waterfront, there is a long strip of cafes, restaurants and shops that add to the vibrant mood of the area. On the opposite banks, there are several port houses, many of which house businesses.

Also along the waterfront in Ribeira is Porto’s iconic Luis I Bridge which was completed in 1886. The double-decker bridge is one of the most popular Porto landmarks. The total length of the bridge stretches over 300 meters and was once the longest structure of its kind in the world. Today, the bridge allows trams and pedestrians an easy commute.

Ribeira
Ribeira, Porto

On one hand, you have the colourful and beautifully designed buildings, finished off with quaint terraces. On the other hand, you have the tranquil Douro River with scattered local fishing boats.

A walk along this river makes for a great morning activity to wake you up and get you in the festive mood!

Insider tip: Although we’ve suggested you start your day in Ribeira, the area also offers a unique and lively experience as night!

Day 2 / Stop 2 – Igreja de São Francisco

  • Why it’s awesome: The breathtaking interior is covered in Gothic-styled, ornate gold details
  • Cost: USD $4,5
  • Food nearby: Restaurants in Porto are known to serve some of the best seafood. Why not try some at the nearby seafood restaurant, Bacalhau?

A day in Porto wouldn’t really be complete without visiting at least one church. After all, the beautiful church designs are one of the top reasons that people travel to Porto!

The magnificent church first underwent construction in 1245 but has since been reformed due to damage caused by fire. However, the ancient Romanesque influence is striking and beautiful, showcasing hints of Baroque style.

Together with the Cathedral and the Clérigos Church, the Church of São Francisco is one of Porto’s most prominent monuments.

Igreja de São Francisco
Igreja de São Francisco, Porto | Source: Farbregas Hareluya (Shutterstock)

There is a small fee of USD $4,5 to enter the church and explore the interior and catacombs. The church is open to visitors from 9 am to 5:30 pm (November to February), from 9 am to 7 pm (March to October) and from 9 am to 8 pm (July – September).

The church is also super easy to get to. Besides that fact that it is nearby other key attractions such as Ribeira and Palácio da Bolsa, you can easily arrive at the church by hopping on the bus (lines 1, 56, 91, 23 and 49)!

Perhaps the highlight of the stunning church is its extravagant gold features. This “metal makeover” was given to the church in the 1700s, and attracts countless visitors today!

Day 2 / Stop 3 – Wine Tasting

  • Why it’s awesome: Taste some of the best port wine in the world as served in a tasting room with artisanal cheese or chocolate pairings
  • Cost: Anything between USD $14 to USD $130
  • Food nearby: Some of the best wine tasting experiences are hosted in the area of Gaia, along the Douro River. We’d recommend dining at Espaço Porto Cruz, a chic Portuguese restaurant along the river

The Porto district is known around the world for producing incredible port wine. A visit to a port wine cellar is a must-do activity when visiting Porto! The great news is that there are so many to choose from – so just take your pick.

Some of the best wine tasting experiences can be enjoyed at Caves Croft, Caves Offley, and Caves Burmester, but there are so many other wonderful spots.

In addition to experiencing smooth flavors, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn all about the industry. From the history of the wine in the area to the best ways to drink the wine, a wine tasting experience will enrich your time in Porto.

Wine Tasting
Wine Tasting, Porto

While the wine itself is outstanding, so is the view offered by the majority of the cellars! Whether you are situated along the tranquil Douro River, at the top of a rolling green hill, or surrounded by wine barrels – the experience will be unforgettable!

If you really want to make the most of the wine tasting experience, you should dedicate a few hours to the activity. Two to three hours will allow you to relax, enjoy the wine and the views that come with it.

Insider tip: Although there are a variety of cellars to choose from, we suggest that you book a tasting in advance. The alternative is to spend a couple of hours trying to find a cellar that matches your expectations!

Day 2 / Stop 4 – Sunset at Foz do Douro

  • Why it’s awesome: Watch the sunset from one of Porto’s most magical spots on the seaside
  • Cost: Free
  • Food nearby: Praia da Luz offers an unparalleled view of the sea and is the perfect spot to wind down after a busy day with a cocktail and some seafood

Sunset in Porto is something special. Watching the sun dip behind the horizon, painting a golden hue on the old buildings as it goes, is an unforgettable moment!

Porto is a fairly hilly city, which is great if you are a sunset fan. You can pretty much go anywhere in the city and bump into a festive spot of locals saying goodbye to the day, and hello to the evening.

One of the best places to your Porto trip itinerary for sunset is Foz do Douro. While many of the top sunset spots are located up high, this one is on the coast. There is an atmosphere of tranquility, beauty and enchantment at the coastal sunset spot.

