18 Unmissable Things to do in Porto, Portugal [2023 GUIDE]
Portugal’s northern city is one of our favourites. If you’re looking for places to visit in Porto, this guide to our favourite things to see and do in Porto has you covered — along with all the essential travel information and tips to help you make the most of your stay!
We’ve now lived in Europe for almost seven years, and we’re still convinced of one thing: Porto is one of our favourite cities on this side of the hemisphere line.
Charming, colourful, and beautifully authentic; it’s a city made for explorers, weekend visitors, backpackers and photographers alike.
The famous Douro River, the epicentre of the former port city, is the ultimate backdrop for lazy river cruises, sunset strolls, and long lunches.
The twisting cobblestone laneways of the Ribeira are delightful; iconic azulejos (tiles) breathe life onto the historic buildings, and the jumble of terracotta roofs spilling down towards the bustling Douro river makes for a postcard-perfect setting.
Beautiful beaches are a short (somewhat rickety) tram ride away, and the architecture and design are so mesmerising that they even inspired JK Rowling's Hogwarts (read our guide to Livraria Lello bookstore here). From every angle, in every light, Porto is achingly beautiful.
In our view, Porto is a city best enjoyed slowly, on foot.
It’s a place to stroll through lazily, map-less, discovering little treasures, pockets of beauty, and slices of authentic Portuguese life on every corner. That’s how we explored the city, and why it fast became one of our favourite cities in Europe.
As a traveller though, particularly one on a city break, we totally get that time is limited and that there are certain Porto must-sees and places to visit that you’ll want to tick off yourself.
To help you plan your own Porto itinerary, we’ve put together this guide to our favourite things to, see, and eat in the city — plus all your essential travel information and tips (at the end!) to help you make the most of your time here.
WHERE TO STAY IN PORTO
Fortunately, there are plenty of accommodation options in Porto to suit all budgets and needs.
HOSTELS + HOTELS IN PORTO
TOREL 1884 PORTO
Set in a beautifully restored 19th-century palace, the boutique Torel 1884 is all about sophisticated old-world charm with an uber-contemporary feel.
Inspired by the spirit of adventure of historic Portuguese navigators, the hotel is full of unique touches from foreign lands all over the world; silks and spices, porcelain and tapestry mingle with an indoor jungle vibe and luxurious furnishings.
The service is incredible, and the price is extremely reasonable for such a beautiful Porto hotel!
BOOK | Torel 1884 Porto
So much more than just a bunk bed for the night, the Gallery Hostel is flash-packing at its finest. Set in a traditional former Oporto house in the trendy Miguel Bombarda area, this family-run hostel has been renovated with modern decor and earthy tones and is ideal for the design and culture-loving traveller on a budget.
Rooms range from doubles through to 6-bed dorms, there are plenty of cool common areas, and regular art exhibitions and concerts too. They also support two local organisations, one that cares for the environment and another that empowers local homeless people in Porto. We love a hostel that cares about the community in which it exists!
BOOK | Gallery Hostel
AIRBNBS IN PORTO
We stayed in this delightful apartment in the Bolhão area, and highly recommend it to anyone looking for some beautiful, central Porto accommodation.
16 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN PORTO
#1 TAKE A SIGHTSEEING CRUISE DOWN THE DOURO RIVER
We know, we know, city sightseeing cruises often have the potential of being super touristy. But here in Porto, where so much of the city’s life exists and thrives along the River Douro’s edge, not taking in the city from the water would be doing a disservice to your time here.
Jump aboard this six-bridge Porto city sightseeing boat tour by traditional rabello boat, and learn about the importance of the river to the city while passing many of its famous bridges and landmarks.
You'll follow the old route once followed by wine merchants transporting Port from the valley to the cellars, pass under the famous Gustav Eiffel-designed Dom Luis I Bridge, admire the beautiful homes of the riviera from the water, and (hopefully!) soak up some sun.
The Ribeira district also looks wonderful from the water, so be sure to snap up a seat on the edge of the boat.
