Bucket List: Amazing Places to Visit in Porto, Portugal
Porto is probably one of the most fascinating cities that people would like to travel to and spend their time in. The historic center of Porto, Luiz I Bridge, and Monastery of Serra do Pilar is considered a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thus, adding up to the number of tourists.
Given its panoramic view in the center of the city alongside the Douro River, which is complemented by six spectacular bridges, how can you possibly resist what Porto offers? If you have Porto on your bucket list, well buckle up because listed below are the best things to make your stay worth it in Porto, Portugal.
Spend Time in Dom Luís I Bridge
Ever want to reflect on life decisions while enjoying a beautiful view? Spend it at Dom Luís I Bridge, which straddles the Douro River. This is an iconic bridge since it was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the man who designed the Eiffel Tower in Paris. This bridge was the longest iron arch in the world after its completion in 1886.
The bridge accommodates cars on its lower level and Porto’s metro on its upper level. Since pedestrians can walk along the bridge on both levels, you can explore and see the bridge in detail while simply strolling. The upper deck is most recommended to visit for fantastic views.
Engage Yourself in a Food-Tasting Tour
Get involved in a tasting tour of Porto’s best-recommended food. The place has local guides to take you to all of the best cafes and markets in Porto.
Get lost with the taste of their classic dishes with a wide range of meat and fish, which will be complemented with glasses of port wine. One of the most recommended dishes is Francesinha, which is best served at Café Santiago and Bufete Fase but be prepared for the long queue.
Visit Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral)
Experience a magnificent visit to an ancient cathedral that was originally built between the 12th and 13th centuries, which features various architectural styles, including Romanesque, Baroque, and Gothic. It has also been declared a National Monument.
The exterior has a plain stone facade, but the interior features a beautiful stained-glass rose window, a collection of sculptures over the centuries, and a silver altarpiece that was once used as the bishop’s study. Porto Cathedral’s cloister can also interest you with its cobalt and white ceramic tiles that depict different religious history scenes.
Visiting this place is worth your hour or two.
Hop on a Tour Bus
Admire Porto’s establishments and its history on top of a tour bus for hours. The tour usually follows two main routes: one route is around the tourist attractions, historic sites, and beaches of Porto; while the other paves its way out to nearby towns, including Vila Nova de Gaia.
The buses are mostly open-top to let you see the beauty of Porto without any interference. This will also let you appreciate sunshine while embracing the winds.
Enjoy a Walking Tour
While it is best to walk at your own pace to know Porto even more, it is still deemed best to bring with you a knowledgeable local to introduce you to Porto’s history. As you walk, you can absorb the beauty of the establishments in your own eyes without rushing. The locals will guide you around the city, leading you to Porto’s UNESCO-listed center, baroque architecture, etc.
Furthermore, your guide will slowly reveal stories of Roman rules, Moorish invasions, and French destruction. Any questions raised will be answered right away for clarification. With this, you can enjoy the structures while learning at the same time.
Avail Yourself with Aveiro Tour in a Moliceiro Cruise
Get on a boat tour to Aveiro, a coastal town near Porto, which only takes half a day with an expert local guide. It is alongside the Ria de Aveiro lagoon, which has similarities to the city of Venice.
The houses are extended right up against the coastal canal where the means to cross is via classic Moliceiro cruise. On your journey back to Porto, visit the fishing town of Costa Nova and see the white sand beaches. Consequently, you’ll enjoy two picturesque places on a single tour.
Have Fun with Segway Tour
Getting a good look at Porto’s Ribeira neighborhood couldn’t get any more fun than the self-balancing electric scooters or Segway. You will be accompanied by an expert guide who’ll take you around the area.
You can select a small-group or private tour and be mesmerized by the famous spots, including Ponte de Dom Luis I, Porto Cathedral, São Bento Station, and Clérigos Tower.
Treat Yourself with Port Wine Lodges Tour and Tastings
Be lighted with seven port tastings in three different wineries and a traditional wine cellar. While learning about wine-making history, you’ll learn how to identify the different types of ports apart and the optimum time to drink them.
