Porto is one of the must-see cities in Portugal.With a lot of history, beautiful old buildings and delicious wines, there is plenty to do in Porto, Portugal.
The Historic Center is the main tourist attraction in Porto, with steep streets, many churches and super photogenic views of the Douro River.
What to visit in Porto includes seeing the most beautiful buildings, strolling along the medieval Ribeira, visiting a port wine cellar and even going to the beach, in addition to various tours .
In this article, we present the main tourist attractions in Porto in detail and with several travel tips that we learned there!
Use our index belowto go to the section that interests you the most:
Then, also read our special article on where to stay in Porto, Portugal, well located and worthy inns, apartments and hotels, up to real cheap accommodation!
What to do in Porto, Portugal?Main sights in Porto
Ribeira in Porto
The district of Ribeira is an old neighborhood of fishermen and merchants, in the lower region of Porto, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
Its beauty is due to the fact that it has narrow streets with many old houses, some even medieval.It is a very historic aerial.
At the Ribeira quay, you can walk along the Douro River and take great pictures.There are several restaurants, both on the pier and in the steep streets.
We visited Ribeira a few times and decided to cross the Luís I Bridge on foot.This bridge is one of the city’s postcards, having been built in the late 19th century by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel.
Despite its short length, the Luís I Bridge is impressive because it has two decks and a distinctive architecture.It is possible to cross the Luís I Bridge on foot on the lower and upper decks.
We went to Vila Nova de Gaia on the lower deck and returned to Porto on the upper deck, the latter ending at the old city walls. .Another tip on what to do in Porto, Portugal!
Port Wine Cellars
Port is the ideal place to better understand what Port wine is, visit the cellars and, of course, buy various wines.
The wine of Porto emerged in the 17th century with the intention of identifying the wine produced on the banks of the Douro River, industrialized in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia and exported by the city of Porto.
In Port wine, fermentation is interrupted to the addition of wine spirit.red tawny winehas an aroma of nuts and spices and was my favourite.White wine ranges from sweet to dry and rosé is a light wine.
Without a doubt, visiting the wine cellars is one of the must-do attractions in Porto, Portugal.
We visited the Taylor’s cellar and enjoyed the guided tour and explanations, as well as the 3 types of wines tasted.Just cross the Luís I Bridge to reach the cellars.
Currently, the visit to Taylor’s includes two types of wines and is accompanied by an audio guide.The cost is 15 euros per person.No need to book in advance.
On our last visit to Portugal, we tasted Ferreira’s tawny wine and really liked it.The visit to Ferreira costs 14 euros and also includes 2 wines.
On the way back from the cellars, we continue our tour of Vila Nova de Gaia.We went to the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, which has incredible views of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia.
If you want to visit the farms in Alto Douro, read the post about tours from Porto, Portugal.
Clérigos Tower in Porto
The Ribeira, wine and the Clérigos Tower are the symbols of the city of Porto.As it is located in the upper part of the city, the Clérigos Tower offers one of the most beautiful views in the region.
The Clérigos Tower is located in the Clérigos Church and has 225 steps spread over its 75 meters of height.When the sun comes out, the priority should be to climb the tower and enjoy the views from above.
The Clérigos Tower has a very striking shack style, having been built in mid 18th century.The architect responsible was the Italian Nicolau Nasoni, who built several monuments around Porto.
To climb the Torre dos Clérigos, the adult ticket costs 6 eurosand includes a visit to a small museum in the place.From the top floors of the exhibition, you have an excellent view of the interior of the Clérigos Church.
Palácio da Bolsa
Palácio da Bolsa is an important historic building in Porto, as it has richly decorated roomsthat will leave any visitor speechless.
Palácio da Bolsa was built in the late 19th century over the ruins of the monastery belonging to the Igreja de São Francisco.
There are several internal areas that deserve to be highlighted, such as the large and mosaic-filled Pátio das Nações, the luxurious blue granite stairs, the commercial courtroom and the Arab Salon.
