PORTO.

Wonderful waterfront, stunning sights and some of the best wines in the world make a Porto city break a thrilling adventure which will broaden your horizons and open you up for new senses. Start your journey through Porto with exploring the charming local life – the streets of Ribeira, Massarelos and Miragaia are perfect for that purpose. Next, hit the centre for interesting architecture, bold street art and stunning museums. Objects like Museu de Arte Contemporânea and Casa da Música are iconic for Porto, and as such are the true must-sees of the city. Finally, after getting your fill of the local customs, culture, music and displays, treat yourself to the magnificent cuisine of Porto. Some of the most renowned chiefs in the world operate in Porto, with names like Ricardo Costa, Rui Paula, Pedro Lemos and José Avillez drawing thousands of tourists to the city every year. Hungry for more? After visiting the best marisqueria and petiscarias in Porto, take a sit on one of the famous terrace bars and wind down over a glass of wine, admiring the waterfront. That’s when you’ll be able to appreciate just how much of a good idea the Porto city break was!

Money Saving Tips

Money Saving Tips

Best Period to Visit Porto

Best Period to Visit Porto

Accomodation Tips for Porto

Accomodation Tips

Getting Around Porto

Getting Around Porto

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Porto

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Porto

Other Things to See and Do

Other Things to See and Do

Money Saving Tips

Book in advance

Since Porto is a major tourist town of Portugal, you might want to book your accommodation and flight a couple of months in advance in order to ensure you won’t find yourself with everything already taken. Moreover, airplane and travel companies often provide discounts for early bookers, allowing you to save some money.

Look for discounts online

There are plenty of phone apps and websites listing the latest discounts in the city, be it accommodation, food, drinks, or attractions. You can always ask the receptionist in your hotel for tips and advice on saving money, but there is sure to be much more people online.

Stay in a hostel

Hostels are a much cheaper alternative to a hotel, and in Porto they are of good quality, often matching what you would find in a hotel. Make sure to search online for the best prices, but read the review first and check the photos, so you are sure the reduced price is worth the quality of the accommodation.

Try couchsurfing

If you really want to save some money on accommodation, skip getting a hotel or a hostel and try couchsurfing instead. There are a bunch of websites helping you with the process, and renting a room or an apartment from a local is sure to be cheaper than a hotel, and you also get a glimpse of local Portuguese life.

Get a transport pass

While Porto is a relatively small city, it still takes quite some time to get from one end to the other. If you are planning on travelling around the city a lot, visiting various attractions and monuments, make sure to get a transport pass for a few days or an entire week, which is way more efficient than single tickets.

Take advantage of happy hours

The nightlife of Porto is quite vivid and vibrant and going out for a drink or two during the night is sure to be a frequent occasion. While you're at it, you can save some money and buy cheaper drinks during the happy hours, which are specific to each pub and bar so make sure you look up the information beforehand.

Search for vouchers

If you are going to do shopping or eat out, make sure to look for vouchers and discounts before you venture out. Several of the restaurants in Porto also offer such vouchers, which often allow you to eat a full meal for half of the price, so it is really worth the time it takes to search for such discounts.

Buy your tickets online

While this may sound out of place, a lot of services and places in Porto offer reduced prices for buying a ticket online instead of getting a paper one. Trains are one of such services, so if you are going to travel to some remote place outside of Porto, remember to get your tickets online for a nice price reduction.

Drink tap water

A lot of restaurants and eateries tend to give you water with your meal, even if you do not ask for it yourself. Restrain yourself and do not drink this water, as it is usually priced at around €5 for a glass. Instead, make sure to ask for tap water before you order, and you will be able to save some cash that way.

Avoid peak season

If you want a pleasant vacation, make sure to stay out of Porto during the summer, especially between June and August. During that time, crowds of tourists swarm to the city of Porto, filling up every accommodation spot, making the lines to attractions extremely long, and driving up the prices.

Best Period to Visit Porto

Tourism

Summer is the peak tourist season for Porto, which means that that’s when it’s packed with tourists the most. If you’d rather avoid the crowds, then visit Porto during either September and October or April and May.

