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Things to do in Porto

Things to do in  Porto

Welcome to Porto

Characterized by cobbled hills, colorful tiled facades, and a tumble of terracotta roofs, Porto is a laidback destination which blends old and new world charm with ease. From the modern Casa da Música and Don Luis Bridge to the steep streets of riverside Ribeira, historical Baixa—home to the Lello Bookstore—and trendy Cedofeita, there’s no shortage of things to do and see. After hours, sample decadent pastéis de nata (custard tarts) and smooth tawny ports; take a Rabelo boat ride down the Douro; or catch a late-night Fado performance in Portugal’s second city.

Top 15 things to do in Porto

#1
Clérigos Church and Tower (Torre & Igreja dos Clérigos)

Clérigos Church and Tower (Torre & Igreja dos Clérigos)

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Standing atop a hill overlooking Porto, Portugal, are the Igreja dos Clérigos, an 18th-century church and one of the city’s architectural symbols, and the Toree dos Clérigos, its bell tower. Intricately carved baroque shells and garlands on the church reflect Porto’s seaside location, and the bell tower offers panoramic views of the city.More
#2
Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)

Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)

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Watching over the city from its hilltop spot, the imposing fort-like Porto Cathedral (Sé Catedral do Porto)is a reminder of Porto’s diverse history. Featuring Romanesque, Gothic, and baroque architecture, this is Porto’s oldest and largest church, a must-visit for architecture and history aficionados.More
#3
Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

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Designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel—the architect responsible for the Eiffel Tower—Ponte de Dom Luis I marked a significant step forward in Porto’s economic growth at the time of its construction; before it existed, the only passages across the river were boats lashed together. Today, visitors can admire the Douro River and the Ribeira District from the pedestrian walkway of Porto’s most symbolic sight.More
#4
Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade)

Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade)

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Lying at the southern end of Porto’s majestic Avenida dos Aliados is Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade), which started its life in the late 18th century when the city began to expand beyond its medieval walls. If you stand in the centre of the square, you’ll get spectacular views of some of Porto’s architectural symbols, which include the Baroque City Hall (Câmara Municipal).More
#5
Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa)

Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa)

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Forming an integral part of Porto’s historic center, the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa is a marvel of neoclassical architecture. The 19th-century palace has played host to royals such as Her Majesty the Queen, and today can be explored only as part of a guided tour.More
#6
Ribeira

Ribeira

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Set on the banks of the River Douro, Ribeira is Porto’s oldest quarter. Now a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the district’s maze of alleyways and pastel-colored houses rises up on a hill above the bay. The Ribeira’s modern waterfront—lined with restaurants, bars, and cafés—is a popular leisure hub and nightlife destination.More
#7
Casa da Música

Casa da Música

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Casa da Música is one of the top attractions in Porto for music and architecture fans alike. Modern and eye-catching from the outside, inside it houses a vast 1,300-seat concert hall used by the Porto National Orchestra. The rooftop restaurant offers drinks and dinner options that are as delightful as the views.More
#8
Porto Calem Wine Cellars

Porto Calem Wine Cellars

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Founded in 1859 by António Alves Cálem, Porto CalemWine Cellars are one of the most celebrated wineries in the Porto region. Located at the heart of the Douro Valley, the family-run winery produces some of Portugal’s finest port wines, using centuries-old production methods and offering a completely unique tasting experience for wine lovers.More
#9
Church of São Francisco (Igreja de São Francisco)

Church of São Francisco (Igreja de São Francisco)

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Behind its comparatively stark Gothic facade, the Church of São Francisco(Igreja de São Francisco) harbors a trove of baroque finery: The interior has marble columns, intricate wooden carvings, and gold-covered walls. Highlights include the magnificent Tree of Jesse altarpiece, a 13th-century statue of Saint Francis, and eerily beautiful catacombs.More
#10
Rua Santa Catarina

Rua Santa Catarina

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Stretching from Praça do Marquês de Pombal in the north to Praça da Batalha in the south, Rua Santa Catarina is Porto’s principal shopping street and social hub. The 1-mile (1.5-kilometer thoroughfare is lined with Art Nouveau buildings and serves as a perfect place to start your Porto sightseeing.More
#11
Serralves Museum (Fundação de Serralves)

Serralves Museum (Fundação de Serralves)

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Situated in a magnificent garden just west of downtown Porto, the Serralves Museum(Fundação de Serralves) has become a top city highlight and one of the most influential modern art museums in Portugal. Its permanent collection spans from the 1960s to the present day, with large sculptural pieces scattered throughout the grounds.More
#12
Matosinhos Beach

