things to do in Porto

World-class art museums? Check. More wine than you could drink in a lifetime? Check. Stunning year-round weather, drool-worthy local dishes, and more architectural landmarks than you could imagine? Check-check-check.

The second-largest city in Portugal but not second-placed in terms of beauty by any means, Porto is teeming with exciting history and culture. It boasts one of the world’s most impressive collections of art nouveau buildings, many of which are still in use today; winding cobblestone streets flanked by pastry shops, art galleries, and underground bars, and a glistening Duomo River waterfront lined with cafés and restaurants.

So whether you plan on partying till the sun comes up, learning about the inspiration behind Harry Potter, getting a little tipsy on a wine tour in Gaia, or simply quenching that culture thirst by checking off the local markets and museums, you’ll find no shortage of things to do in Porto.

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1 – Admire the Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) on a walking tour

Porto Cathedral

Dating all the way back to the 12th century, the iconic Romanesque Porto Cathedral is the city’s most important church, located near São Bento Station at one of the highest points in the City of the Bridges.

Purchase your cathedral of porto tickets in advance to save time in the queue and enter inside to admire the ornately baroque altarpiece and the elegant Gothic cloister.

To reach it you can either take a long but pleasant walk up through the old town or join an often-free guided walking tour, where you’ll likely pass by one of the city’s most beloved photography hotspots: the old Largo da Pena Ventosa square, where colorful houses surround it enchantingly.

You’ve been warned: Porto is full of hills, so be sure to lace on a pair of sturdy, comfy shoes!

2 – Cruise down the UNESCO-recognised Douro River

boat tours in Porto

The sparkling Douro River is Porto’s magical poster child (particularly when sailing underneath Ponte Luís I), winding its way through the city to empty into the Atlantic in one direction, and skirting through the green rolling hills of the vineyard-laden, UNESCO-listed Duoro Valley.

So, what better way to see it both than taking a cruise down the calm waters themselves? There are dozens of different cruises available, from ½-day trips (including lunch and wine tasting) to full-day adventures that transport you to places like Regua or the wine town of Pinhão, or the quicker 6 Bridge Cruise in the main Porto area.

Or why not zoom along the Douro river in a speedboat or the back of a jet boat for an adrenaline pumping kick? Look up at the iconic Serra do Pilar Monastery and the bridges overhead as you speed across the water.

3 – Soak in the view from Miradouro da Vitória

Miradouro da Vitória in Porto

One of Porto’s most rewarding experiences is to take the winding, narrow road up above the city center and discover a serene panorama that stretches for miles over gleaming blue rivers and red terracotta rooftops.

Popular for tourists and romantics alike, the Miradouro da Vitória sits on a hilltop on Rua da Bataria da Vitória, offering the picture-perfect sunset spot.

Portugal has many other worthwhile viewpoints to discover – including the Clerigos Tower and the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar terrace (which we’ll circle back to later) — but this one still takes top billing on the basis that it’s totally free!

4 – Cross the river for a wine-tasting adventure!

wine tasting, Porto
Huge barrels in the cellars of “Taylor’s” in Villa Nova de Gaia, Porto

Porto is home to one of the world’s most iconic wines: Port.

Cálem wine cellar is known nationwide, while Ferreira, Graham’s Lodge, and Real Companhia Velha each boast spectacular blends and rich history (many of which are across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia).

The Burmester Cellars are conveniently located beside the famous Dom Luís I Bridge! Or if you fancy walking up the hill to reach the Cockburn’s Cellars it’s definitely worth the hike to see the largest wooden cellar in Vila Nova de Gaia!

Better yet, pair your port with some of the finest cheese tastings in Porto. The saltiness and creamy texture helps to complement the port’s acidity! For those with a sweet tooth, opt for one of the chocolate tastings in Porto at Cálem! A dark rich chocolate pairs well with a complex and fruity Late Bottled Vintage!

There are plenty of romantic boat cruises that include tastings too!

Hot tip: Dive into the world of Porto’s unparalleled wine culture with our curated selection of the best wine tours and tastings in Porto, complemented by an exploration of the most esteemed Port wine cellars in the region.

5 – Feel the magic at Gomes Teixeira Square, the birthplace of Harry Potter

Gomes Teixeira Square, Porto

If you’re a big Harry Potter fan, then this is one of the places in Porto that shouldn’t be missed.