Cost | £12 per person
#2 TAKE IN THE VIEWS FROM THE MIRADOURO DA VITÓRIA
Surrounded by abandoned buildings, Miradouro da Vitória can look a little sketchy at first glance, but don't let the broken window panes of the building next door fool you. This is arguably one of the most popular places to take in the sunset in Porto.
From here, you have postcard-perfect views of the river Douro and the jumble of medieval terracotta rooftops that spill down to it. Some of Porto’s main attractions can also be seen from here, including the Bishop’s Palace, Porto Cathedral, and Dom Luis Bridge.
Miradouro da Vitória rises above the Praça da Ribeira neighbourhood on the shores of the river Douro; one of the oldest parts of town with beautiful medieval buildings, twisting cobblestone laneways, and riverfront views — so be sure to spend some time wandering the dimly-lit streets too (more on that below!)
Cost | Free
#3 EXPLORE THE RIBEIRA, BAIXA AND BOLHAO DISTRICTS
The three suburbs of Ribeira, Baixa, and Bolhão make up Porto’s most historic and touristy areas; as a traveller, it’s where you’re likely to spend the majority of your time too. On our visit to Porto, wandering the cute cobblestone streets that weave through these areas was our favourite thing to do in the city.
Ribeira, with its rows of colourful houses and riverfront views, is vibrant and bustling, full of cafes, bars, and shops full of locals and tourists alike soaking up the atmosphere and views of the river Douro and famous Dom Luis I Bridge.
Above the Ribeira are the Baixa and Sé areas, where you'll find most the majority of Porto's best attractions, including Mercado do Bolhão, Majestic Cafe, Rua Santa Catarina, Palácio do Bolsa, and so many more.
We’d recommend spending a day (or at least an afternoon) with some good walking shoes, no map or phones, and just getting lost amongst the charm of Porto’s historic areas!
Alternatively, join this fantastic Porto walking tour, which will take in all the sites, with expert commentary.
READ MORE | The best Porto day tours
#4 EAT ALL THE PASTEIS DE NATA AT CONFEITARIA DO BOLHÃO
Portugal is the birthplace of one of the best sweet treats you could ever hope to sink your teeth into the small yet mighty Pastel de Nata (Portuguese tart). Impossibly crisp and flakey puff pastry tarts filled with the creamiest of egg custard and dusted with cinnamon, they’re heavenly and utterly addictive.
One of the greatest things about being in the home of this delicious treat is that it's not just socially acceptable to devour sugary pastries for breakfast, it's actually expected. No place will help you get your pastry on better than the Confeitaria do Bolhão, the beautiful 120-year-old patisserie serving up Porto's best Portuguese tarts, arrufadas (sweetbread), croissants, and other tempting flakey sweet treats.
We’re not ashamed to admit we visited daily for our Portuguese tart hit (hey, we did say they were addictive!), grabbing at least four for breakfast before hitting the road to explore more of Porto. Obviously, we needed the mix of carbs and sugars to see as much of Porto as we could, right?!
Jokes aside, do as the locals do and grab a coffee, pick your pastry, and settle into the seating area up the back to enjoy.
If you feel like learning to make these little parcels of heaven, this Pastel de Nata cooking class is essential. Spend a day getting to know authentic Portuguese cuisine at a cosy home of a local family. It’s one of the best culturally-immersive Porto day tours.
Cost | € 0.70 - 1 per pastry
BOOK | This Pastel de Nata cooking class
#5 EXPLORE PORTO BY TRAM
Hopelessly touristy, yet wonderfully fun, travelling aboard Porto’s historic (and cute) tram system is a must.
While many travellers associate trams with Lisbon, it was actually in Porto that the first Portuguese tram network was built in 1895. The trams here are amongst the oldest electric transport systems in Europe, and you can still spot the quaint little yellow tram cars trundling along the 3 remaining routes today.
Sadly, the popularity of tram travel dropped away in the ‘60s as cars and buses became a faster and more convenient way to navigate the city.
For travellers, however, the trams remain a scenic and easy way to explore the city.
The #1 tram is probably the most popular tourist route, travelling from the famous, and stunning, Igreja de São Francisco (Church of St Francis) about 20 minutes along the rustic facades of Ribeira to the garden of Passeio Alegre at the mouth of the Douro river in Foz.
