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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 10 attractions in Porto

#1
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
#2
Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luis I)

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The imperious, double-decker metal spans of Dom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luís I) stretch across the Douro River from Porto to Villa Nova de Gaia, and were designed by Téophile Seyrig, the student of Gustave Eiffel who also drew up the plans for the nearby Donna Maria Pia Bridge. WhenDom Luis Bridge (Ponte de Dom Luís I) was finished in 1886, it was the longest single-span bridge in the world at 564 feet, and it supported 3,045 tons of steel in weight.The bridge marked a significant step forward in Porto’s economic growth, as before it existed, the only passages across the river were boats lashed together. Today the lower deck of the bridge carries cars while the upper level is utilized by metro Line D and has a pedestrian walkway offering views across the river. Since the late 19th century, four other bridges have joined the bridge of Dom Luís I and Donna Maria Pia in reaching across the Douro; they are all best seen by river cruise in a traditional wooden rabelo.More
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#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
Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa)

Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa)

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Porto’s former stock exchange building, the Palace of the Stock Exchange (Palácio da Bolsa), is a magnificent 19th-century mansion at the heart of the city’s UNESCO-listed historic center. A marvel of neoclassical architecture and steeped in history, its grand ballrooms have played host to royals like Queen Elizabeth II over the years.Today, the Palacio da Bolsa is open to the public by guided tour only and visitors can explore a number of its opulent rooms. Highlights include the Nations’ Room, with its collection of international flags; the exquisite parquet floors and the monumental grand staircase with its glittering bronze chandeliers. The undisputed star attraction is the dazzling Arabian Room, where the arabesque décor and gilded pillars are inspired by the famous Alhambra Palace in Granada, and music concerts are held throughout the year.More
#8
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
#9
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
#10
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

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

Oporto Six Bridges Cruise

Oporto Six Bridges Cruise

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Recent reviews from experiences in Porto

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AMAZING
MandyStrating, Sep 2020
Douro Valley Tour with Visit to two Vineyards, River Cruise and Lunch at Winery
We had a wonderfull tourguide, his knowlegde and English was more than great!
star-5
Relaxing trip
Dannilo V, Oct 2019
Porto: Santiago de Compostela and Valença do Minho Day Trip with Lunch
He was good in driving while narrating the history of Porto and the places we have to visit.
star-5
Must do it!
christinebordeleau, Oct 2019
Porto Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Optional River Cruise and Wine Tasting
One of the best way to see everything that Porto has to offer.
star-5
Great views!
Antonia M, Oct 2019
Private tour in the Douro (1 to 4 people) in a boat just for you
Great way to see Porto from the Duoro River.
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Good experience
Truthseekerz, Sep 2019
Porto city small group full-day tour with wine tasting and cruise in Douro River
The traffic is really bad in Porto itself so you have to allow plenty of time for activities if going around by car.
star-5
Excellent way to see The Douro!
Adrienne W, Sep 2019
Private tour in the Douro (1 to 4 people) in a boat just for you
It was a beautiful way to see Porto from the river sipping sparkling wine, great Port wine and delicious almonds.
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Wonderful!
Quest25524458412, Jul 2019
3-Hour Porto Bike Tour
Awesome way to see parts of Porto we otherwise would have missed.
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Great tour
Trip19818429138, Jul 2019
Porto city small group full-day tour with wine tasting and cruise in Douro River
Recommend this tour to see porto in one day
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Full day tour in Douro Valley
Marc M, Jun 2019
Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, Lunch & River Cruise
Excellent tour for viewing the Valley, to visit wineries for porto and wine tasting, lunch and boat ride!
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Excellent service
IngaR77, May 2019
Porto Shared Arrival Transfer
On the way they offered advice on what to do in Porto.
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Great views
qnofhrtz, Sep 2018
Oporto Six Bridges Cruise
No English overview/history, but still great
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Highly recommend this tour. This was my...
Tim S, Aug 2014
Porto: 3-Hour Food and Wine Tasting Tour - Guided Experience
but my guide Virginia was able to a local insight into the Porto way of life and lots of extra things to do during my stay.
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This is supposed to be a small group...
Catherine O, Sep 2018
Braga and Guimarães with Lunch Included - Small Group - Full Day
Braga and Guimaraes are a must to see when going to Porto.
star-4
Our guide Andre was great! Very...
Tin, Sep 2018
Porto: Aveiro Tour Including Moliceiro Cruise
Very enthusiastic and willing to share all sorts of news/things to do in Porto and elsewhere!
star-5
Yes. Barbara was great on our private...
TnTraveler, May 2015
Private Tour: Porto Day Trip
Very knowledgeable, personable and responsive to special places we wanted to see that were not on normal tour.
star-5
a very good guide and photographer in...
Wilzon M, Oct 2015
Private Tour: Porto Day Trip
a very good guide and photographer in one made me realize that porto is a beautiful place to visit and re-visit...
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Best day trip ever! One cannot visit...
Fred B, Nov 2017
Day Trip from Porto to Régua by Bus and Return by Boat
We got to see one of the most beautiful parts of the country in one day trip.
star-4
A good way to see Porto when you...
Fernweh, Jul 2017
Porto Hop-On Hop-Off Tour with Optional River Cruise and Wine Tasting
A good way to see Porto when you first arrive.
star-5
This is a full day as it is a long...
Deborah D, Sep 2017
Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, Lunch & River Cruise
Comfortaaable transport with our driver/guide fluent in English.
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Booked this for a group of 3, and...
Anne M, May 2017
Private Tour: Porto City and Wine Tasting
Booked this for a group of 3, and found it a great way to see the sights of Porto in a day, there was a fair amount of walking and this includes hills, Our tour guide was local and knowledgeable and as a small group we could stop and rest for a bit a

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.

Frequently Asked Questions