Matosinhos Beach

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On Portugal’s Atlantic coast, Matosinhos Beach (Praia de Matosinhos) is the city of Porto’s closest strand. With broad sands and a scenic promenade lined with fish restaurants, it’s a lively destination and a favorite among local families, as well as a notable surf spot.More
#13
Porto Bridge Climb

Porto Bridge Climb

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Spanning the Douro River, Porto’s Arrábida Bridge was the largest concrete-arch bridge in the world when it was completed in 1963. Today, pedestrians can walk up the span’s archway with Porto Bridge Climb, the only bridge-climb experience in Europe. It’s a rare opportunity to enjoy a unique perspective on the city and river below.More
#14
SEA LIFE® Porto

SEA LIFE® Porto

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One of Porto’s top attractions for families of all ages, the SEA LIFE® Porto aquarium is home to dazzling displays of marine life. Visitors can enjoy up-close encounters with some of the sea’s most colorful inhabitants, including octopus, rays, sea turtles, and sharks.More
#15
Museum of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto (Museu da Misericórdia do Porto)

Museum of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto (Museu da Misericórdia do Porto)

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The Museum of Our Lady of Mercy of Porto (Museu da Misericórdia do Porto, or MMIPO) is dedicated to the long history and charity work of the Holy House of Our Lady of Mercy (Santa Casa da Misericórdia do Porto), which was founded in 1498. Connected to the 16th-century church of Igreja da Misericórdia, the museum displays artifacts and sacred art.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Porto

How to Spend 1 Day in Porto

Fado Shows in Porto

Fado Shows in Porto

How to Spend 3 Days in Porto

How to Spend 3 Days in Porto

Top activities in Porto

Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch and Optional Cruise.
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Oporto Six Bridges Cruise

Oporto Six Bridges Cruise

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3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour
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Authentic Douro Wine Tour Including Lunch and River Cruise
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Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, Lunch & River Cruise
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Complete Douro Valley Wine Tour with Lunch, Wine Tastings and River Cruise
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Douro Valley Wine Tour: Visit to Three Vineyards with Wine Tastings and Lunch
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Porto: 3-Hour Food and Wine Tasting Tour - Guided Experience
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Douro Valley Private Tour (All Inclusive)
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Private tasting in the Douro (1 to 6 people) on a Yacht just for you
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Douro Valley Tour with Visit to two Vineyards, River Cruise and Lunch at Winery
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Porto Boat Tour
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Porto Boat Tour

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Douro Valley Tour Including 3 Wineries to Small Groups
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Recent reviews from experiences in Porto

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Perfect Porto Primer
Matt_S, Aug 2022
Private Electric Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour of Historic Porto
We were able to see a lot and learn some history about Porto.
star-5
Fantastic activity!
Sara_K, Aug 2022
3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour
It’s a great way to see Porto.
star-5
Fun evening tour of Porto!
Barbara_L, Aug 2022
Vintage Tour (city of Porto)
Traversed a large area of the city and environs for a great start to our Porto visit!
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Informative intro to Porto
James_H, Aug 2022
City Walking Tour & Visit Port Wine Producers
Great guide; kind, patient and speaks a very high standard of English.
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Lovely boat trip
Gemma_K, Aug 2022
Oporto Six Bridges Cruise
Informative and lovely sights to see as well as the bridges.
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A relaxing way to visit Porto sites
Dean_F, Aug 2022
Private Electric Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour of Historic Porto
A great way to see Porto.
star-5
Good experience. First...
kellie_r, Aug 2022
Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, River Cruise and Lunch From Porto
Good tour for those eithout a car however the english tour is a huge group 55 peoole
star-4
nice tour of some small towns south of Porto
Beverly_W, Jul 2022
Aveiro & Costa Nova Half Day Tour from Porto with Moliceiro River Cruise
Well worth the time to visit Aveiro and Costa Nova.
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Worth your while
Beth_G, Jul 2022
Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, River Cruise and Lunch From Porto
Great way to see the Douro Valley of you only have a day.
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Highlight of the Porto Trip!
Jeffrey_M, Jul 2022
Private tasting in the Douro (1 to 6 people) on a Yacht just for you
What a fun time and great way to see Porto from the water!
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We had an amazing time!...
EJane_J, Jul 2022
Private yacht tour in Porto
The best way to see beautiful Porto!
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Clear turquoise pool reward
Miah_Y, Jul 2022
Hiking and Swimming in Gerês National Park
Many springs along the way to we your bandana.
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Beautiful wine country!
Donna_B, Jul 2022
Authentic Douro Wine Tour Including Lunch and River Cruise
The first wine tasting was so informative that I wanted to stomp grapes this fall!
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Joan was a very nice...
Charlie_B, Jul 2022
Porto: 2-Hour City Highlights Segway Tour - Guided Experience
He gave us some places to visit in Porto and help us feel safe on the segways.
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Porto from the different point of view
Tiia_K, Jul 2022
3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour
You get to see Porto from the different point of view and experience something you probably would have not done on your own.
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Best way to see the Douro Valley from Porto!
Lisa_S, Jul 2022
Douro Valley - Expert wine guide all day, Boat, Lunch and Tastings.All included
This was the best way to see the Douro Valley from Porto and included all the highlights.
star-5
Great experience
Margret_L, Jul 2022
The Best of Porto: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour
The tour was a great way to see the back streets of Porto and learning a lot of Porto history.
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Nice was to see Porto
Philip_F, Jul 2022
Porto Half-Day Tuk Tuk Private Tour with Lunch
A great way to see Porto and the outskirts.
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Great Porto Experience
Rebecca_M, Jun 2022
Porto City Craft Beer Tours
With all the wine tours around this is a great experience if you’d like to see something different in Porto.
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Highly recommend!
Cheryl_C, Jun 2022
Porto Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Optional River Cruise and Wine Tasting
On and off buses are an excellent way to see a city.
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All about Porto