We also opted for a lesser-known route and jumped on board the circular #22 tram that takes in the Clérigos area (and the iconic Clérigos tower - buy your tickets for the bell tower here), the bustling Avenida dos Aliados (the Avenue of the Allies), past the beautiful São Bento train station and the vibrant Batalha area with its cafes, museums, shops, and houses.
We definitely recommend this route if you're keen to see a lot of Porto’s best things to do on a tight schedule!
Where | Linha 1 tram runs from Infante to Passeio Alegre Park in the Foz district, Linha 22 runs from Batalha in a one-directional loop of central Porto, Linha 18 runs from Museu do Carro Elétrico through the historic centre loops around the grand Hospital Santo Antonio.
Cost | Single ticket: €3.50, return: €6.00, Two-day pass: €10, child tickets: €5. These tickets are only for the historic trams, no other transport in Porto.
#6 EXPLORE THE MERCADO DO BOLHÃO
One of the best things to do in Porto is visit the historic and wonderful Mercado de Bolhao.
Unfortunately, you’ll need to wait until mid-2020 to experience this famous marketplace at its best again as it’s currently undergoing restoration and modernisation.
In the meantime, Bolhão Market is located about 100m away in the Bolhão Temporary Market at La Vie Porto Baixa Shopping Center, where the merchants of Bolhão continue to welcome their customers during this time. The process of restoration and modernisation of Bolhão Market began in May 2018 and is scheduled to be completed this year.
We visited the market pre-restoration in 2016. Still marked by the original 19th-century wrought iron gates, this historic marketplace was bustling with stalls selling fresh fruit and vegetables, smoked meats and fresh fish, and delicious bread, cheeses, and local delicacies. At the entrance, buskers played traditional music, while street food stalls wooed locals with wafts of cod, Porto’s favourite dish.
We’re quietly hoping it retains the thoroughly authentic feel after modernisation - if it does, it’ll not only serve the city and its people but provide a great place for tourists to really get a feel for daily life in Porto.
Hours | Mon - Fri: 8:00am - 20:00pm, Sat: 8:00am - 18:00pm, closed Sundays and public holidays
#7 VISIT BOLSA PALACE AND MARVEL AT THE INTERIORS
The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) was built between 1842 to 1910, and pays homage to the city's rich merchants of yesterday and today.
Built on the ruins of the cloisters of the St Francis Church of Porto next door, the neoclassical building is where the Portuguese stock exchange once operated.
Already beautiful from the outside, the building is absolutely stunning inside too; the intricately designed glass-domed Pátio das Nações (Hall of Nations), the grand Escadaria Nobre (noble staircase), and the Salão Árabe (Arab room) to name a few.
If you're keen to explore all of the intricately designed rooms of the Palace, jump on one of the 45-minute guided tours (book here), which depart from the main entrance every 30 minutes.
Note | The Palacio da Bolsa is one of the sites discounted (25% off) if you have a Porto Card
Where | Rua Ferreira Borges
Hours | 9:30am – 13:00pm / 14:00pm – 17:30pm
Cost | Guided tours cost €11.00 for adults, students + seniors: €7.5, children under 12: free. You can also save 25% off entry with your Porto Card
BOOK | This must-do guided Palacio da Bolsa tour
#8 GRAB LUNCH AT RIBEIRA SQUARE
In the day and age of insta-itineraries and extensive ’things to do’ lists (of which we’re well aware we’ve written and you’re currently reading!), it’s easy to forget the joy of spontaneity when travelling.
During one of our afternoons in Porto, we sat down for a quick meal and cheeky sangria in Praça Ribeira. The mood was perfect - sun-filled streets, scores of people enjoying themselves, and a Charlie Chaplin impersonator who was actually entertaining to watch.
Three hours later, accidentally tipsy on white sangria and full of laughter, we stumbled off to explore more of the Porto.
This is probably one of the only times we'll ever recommend an overly touristy area to you, but the general vibe around this square is too good to pass up in this case!
Grab yourself lunch (and some sneaky white Sangria) at one of the many cafes lining Praça Ribeira (Ribeira Square).