Weather

Porto offers a balanced temperature which doesn’t change all that much throughout the year. From June to September, it offers around 23-25 °C highs, with just a couple degrees less during the shoulder months. Winter is very mild, with about 13 °C during the day, and 5 °C low in January.

Money

Porto is the most expensive from June to early September. Shoulder months offer some discounts, and that’s when you can try to scoop some discounts, but don’t expect anything more than 20% off. Winter is the cheapest season for visiting Porto.

Events

Dia de Reis (January)
Fantasporto (February-March)
Optimus Primavera Sound (May or June)
Serralves em Festa (June)
Festa de São João (late June)
Regata dos Rabelos (June)
Festival Mares Vivas (July)
Feira do Artesanato do Porto (December)

Accomodation Tips

Apartments

If you need a spacious and comfortable form of accommodation in Porto, bet on apartments for rent. Apartments in Porto offer a higher amount of privacy, compared to hotels, and often offer higher value for your money. By renting an apartment in Porto, you will be able to feel like a local!

Budget (1-2 star) hotels

Those looking for cheap hotels in Porto should focus on 1- and 2-star hotels. It’s an affordable form of accommodation in Porto, providing you with enough comfort to make your stay pleasant, while at the same time giving you the opportunity to save a lot of money.

Standard (3-4 star) hotels

If you’re looking for a higher degree of comfort and better quality of service, then 3- and 4-star hotels in Porto are the way to go. Nightly rates for standard hotels in Porto start around $60, and for that price, you get to enjoy better than average location close to the tourist attractions in Porto, as well as more diverse facilities.

Luxury hotels in Porto

Luxury hotels in Porto are the pinnacle of accommodation art. These splendorous hotels offer state-of-the-art facilities, the highest quality of service and are located in the best spots around the city. Of course, such convenience comes at an additional expense, as nightly rates start around $200.

Getting Around Porto

Bicycle

While the landscape of Porto is filled with narrow streets and steep hillsides, most of the locals choose to travel by bike since the city is quite small and the traffic is relatively low. The parks and promenades along the Douro River are also great spots to traverse through on a bike, and there are even a handful of dedicated bike paths.
The city of Porto does not have a dedicated, city-run bike-sharing programme, but there are a couple of cheap rental outlets in the city, where you can get a bike for around €15 per day. If you plan on staying for longer, you can always rent a bike for an entire week, which is way more money-efficient.

Bus

If you need to get from one end of the city to the other, buses are a good way to do so. Most of the buses depart from the hubs at Praca da Liberdade, Cordoaria, and Praca Almeida Garrett. There is also a night bus service which runs from 1 a.m. up to 5.30 a.m., which is a good option if you are coming back from a pub crawl and don’t want to overpay for a taxi.
Single tickets can be bought both on the bus and at shops and machines, and such a ticket costs €1.95 and allows you to get a single ride without transfers.

Car and Motorcycle

While there aren’t many cars in the streets of Porto, the city is filled with one-way streets and renovations, which successfully inhibit moving around efficiently. There also aren't that many parking lots in the city, and most of the public spots allow a maximum of two hours, which further extends the problem. In case of an emergency, there are underground parking lots, but these charge a lot to use, and the people who supervise them are often not very approachable.

Funicular

Riding a funicular might not be the fastest way of traversing the city, but it is an experience in itself. A ride with a funicular provides you with a gorgeous view of the Douro River but is also quite expensive for what it does.

Metro

The most efficient way to travel around the city is the metro system, which is well-developed and easy to comprehend. Metro trains start their service at 6 a.m. and end at 1 a.m. each day and are spread through six different lines, which all end at the Trindade stop.
The lines A through C depart from Estadio do Dragao via Campanha, and are useful for getting in and out of the city center. Line D runs between the north and south parts of the city, allowing a quick transfer between suburbs. Line E is useful for getting into the city, as it connects the airport with the line B. There is also line F, which connects Senhora da Hora to Fanzeres.
The tickets for the metro trains can be bought at the machines present at every stop. Keep in mind that there are a few different zones in the city, which require different tickets.

