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3 Days in Porto Itinerary: From Port wine to epic views

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If you’re looking for a beautiful European city to visit that isn’t overrun with tourists, Porto is the perfect place for you. This charming city in Portugal’s north has everything you could want on a trip, from stunning architecture to delicious food and wine. And best of all, this 3 days in Porto itinerary covers it all from sights to experiences! 

From exploring the city’s historic center to taking day trips to nearby towns, you’re sure to fall in love with Porto. And by the end of your trip, you’ll be planning your next visit!

3 days in Porto Itinerary: From epic sights, and views to experiences

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Porto in Portugal is a charming city that has everything you could want, plus it’s easy to get around and there’s plenty to do in just a few days. 

To help you make the most of your time in Porto, here’s a suggested itinerary for 3 days in the city.

3 days in Porto itinerary: Things to do in Porto in 3 days

  • Day 1 of Porto 3 day itinerary: Arrive in Porto, Porto Cathedral, Tuk Tuk Tour, São Bento Station and nearby areas, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, Jardim do Morro for sunset
  • Day 2 of 3 day Porto itinerary: Sunrise at the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar (viewpoint), Palácio da Bolsa, Igreja de São Francisco, 6 Bridges Cruise, Fado show, Hang out at the Ribeira
  • Day 3 of 3 day Porto itinerary: Visit Lello Bookstore, Climb Torre dos Clérigo, walk over to Villa Nova de Gaia, lunch at Graham’s Port Lodge, walk the Gaia Promenade, wine tasting at Burmester caves, Rua Santa Catarina and Mercado do Bolhão

You can easily pick a combination (day 1-2, 2-2, or 1-3) and customize this itinerary for spending 2 days in Porto. Short on time? Read our one day in Porto itinerary

Planning your trip to Porto Portugal

Porto is a place that’s best seen on foot. You’ll be able to absorb the city’s gorgeous architecture and energy in this manner. 

You can also get to the nearby area of Gaia to taste some of Porto’s famed port wine, as well as local cuisine and drink. And don’t forget the view of the Douro River from a distance – it truly is an unforgettable experience!

Getting to Porto:

The easiest way to get to Porto from North America is by flying to Lisbon, and then driving or taking the train to the north. 

  • Lisbon to Porto by road: 3 hours (car rentals available at the airport)
  • Lisbon to Porto by train: 3+ hours by the high-speed Alfa Pendular

On my solo trip to Portugal, I took the high speed train from Oriente Lisbon station to Porto’s Campanha Station. The trains were clean and it was not crowded. It did stop at Coimbra and Aveiro, and the view from the window was scenic. 

Read: How to spend 3 days in Lisbon

Where to stay in Porto?

Because Porto is a compact city, getting to different areas and attractions won’t be difficult. Many love to walk around, navigating through narrow lanes, steep areas, and down to the river banks. 

Having said that staying in a centrally-located hotel or Airbnb will allow you to get to various places without much walking, or spending time in traffic. Plus when traveling alone, you can stay out for longer hours, hanging out in a restaurant.

Top places to stay in Porto,

View from Oporto Street Miragaia Riverside Suites
View from Oporto Street Miragaia Riverside Suites
  • Oporto Street Miragaia Riverside Suites: I stayed at this riverfront apartment-hotel, and absolutely loved it. This is an adults-only property and is within walking distance to the Ribeira and the Porto Cathedral. There is a tram and bus station right outside the hotel. The host was super nice, and the rooms were very clean! Check availability and book a suite here
  • Mercure Porto Centro Santa Catarina: This is a lovely 4-star hotel in the old city center. You will be in the heart of everything in Porto. The hotel also has a restaurant on site and rooms are of decent size and well-equipped. Book your stay at the Mercure Porto Centro Santa Catarina

Commuting in Porto

If you plan to use public transport, then opt for a Porto Card. Porto Card comes packed with various features including free access to 6 museums. 

This card also offers reduced entry, anywhere from 10% to 50% in museums and attractions in Porto (such as Porto Cathedral, Stock Exchange Palace, Clerigos Tower, etc). 

