3 Days in Porto

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Advisor - Ashley Love
Curated By

Ashley Love

  • Porto

  • Portugal

  • Food & Wine

  • Off-the-Beaten-Path Travel

  • Outdoors

  • Nightlife

  • Entertainment

Views of porto form top.
Curator’s statement

Porto is a magical and unique coastal city that merges Iberian and Portuguese culture, history and language. Portugal is known for its Fado music, azulejo-tiled buildings, cork production and optimal weather (over 300 days of sunshine). Porto is known for the Douro River cruises, famous port wine and Livraria Lello, the world's most beautiful bookstore. Porto has the beauty and old-world charm of other Portuguese cities with a more laidback and casual pace.

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Where to stay in Porto, Portugal

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Things to do in Porto, Portugal

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Coastal City Vibes

Porto is on the Western coast of Portugal, only a few hours from Salamanca, Spain and Lisbon. Porto is a coastal city with beaches, historic buildings such as Palacio da Bolsa, Casa da Música and Church of the Saint of Ildefonso.

Bookworms Paradise

Livraria Lello, the world's most beautiful bookstore, lives up to the hype. It is often crowded beyond 10:00 am, but entrance right when it opens will grant you the opportunity to take captivating and unique photos while purchasing books, journals and other unique keepsakes. There are two tickets; general entry which is about five euros and ticket vouchers around sixteen euros that include fast pass entrance and a classic book (i.e., Romeo and Juliet, The Wizard of Oz and Portuguese classics as well). There are three registers located in Lello and friendly staff to enhance your experience.

Douro River and Port Wine

Porto is known for its bountiful export of port wine. Stroll and visit the many port wine cellars along the famous Vila Nova de Gaia on the Douro River.

Take one of the many Douro River cruises offered by the cellar companies and see the magnificent bridges such as Dom Luís I Bridge and Ponte Dona Maria Pia.

Visit and/or stay at the Sandeman's new hotel and have a few novelty cocktails at their new food truck-style bar.

Visit Comur - Casa Oriental to see more sardines than you've likely seen before. Ask for recommendations from the staff and sample a few with a friend at one of the city benches along the Douro (with port wine, of course).

Visit Fort of São Francisco Xavier to check out the local beach and get a great view of the Atlantic.

Take the hop-on hop-off bus around Porto to familiarize yourself with the city and to get around the city for one low price. The Porto Sightseeing bus runs every 30-minutes and you have plenty of time to check out sights in the area and return to a stop to check out another area. A two-day pass would be optimal in case you want to visit some of the stops more in-depth.

Day trips

  • Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting Experience

  • Braga and Guimaraes Day Trip from Porto

  • Salamanca Day Trip or overnight trip from Porto

Places to eat & drink in Porto, Portugal

city with a river

Rabelos Restaurant and Bar: Located in Vila da Nova Gaia along the Douro, this famous restaurant has a great view of the Douro River and offers a delicious pasta dish. It's an ideal spot for dinner and also serves lunch.

Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau - Gaia: Situated along the Douro River in Vila da Nova Gaia, Casa Portuguesa is not just a restaurant but also serves port wine and their famous pastel de bacalhau, a savory and tasty cod croquette with cheese. One of their tasting options includes a souvenir glass and holding tray. Don't miss the live organ player on the hour, adding to the unique experience.

a.Typical Restaurant and Bar: Located inside the newly opened Renaissance Porto Lapa Hotel, a.Typical offers a robust bar and cocktail menu that can be enjoyed until around midnight (food orders halt at 11 pm.) Highlights from their menu include salads, scallops and risotto and burgers.

Starbucks: While it may seem cliché, Starbucks is a great place to grab a refreshing drink and a Portuguese-style pastry while exploring near Rue dos Clérigos.

Raiz: A unique and well-known diner that caters to a variety of tastes, offering options such as veggie burgers, seafood and duck. Located in a historic building with old-world charm, Raiz provides a contemporary dining experience with great scenery and cocktails.

Need to Know

For more travel tips, check out Fora Advisor Artemis Koutsogiorgas’s guide, Wine & Local Culture in Porto, Portugal.

Advisor - Ashley Love

Travel Advisor

Ashley Love

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This guide is part of our ongoing series on travel to Portugal.