Tram

Trams are not a very useful way of getting around the city on a daily basis, but they are quite scenic. The old tram trains are beautiful to look at, and the slow-moving pace allows you to see the monuments along the way. There are a few lines of trams, the most useful ones being 18 and 22. The rams run around every thirty minutes during the day; a single ticket costs €3 and is not interchangeable with buses or metro.

Taxi

Taxis are quite cheap in Porto, especially compared to the rest of Portugal and most of Europe. Still, it is way more efficient to travel around with public transport, but taxis are a last-resort option. Keep in mind that there is an extra charge for going outside of the city, so you are better off using the local trains when visiting suburbs and remote places.

Tickets and Passes

The city has a rechargeable Andante Card, which is popular among both locals and tourists alike. The card costs only €0.60 and can be recharged with as much money as you need. The card also comes with discounts, as the tickets bought with the card are far cheaper than regular single tickets. The card can be recharged at metro ticket machines and at booths present in most of the public transport hubs. Make sure to validate the card whenever you enter a vehicle by placing it close to the scanner.

Top 10 Things to See and Do in Porto

Porto Food and Wine Tasting Tour

This tour provides a good starting point for first-time visitors to Porto. Since food and wine are the most famous properties of Porto, the tour allows you to take your time visiting a couple of local eateries and bars to taste some of the specialties, along with a local guide who provides tips on where to eat and drink.

Porto Wine Lodges Tour

This tour not only takes you along several of the wine lodges in Porto, allowing you to see the process of winemaking and the beautiful buildings for yourself, but there are also tastings arranged in each of the seven lodges, and you can even take home some of the beverages as souvenirs at your own expense.

Douro Valley Tour

With a comprehensive, one-day tour of the region of Douro Valley, this tour includes visits to both large and small-time wineries with tastings included. A comfortable air-conditioned minivan will take you from the Porto city centre, allowing you to relax and not worry about the hot weather.

Porto Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour

This tour grants you the ability to discover the city of Porto at your own pace, as it allows you to use two routes of comfortable double-deckers with an open roof and stops strategically placed around the most popular attractions. There is also an option for a cheap upgrade to a small-group tour of the city and a cruise.

Arrabida Bridge Climb Experience

Take the opportunity to climb the renowned Arrabida Bridge during this thirty-minute tour supervised by a professional guide. The famous bridge is over sixty-five meters high, providing a gorgeous view of the landscape, and the guide will tell you the history of the bridge during the climb.

Four-hour Porto City Tour with Six Bridges Cruise

This comprehensive tour will take you along the most popular attractions and monuments in the city, including the Porto Se Cathedral, Clerigos Church, and Ponte de Don Luis. The tour also includes a hotel pick-up and drop-off, as well as a relaxing cruise and even a wine tasting in an authentic wine cellar.

3-hour Porto Bike Tour

During this three-hour tour, you will be able to visit some of the famous spots in the city with your friends and family on comfortable bicycles. The pace of the tour ensures everyone to have an enjoyable experience, as you drive through the Ribeira district and visit such monuments as Sao Francisco Church.

Skip the Line World of Discoveries Ticket

Avoid waiting in long lines to visit the famous World of Discoveries museum in Porto with this premium ticket, which grants you a priority entrance. The museum shows the history of the world with over twenty thematic exhibitions and installations, with various multimedia displays and life-sized models.

4-hour Guided Porto Pub Crawl

Combine fun with excellent value during this four-hour guided pub crawl, which will take you along some of the most popular pubs and clubs in Porto. Drinks are included in several of the places, as well as discounts for the whole group for drinks and beer, and even after-hours access in some of the establishments.

Aveiro Half-Day Tour from Porto

This half-day tour will allow you to escape the bustling city of Porto and enjoy a cruise to the scenic town of Aveiro. Nicknamed the Venice of Portugal, Aveiro is filled with gorgeous water canals, and the tour will take you through them, as well as through the famous tiled buildings of Costa Nova.