Porto Card:

  • Three Day Porto Card: It offers free travel on public transport for 72 hours after the first validation.
  • It is also available for One to Four Days (up to 96 hours of free transportation and entry discounts. 
  • Walker One Day: You can also buy a walker pass that includes discounts on museum entrance etc.

You can buy your Porto Card here!

Day 1 of the Porto Itinerary 3 days: Arrive in Porto, visit Porto Cathedral, hop on a TukTuk, Sao Bento Station, Jardim do Morro for sunset

Plan to arrive in Porto the night before, or at least by 10:00 am, and check in to your hotel. If you are looking for an affordable and clean place to stay with views, you will like Oporto Miragaia Suites.

The first stop on your Porto 3 day itinerary is its stunning Cathedral. As you make your way from the lower level of the city (train station, Ribeira, or the hotel) you will walk past pretty lanes and beautiful views along the way. 

Terraeiro da Se views
View from Terraeiro da Se Street

The Terraeiro da Se Street can be found on the other end of the Porto Cathedral Square, and this is where you can capture an amazing Instagram shot, and then enter the church. 

Porto Cathedral

The Porto Cathedral is one of the city’s most iconic landmarks. This Gothic cathedral was built in the 12th century and has been renovated several times over the centuries. Today, it is a beautiful example of Porto’s history and architecture.

The magnificent Gothic edifice and twin towers of the church make it a stunning sight. The interior, too, is quite lovely, with a beautiful nave and altar adorned with gold and silver decorations. 

Gothic Cloisters and Towers in the Roman Catholic Cathedral Sé de Porto – Portugal

The cathedral also houses a small museum displaying some of the original 12th century Romanesque sculptures that were formerly part of the building. 

The famous cloisters are beautifully tiled with the Porto blue tiles or Azulejo. 

When visiting the Porto Cathedral, be sure to dress modestly. The best time to visit the Cathedral is in the morning when it opens at 9:00 am. This will give you plenty of time to explore the cathedral before the crowds arrive.

Hours: 09:00 am to 6:30 pm. It is completely free to enter the Cathedral.

Cathedral Square is also a wonderful spot to soak in the city views. There you will find a statue of Vimara Peres, and as you stand on the edge of the square you can also see some of the other churches in Porto, as well as TukTuks parked outside. 

TukTuk Tour of Porto

To make the most of your visit, hop on a TukTuk next. 

You will absolutely love cruising through the city from the comfort of this ride and also listening to stories of Porto. I went on this tour and enjoyed it completely.

The tour was for 2 hours (and you can choose from a morning, afternoon, evening or a special sunset tour), and it was a great way to get acquainted with the new city. It also included a small Port wine tasting!

The ride included ample photo spots. Some of the stops included Cristal Palace, Igreja do Carmo, Avenida Dos Aliados and the City Hall area, etc. The guide also shared shopping and food recommendations. 

Girl at the Jardins do Palácio Cristal
Jardins do Palácio Cristal

I loved the views from Jardins do Palácio Cristal. These palace gardens were built for the International Exhibition of 1865 and it is home to stunning gardens with fountains, trees, and of course views of the Douro River and the city’s colorful houses.  

Entry to the gardens is free. 

Igreja do Carmo

Igreja do Carmo is famous for its azulejo (blue and white tile work) on its exterior. They depict scenes of the founding of the Carmelite Order and Mount Carmel. 

I requested to be stopped here for pictures and was able to do so. Note that the church complex consists of two buildings – Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas.

Girl in Porto with the view of azulejos tiles
Igreja do Carmo

This is the TukTuk tour I booked. Once the tour concluded, the guide asked me where I liked to be dropped off, and I requested to be at the Sao Bento railway station. 

São Bento Train Station

The São Bento Train Station is one of Porto’s most iconic landmarks. This beautiful station was built in the early 20th century and is considered a prime example of Art Nouveau architecture.

