Soak up history, wine, and culture on a 3-day trip to Porto, with plenty of time to check out urban highlights and venture into the countryside. From strolling coastal towns and Douro Valley vineyards, to exploring museums and hilltop castles, here’s how to make the most of 72 hours in Portugal’s 2nd-largest city.
Day 1: City sightseeing
Porto’s beautiful historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site for good reason—so spend your first day wandering around its sloping streets, cozy squares, and museums. If you’re up for tackling some hills, a walking tour is a great way to take in the atmosphere, while a coach, car, Segway, or hop-on hop-off bus tour is a less strenuous option. Most itineraries feature key landmarks such as the Porto Cathedral, the Church of Santa Clara, and the Palacio da Bolsa, a 19th-century stock exchange.
Later, catch a live fado show at a wine cellar, local tavern, or concert venue. (Secure your ticket in advance.)
Day 2: Wine lodges
It’s no coincidence that Porto shares a name with Portugal’s most famous wine, and the city’s winemakers keep the sweet fortified drink flowing in local cellars called wine lodges. Wine tours take you to handpicked spots for a tasty introduction to the history and traditions of port.
Not all flavors of Porto come in a bottle. From cured meats to aged cheeses and codfish fritters, you’ll find lots of food worth sampling—so browse local markets, duck into neighborhood tabernas, or join a tasting tour. (Many wine tours also include food, so you get the best of both worlds.) Once the sun sets, embark on a cruise along the Douro River as the lights begin to twinkle on the slow-moving water.
Day 3: A day trip
Porto’s central location on Portugal’s northern coast makes the city an ideal base for day trips, whether you’re looking for a long walk on the beach or a crisp-tasting glass of Vinho Verde. A favorite wine destination is the Douro Valley, whose winding river and postcard-ready villages make it as scenic as it is delicious.
Alternatively, if you’re dreaming of history and hilltop castles, head to Guimarães and Braga, two of Portugal’s oldest cities. Or, take a day cruise on the river to the traditional village of Pinhão.