Other Things to See and Do

Torre dos Clerigos

Being a part of the Clerigos Church in Porto, the Clerigos Tower is probably the best spot to see the cityscape of Porto for free. The tower is over seventy-five meters high and requires quite a workout to get on top, but the view of the skyline is totally worth the effort. Make sure to come during the sunset!

Ribeira District

Visit one of the terraces in the Ribeira district of Porto for a relaxing afternoon. The terraces of the district are popular among locals as a spot to unwind after a hard day, some take a book and enjoy a tranquil evening. Make sure to take some photos of the traditional boats that were used to transport wine.

The mouth of the Douro River

While to get there you will probably need to take a tram, which is quite cheap itself, a walk along the river is absolutely free and totally worth it. The place where the Douro River meets the Atlantic is fitted with a gorgeous promenade to walk on, and there are a lot of small-time ice cream parlors and eateries along the way.

Palacio da Bolsa

If you are looking for a piece of beautiful architecture, Palacio da Bolsa is definitely a place worth visiting for you. The Stock Exchange Palace is built in a Neo-Classical style, and dates back to the nineteenth century. While guided tours are quite expensive, you can still take pictures and see the gorgeous façade for free.

Church of Sao Francisco

Located right next to the Palacio da Bolsa, the Church of Sao Francisco is one of the most famous spiritual places in all of Porto. The church is made in Gothic style and was built during the transition between the twelfth and thirteenth century, with Baroque details added sometime later inside.

Serralves Museum

Surrounded by gorgeous gardens which themselves are worth walking through, the museum shows a variety of rotating exhibitions, including local and international artists. The gardens cover over eighteen hectares of terrain and are filled with beautiful local wildlife and plants, along with some exotic greenery.

The Museum of Contemporary Art

Located right next to the gardens of Serralves lies the Museum of Contemporary Art, housing a wide collection of both Portuguese and foreign art. The oldest pieces of art in the museum are from the 1960s, and most of them are modern. Make sure to come on the first Sunday of a month, when the museum is free to visit.

Wine cellars of Ribeira

While the district of Ribeira is widely known for its gorgeous terraces and excellent sangria, made by the locals, the area is also filled with plenty of both large and small wineries. Some of the wineries allow visitors to come for free and see the winemaking process for themselves, so make sure to look around.

Rue de Miguel Bombarda

The street of Miguel Bombarda is popular among the locals, as it is filled with many great pubs and bars, many of which provide happy hours for their customers, allowing them to get a discounted drink of their favourite beverage. There is also a lot of old-fashioned bakeries, which are a sight to see.

The trams

While driving a tram does require a ticket, it is extremely cheap and definitely worth the experience. The old-fashioned trams of Porto are picturesque in and of themselves, and they moreover ride at a steady, slow pace, allowing you to gaze at the marvellous monuments filling the streets outside the window.

Foz

One of the oldest districts of Porto, Foz, is also one of the most picturesque ones in all of the city. The name of the area translates to “river mouth”, as it is located around the spot where the Douro River meets the Atlantic. The district is also filled with beautiful parks and monuments, so make sure to explore thoroughly.

Rua Passeio Alegre

Located in the district of Foz, Rua Passeio Alegre is one of the best spots in the city to go for an afternoon walk or a relaxing jogging session. The street is located along the city’s seaside and runs alongside the Douro River, surrounded by palm trees, and leads to a gorgeous garden at the end of the road.

Livraria Lello

If you are a fan of books, make sure to come to the Lello Library. The gorgeous bookshop is not only famous for its exquisite architecture, designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves during the early nineteenth century. The legend of the library is that it inspired JK Rowling during her work in Porto as an English teacher.

Fort of Sao Francisco do Queijo

Also called by the locals the “Castle of the Cheese”, is a place definitely worth visiting. The unusual name of the fort comes from its location, as it is placed on top of a cliff that resembles a wheel of cheese, but it is still a remarkable defensive structure and one worth visiting.