And actually, while you're at it - why stop at one sangria? Grab another and enjoy the midday sun.
Where | Ribeira Square
#9 WATCH THE SUNSET FROM THE DOM LUIS I BRIDGE
Sunsets in Porto are absolutely magical, so make your way up to the famous Dom Luis I Bridge, designed by Gustav Eiffel, and watch the magnificent spectacle over the Ribeira District.
The bridge, ranked #1 for things to do in Porto on Tripadvisor, becomes the heart and soul of the city in the late afternoon, as locals and tourists alike come out to walk and cycle along the bridge or simply take in the views.
Where | Dom Luis I Bridge
#10 VISIT LIVRARIA LELLO, PORTO'S MOST BEAUTIFUL LIBRARY
Designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves in a Neo-Gothic style, the bookstore was officially inaugurated by the Lello brothers in 1906. With intricately carved gothic wood-panelling, a grand curving staircase, floor-to-ceiling bookshelves, and a stained-glass skylight, it's definitely been wowing visitors ever since.
The splendour of Livraria Lello also has another (massive) claim to fame too - rumour has it that the bookstore (along with some key spots in Scotland) inspired the magic of JK Rowling's Hogwarts after she spent 2 years living in Porto teaching English.
It definitely feels as though you might bump into Harry or Ron amongst these shelves!
If you’re keen to delve further into the secret history of Harry Potter in Porto, this 3-hour Harry Potter tour with Skip-the-line access at Livraria Lello is absolutely worth it. You’ll see the cafe where JK Rowling penned the beginning of the series and some of the places that served as inspiration for her novels.
Note | With this notoriety has come global acclaim, and the library is now a more crowded theme park than a quiet space. Has its lustre diminished? Well, given you have to pay and queue to enter, perhaps somewhat. But it’s still an insanely beautiful place to visit in Porto.
Cost | €5 entry (redeemable with any book purchase), purchased online or at the ticket shop a few doors down
Read | Our Guide to Livraria Lello
#11 ENJOY PORT IN PORTO
Port is, unsurprisingly, Porto’s most popular export. The Douro Valley has a long and esteemed history of Port production dating back to the 17th century. Today, the region is protected as the only true Port wine producer in the world.
Unsurprisingly, that means that the sweet fortified wine you might have associated with the after-dinner tipple of your grandparents is a very proud favourite on everyone’s wine lists here.
A visit to the famed wine cellars is one of the best things to do in Porto, and the most prestigious and celebrate Houses can be found by crossing the Dom Luis I Bridge to the Vila Nova de Gaia side.
Start at the innovative Porto Cruz Space, a 5-story building celebrating Porto's unique wine culture and history. Moving through the different floors, there are 3D wine-making games, interactive exhibits on the Douro Valley, wine tastings with a Sommelier, and even a Terrace bar with stellar 360* views of the city on the top floor! It's a must-do for anyone with an interest in Port wine or learning more about Porto's traditional culture too.
From there, take your pick of the Wine Houses! There are plenty that lines the banks of the River Douro, and you could easily wander between them all. We recommend Kopke Port House (the oldest), Cálem, and Caves Ferreira to get you started!
TOUR | We always feel that exploring the food and wine scene of a place requires a local-led tour, and that’s especially true when it comes to Porto’s Port wine culture. This 3-hour Port wine tour + tastings takes in some of Porto’s oldest and most esteemed Port houses, with a local guide who can give you the inside word on them all.
Keen to expand your knowledge even further? Take this full-day tour of the Douro Valley, which includes Port and olive tastings, traditional Portuguese lunch, and a Douro River cruise.
Alternatively, do what we did and settle in by the fire at one of the many cosy wine bars around the city and discover this delicious wine a little better.
Where | Vila Nova de Gaia
#12 CHECK OUT THE VIEWS FROM CLERIGOS TOWER
For centuries, Porto's Torres do Clérigos (Clérigos Tower) has been one of the city's most recognisable landmarks, towering over the city from its place atop the Clérigos Church since 1763.