Blue tiles at the Sao Bento train station
Inside São Bento Train Station

The interior of the station is decorated with over 22,000 blue and white tiles that depict scenes from Portuguese history. Do make a visit there to check out these azulejo tilework on the walls and ceilings. 

There are also several restaurants and cafes in and around the train station, so it’s a good idea to grab a bite to eat before exploring the rest of Porto. 

The street right outside/near Sao Bento is called Rua das Flores – here you will find souvenir shops as well as places to eat. 

Girl at the Rua das Flores
Rua das Flores (backdrop)

After a quick break, walk 7 minutes to get to the next attraction. 

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

The Igreja de Santo Ildefonso (Church of Saint Ildephonsus) is a magnificent and prominent sight in Porto’s city center. This was built in the 18th century. 

Located near Batalha Square, the church was erected in 1739 utilizing a pre-Baroque design with a 1932 azulejo façade. 

Igreja de Santo Ildefonso church in Porto, Portugal

The church looks absolutely stunning with the azulejos work (about 11,000 tiles), and the tower is laced with Portuguese flags. The church interiors have beautiful stained glass windows and a pipe organ dating from 1811.

Note that the church is closed on Mondays. Church access is free. 

Jardim do Morro viewpoint for sunset

There are a lot of amazing places to experience a nice sunset in Porto. And many of them are for free. 

These vantage sites will allow you to capture the beauty of the city with the flowing Douro river, colorful streets, and lanes. 

Girl at the Jardim do Morro exploring Porto in a day. One day in Porto itinerary
Jardim do Morro viewpoint

To wrap up sightseeing on your first day, head to Jardim do Morro, this garden is one of the best Porto viewpoints for sunset. 

This park offers views of the city, as well as the Douro River. And it is located super close to the iconic Dom Luis I bridge. 

From Porto, just walk across the bridge and you will be welcomed to the park entrance.

At the park, you will find many benches and quiet corners, making it a perfect place to relax and take in the beauty of Porto from its various platforms. 

Access to the park and the viewing areas are free, and they are open 24/7.

Note: If you happen to visit Porto in the summer months, plan to get there after dinner. So like around 09:30 pm and enjoy a stroll as well. 

Try a Francesinha for dinner

If you’re looking for a hearty meal to fuel your explorations of Porto, look no further than Francesinha. 

This Portuguese sandwich is stacked high with meat, cheese, sausages, and eggs, and smothered in a rich tomato and beer sauce. Trust us, it’s worth the calories!

You can find Francesinhas all over the city, but for the best sandwich in Porto, head to Lado B. This local institution has been serving up Francesinhas for years, and it’s easy to see why they’re still going strong. 

The sandwiches are hearty and flavorful and come with a side of delicious Portuguese fries.

It might seem like a ‘mini attack’ on a plate, but this Portuguese comfort food is worth it! Try it, you won’t be disappointed!

Day 2 of the Porto 3 day itinerary: Miradouro da Serra do Pilar, Palácio da Bolsa, Igreja de São Francisco, 6 Bridges Cruise, Fado show, Hang out at the Ribeira

Kickstart your day 2 in Porto by waking up to a beautiful sunrise. 

Plan to get to Miradouro da Serra do Pilar viewpoint. This lookout point offers panoramic views of the city and the Douro River, and it is truly breathtaking.  

Miradouro da Serra do Pilar viewpoint

The viewpoint is set beside the 16th century former convert, that is now a military barrack. Technically this spot is in Gaia, on the other side of the bridge – Dom Luis I. 

Once you are at the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar, soak in the beauty of Porto, and capture the Douro River, Ribeira, and the beautiful morning, with a coffee in hand. 

Your day 2 in Porto will be packed with sightseeing and attractions visit. We will start with the Bolsa Palace.

Palácio da Bolsa

Palácio da Bolsa is one of the most beautiful and historic buildings in Porto. It was built in the 19th century to be the Stock Exchange Palace, and today it is home to the city’s Chamber of Commerce. 

