Visit Porto in Portugal on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean

Visit Porto in Portugal on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean

Travel to Porto is to visit Portugal’s second city, Porto and authentic Portugal. It is a fantastic way to experience the country’s culture and history. Also the enormous momentum since EU membership, but also an important sense of prehistory. Enjoy the city’s beautiful architecture, its delicious cafes and restaurants. Located in the north of Portugal, Porto is known for its port wine, stunning architecture and friendly people. Whether you want to sample some of the best wines in the world, explore centuries-old architecture or simply relax by the river, Porto has a lot to offer. Read on for our top tips on things to do and see in this beautiful city.

Porto and old traditional boats with wine barrels in Portugal in a summer day

Porto and old traditional boats with wine barrels in Porto, Portugal in a summer day

Why visit Porto when we have Lisbon?

If you’re looking for a beautiful, historic European city to add to your travel bucket list, look no further than Portugal’s second largest city, Porto. From its stunning architecture and bridges to its delicious food and wine, Porto has something for everyone. Here are just a few of the reasons why you should consider visiting this charming city.

Visit Porto in Portugal, Porto and see old traditional boats with wine barrels in Portugal in a summer day

Visit Porto in Portugal, Porto and see old traditional boats with wine barrels in Portugal in a summer day

One of the most obvious reasons to visit Porto is its picturesque surroundings. The city is located on the Douro River, which flows through the picturesque landscape before emptying into the Atlantic Ocean. The riverbank is lined with colorful buildings, while the hilly streets offer great views of the city and beyond.

 

If you’re a fan of history and architecture, you’ll definitely want to check out Porto’s many historical landmarks. The Palacio da Bolsa, or Stock Exchange Palace, is one of the most impressive buildings in the city. It was built in the 19th century and is now home to a museum that tells the history of the city. Other notable landmarks include Santa Clara Church, São Bento Train Station and Clérigos Tower.

Of course, no trip to Porto would be complete without trying some of its famous food and wine. Port wine originates from the city, and there are plenty of opportunities to visit one of the many port wine lodges and learn about (and taste!) this unique drink. And be sure to try some traditional Portuguese dishes.

What to do in Porto

Porto is a lively city with plenty to see and do. From exploring the historic old town to enjoying the view from one of the many bridges.

The best way to start exploring Porto is by taking a walking tour of the city. This will help you find out and see some of the main sights. Once you’ve done this, you can start exploring some of the other attractions that the city has to offer.

Some of the must-see sights in Porto include the Clerigos Tower, which offers panoramic views of the city, and the Palacio da Bolsa, an opulent 19th-century building that was once home to the stock exchange. For something a little different, you can also visit one of Porto’s many port wine cellars or take a cruise down the Douro River.

If you’re looking for a place to eat, Porto has plenty of options. There are traditional Portuguese restaurants serving hearty dishes as well as more modern eateries offering lighter fare. And of course, no visit to Porto would be complete without trying some of the local port wine!

Where to stay in Porto

There are a number of great places to stay in Porto, depending on your budget and preferences. For those on a tight budget, there are a number of hostels and budget hotels in the city center that offer good value for money. For those looking for a little more comfort, there are a number of mid-range and luxury hotels scattered throughout the city.

If you are looking for a central place to explore the city, then staying at one of the many hotels in the Baixa district is a good option. This area is full of lively bars, restaurants and cafes and is within walking distance of all the main attractions. For those who want to be closer to the riverfront and nightlife, staying at one of the hotels in Ribeira is a good choice. This area comes alive at night with its many bars and clubs and offers stunning views of the Douro River during the day.

For those who want a more relaxed atmosphere, a good option is to stay further out from the center in areas such as Vila Nova de Gaia or Matosinhos. These areas offer fantastic beaches and plenty of green space to relax in, while still being within easy reach of all that is happening in Porto.

Porto is a relatively small city, so you won’t have any trouble finding a hotel close to all the major attractions. If you are looking for a central location, try Hotel Teatro. This 4-star hotel is just a few steps from the Palacio da Bolsa and offers fantastic views of the city.

For those on a budget, there are plenty of affordable hotels throughout Porto. Pensao Residencial Florescente is a great option that offers simple but comfortable rooms looks at very reasonable prices.