These days, visitors can still access the top of the belltower via the 230 stairs (aka a very narrow, very claustrophobic and cramped staircase!), the top of which provides epic panoramic views over Porto and beyond.
Try to time your visit around the hourly bell chimes through - the cramped nature of the tower means that if you’re caught unawares when the bells begin to chime you might get quite the fright!
Opening hours | 9:00am - 19:00pm every day
Cost | €6pp at the entrance (50% discount available to those with the Porto Card), or get skip the line access by purchasing in advance online here
#13 SPOT PORTO’S MANY AMAZING AZULEJO TILES
Telling you to go to Porto and spot the many beautiful blue and white azulejo tiles is a little silly, considering a) they’re everywhere, and b) they’re one of the most famous things to see in Porto - but we’d also feel a little silly not including it, considering they’re one of the things that makes Portugal’s northern city so special!
First brought to Portugal from Spain (Seville) in the 15th century by King Manuel I, azulejos had actually been a common design feature on the Iberian Peninsula since the middle ages.
Brought by invading Moors centuries before, their name actually stems from the Arabic al zulaycha, “the polished stone”, and initially they were very simple geometric shapes. Over time, and as they were adopted more widely in Portugal throughout the 16th and 17th centuries, the tiles began to depict the stories of Portugal’s trials and triumphs, religious stories, and cultural events.
Today, they’re a fascinating record of history, culture, and people as well as a beautiful way to decorate blank spaces on buildings.
While the tiles are very much a ubiquitous feature of the city, we recommend setting aside time to check out the tiles on the following:
Igreja de Carmo
São Bento Railways station (more on this below!)
Iglesia de San Ildefonso (Church of Saint Ildefonso)
The Chapel of Souls
Take a tour | This Porto: Highlights and Hidden Gems Guided Private Tour takes in a number of the sites listed above, along with a local’s explanation of the history and importance of the azulejos.
Where | All over Porto!
#14 EAT PORTO’S MOST FAMOUS DISH, FRANCESINHA
By now you’ve probably all heard the saying that calories don’t count when you’re on holidays, and it’s just as well because this next treat is one hell of a calorie-busting, artery-blocking, monster meal: the Francesinha.
Traditionally, Porto’s famous Francesinha was a meal strictly reserved for the meat-eaters. Somewhere between a toasted sandwich and gluttonous meat burger, we’re talking layers of thick steak, sausage and ham, slathered with gooey melted cheese, doused in a tomato-based sauce, and topped with an egg (in case you hadn’t had enough protein yet!) and served up with some crispy hot chips.
Meat eaters: to try this heart attack on a plate yourself, we recommend Cafe Santiago, Cervejaria Brasão, and O Afonso.
Thankfully, these days travellers who, like us, are of the vegetarian persuasion can still sample this notorious dish for themselves, with both vegetarian and vegan options popping up all over the city.
To get your fix, we recommend the vegetarian and vegan Francesinha options at Cervejaria Brasão, Lado B, and Francesinhas Da Baixa
Where | See our recommendations above!
Cost | Generally €8-10
#15 VISIT THE SÃO BENTO RAILWAY STATION
European train stations are in a league of their own when it comes to elegance and grandeur yet one stands above the rest; Porto’s irresistible São Bento.
The São Bento station is so much more than merely a transport hub for Porto's residents; on the walls of the grand entrance, 20,000 azulejo (traditional painted tiles) depict Porto's history in breathtaking beauty.
The story of its royalty, various battles, and transportation play out across the beautifully painted blue and white tiles, and when the afternoon sun hits in just the right place, soft golden light bathes the room in sheer magic.
Basically, if you visit Porto and you miss São Bento, you've done it all wrong.
Where | Praça de Almeida Garrett
#16 WATCH THE SUNSET FROM ESPLANADA DO TELEFÉRICO
Just a short walk (or stumble, depending on how you're feeling after your wine tasting!) from the Porto Cruz Space is the Esplanada do Teleférico - a terrace bar above the Porto cable car with epic views over the city.
To the right of the all-glass bar are a concrete lookout perfect for watching the sunset bathe the Ribeira district, Dom Luis I bridge, and Douro in beautiful golden tones.
