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Visit Porto Portugal

Visit Porto in Portugal

Porto, the beautiful coastal city in the North-west of Portugal is primarily known for its Port wine.  However, this beautiful city is definitely worth a visit as many attractions like the beautiful bridges and colorful buildings alone add to its charm. Its stunning Old Town on the picturesque Douro River and the beautiful bridges are awesome places to take photos.

There are no shortage in fabulous photo opportunities and if you’re looking for beautiful Instagram photo spots,  Porto is a must visit destination.

Vineyards Terraced

The beautiful Douro Valley

In the Douro Valley of Northern Portugal, they produce the world-famous Port wine (also known as Vinho do Porto, Portuguese pronunciation: [ˌviɲu duˈpoɾtu], or simply port) – a Portuguese fortified wine, which is enjoyed all over the world.

While in Porto you simply must do a wine cellar tour and tasting.

Day Trips and Tours

Explore Porto and the Douro Valley. Go on wine tours, food tours, guided walking tours, a river cruise, a bike tour, explore Porto on a Segway, attend a tile painting workshop or book a culinary experience. There are so many options.

Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto’s historic center received UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996 and follows the flow of the Douro River to where it opens up into the sea.  As it is situated in the heart of Costa Verde with its rugged coastline, there are also a few good beaches to visit while you’re on holiday.  Matosinhos beach with its wide stretch of sand is one of the favorites amongst locals.  The upmarket Foz do Douro district of Porto is the place to hang out until late.

Porto vs Lisbon

If at all possible I would suggest a visit to both as each has its own charm.  However Porto is smaller than Lisbon, so it is easier to explore on foot and the combination of cafes, castles, beautiful streets, restaurants, and plenty of fabulous wine, just adds to its charm.  Because Lisbon is much larger, it is more difficult to explore on foot but you can easily combine the two in one trip.

Bridge in Porto Portugal

How much time to spend in Porto

You can explore and see all the main attractions in Porto within two days, but for a holiday we would suggest 3 to 4 days or longer.  This will give you time to enjoy the culture and have a bit of leisure time during your stay.  If you stay in Lisbon, you can do a day trip to Porto or vice versa, but be warned that this is a very rushed way of exploring.  You might not enjoy the two cities as much if you’re in a hurry to pack everything into one day.  

In my opinion, it is best to book a stay in Lisbon and a stay in Porto.  That way you get the best of both and enough time to really enjoy both.

Things to do in Porto, Portugal

You have to stop at:

  • The very impressive, unique, and one of the most beautiful book shops in the world:  Livraria Lello Bookstore is a special experience with its extravagant interior and iconic stairway.  Photos just don’t do it justice.
  • The 76-meter high Clerigos Tower is one of Porto’s main attractions.
  • Take in the beautiful architecture of the Igreja da Misericórdia do Porto building and the Igreja de Sao Francisco church.  
  • The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) in Porto with its ‘Arab Room’ is impressive, to say the least.  (Yes you’ll just have to visit to see and experience.) – Photos below.
Palacio da Bolsa Stock Exchange Palace is a historical building in Portugal
Palacio da Bolsa, inside & outside.
Decor at the Palacio da Bolsa Stock Exchange Palace is a historical building on June in Porto Portugal

Holiday Package

Book a ready-made trip

Book a ready-made holiday with a trusted tour operator to Porto and explore all the best sights.
Distance from Lisbon to Porto
  • A 55 min flight (You can book your flights easily with this – LINK)
  • 3 hours (312 km) by car (Book your car rental – LINK)
    • We do recommend renting a car, as you will be able to do much more sightseeing and exploring the surrounding areas. Some of which are not so easily accessible with public transport.

Is there a language barrier in Porto?

Although the main language which is spoken in Porto, Portugal is Portuguese, everyone within the tourist industry speaks English.  So you will have no problem understanding the people. 

Iconic photo spot

One of Porto’s most iconic symbols is the 72 meters (240 ft) high Dom Luis I bridge which spans the River Douro.  This iron bridge (one of six across the Douro River) was completed in 1886 and still carries traffic from the Ribeira to Vila Nova de Gaia. 

Best time to visit Porto

The best time to visit Porto is from May to October with sunny and warm weather.  As Porto has a Mediterranean climate you can expect fabulous weather during summertime.  But be prepared during high season the beaches often becomes very busy. 

Porto on a budget

If you’re looking at saving some money, you might consider traveling during Spring or Autumn.  Between March to May and September to October you will still have warm weather, but fewer crowds.

Street photo
Book accommodation in Porto direct with Booking.com

Porto is a popular backpacking and budget-friendly holiday destination. You’ll find many affordable hostels and inexpensive restaurants, and for the young-at-heart, the nightlife of the city is definitely bustling with energy.

Where to stay in Porto

Compare price and what is available:  Popular accommodation options in the lovely city of Porto in Portugal: