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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
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
#3
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
#4
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
#5
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
#6
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
#7
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
#8
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
#9
Rua Santa Catarina

Rua Santa Catarina

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The buzzing heart of Porto, running 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. The pedestrianized thoroughfare stretches for some 1.5km and is lined with beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, plus a huge selection of shops, restaurants, patisseries and cafés. This is the spot to find big name brands like Nike, Bellissima and Prof, while the Via Catarina shopping mall offers international stores like H&M and Zara, as well as a sizable food court.Rua Santa Catarina is also home to the magnificent Capela das Almas, a striking blue chapel decorated with ornate azulejo tilework; the famous Café Majestic, renowned for its opulent Belle-Epoque style décor; and the lively Mercado de Bolao, Porto’s largest open-air market, where stalls are laden with fresh produce, fragrant spices and exquisite handicrafts.More
#10
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

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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Authentic Douro Wine Tour Including Lunch and River Cruise
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3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour

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3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour

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Wine Venture and Boat Trip in Douro Valley
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Recent reviews from experiences in Porto

star-5
Great tuk tuk tour
Elisabete_S, Nov 2021
Private Electric Tuk Tuk Sightseeing Tour of Historic Porto
At the end of the tour she had some recommendations for other things to see in Porto.
star-5
Serving Up Port Wine
Bernard_M, Oct 2021
Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch and Optional Cruise.
Excellent opportunity to see and experience the making and tasting of Port wine outside of Porto.
star-5
See-it-all in just 3 hours
Matthijs_J, Oct 2021
3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour
Kat provides tips to see Porto like the locals.
star-4
Super fun
Brigitte_S, Oct 2021
Porto Surf Lesson
A great way to see a different part of Porto too!
star-5
Super fun tour
Brigitte_S, Oct 2021
Guided Tour to the Historical Center on a Tuk Tuk
A super fun way to see the city and lots of local tips about Porto.
star-4
Ride suitable for all cyclists
Claire_W, Oct 2021
3-Hour Electric Porto Bike Tour
Got to see parts of Porto would not have visited on foot.
star-5
a great trip
Mariana_M, Sep 2021
Photo Tour
Wonderful sightseeing, our tour was really fun and we had the opportunity to see new places that we didn't know of, even though we live in Porto.
star-5
Local Immersion at its Best
Heather, Sep 2021
Create Watercolour With Hugo do Lago in Porto
Hugo is a great instructor who can navigate English very well.
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Good Outdoor Activity
Ben_M, Sep 2021
Private tour in the Douro (1 to 4 people) in a boat just for you
Great way to see the city and learn about the history and culture of the area.
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My day in Douro Valley
Brian_L, Aug 2021
Douro Valley Historical Tour with Lunch, Winery Visit with Tastings and Panoramic Cruise
It was a great way to see a part of Portugal I never would have experienced on my own.
star-5
Must do day trip for wine lovers!
Kreso_V, Aug 2021
Douro Valley Tour: Wine Tasting, River Cruise and Lunch From Porto with Pickup
Excellent tour packed with activities.
star-5
a historical stroll
Peter_E, Aug 2021
The Best of Porto: 3-Hour Guided Walking Tour
she also gave us tips on times to visit the busiest of places.
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Portobike
Michaela, Aug 2021
3-Hour of Porto Highlights on a Electric Bike - Guided Tour
Excellent guide ( Walter) informative and spoke very good English Completing the ride on the south side , able to look back on Porto tracing our ride and putting the morning ride into perspective
star-5
Very nice bike tour
muriel_v, Aug 2021
Porto: 3-Hour Old Town & Riverside Bike Tour - Guided Experience
Very nice bike tour to visit Porto and its beach !
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Pickup from Porto airport
Alan_M, Jul 2021
Porto Private Airport Arrival Transfer
He gave us some suggestions as to what to see and do while visiting Porto.
star-5
FANTASTIC!
eric_green, Jul 2021
Private Douro Valley with Mercedes convertible, Lunch / Tastings 2 Wine Estates
Oh and definitely get the convertible for your tour as it’s the only way to see the town.
star-5
Informative and fun afternoon
Andrew_M, Jul 2021
Port Wine Lodges Tour Including 7 Wine Tastings
She gave us information about the area, and even emailed us after about wineries and sights to see in the Duoro valley
star-5
Really a must do if you are here for the first time
Giuseppe_S, Jun 2021
Authentic Oporto Walking Tour with Wine Tasting
Our guide Sara was kind funny and informative, took us to places you have to see when visiting Porto and told about the story of the city.
star-5
Lovely experience
AnaMaria_M, Jun 2021
Guided Tour to the Historical Center on a Tuk Tuk
Also, he made some food recommendations and other must see tourist attractions :)
star-5
Great day in the Douro
James_C, Nov 2021
Douro Valley Wine Tour: Visit to Three Vineyards with Wine Tastings and Lunch
Extremely personable and helpful with recommendations for other things to do and see in Porto.

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