Alternatively, both Teleférico de Gaia and Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (on the right side of the bridge) on the Vila Nova de Gaia side have become insta-locations of choice for many visiting the city, and the views of the city and the famous Dom Luis I bridge look equally impressive during golden hour.
Regardless, wherever you end up, sit back and watch as Porto begins to light up!
#17 TAKE AN FC PORTO MUSEUM & STADIUM TOUR
If you’re like Mark, you’ve taken a keen interest in FC Porto since Jose Mourinho guided them to European glory all those years ago.
Quite the underdogs, the team bat well above their average on a European stage, and play some of the most delight, attacking football you’r ever likely to see, so if you can sneak a game during your visit to Porto, we highly recommend doing so.
If you can’t make it to a game, we suggest taking a tour of the FC Porto Museum and Dragão Stadium.
The stadium tour takes a look behind-the-scenes, delving into the clubs glittering past. Follow the footsteps of famous match fixtures, sit on the substitutes' bench, and visit the shiny trophy room from the UEFA Champions League!
Once you're done, visit the Museum, which pays tribute to legendary players (Mark’s all time fave is Deco) and European champions' glory nights. You'll be pulled into a story of both struggle and unparalleled success, from the most titled football president in the world to some of the best football players.
A great interactive journey that will inform you about the history of FC Porto but also its relationship with the city.
BOOK | This popular FC Porto Museum and Dragão Stadium tour
#18 EXPLORE BEYOND PORTO
Portugal, for a country so small, is magnificent. Wonderful coastline, gorgeous towns, epic natural landscapes, and above all, a world-class food and wine scene.
If visiting Porto for more than three days, we highly suggest breaking free of the city’s undeniable spell and exploring more of Portugal’s incredible scenery.
Want to learn to surf? Do it here in Matosinhos. Want to go hiking? Take a tour of Peneda-Gerês National Park. Keen to visit Portugal’s smaller, colourful towns? Braga and the medieval city of Guimarães are incredible.
To best help you when visiting Porto, we’ve put together a list of Porto’s best day tours, and the best day trips from the city.
These tours are perfect for anyone looking to explore the city beyond the facade and the parts of the country beyond the city - simply book away, and enjoy the perfect day out
READ MORE | The best day trips from Porto
WHERE TO EAT IN PORTO | OUR FAVOURITE RESTAURANTS IN PORTO
Ribeira is home to a vast selection of restaurants which, admittedly are very touristy. There are, however, a few gems, including Adega São Nicolau, tucked down a charming little alleyway away from the masses.
Whilst we might have had the good fortune of simply stumbling upon this homely, traditional restaurant ourselves, we were promptly informed that this is an eating house where the top Porto chefs go when they want good, honest Portuguese food.
We can see why.
Adega São Nicolau is undoubtedly one of the best places to eat in Porto. Eating here has the feel of relaxing in the house of a Portuguese family, with hearty good food and good-natured service. and Try the Salted Cod or the octopus fillets with rice, both Portuguese specialities, and wash them down with local white wine.
Then, slowly make your way through the picturesque streets back to your accommodation.
Opening hours | Mon - Sat 12pm-11pm, closed Sundays
DINNER AT BACALHAU
What's a weekend away without splurging on another food coma?!
Head back over to the Ribeira side of the river to Bacalhau, a small restaurant nestled in a quiet walkway on the river, and enjoy some deliciously simple traditional Portuguese tapas.
Be sure to book ahead though - Bacalhau can be a very popular choice for a good feed in Porto!
Opening hours | Sun - Thurs: 11:00 am - 23:00 pm, Fri + Sat:11:00am - midnight
Cost | ££ - £££
PORTO TRAVEL ESSENTIALS
HOW LONG SHOULD YOU SPEND IN PORTO?
Porto is a city you could stay in for the rest of your life and still be happy, such is its splendour.
Sadly, this isn’t the reality for most travellers.
We recommend spending 2-3 nights in Porto, as it makes for the perfect weekend getaway.
Here’s our selection of the best day tours in, and from Porto, to make the most of your time in the city.