Girl at the Palácio da Bolsa staircase
Palácio da Bolsa Staircase

The Palácio da Bolsa is open to the public and offers guided tours in several languages. Guided tours are available in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and there is an entry fee. 

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the Palácio da Bolsa and the Porto Stock Exchange, be sure to take one of the guided tours.

Here you will also get to see the Palácio da Bolsa’s magnificent Grand Hall aka The Arab Room, which was inspired by the Alhambra of Granada, Spain. 

The tour lasts for 30 minutes (and access to the Palace is only by a guide), and inside you can see the original furniture and learn about the role of the Porto Stock Exchange in the city’s history. 

The ticket and the tour will be valid for one day. On the day of the guided tour, visit the Bolsa Palace to confirm at what time your preferred language tour takes place. 

Hours and Tickets: Open from 09:00 am to 06:30 pm. Entrance ticket can be booked here

A short walk from the Bolsa Palace is the beautiful Igreja de São Francisco church.

Igreja de São Francisco

Igreja de São Francisco is one of the most beautiful churches in Portugal. This baroque-style church is located in the historic center of Porto and dates back to the 13th century when work began on the site.

Girl at the Igreja de São Francisco in Porto
Igreja de São Francisco (exterior)

It did go through years of construction, fire damage, and delays, but today it is part of the UNESCO World Heritage site list in Porto. 

Igreja de São Francisco looks like any other Gothic church from the outside, but it is the interiors that will get your attention. 

The interior of the church is decorated with lavish gilded carvings and paintings, making it a truly stunning sight. 

It is believed that there are over 300 kilos of gold dust were used to decorate everything inside. 

Hours and Tickets: The closing hours vary, depending on the season. But they open at 09:00 am every day. Tickets are needed to visit the interiors. It is 7.50 euros, and you can get a 25% discount with the Porto Card.

Both the Bolsa Palace and the Igreja de São Francisco are located in the Ribeira district – it is only a short walk downhill to the river banks. 

You can stop for lunch right in front of the church. There are pizza places, Portuguese restaurants, and even a Mcdonald’s in the area. 

Exploring Ribeira and 6 bridges tour

Ribeira is one of Porto’s most popular tourist areas, and it’s easy to see why. This riverside district is home to some of the city’s most iconic landmarks, including a variety of bars and restaurants, making it the perfect place to enjoy a meal or a glass of port wine. 

Plus you are close to the Douro River and many bridges that are built across it. What you see on the other side of the river banks is Villa Nova de Gaia, which is home to wine caves and cellars. 

Take a stroll along the river banks, capture photos, and then sit down to enjoy the ambiance. 

Afterward, get on a traditional boat to enjoy a 6 Bridges cruise from the Ribeira. This is a very fun and affordable way to admire Porto and Gaia from the waters and also learn about its history.

The cruise lasts for 50 minutes (I recommend setting aside an hour). 

Along the way, you will find Rabelo boats on the Douro, and these were used as a reliable mode of transportation to bring port wine from the valley to be matured.

You can book the 6 Bridges Tour here, and choose a time slot. If you are delayed for the tour (after lunch, etc.) or missed the time, you can still get on the next cruise just ask a representative at the dock. 

Fado show

If you have missed a fado show in Lisbon, then consider adding it to your 3 day Porto itinerary. These shows last about an hour and are conducted in an intimate setting where all guests are offered a glass of port wine. 

Fado shows in Porto were slightly cheaper than the ones in Chiado in Lisbon. 

Fado is a type of Portuguese music that is famous for its melancholy and emotional lyrics. The music has been compared to the blues because it explores similar themes of love, loss, and longing. 

Fado shows are popular visitor attractions in Portugal, offering an excellent opportunity to learn about the country’s traditions and history.

When at the Ribeira area, you will find a plethora of options for a show. Here is the show I booked and loved the singer! (choose the Ribeira location to be in the area for dinner after).

You can also find shows where guests are allowed to meet and greet the singers, like this one.

Sign off for the day with dinner and drinks at the Ribeira

Experience Porto in a different way, today, up close and personal with the Douro River and the iconic Ponte Dom Luis I view. 

Soak in the sunset and night lights by grabbing drinks and appetizers at the Ribeira. 

For a proper meal, visit one of the cafes or restaurants along the Ribeira and the tram tracks. Here you will find a lot of traditional places to eat at an affordable price! And you will love the vibes of course!

Day 3 of 3 day Porto itinerary: Livraria Lello, Clerigos Church, and tower, walk across the river Douro to Gaia, lunch at the Graham’s Port Lodge, Stroll along the Gaia river promenade, Burmester Wine Cave, Rua Santa Catarina

For the Porto day 3 itinerary, get ready to explore Gaia and its many wine caves. But we will kick start the day with breakfast at a cafe near the Livraria Lello Bookshop, and check off some of the Harry Potter-related sites. 

Now, if you are a Harry Potter fan, you might be aware that JK Rowling was inspired by many buildings and urban city nuances in Porto. 

From the Universidade do Porto graduation ceremonies, and Cafe Majestic to Escovaria de Belmonte (broom shop), you will find a lot of places that sparked her imagination for the popular Harry Potter series.

Livraria Lello & Irmão – Harry Potter Bookstore

Livraria Lello Bookshop is probably the most recognized of them all. It is one of the most iconic bookstores in Portugal, and a must-see for any book and Harry Potter lover visiting Porto. 

Grand Staircase at the Livraria Lello Bookshop
Grand Staircase

This beautiful store, which was founded in 1881 (and built in 1906), is known for its stunning neo-Gothic interior, which was designed by architect Xavier Esteves. 

The store’s elaborate stained-glass skylight and a grand staircase are truly a sight to behold.

Inside the bookshop, the intricately carved arches and towering ceiling, as well as the walls and pillars that spring from the ground floor with Art Deco touches, take you on a spectacular trip through an enchanted world.

No wonder this bookshop is always bustling with tourists, and it is not uncommon to see a huge line up outside the store, even before it opens. 

Access to the shop is free, and visitors without tickets or a basic entry pass will be lining up for hours, before making their way inside. 

We recommend buying a priority ticket that allows you to get in without waiting. 

Tickets are for 15.90 euros, and you can grab a book for that value at the bookstore (get it as a souvenir, I say). You can buy the tickets on the Livraria Lello website.

Alternate (and a popular option): You can book a walking tour of the area, along with a fast track entry to the Lello bookshop (3 hours). 

Iglesia de los Clérigos or Clerigos Church

Located just 2 minute walk from the Livraria Lello bookstore is the iconic Iglesia de Los Clérigos, a baroque church that towers over the city at a height of 76 meters. This is one of the tallest buildings in the city. 

Girl infront of Iglesia de Los Clérigos
Iglesia de Los Clérigos (backdrop)

You can climb to the top of the tower for stunning views of Porto and the Douro River. And there is an entry fee for that.

The church was designed by Nicolau Nasoni, an Italian architect who was also responsible for many other landmarks in the city. Construction of the church began in 1732 and was completed in 1750.

The interior of the church is just as stunning as the exterior, with marble floors and ornate ceilings. 

Tickets: Here is an entry ticket

Walk across to Gaia

You will be crossing over to Vila Nova de Gaia from Porto many times during this 3 day itinerary as some of the best viewpoints are on the other side of the Douro River. 

View of Porto from Dom Luis I bridge
View from Ponte Dom Luis I, as you look back at Porto from Gaia

But this time, set aside dedicated time to explore its Riva promenade, cafes, and most importantly its wine caves. 

We recommend making your way to the Ribeira from Iglesia de los Clérigos. You can surely have lunch at the Ribeira or along the river banks in Gaia, but we recommend heading to the stunning Graham’s Port Lodge for lunch.

Lunch at Graham’s Port Lodge

Porto is known for its famous fortified wine, called the Port wine. It is typically made from red grapes and has a sweet taste. The alcohol content in port wine is higher than in regular wine. 