The highlight of the visit is the Arab Hall.The adult ticket costs 11 euros.
Igrejas do Porto, in Portugal
Churches are important historical and cultural monuments in Portugal and Porto.There are many churches in Porto and you will find several during your walks.
The best known is the Catedral da Sé do Porto, with its gigantic size and Gothic style.It is located in a high area of the city, with the Ribeira just below.The Cathedral does not have the charm of small Baroque churches.
In fact, there is no shortage of surprising Baroque churches, such as the Carmo and Carmelitas Churches, the Church of Santa Clara and the Church of São Francisco.
The Church of the Carmelitesis sure to make anyone’s jaw drop.The combination of gold and Baroque style made this church quite exaggerated.
Gardens of Palácio de Cristal and Casa da Música
As we stayed in Porto for several days, we decided to go beyond the Historic Center.The Crystal Palace Gardens are one of the city’s green attractions, a different option on what to visit in Porto.
In spring, the gardens are full of flowers, as you can see in the image above.It’s a good place to relax and you can even see the mouth of the Douro River.
It also houses the Romantic Museum (19th century house-museum) and the Crystal Palace.Neither of them is more beautiful than the view and the flowers.
The Casa da Músicais Porto’s main concert hall, where the Porto National Orchestra performs.You can watch a performance by the Orchestra for less than 20 euros.
Another highlight of Casa da Música is its distinctive architecture.It looks like the building is upside down.
More Sights in Porto, Portugal
Walking is one of the best ways to see Porto.There are special areas of the city that deserve a camera that is always ready to take pictures, such as Rua Santa Catarina, Avenida dos Aliados and Rua Miguel Bombarda.
Rua Santa Catarina is full of action. .There are many shops, bakeries and the famous Majestic Caféon the street.
Rua Miguel Bombarda is popular for its art galleries, fashion businesses and charm.We spent a Saturday there and there were artistic performances and a street fair.
The beautiful Avenida dos Aliados has squares and monuments, such as the Bank of Portugal, BBVA and the City Hall.It’s a more pompous place, but very beautiful.
There are other less obvious tourist attractions to do in Porto, such as São Bento Station.
Outside, the station is already impressive and inside there are several walls with tiles depicting historical moments from northern Portugal.This station is what Porto is all about!
I can’t help but mention the historic Mercado do Bolhão.Built in the mid-19th century, Mercado do Bolhão is a typical public market, with lots of fish, fruits and assorted foods.
Currently (2020), Mercado do Bolhão is being restored and is likely to attract even more tourists when it’s ready.
Speaking of attracting tourists, one of the places that most attracts travelers is the Livraria Lello.The place became famous as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world.It is even said that it was the inspiration for one of the sets in Harry Potter.
The main issue is that Livraria Lello has become so touristy and crowded that you now have to pay 5 euros to access it.This amount is discounted from the purchase of a book.
The bookstore is beautiful, but it is small, there is usually a line to get in and it is very crowded.
Estádio do Dragão
For football fans, it is worth taking a guided tour of Estádio do Dragão, by the Porto.
The Porto team has won many national and international glories, becoming famous and receiving many visitors.
We enjoyed the visit, the structure of Estádio do Dragão and getting to know a little more about the history of the team, which has had many Brazilian players.
The tour of the stadium and admission to the club’s museumcosts 15 euros for adults.
Beaches near Porto
If the sun comes out, stop by Matosinhos beach , located 30 minutes by subway from the Center of Porto.You can also visit Castelo do Queijo, a 17th-century fort that adds to the charm of the beach.
Next to Matosinhos and Castelo do Queijo is the largest urban park in Portugal, the City Park of Porto.
Other beaches nearby that are worth visiting are the beaches in Vila Nova de Gaia and Espinho.
Map of Porto with sights
Check all the attractions mentioned in this article on the tourist map of the city of Porto, Portugal.
Just click on the “ button with arrow” to access the Porto map legend.
If you want to know in detail which are the best day trips, we recommend that you read our special article on tours from Porto , Portugal.In total, there are 9 really close options!