READ | The best day trips from Porto
THE PORTO CARD | A PORTO ESSENTIAL
Before we get into all the nitty-gritty of the best things to do in Porto, here’s one of our top tips: if you plan to cover most of the key Porto highlights during your visit to the city, we absolutely recommend you purchase a Porto Card.
Choose between 1,2,3, or 4-day cards, which get you free public transport and access to 6 museums, plus up to 50% discount (and some skip-the-line priority) at the majority of Porto’s major attractions, including the Igreja E Torre Dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower) and Palácio Da Bolsa, and some restaurants.
It’s entirely worth it for those keen to see as much of the city as possible!
BUY | Purchase your Porto Card here
HOW TO GET TO PORTO
If you're coming from Europe, getting to Porto easily (and on a budget!) is a dream.
Porto is a major hub for northern Portugal, which means it's really well serviced by various international airlines. If you're coming from Europe, the easiest, and cheapest, option is to book a budget flight on Transavia, Air Berlin, EasyJet (we flew EasyJet from London), Ryanair, or TAP (Portugal's low-cost airline) into Porto's main airport.
If you're coming from outside Europe, you'll likely need to connect in another major hub, but the transit time is worth it, we promise.
There are regular metro and bus services connecting Porto airport to the city, and we found it to be a totally seamless, and efficient system!
If you're already in Portugal - in Lisbon, Faro, Coimbra or Braga to be exact - you can take a high-speed train to Porto called the Alfa Pendular.
These services run every day and take about 2:45-3 hours normally. There's also free wifi on board. You'll need to reserve your seat ahead of time, which you can do on the Comboios de Portugal page.
There are also slower intercity trains between Lisbon and Porto, which run about once every hour. Trains will arrive at Campanhã Train Station, and from there it's a short metro ride to São Bento (or any other local metro station you want).
It is possible to travel to Porto from other city hubs in Portugal and surrounding countries; however as there's no one main bus line servicing all areas, it can be a little confusing to work out the routes.
We'd recommend checking in with a local tourist office for the best way to navigate around via the bus network.
HOW TO GET AROUND PORTO
Porto is an extremely easy city to navigate on foot, and a lot of its magic is found in exploring the quiet corners and local neighbourhoods.
That said, the distances between tourist spots can be large, so it's worth checking out the 'Porto Card' which gives you access to the public transport system, over 170 discounts and benefits and free access to 11 museums (and a free visit to a port wine cellar!) for between 1-4 days.
BOOK | Book your Porto card on GetYourGuide from £11 now
TRAVEL INSURANCE FOR PORTO
We firmly believe that if you can't afford travel insurance, you really can't afford to travel. As the current pandemic has taught many; things can go wrong anywhere in the world and insurance is often the only way of mitigating any issues with minimal expense or stress for you.
For all travellers | HeyMondo - COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel + medical insurance, an app with 24-hour medical support, and no out-of-pocket fees. *Get 5% off your policy by booking through our link here.
For digital nomads | SafetyWing - COVID-19 coverage, comprehensive travel & medical, and policies can be purchased while already abroad.
Car Insurance | Insurance4CarHire - a great annual car insurance policy
READ | Our ultimate guide to travel insurance
READ THESE POSTS BEFORE VISITING PORTO!
PORTO PHOTOS | A photo diary of our visit to Porto
PHOTOGRAPHY | Love our photography? Wondering what gear we use to get all of our photos around the world?
RESPONSIBLE TRAVEL | Responsible travel is important. REALLY IMPORTANT.
Learn our top responsible travel tips to help you, your family and friends travel more consciously around the globe
ECO-FRIENDLY PACKING ESSENTIALS | Don’t leave home without our favourite eco-friendly travel essentials
PLAN YOUR PORTO TRIP WITH THESE TRAVEL GUIDES
Some of the links on this guide to the best things to do in Porto are affiliate links.
If you choose to purchase using these links, we receive a small commission at no extra cost to you. Please know that by using these affiliate links, you're directly supporting The Common Wanderer to stay wandering, the running costs of the site, and our ability to provide you with free content to help you on your travels.
That, and you're officially a legend.