Port wine has a long history dating back to the 18th century, and the Douro Valley is where it is actually grown, and later is sent to Porto via Rabelo boats to the city in wine caves (in Villa Nova de Gaia). 

There are many different types of port wine, including ruby port, tawny port, and vintage port. 

Port wine is typically served as an after-dinner drink or with dessert. If you’re visiting the city of Porto, be sure to try some of its legendary port wine!

Graham’s Port Lodge is one of the best places to enjoy port wine in Porto. This historic lodge is located at the very end of the wine trail in Gaia, and it has been producing port wine since 1890.

Their restaurant – VINUM, offers amazing views of Porto, and you can hang out here with a nice meal and port wine. I enjoyed a lovely meal of octopus, and Portuguese sausage and loved the terrace views on a rainy day. 

If you’re interested in learning about port wine and tasting some of the best varieties, a visit to Graham’s Port Lodge is a must. You can also book a guided tour of the wine caves with tastings. 

During your visit, you’ll be able to sample a variety of ports, ranging from white to tawny to ruby. You’ll also learn about the history of port wine and how it’s made. And if you’re feeling thirsty, you can purchase a bottle (or two) of port to take home with you.

Here is a guided tour of the cellar. If tours are not available during your visit, we recommend heading there for meals or drink (we have included a wine cellar tour below at an affordable price)

Walk the Promenade

After a nice lunch, walk the lovely river promenade. 

From here you can soak in the lovely views of Porto, tand ake amazing shots of the rabelo boats and the iconic Ponte Luis I. 

Here you will also find stores, cafes ,and more wine cellars if you are interested in tasting more wine. We

Port wine tasting and wine caves: Burmester

As mentioned, Gaia has a ton of wine cellars, and here is an affordable one for you to consider. 

Burmester is one of the oldest and most renowned port wine cellars in Porto. The cellars are located in the heart of the historic Vila Nova de Gaia district, just as you cross the river from Porto’s city center it will be on your left (or right as you return from Gaia).

View of the Luis I bridge from Burmester wine cave Porto
View of the Luis I bridge from Burmester wine cave

Founded in 1750, Burmester has been producing high-quality port wines for over 250 years. Burmester’s port wines are some of the most respected and sought-after in the world. 

The cellars produce a wide range of ports, from classic ruby and tawny styles to rare vintage and colheita (aged) ports. 

Visitors to the cellars can taste and learn about all of these different styles of port, as well as purchase bottles to take home.

The cellars are open for tours and tastings every day from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm. And the admission fee is also very reasonable. You can add premium tastings like cheese or chocolate.

You can book a port tasting tour here (it lasts an hour)

Hang out in and around Rua Santa Catarina 

Rua Santa Catarina is a must-visit shopping district in Porto. This is a pedestrian-only thoroughfare and it is located in the high part of town, beginning at the Praça da Batalha in the city centre takes you to Via Catarina Shopping Center. 

From there you can also hit Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market), which is a block or so away.

You will find a ton of places to shop from local to international brands. 

Plus there are a lot of restaurants where you can grab dinner and drinks. Not to forget, the iconic Café Majestic is also located here. 

Porto 3 day itinerary: Sightseeing Map

Day trips from Porto Portugal to explore more of the north

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, and it offers a great base to explore more of the country’s north. Here are some of our favorite day trips that you must add to your itinerary,

Douro Valley tour: 

A trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a visit to the Douro Valley. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is one of Portugal’s most stunning regions.

There are many ways to explore the Douro Valley from Porto, but embarking on a day tour will allow you to taste the best wine (from 2-3 vineyards), and enjoy a river cruise and the valley itself. 

Cruises are for 1-2 hours, and they depart from the valley. 

Tours are usually for 9 to 11 hours, so it calls for a full-day commitment, but it so worth it. 

Aveiro and Costa Nova

Aveiro Portugal is one of the most popular tourist destinations in Portugal. And it is located just a short train ride away from Porto (about 45 minutes to an hour). 

Known as the Venice of Portugal, due to its canal systems, art nouveau buildings, and beautiful boats, you can easily explore the city in a day (and maybe return later if you like it). 