Sunset at Foz do Douro
Foz do Douro, Porto | Source: Fotokon (Shutterstock)

The chic, sophisticated area is along the seaside and is home to several Porto landmarks. Some of these attractions include the Fortress São Baptista da Foz, Fort São Francisco, and the promenade along the ocean’s edge.

To get to Foz do Douro, simply hop onto the bus (line 500). There are several restaurants, cafes and bars along the strip for you to enjoy! If you are feeling energetic, you can take a walk along the water’s edge and visit the lighthouse for an extra special view!

Insider tip: This is a particularly romantic spot if you are wanting to impress your significant other! There are no rules against drinking on the beach, so grab a bottle of delicious Porto wine and cozy down to watch the sunset!

Day 2 / Stop 5 – Cândido dos Reis

  • Why it’s awesome: One of the best areas to enjoy the vibrant, festive nightlife in Porto
  • Cost: Free to roam, just pay for your drinks
  • Food nearby: Mirajazz is a fantastic spot along the popular street. The jazz & blues bar serves tasty tapas and great drinks to kick off your night.

If you haven’t indulged a little in the nightlife on offer in Porto, then now’s your chance – especially if you are spending the weekend in Porto!

Downtown Porto is the place to be and, more specifically, Cândido dos Reis. Not only is the area vibrant, full of amazing architecture, delectable food and a fascinating heritage, but it is also one of the top entertainment spots in Porto.

Start your night off with a glass of Porto’s delicious red, white or rosé wine before moving on to another quirky, character-filled bar or restaurant. Cândido dos Reis and Galeria de Paris are two streets in downtown Porto that pump with activity. They run parallel to one another and are known by the locals as “galleries” which essentially means bars with a variety of music.

Cândido dos Reis
Cândido dos Reis, Porto | Source: Alessia Damone (Flickr)

Arguably the best spot – among locals and travelers alike – is Plano B. It is one of the oldest entertainment spots in the area, and undoubtedly one of the most popular!

On the last Saturday of each month, Cândido dos Reis becomes the stage for the Little Market of Clerics where you can find unique urban crafts and antiques, food stands and musical performances.

Insider tip: Planning to dance the night away? Most of these “galleries” only really pick up around midnight. Take your time exploring the other vintage cafes and bars until then.

Livraria Lello

You should always have emergency cash hidden on you - pick up this awesome security belt with its hidden pocket before you travel, it's perfect for hiding money, a passport photocopy.

GET IT HERE

Day Three and Beyond

Crystal Palace Gardens | Serralves Museum and Villa | Palácio da Bolsa | Praça da Liberdade | Douro River Trip

If you are lucky enough to be able to plan a 3-day itinerary in Porto, then you are in for a treat. The city has so much to explore, and a 2 day itinerary in Porto only scratches the surface.

Crystal Palace Gardens

  • Incredible natural setting with free WiFi spots
  • Palácio de Cristal’s gardens are known to be the most beautiful gardens in the whole of Porto
  • The entrance to the gardens is free for locals and travelers to enjoy

Loved as one of the most beautiful spots in the whole of Porto, Crystal Palace Gardens is also known to preserve the heart of the city as a popular tourist attraction.

Crystal Palace Gardens are open from 8 am to 7 pm from November to March, and from 8 am to 9 pm from April to October. The gardens are part of a greater park that also houses Porto Romantic Museum and the Port Wine Museum, essentially giving you the opportunity to kill three birds with one stone! This is an excellent chance for an unforgettable Porto tour.

Crystal Palace Gardens
Crystal Palace Gardens, Porto | Source: Kiev.Victor (Shutterstock)

The Crystal Palace Gardens are not only identifiable by the breathtaking and well-groomed grounds, but also by the large Rosa Mota pavilion which hosts concerts and events throughout the year.

If you are looking for an incredible place to start your day, catch a mid-day reprise, or watch the sunset, then the gardens are the perfect option! The location is great for families, lovers and solo travelers alike.

Serralves Museum and Villa

  • Visit Serralves Museum and Villa and travel back in time to the 1930s.
  • Explore the unique Art Deco architecture of the villa.
  • Calling all history-lovers for a fascinating and enriching adventure through the museum and villa!

Serralves is revered as an icon in Portuguese Art Deco architecture and design. The museum showcases some of the finest cutting-edge art within the walls of a minimalist building. On the same property, the villa serves as the head office for the Serralves Foundation and is an extension of the museum for temporary exhibitions!