What to do on rainy days in Porto, Portugal?
Porto is a city with beautiful streets, interesting neighborhoods and the beauty of the Douro River.The problem is that all these tourist spots are not suitable for visiting on rainy days.
Be aware that the city is usually quite rainy in the winter months.We visited Portugal at the end of March and we had unstable days, but it only rained for one day.
Our recommendation is to keep an eye on the weather forecast so that you can organize your days.
Without Without a doubt, what to do in Porto when it rains includes visiting the Port Wine cellarsin Vila Nova de Gaia.
Although most producing companies ask to schedule a visit, it is possible to purchase guided tours of the cellars the day before or even at the time, depending on demand.
An example of a good tour of the cellars is the tour of Adegas da Calém with tasting, including guided tour and museum interactive.
Investing in guided tours is an option on what to do in the rain in Porto.
Without a doubt, the most unmissable visit is the Palácio da Bolsa, a construction with an outstanding exterior, but with exuberant interior decoration.
The highlight is the splendor of the Arab Room, completely covered in Arabic designs withwith gold leaves.Just a wealth!
If you want free attractions, visiting the churches should be on your itinerary, being ideal for days with light rain, because you’ll have to move between them.
There are several beautiful churches in Porto.The Carmo and Carmelitas Churches are two buildings, the first dating from the mid-18th century and the second from the mid-17th century.
The Carmelitas Church is super golden on the inside and is therefore a must.We found the Capela das Almasparticularly charming.
Rainy days can be well spent enjoying the city’s gastronomy, not least because Portugal is a country with good prices for eating out.
If you want to get to know the local cuisine in depth, it’s worth taking part in this gastronomic tour and wine tasting in Porto.
Even when it rains, you can enjoy the evenings.Our recommendation is to participate in this Fado show at Casa da Guitarra, a place with an intimate atmosphere and praise for the quality of the presentation.
Free tourist attractions in Porto, Portugal
If you have several days of sunshine, your itinerary can include several free tourist attractions in Porto , as most of them are outdoors.
One of the attractions in Porto that we enjoy the most is the free walk along the Ribeira.
We leave the Sé from Porto and we explored the narrow streets of Ribeira until reaching the Douro River.Uptown is the Serra do Pilar Monastery with beautiful views and easy access to the upper deck of the Luís I Bridge.
Again, churches and other religious buildings are free attractions in Porto.
By the way, walking is the best way to get to know Porto for free.
The entire old town deserves walks and lots of photos, but there are special areas, such as Rua Santa Catarina, Avenida dos Aliados (São Bento Station) and Rua Miguel Bombarda, as mentioned in the tourist attractions section.
If you travel to Portugal in summer and the heat is hot, you can enjoy the beaches in Matosinhos, just 30 minutes by metro from the center of Porto.
For those who don’t want to leave the downtown area, you can relax and enjoy nature in the Crystal Palace Gardens.
Now in early spring, the flowers in this garden bloom and show how Portugal has an excellent climate.
What to eat in Porto, Portugal?
The best known typical food in Porto is a snack, quite different from what we are used to in Brazil.
The francesinhais a sandwich with meats and sausages, served in a piri piri pepper sauce (chili type).Fried egg and cheese are on top of the sandwich.The side dish is French fries.
Without a doubt, this sandwich is quite heavy, providing the calories for a whole day up and down hills.
The cod dishes are what Brazilians are all about.bacalhau a Gomes de Sáis the most famous, served with potatoes, eggs and olives.I also really liked the cod à Minhota.
A popular dish from Porto in winter is caldo verde, a soup made with cabbage, potatoes and sausage.There are also Tripas à moda do Porto, a dish created in 1415, when the city ran out of meat.
Portuguese sweets are much more interesting.Just stop at a bakery and wonder what variety is available.
We hope the tips on what to do in Porto, Portugal have helped you!Also check out our article on where to stay in Porto, Portugal, and more travel tips on Travel Insurance for Portugal!
Have a nice trip, Traveler!
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