This tour is specifically at Douro Valley. Get a tour guide to ensure you’ll experience the place at its best. Moreover, you can dine in on Douro cuisine and taste the famous wine produced in the area.
Experience Sightseeing at Night with Fado
Done with your daytime tour around Porto? Spend your evening at leisure with dinner and a musical show from traditional fado musicians. After availing yourself with a guided tour through the city at night, you’ll get yourself courses of Portugal delicacies, accompanied by a two-hour live performance and dinner.
However, you can still enjoy the night with fado without dinner but includes wine. Every penny is worth the watch and taste.
Have a Fun Private Shopping Tour
Overwhelmed with too many shops? Spend your money with a guide to escort and help you pick Porto’s finest shops for shopping, including some of the biggest and most famous firms in fashion. You can explore the Bolhão market for traditional Portugal wares and food.
Your guide will then take you to El Corte Ingles, where you can shop at many stores. Moreover, you’ll get a glimpse of more stores outside any malls with the tour guide.
Explore Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens)
Exploring gardens could take your stress away. Enjoy Crystal Palace Gardens with its flowers in varieties, cold breezy lanes, shrubs and flora, and the running fountains. Sometimes, peacocks roam the gardens and spread their feathers.
It’s not just the garden that you’ll enjoy seeing but also the panoramic view of the Douro River and its structures.
Have a blast at Parque da Cidade do Porto (Porto City Park)
We all have been to a park before since we were kids; however, Porto City Park will mark a blast in your life. Parque da Cidade do Porto ranks as one of the largest parks in Northern Portugal at more than 200 acres. The park is best for six-mile biking or strolling. Moreover, the place is also wide enough for picnics.
It also contains the Sea Life Porto, which is a private aquarium with numerous marine animals. When you get to this place, the two best options are either you’d want to enjoy the park or interact with marine creatures from the aquarium. Choose wisely or choose both.
Stare at Beautiful Sunsets at Porto Beaches
The sea breeze will probably make you want to spend all your days at the shore. You’ll get transfixed with the sight of the sun kissing the sea and how your feet touch the grains of sand. If you want to beat the heat on a sunny day, visiting Portugal’s northwest coast is one of the best options.
Meanwhile, in Foz do the Douro, located east of the city along Avenida do Brasil, small beaches like Praia do Molhe and Praia de Gondarem will welcome you breezy embrace.
You’ll find a perfect spot for watching the sunset at Pergola da Foz. However, swimming isn’t advised since the terrain offshore is a little rocky. But you can still enjoy the sand and visit the beachfront bars, restaurants, and cafes. On the contrary, you can enjoy the waters and swim at the beaches of Vila Nova de Gaia.
Admire Casa da Música
Appreciate the home of the 94-member Orquestra Sinfónica does Porto Casa da Música. It is a 1,300-seated concrete concert hall designed in the modernist style by Remment (Rem) Koolhaas, a famous Dutch architect.
The building hosts smaller ensembles, including its own restaurant, a cafe, two bars, a shop, and an educational center. Casa da Música has deemed a world-class operation with top-notch performances and facilities.
Scream at Foz do Douro
Sometimes in life, we do things that release our stress from work, school, or home. Foz does the Douro is one of the best places where you scream at your heart’s content since you’ll be facing the sea, and the waves will roar along with you.
Since there are new restaurants established nearby, you could satisfy yourself with food after a long rant. On the contrary, the Pergola da Foz was installed in the 1930s as the Mayor’s wife fell in love with the Promenade des Anglais. Thus, it is still the perfect place for something romantic blended with a beautiful sunset.
Porto Travel and Tour Packages
To help you plan out your visit to Porto, we listed places to visit and other amazing things to do in Porto, Portugal. We also listed some of the best travel deals and tour packages and excellent flight deals and accommodation.
Searching for the best hotels, resorts, and affordable flights in the nearby Cities? Check out our list of affordable Porto hotels and resorts via Agoda, or you may also see available Airbnb properties in the city.