Serralves Museum and Villa
Serralves Museum and Villa, Porto | Source: Visual Cortex (Shutterstock)

While all children under the age of 12 can visit free, there is an entry fee for adult admission. If you only want to visit the museum or the villa, it will cost USD $13 at each point. Our suggestion is that you buy a ticket from the Serralves Foundation. They cost USD $20 which gives visitors access to the Museum of Contemporary Art, Serralves Park, Serralves House and House of Cinema Manoel de Oliveira.

Once you’ve done exploring the museum, stroll on up to the villa, located at one of the highest points of the property. The villa looks over the rest of the park with an air of magnificence. First belonging to Count Carlos Alberto Cabral, today the villa stamps a prominent mark of architectural genius.

Palácio da Bolsa

  • The name of the decorated, historical building in Porto can be translated as “the Stock Exchange Palace”.
  • It’s known to be the headquarters of Porto’s commercial association.
  • Make sure you visit the central courtyard (Pátio das Nações) which is enclosed in a glass structure!

Prepare to have your mind blown from the moment that you first step foot into the magnificent palace! First built in the mid-nineteenth century, adopting a neoclassical style, Palácio da Bolsa is located in the heart of the city center.

The palace is open to the public between 9 am to 6:30 pm between April and October, and 9 am – 12:30 pm and then 2 pm – 5:30 pm between November and March. After hopping on the bus (lines 1, 57, 91, 23 and 49), you can explore the beauty of the palace from as little as USD $9.

Palácio da Bolsa
Palácio da Bolsa, Porto | Source: Kirill Neiezhmakov (Shutterstock)

Palácio da Bolso is without a doubt one of the best places to visit in Porto! If you love history, architecture and design, then you have to add this onto your Porto itinerary.

Make sure that you take the time to admire the marble and granite staircase, explore the Golden room and marvel at the detail in the General Assembly Room!

There are loads of half-hour guided tours available in the palace which are amazing in providing interesting information about the history of both the palace and Porto.

Praça da Liberdade

  • Known as ‘Liberty Square’ in English, Praça da Liberdade is one of the most important squares in Porto
  • Praça da Liberdade links old town Porto with the new, modern part of the town.
  • The square is centrally located, nearby Clérigos Tower and São Bento.

If you plan on touring Porto, you can’t miss out on a visit to Praça da Liberdade. The square is free to visit, and easily accessed by the metro (just hop off at Aliados on line D).

In the middle of the square, a large, 10-meter bronze statue of King Peter IV from 1862 attracts attention. His tribute is a symbol of how hard the king fought to protect the constitution during the Liberal Wars.

Praça da Liberdade
Praça da Liberdade, Porto | Source: katatonia82 (Shutterstock)

Beautiful, modern buildings frame the square along one side, with older buildings such as the Town Hall and city banks line another.

There are several charming restaurants and cafes to sit at and enjoy the mood that the square encourages!

In the past, Praça da Liberdade was used as a festive meeting point for locals, as well as a site to hang liberals in the early 1800s. Today, the square represents a promise of the future as it joins the old city and the new city of Porto together.

Douro River Trip

  • Discover the natural landscape of the beautiful city of Porto from a unique vantage point
  • Enjoy a relaxing and rejuvenating cruise along the famous Douro River
  • A great activity regardless of your traveling group – perfect for romantics, families and solo travelers

Wondering what to do in Porto that will forever remain a loving memory? A Douro River trip needs to be added to your Porto itinerary!

Cruises down the Douro River vary in price, depending on the route, size of the group and what the cruise entails. Whichever cruise you choose, it will most likely be worth it!

Marvel at the exquisite Portuguese landscape as you float along the river. Not only is the scenery phenomenal, but you also get to experience the city of Porto from an entirely different perspective.

Douro River Trip
Douro River, Porto

There are several river cruises to choose from, allowing travelers to fit the cruise into their Porto itinerary. Pick from long or short, morning or sunset and private or group Douro River trips, all showcasing the beauty within Porto.

If you have the time, and the money, you can even choose an overnight cruise that ventures further along the 897 km of the Douro River.

Don’t forget to pack a good book!

Porto: Stories from Portugal’s Historic Bolhão Market: This is our top recommendation for an awesome and inspiring read on this magical city.

Staying Safe in Porto

Portugal is a safe country and Porto is considered a very safe city to visit. There is a very low crime rate and social issues associated with a city of its size. Despite this sense of security, petty theft is still a risk – as it is in any major city!

With this in mind, it’s best to remain vigilant and keep your wits about you. A few simple precautions can make your trip that much more pleasant. For example, always keep your wallet or purse in a bag or a deep pocket, away from the convenience of an opportunistic thief!