When to visit

Midsummer in Porto brings a different festival each week, with highlights including the raucous 600-year-old Festa de São João do Porto. Thanks to a temperate Mediterranean climate, even the coldest months in Porto are still warm enough to sightsee, and even if you do get chilly, warming up in a century-old port cellar is always an option.

A local’s pocket guide to Porto

Sílvia Ferreira Santos

Sílvia was born in Zurich, raised in Aveiro, and has lived in Lisbon for more than a decade but she dreams of moving to Porto, where most of her family and friends are patiently awaiting.

The first thing you should do in Porto is...

wear comfortable shoes. This is a very compact city and you can walk pretty much anywhere, but it is hilly!

A perfect Saturday in Porto...

starts at the Crystal Palace, followed by a visit to Ribeira neighborhood and a stroll along the river. Then, sample port wine before taking the cable car to Serra do Pilar for the sunset and a night out.

One touristy thing that lives up to the hype is...

Francesinha, an unorthodox sandwich made with bread, beef, sausage, ham, bacon, and loads of cheese, then covered in a slightly spicy sauce.

To discover the "real" Porto...

visit in June during the Festival of São João, a city-wide street party during which people eat sardines and dance while hitting each other with plastic hammers. It’s as bizarre as it sounds.

For the best view of the city...

cross the Dom Luis Bridge and climb to the Serra do Pilar viewpoint. The view looks like a postcard—Instagram it!—and the sunset will make you want to stay in Porto forever.

One thing people get wrong...

Porto’s custard tarts are not the same as Lisbon’s famous pastéis de nata—they’re even better.

People Also Ask

What is Porto famous for?

The northern city of Porto is famous for its wine. Its placement at the edge of Portugal's Douro River made it a key location for wine transportation. In centuries past, wooden rabelo boats transported the barrels into the city for storage in large in-town cellars—ones that you can visit today.

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How many days do you need in Porto?

Two to three days is sufficient to visit Porto before you head off to a Douro Valley wine tour. In Porto, take a city tour of the top landmarks such as the Clerigos Tower and Dom Luis I Bridge, and try a tasting tour to sample local dishes and wines.

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Which is better Porto or Lisbon?

Porto and Lisbon each provides its own charm. Lisbon, the capital, is the busier of the two. Porto is a bit more on the alternative side, with various art galleries; whereas Lisbon is more traditional, home to several government buildings and national museums.

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What should I not miss in Porto?

When visiting Porto, it’s important not to miss a tour of at least one port wine cellar. There are several in the city, each with its own take on the fortified wine, and visitors can enjoy tours of the facilities followed by tastings of the sweet drink.

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Is Porto expensive?

No. Porto is not expensive in terms of European cities. Most tourists find meals and drinks especially affordable. Portuguese cafe meals with a drink won't break €15. Beers run a couple of euros at most bars and you'll pay a bit more for a glass of wine or a cocktail.

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What do locals do in Porto?

Portuguese people love to eat, and many locals spend evenings and weekends having meals with family and friends. When they’re not eating, Porto locals can be found strolling the city, enjoying the views at one of the many miradouros (viewpoints), or having a glass of Douro wine on a terrace.

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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
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