The Charming City of Porto: a Porto Travel Guide

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Advisor - Selena Kirchhoff
Curated By

Selena Kirchhoff

  • Portugal

  • Porto

  • Arts & Culture

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Boutique Travel

  • Food & Wine

  • Arts & Culture

urban tram car in a narrow cobblestoned alleyway
Curator’s statement

Porto, Portugal’s romantic second city, is full of history and charm. From the waterfront bars and restaurants of the Ribeira district to the funky shops and cafés of Cedofeita, Porto is a blend of timeless elegance, remarkable architecture and a culture that is warm and welcoming. Not to mention, one look at the sunset over the Douro River will remind you of all the reasons you choose to travel.

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Where to stay in Porto, Portugal

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Things to do in Porto, Portugal

building façade covered in blue and white tiles


Picnic in Jardins do Palácio de Cristal overlooking the port houses across the Douro River

Head up to Miradouro da Vitória for breathtaking views of the city.


Check out a traditional Fado performance at A Casa do Fado, Casa da Mariquinhas or Taberna Real do Fado.

Observe the local azulejos, the traditional blue and white tiles, that adorn the city's buildings, including their beautiful train station, Sao Bento station.

Advisor - Selena Kirchhoff

A note from Selena

Porto is a nice train ride up from Lisbon, but if you’d prefer to fly, both airports are fairly low-key and make for a smooth and enjoyable trip.

It’s a small city, but easily accessible via Uber and local taxis.

Expect the rain. It’s not a constant, but it’s typical of the Northern region of Portugal. Either way, you won’t regret coming to this stunningly beautiful city.

Places to eat & drink in Porto, Portugal

airy restaurant interior with bright wood and hanging plants

Porto has tons of charming places to eat and drink, and you can experience a great meal at any budget.

For a homestyle meal in a cozy, quaint spot, go to a Taska in the artist neighborhood of Cedofeita. Pop down to Champ’s da Baixa afterward for some tasty cocktails!

For bifanas, prego and pernil, go no further than Lareira for a hearty sandwich and chips.

Breakfast doesn’t get any cooler than at café Early, designed by the creative geniuses behind ROSA ET AL Townhouse. If you like a more Instagrammable experience, get in line over at Nicolau Porto or Lazy Breakfast Club.

For a nice night out, check out Mistu or Flow Restaurant & Bar. If you’d rather dine along the Douro River, Restaurante Casario or Enoteca 17.56 (on the Vila Nova side) will make for a very special evening.

Mercado Municipal de Gaia on the Vila Nova side of the city has a little something for everyone, as it’s a food hall filled with local favorites. A great place to stop after an afternoon at the port houses.

Port house crawl! From Kopke to Sandeman, you can find all the famous port houses right here in Porto, and they’re all conveniently located on the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the city.

Try local favorites like the francesinha sandwiches (not for the faint of heart, although you can find a veggie version at Casanova!)

Need to Know

Ready for more unique Portugal adventures? Check out another one of my guides: Explore the São Miguel Island in the Azores, Portugal.

Advisor - Selena Kirchhoff

Travel Advisor

Selena Kirchhoff

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