Another tip is to not be flashy – either with cash or expensive items. Use ATMS during the day rather than at night, and at night, don’t walk in unknown areas or in the streets alone.

If you enjoy the (very fun) nightlife in Porto, make the necessary arrangements to get home safely afterward. Especially if you are planning on indulging in a few drinks (the port of Porto is hard to resist)!

Overall, you can visit Porto with peace of mind, as long as you keep your mind aware.

Don’t forget to sort your travel insurance! We’ve put together a roundup of the best travel insurance for backpackers, or if you’re low on time, get a quote from World Nomads now, our favourite travel insurance provider.

Getting an estimate from World Nomads is simple – just click the button or image below, fill out the necessary info, and you’re on your way!

world nomads insurance banner

Day Trips from Porto

Adventuring in Porto is just the tip of the charming iceberg, there are so many day trips from Porto that will leave you grinning from ear-to-ear!

Douro Valley Tour

Douro Valley Tour
Douro Valley Tour

Douro Valley is known for its breathtaking landscapes that produce some of the best port wines, table wins and olive oil in Portugal. A full day trip from Porto to Douro Valley is a great way to taste these renowned delicacies and absorb the beauty of the surrounding landscape!

Make sure that you stop at the viewpoint in Peso da Régua which gives you your final glimpse of the city before fully immersing in the valley’s treasures. While in the valley, make sure that you enjoy the tranquility offered by a cruise down the Douro River.

Check Tour Price

Guimarães and Braga

Guimaraes and Braga
The cradle of Portugal.

Porto has a dark side, or rather, a medieval side, just waiting to be explored. There’s no better place to discover this fascinating Portuguese history than at Guimarães and Braga. Here, you can wander through the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, see the cathedral in Braga and visit the Bom Jesus Sanctuary!

The full-day trip from Porto brings travelers up close with the birthplace of the Portuguese nation. Guimarães is often referred to as the “cradle of Portugal” and offers a preserved experience of the medieval times. If you are a lover of history and architecture, then this trip is a must!

Check Tour Price

4×4 Mountain Tour

4x4 Mountain Tour

Are you an adventure junkie looking for a thrill? Then take the journey to the outskirts of the quaint town of Porto and venture up to the mountains. The tour of the rugged landscape takes travelers past age-old Roman mines and a rural mountain village!

The entire experience boasts exquisite panoramic views of the city, rolling hills and green landscape. A 4×4 mountain tour around Porto’s borders is an incredible way to connect with nature and discover a different side of the town’s history. Make sure that your camera is fully charged, as the views are truly spectacular.

Check Tour Price

Aveiro and Coimbra

Aveiro and Coimbra

Portugal has got a thriving maritime culture, and Aveiro is one of it’s most popular maritime spots. The great news is that the canals of Aveiro is easily accessible from Porto, making it a great day trip.

After cruising along the Aveiro River, you get to explore the historic city of Coimbra which is best known for being a beautiful waterfront city and the country’s previous capital. There are several attractions to tick off on this tour, such as the Old (and New) Cathedral, the Fish Market, the Aveiro Salt Ponds and the Barra lighthouse.

Check Tour Price

Fátima and Coimbra

Fátima and Coimbra

The Shrine of Fátima is known throughout Portugal as one of the country’s most important pilgrimage sites. Whether or not you are religious, attending mass at this sanctuary offers an unparalleled experience and one that attracts countless visitors on a daily basis.

The tour to Fátima goes through the historic city of Coimbra, offering the opportunity to catch a glimpse of one of Europe’s oldest universities. This tour is a great experience for those with an interest in the religious and educational history of Portugal!

Check Tour Price

Universal Travel AdapterOne of the best investments you can make is a worldwide travel adapter that will work anywhere! The one featured here is tough, reliable and a solid buy - Don’t leave home without one.

GET IT HERE

Conclusion

With so much to do and see in and around Porto, you can be sure that you are in for an unforgettable experience! The charming city welcomes millions of visitors every year, and there is a reason that these numbers are constantly increasing!

Take your time soaking up the authentic mood as you walk through the cobblestone streets, and buy pastries from the local baker. Try to freeze the magical moments of beauty as you stroll along the waterfront, and take advantage of the friendliness of the locals to ask any questions burning in your mind!

Yay for transparency! Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you book your accommodation through the site, The Broke Backpacker will earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Your support helps me keep the site going.


Need More Inspiration?

Like this post? PIN ME!!!

Our epic PORTO ITINERARY shows you all of the best things to do while you are in Porto - no matter your budget!