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Things to do in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal (3-day itinerary)Vou na Janela

I wrote my first post with what to do in Porto, Portugal in 2015. Vou na Janela was just born.Five years later I returned to Porto and now is the time to rewrite this post.With up-to-date and in-depth information and news from this beautiful city.


Walking through the streets of Porto is a journey through time.The second largest city in Portugal preserves its medieval past and offers the future with a modern subway network, an airport to be envied, free internet in much of the city, alongside mansions, trams and buildings older than the discovery of Brazil.

The traditional “tram” of Porto

Despite being the second largest city in the country, the tourist part of Porto is quite small, you can almost all walking tours.However, I recommend staying in the city for 3 full days, so you can explore the city calmly and unhurriedly, at the rhythm of the port.

O que fazer no Porto
Port seen from Vila Nova de Gaia

The Douro River separates Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia and it is not possible to make an itinerary with what to do in Porto, without including Gaia.That’s why this itinerary has two parts, first Porto and then Gaia.

What to do in Porto

Cais da Ribeira

Between an alley and another, we go down towards the Douro River passing through old mansions with facades covered with colorful tiles.And we arrive at Porto’s main postcard, Cais da Ribeira with the famous Luis I Bridge in the background.

O que fazer no Porto
Cais da Ribeira
O que fazer no Porto
Cais da Ribeira

Both the Cais da Ribeira and Praça da Ribeira were the commercial and social heart of Porto during the Middle Ages.This is where boats with merchants from the interior and other corners of the world arrived.

Years passed, a great fire destroyed a good part of Cais da Ribeira, which was reborn over the years with a profusion of small buildings rising.Maria Pia Bridge in Porto.

O que fazer no Porto
The view from above the bridge and the Ribeira Pier below
O que fazer no Porto
The view from above the bridge and the Cais da Ribeira below

Torre dos Clérigos

The Torre dos Clérigos is one of the must-see classics for anyone visiting the city that cannot be left out of your itinerary with what to do in Porto.

The tower and church were built between 1735 and 1748 by the brotherhood of the Clérigos Pobres in Colina dos Enforcados.Yes, it was the place where the Portuguese royal army hanged its enemies back in 1,500.

O que fazer no Porto
Torre dos Clérigos

At 76 meters high, the Torre is one of the tallest structures of the type in Portugal.Taking the more than 200 steps to the top guarantees a spectacular view of the city.From up there, we can see Porto in 360 degrees.

O que fazer no Porto
View from Torre dos Clérigos
O que fazer no Porto
View from Torre dos Clérigos

Entrance costs 5 euros, but be careful on the stairs, they are very tight and slippery.If you can get there early, even better, as the place is very crowded and we are talking about a small bookstore.I never had the patience to stand in that queue.

Praça da Liberdade

Praça da Liberdade is in the heart of Porto, a large space surrounded by old buildings with Renaissance architecture.In the surroundings of the square there are a multitude of good restaurants and cafes.Including the most beautiful McDonalds in the world, which is housed in an old building with huge crystal chandeliers and Art Deco-style stained glass windows.

O que fazer no Porto
Porto City Hall

On the opposite side of the square is the very traditional Café Guarany, which has been operating in the same building since 1933.Luís I Bridge in the background.

I enjoyed staying in this uptown so much that on my last trip I stayed at InterContinental Porto – Cardosas Palace.According to the immigration lady at the airport, it is the second best hotel in the city.

And honestly, the InterContinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas is a true 18th century palace in the heart of Porto.Everything was perfect, the room, bathroom, bath amenities and movie breakfast.It was well worth the investment.

How much does it cost to travel to Portugal
Tips from Portugal for your first trip
How to use the Porto Metro
What it’s like to go through immigration from Porto
What it’s like to go through immigration in Lisbon

What to do in Porto and Gaia
Itinerary in Portugal: from Porto to Lisbon
How to visit the Tower dos Clérigos
6 Bridges Cruise in Porto
Where to eat in Porto

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