How to get around Porto

There are a few different ways to get around Porto, depending on your budget and preferences. If you are looking for the cheapest solution, you can take advantage of the city’s extensive bus network. A single trip costs just €1.60 and there are several routes that will take you to all the major sights in Porto.

If you’re looking for a more comfortable way to get around, flag down one of the city’s iconic yellow taxis. Prices start at around €5 for a short trip, making it a great option if you’re only visiting for a day or two.

For those looking to explore Porto at their own pace, there are plenty of car hire companies located in the city center. Just be aware that driving in Portugal can be quite chaotic!

What to see in Porto

Porto is a city with plenty to see and do, whatever your interests. History buffs will love exploring many churches and cathedrals, including the majestic Sé do Porto. Art lovers cannot miss a visit to the Palacio da Bolsa, an opulent 19th-century building that is now home to a number of art galleries.

For something a little different, head to Livraria Lello, one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Or take a walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge for a great view of the city.

For those on a budget, there are plenty of affordable hotels throughout Porto. Pensao Residencial Florescente is a great option that offers simple but comfortable rooms at very reasonable prices.

What to eat in Porto, the classic dishes

If you are planning a trip to Porto, make sure to try some of the city’s traditional dishes. The local cuisine is based on fresh seasonal produce and offers a selection of seafood and meat dishes. Here are some of the must-try dishes in Porto:

Portuguese-style black bean stew

Feijoada is a hearty bean soup that differs in various regions, but each version has beans as a major ingredient. Unlike some dishes that originate in one country, feijoada originated in Portugal before it was introduced to Brazil.

The influence of this dish can be determined in Portugal today, where it appears in a variety of different versions. It is usually made with red kidney or white beans, but the varieties generally include pork, beef, blood sausage (morcela), farinheira sausage and chouriço.

Crock-pot variations of feijoada can sometimes include vegetables. This popular dish is also found in Portuguese colonies, including Brazil, Macau, Angola, and Mozambique.

 

typical portuguese dish feijoada with rice in ceramic bowl and red wine on brown background

Typical Portuguese dish feijoada with rice in a ceramic bowl and red wine on brown background

This dish is made with salt cod and is often served with potatoes, eggs and onions. It is a popular choice for lunch or dinner.

Codfish is a major ingredient in Portugal

Bacalau

Bacalau is dried codfish and is widely popular, almost a Portuguese signature dish. Here is a version.

Bolinhos de bacalhau, very famous in Portuguese, Bacalau/dried cod as fish balls

Francesinha

A sandwich filled with ham, sausage and steak, then covered in cheese and egg. It is typically served with a side of fries.

Caldo Verde

A soup made with potatoes, kale and chorizo. It is usually served with bread on the side.

Arroz de pato

A duck & rice dish, often served with a side dish of fresh vegetables.

Polvo à Lagareiro

Octopus cooked in olive oil and garlic, then oven roasted. It is typically served with boiled potatoes. Try it 🙂

Traditional portuguese dish octopus with potato on white plate

Traditional Portuguese dish octopus with potato on a white plate

Queijadas de Vila Real

Cheesecakes from the city of Vila Real. They are made with fresh cheese, eggs, sugar and flour.

Steak in Portuguese

Lombo de Boi, known as a version of Beef Tenderloin, a well-known and fine dish in Portugal

Porto’s delicious wines from port to green wine

No trip to Porto would be complete without trying some of the city’s or rather the area’s famous wines. The region is known for its port, which is a fortified wine that is typically sweet and ruby red in color. If you’re not a fan of sweet wines, don’t worry – there are also plenty of dry red wines produced in Porto. Some of the best wineries in the region include Taylor’s, Graham’s and Warre’s.

Road trip in Portugal, the country, the history and…the wine

Road trip in Portugal, the country, the history and…the wine

Read more about Portuguese wine on our big wine blogging site Winetalk, find Portuguese wines (Danish and English)

Travel conclusion: Portugal has it all, ravishing nature and lovely cities

Porto is a city with a rich history and plenty to see and do. If you are planning a trip to Portugal, be sure to add Porto to your itinerary. You will not be disappointed!

More travel inspiration for Portugal

Travel to Travel to Portugal. 16 travel destinations

Road trip in Portugal, the country, the history and…the wine

Lisbon, charming capital of Portugal

Algarve, best golf destination in the world?

Map overview

Latest travel articles