The town is also home to a number of historic landmarks and museums, making it a great place to visit for history buffs and culture lovers alike.

We did like it, and also took an Uber to Costa Nova (15 minute drive) to enjoy the colorful fisherman village and the beach! The beaches are perfect for swimming, sunbathing, and surfing. 

Book: You can book a combined Aveiro and Coimbra day tour here

Braga

Braga is a historic city in Portugal that is known for its beautiful architecture and rich culture. The city is home to numerous churches, cathedrals, and monasteries, as well as a number of museums and art galleries.

Most important of them all is the Bom Jesus do Monte, a Baroque staircase that leads up to a shrine with sweeping views of the city. 

You can also take the funicular railway up to the top of Mount Espinho from here.

Braga’s Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is one of the best-preserved historic centers in Portugal. 

The area is filled with narrow streets, beautiful plazas, and plenty of shops and cafes.

With so much to see and do, you’ll need more than just one day to explore everything that Braga has to offer. But a day trip is a good start. 

Porto to Braga is about 45 minutes to an hour. 

Guimarães

If you’re looking for a charming European city to explore that’s off the beaten path, look no further than Guimarães in Portugal. 

This historic city is full of beautiful architecture, from its medieval castle to its many stunning churches. 

And with its convenient location just under an hour from Porto, it’s the perfect day trip destination.

Top attractions to check out in Guimarães include the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza, Guimaraes Castle, Monte da Penha, Largo da Oliveira, and the stunning Largo República do Brasil (gardens).

Book: You can book a combined Braga and Guimaraes tour here

Porto Travel Tips

When planning a trip to Porto in Portugal, there are a few things you should know before you go. 

First of all, Porto is relatively small, so it’s easy to get around and see a lot in a short amount of time. Use the Porto Card when you are in the city for 3 or more days. 

Second, Portuguese is the official language of Portugal, but English is widely spoken, so you won’t have any trouble communicating with locals in Porto. 

If you’re visiting during summer, be prepared for hot weather in Porto, with occasional showers. Do pack light clothing and plenty of sunscreens. A must-carry packing item is comfortable walking shoes. 

Porto is a safe city. When I traveled solo I was out until 9:00 -10:00 pm in the evening and felt safe walking to my hotel from the city centre areas. But with any travel destination, it’s always important to be aware of your surroundings and take precautions against pickpockets.

If you’re planning to use a taxi, opt for Uber instead (download the app ahead of time). It will be cheaper compared to a taxi. 

Also, keep in mind that Portuguese drivers are known for being aggressive. But rest assured they know what they are doing. Note that the traffic can be insane sometimes in the evenings (when people leave offices). 

Lastly, Porto is located in northern Portugal. Portugal is a European Union member and it uses euros as its currency. 

We do recommend carrying some cash, along with your credit cards for your trip. You will need cash for paying city tax, smaller cafes, etc.

Visitors with US and Canadian passports do not require a visa to enter the country and stay for 90 days; however from 2023, an online authorization – ETIAS – is required prior to travel. 

Read: Portugal 8 day itinerary | 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary

What food is Porto known for?

When it comes to food, Porto is known for its fresh seafood and tasty port wine. Be sure to try some of the city’s signature dishes, such as francesinha and bacalhau, during your trip. 

  • Francesinha: This is the must-try sandwich in Porto. You can get this in any cafe or restaurant, and some places will also provide chicken alternatives.
  • Cachorrinho: This is a hot dog prepared in Porto style. It is sausage wrapped in thin crusty bread, sprinkled with spicy sauce.
  • Alheira: This is a delicious Portuguese sausage.
  • Tripas à Moda do Porto: Known as dobrada, this is a traditional dish in Porto, prepared with beef, white beans, carrots, and rice. 
  • Bacalhau: Bacalhau is a dried salt cod, and it is best ordered as an appetizer. You will also find Portuguese petiscos and bacalhau-inspired dishes, like fresh cod with an egg yolk and or with turnip greens and chorizo for a nice meal.
Is 3 days enough in Porto?

