Porto has a decent size airport (OPO) providing a variety of flight options. There is a metro you can take to get between the city center and the airport or just grab a taxi or Uber.
If you are taking a road trip through Portugal, consider getting rid of your car in Porto or not beginning your rental until you are ready to depart Porto. We drove from Lisbon up to Porto and made a few stops along the way, but there was no need for a car in the city so we dropped it off upon arrival. You can also take a train or bus to Porto from other areas of the country like Lisbon.
If you like walking, Porto is very accessible on foot. However, the city is on a hill so be prepared to constantly be walking up or down unless you are right along the river.
When you need a break from the hills or want to get somewhere quickly, Uber is an easy option. It is commonly used in Portugal, easy, and affordable.
There is a funicular on the Porto side of the river near the Luis I Bridge, which brings you from the water level up to the top level of the bridge. Take the funicular to avoid climbing many stairs to the top level or embrace the climb and use the funicular to get back down to the base level.
On the Villa Nova de Gaia side of the river (opposite Porto – across the Luis 1 Bridge), there’s a Cable car that takes you from the top of the bridge down to the main strip along the river on this side. This is an easy and quick way to avoid the hill climb or descent on the Villa Nova de Gaia side. There is also a very nice place to watch the sunset at the top of the cable car, but be sure to catch the cable car before it shuts down for the night forcing you to climb for the view.
Rent bikes and venture outside the city center. You will not want to bike in the city center as the hills and cobblestone roads are not enjoyable on a bike. Instead, ride out to the beach and find a spot to grab a drink or a bite to eat.
Relatively easy metro to use, but likely will not need it if staying in the city center
Situated right along the Douro river, the Ribeira area is a perfect spot to base yourself when visiting Porto. With numerous restaurants and bars in the area, it is lively at night and constantly busy with people. It is very centrally located and within walking distance of many of Porto’s key spots.
Giant, double decker metal bridge in Porto over the Douro River. The bottom part of the bridge is for cars and people while the top is only for people and the tram. Be sure to walk across the top for a great view of both Porto and Villa Nova de Gaia.
Church in downtown Porto with a tower to climb that offers a nice panoramic view over Porto. Visit at the beginning of your trip and climb the tower to help orient yourself in the city
Riverside which is nice to walk along. There are lots of restaurants and places to grab a casual drink with a nice view.
Large church located in the historic city center
The area on the opposite side of the river from Porto where many of the Port Cellars are found including:
Taylor’s does not require reservations in advance and you take an audio guided tour of the cellars where you learn about how they produce port, some history of Taylor’s, along with other information. There is a beautiful terrace outside in a little garden where you can do a port tasting and get some snacks with your tasting.
Address: Rua do Choupelo 250
Port cellars located right along the Douro river
Address: Largo miguel Bombarda 3
Very well-known port cellar, but you must make a reservation in advance.
Related to Grahams and offers guided tours in different languages. It is best to call ahead or book in advance to ensure you visit at a time when a tour is scheduled. The tour takes you through the cellars and then ends with a tasting. The tour lasts about 45 minutes – 1 hour.
Address: Rua Serpa Pinto, 346
Roman Catholic church located in the city center
Venture to the town of Matosinhos for some of the best seafood in the area. It is right along the beach and can enjoy beautiful sunsets here
Jagged hill above the Douro river with a nice view. Buy some snacks and wine and picnic up here at sunset. Make sure to give yourself enough time so you are not rushing; note the cable car lands right near here, but be careful about when it shuts down for the night. It closed right before we planned to take it up so had to take a nice jog up the hill to reach the park in time for the sunset.
Famous beautiful bookstore – on Rua das Carmelitas
Make sure to take a wine tour of the Douro region while visiting Porto. It allows you to get out of the city, observe the gorgeous vineyards and enjoy a wine tasting.
There are many options, but we booked ours through Oporo Sensations Tour (http://www.oportosensationstour.com/Douro-and-Wine/) and can highly recommend this tour. The small group tour (about 6-8 people) included roundtrip transportation from downtown Porto and lasted about 10 hours. The trip departed Porto and then stopped at a cafe in a small town just outside the city for a snack and coffee. Then we continued to the first of two wineries we would visit, which was a small family-owned vineyard. After getting a tour of the first vineyard and tasting, we got back in the van and went to the town of Pinhao where the group went out to a restaurant for lunch.
After lunch, we were taken to the second winery which was very different than the first. This winery was a large distributor of Port where we again received a tour of the property and learned about the port production before ending with a tasting. After the second winery, we took a 1 hour boat tour along the Douro river which was fabulous. The weather was perfect and you could purchase wine onboard while enjoying the ride. Finally, on the way back to Porto, we stopped at a breathtaking viewpoint over the valley.
Beautiful blue and white tiles decorating the sides of the church
Museum for Porto’s football team
Main shopping street in Porto
Wonderful restaurant in Ribeira with seating inside and outside
Well known spot to grab a coffee or dine located on the main street -Rua de Santa Catarina
Famous for its Francesinha which is a Portuguese sandwich. It’s a sandwich with a bunch of different meats, covered in a thick sauce and melted cheese along with some other toppings
Multiple locals told us to go to Matosinhos for the best seafood and fish and there are lots of restaurant options on Rue Herois de Franca. Tito 2 was delicious! We had the most amazing chorizo, sea bass, seafood rice, and a few sides.
Towards the top of the hill in Porto is where many of the bars and clubs are focused. Two streets to start off in are Rua da Galeria and Rua de Candido dos Reis.
Make sure to try Port since Port wine is only classified as Port if it is grown in this region. The grapes are grown in the Douro Valley and then the wine is brought to Porto where it ages in cellars. Aside from Port, try some of the local wines from the Douro valley.
Porto is a perfect long weekend destination. We spent 2.5 days here and it was perfect. This allowed us to spend 1.5 days visiting the city itself and allowed for one day-trip. We could have used one additional day to either take another day trip or rent bikes and spend more time on the beach outside of the Porto city center.
Transportation and Accommodations
Things to do and see
Food and Drinks