Gaia

Villa Nova de Gaia is a small town located near Porto, famous for its old-fashioned wine cellars. Gaia is located just south of the Douro River and is famous for its special wine, made only in northern Portugal. While guided tours and tastings cost quite a bit, some of the wine cellars will allow you to visit for free if you buy a bottle.

Street food

While this may not sound like an attraction, street food in Porto is such a vibrant phenomenon that it is definitely worth seeing. Even if you are not hungry, make sure to travel the streets of the city in the evening and indulge in the smells and sights.

Douro Valley

There is far more to explore when it comes to the Douro River than just what you can see inside of the city. While you can take a boat cruise to see the famous bridges of the city, you can always travel outside of the city to explore the Douro Valley region on your own for cheap.

Coliseu do Porto

If you are lucky, you might be able to catch a free concert, or some sort of event at the Coliseu do Porto, which is a relatively new addition to the city of Porto. There are frequent music and ballet performances, along with theatrical displays, but the building is worth visiting just for the architecture.

Mercado do Bolhao

The Bolhao Market is a favourite among the locals, as it fills each day of the week with colourful stalls with fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as local delicacies. If you are not in the mood for buying anything, a walk through the stalls is still quite an experience, as you will witness the authentic local life of the city.

Centre Portugues de Fotografia

Located in an interesting spot which used to be a prison, the photography museum of Porto is a great place to visit if you are looking for some free exhibitions. Take a look at the original doors of the former prison, which are still in use, and visit for free from Tuesday to Friday between 10 a.m. and 6 p.m.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • What are the best hotels for Porto city break?

    Our list of the best hotels in Porto are: Vila Gale Porto, Eurostars Porto Douro, Hotel Cristal Porto, Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa and Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa. Discover the full list of best hotels in Porto.

  • What are the luxury hotels in Porto?

    The finest examples of luxury hotels in Porto include Hotel Mercure Porto Centro, Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site, PortoBay Hotel Teatro, NH Collection Porto Batalha, Infante Sagres Luxury Historic Hotel and Crowne Plaza Porto. Discover the full list of luxury hotels in Porto.

  • What are the cheap hotels in Porto?

    Those trying to visit Porto on a tight budget will find everything they need in hotels such as Pao de Acucar Hotel, Grande Hotel do Porto, Legendary Porto Hotel, Star Inn Porto, Hotel Internacional Porto, AC Hotel Porto A Marriott and The Artist Porto Hotel & Bistro. Discover the full list of Cheap hotels in Porto.

  • What is the best period to visit Porto for a city break?

    Taking factors such as weather, crowds and prices, the best months to visit Porto for a city break are June, July, August and September.

  • What are top 5 things to see and do in Porto?

    Porto offers plenty of exciting attractions and things to do. Must-sees in Porto include: Porto Food and Wine Tasting Tour, Porto Wine Lodges Tour, Douro Valley Tour, Porto Hop-On-Hop-Off Tour and Arrabida Bridge Climb Experience.

  • How much does an Porto city pass cost?

    A city pass in Porto costs around €25.

  • How much does public transport in Porto cost?

    24-hour ticket for public transport in Porto costs around €6.

  • What are the best night clubs in Porto?

    The best night clubs in Porto include: Galerias de Paris, O Mais Velho, Adega Leonor, MaoMaria and Casa do Livro.

  • What are the best bars in Porto?

    Judging on the reviews and customer opinions, the best bars in Porto are: Capela Incomum, Bonaparte Downtown, Miradouro Ignez, Terrace Lounge 360º and The Gin House.

  • What are the best places to eat in Porto?

    Your choice of the best restaurants in Porto may vary depending on your taste, however, ODE Porto Winehouse, Restaurante Cafeina, Pedro Lemos and Casa da Horta are some of the most popular choices.

  • What are the top 5 best restaurants in Porto?

    Top 5 restaurants in Porto include: Bacalhau, O Comercial, Bufete Fase, O Paparico and Grelhador da Boavista.