3 days in Porto is a good time to explore all that the city has to offer and more. The long weekend gives you ample opportunities to indulge in picnics, wine cave tours, and time at a scenic beach nearby. 
 
If you know what you wish to explore, you can also squeeze everything in 2 days in Porto, and then use the last day to visit a town or a city (on a day tour) nearby.

What is there to do in Porto in 3 days?

What to see in Porto in 3 days
– Porto Cathedral
– Tuk Tuk Tour
– Sao Bento Train Station and nearby areas
– Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
– Jardim Morro for sunset
– Sunrise at the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar (viewpoint) 
– Palácio da Bolsa
– Igreja de São Francisco
– 6 Bridges Cruise
– Fado show
– Hang out at the Ribeira
– Lello Bookstore
– Church and Clérigos Tower 
– Villa Nova de Gaia
– Lunch at Graham’s Port Lodge
– Walk the Gaia Promenade 
– Wine tasting at Burmester caves
– Rua Santa Catarina and Mercado do Bolhão

Is 3 days in Portugal enough?

3 days in Portugal is not enough to explore the entire country. But a trip to Lisbon, or to Porto is a good enough time to explore the city (keep it as a base), and then take a day tour to Sintra (Lisbon), or Douro Valley (Porto) nearby.

Is Porto better than Lisbon?

Both Porto and Lisbon are unique in their own ways. Lisbon is the capital and the largest city in Portugal and has a ton of iconic attractions, sights, and museums with a lot of history. Lisbon is also very hilly as compared to Porto.

On the other hand, Porto is the second-largest city in the country. It is compact, and there are stunning cathedrals and Harry Potter sites that are worth visiting. Porto is not super crowded (or hot) like Lisbon. 

In Porto, you can enjoy Port wine at its lodges, while Lisbon is home to fado and its traditions. 

Is Porto worth seeing?

Yes, 10000%, visiting Porto is worth it. It is hard to not fall in love with a city as pretty as Porto. It is beautiful, walkable, has a ton of history, good food and drinks, and all of that at a very affordable price tag!
When in Porto, check out the Old Town that is located on the picturesque Douro River and six bridges. The city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with Beaux-Arts and Baroque churches, palaces, viewpoints, and other colorful buildings sprinkled all across the city.

Is Porto walkable?

Porto is a walkable city, it is also compact. The beauty of Porto is in its old buildings, narrow winding streets, cute cafés, and viewpoints, and all of this can be explored on foot. Just be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes! 

Is Porto Portugal expensive?

Porto is one of the most cost-effective cities in western Europe, and when compared to other city break options, it delivers excellent value for money.

What’s Porto famous for?

Porto is most famous for its port wine, which has been produced in the city since the 18th century. The wine is made from grapes grown in the nearby Douro Valley and matured in cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from Porto. 

Porto is also known for its beautiful architecture, including the São Bento train station and the Palácio da Bolsa. And of course, the city’s location on the Douro River makes it a popular destination for cruises.

Is Porto as hilly as Lisbon?

Although Porto is not as mountainous or hilly as Lisbon, it’s not nearly as steep as it is. Despite this, there are some fantastic views of the river and cityscape.

Can you walk from Porto to the beach?

Although you can take a bus and the stroll along the river is lovely, it is about 3 kilometers long. 
There are several little cafés along the route where you may get a drink. The end of the pier has churning water from the Douro flowing into the Atlantic as it floods.

Can you swim in Porto?

The beaches in Vila Nova, Porto, and Matosinhos are all marked with blue flags, so it is true that they’re all swimming destinations; but the only disadvantage is the water’s temperature, which may be a bit chilly.

Porto is a charming European city that can easily be explored in a few days. From its historic center to its riverside district, there’s something for everyone in this city. 

So whether you’re looking for culture, history, or just a beautiful view, be sure to add Porto to your travel list. You won’t regret it!

Have more questions about Porto or Portugal in general? Write to us below!

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