How to Spend 1 Day in Porto
Historic buildings cascade to the River Douro in this wine-loving city, where you can begin the day in a soaring cathedral and end it with a traditional fado show. With one day in Porto, sample a little bit of everything, from the historic center—a UNESCO World Heritage Site—to the city’s port wine “lodges.” Here are a few ways to plan your time.
Morning: City Exploring
Some of Porto’s most important landmarks are tucked into the UNESCO-listed compact historic center. That means you can cover the key sites in a morning of sightseeing, with options that include guided walking tours, hop-on hop-off buses, and Segway tours of the city. (When choosing a tour, it’s worth keeping in mind that Porto is quite hilly, so walking tours can be energetic.) If you’re hoping to cruise the River Douro—which is a great way to get unobstructed views of those beautiful riverbanks—consider a morning tour that includes a boat trip.
Afternoon: The Taste of Porto
Giving its name to a sweet, richly flavored wine that’s one of Portugal’s most famous exports, Porto is a hub for local winemaking. Wine cellars are called “wine lodges” here, and an afternoon tasting tour is a delicious introduction to their specialties and the history of port wine. Port aficionados often pair the wine with foods such as dried fruit, cheeses, nuts, and chocolate, and many wine tours feature small bites alongside the wine tastings. If you’d prefer snacking to sipping, opt for a food-focused tour that includes some of the town’s culinary gems.
Night: An Evening of Culture
The haunting strains of fado music ring through restaurants, wine cellars, and taverns here, and catching a show is a memorable way to conclude your day in Porto. Choose between stand-alone shows and tours that combine sightseeing, an evening river cruise, or a wine tasting, then sit back for the moving performance. You’ll be supporting a long tradition that’s among Portugal’s most evocative experiences. Once you hear the first notes, you’ll discover why Fado is included on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity list.