Located behind the Jardim de João Chagas and a stone’s throw from the aforementioned Clérigos Church, Gomes Teixeira Square – or Praça de Gomes Teixeira in Portuguese – is a vibrant place where JK Rowling used to sit for hours on end, writing the famous novel series on its benches and in its cafes.

Plenty of free walking tours stroll by, with friendly, energetic guides thrilled to share more stories of how Hogwarts and its tales were inspired by this gorgeous city. Just to give you a taste; the impressive lion fountain, Fonte dos Leões, gave birth to the Gryffindor house symbol, while the university students’ black-cape uniform inspired the Hogwarts robes!

In addition to being rich in history and pop culture, Gomes Teixeira Square is also home to two side-by-side churches with a fascinating rivalry, the Rectory of the University of Porto.

6 – Rest those legs with a hop-on hop-off bus tour

bus tours in Porto

With steep hills in every direction, it won’t take long for the legs to get a little weary in this vibrant city.

So, if you’re short on time and want to squeeze as much in as possible, or simply want to give the legs a rest while seeing some of the top attractions, the hop-on-hop-off bus — as well as the more authentic Guindais Funicular that goes from top to bottom rather than around or the traditional Tram tour — is a wonderful way to do so,

Along the way, you’ll get to see all of Porto’s major attractions, such as the Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), São Bento Railway Station, Clérigos Tower (Torre dos Clérigos), and plenty more.

7 – Climb the Clérigos Tower

Clérigos Tower, Porto

Finding itself on thousands of postcards, the Clérigos Tower (Portuguese: Torre dos Clérigos) is a historic Baroque tower standing some 75 meters above the Clérigos Church — making it the tallest of its kind nationwide.

And, since its sticks out from the streets like a sore thumb, the views from its top (the one you climb the 200 spiral stairs) are a must-see, offering panoramas of Porto’s skyline and the hills that surround it, as well as a simple yet intriguing exhibition that dives into the history of the tower’s architects and residents.

While you’re there, be sure to step inside the Clérigos Church which is even more historic than its tower counterpart and regularly wows visitors with its engulfing domed ceiling.

8 – Visit the São Bento Station

São Bento Station, Porto

Regularly impressing visitors with its blue azulejo tiles, the São Bento train station is one of Porto’s most famous landmarks (as well as acting as the city’s main train station), and a wonderful example of Portuguese neo-Manueline architecture.

Most free walking tours will quickly step inside the colossal station, but make sure you take a moment to appreciate the gorgeous facade from outside as well, especially since it’s one of Porto’s most photographed buildings.

You can also pass by the attractive São Bento Station on one of the sidecar tours in Porto! Sidecars can navigate down narrow alleys, allowing you to see some of Porto’s hidden backstreets as well as the main landmarks!

9 – Take a day trip to the Douro Valley

Douro Valley day trip from Porto

About as postcard-worthy as they come, with its rolling hills, plentiful wineries, ever-charming Douro Historic Train, and the long list of Quintas (estates), the Douro Valley is one of the best wine regions in Portugal to visit.

Thanks to its unique microclimate and soil, this area has been famous for wine production for centuries; nowadays its dozens of vineyards have become best-known for their dry reds, but there’s a little bit of everything on offer.

Whether you’re a nature-lover looking for fresh air and a change of pace from Porto itself, a wine connoisseur wanting to sample the good stuff at the source, or a bit of both, pre-organized day trips include all of the best bits (plus lunch and a cruise!).

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All the magic from the films awaits you at Magic Mike Universe in Porto — the only place in the city where you can feast on traditional Portuguese cuisine while enjoying a striptease and pole-dancing show. Choose from three all-inclusive menus guaranteed to satisfy even the most voracious appetites.

10 – Wander around the Crystal Palace Gardens

Crystal Palace Gardens in Porto

A beautifully textured and thought-out green space with manicured gardens that sparks resemblances to a mini Versailles garden, the Crystal Palace Gardens are perfect for a relaxing afternoon stroll.

This enchanting garden, which sits right behind Super Bock Arena, promises a wonderful sunset-viewing opportunity, as well as plenty of picnic and chill-out spots. Listen to the gentle cries of the peacocks and clucking chickens that roam around the park.

There are also delightful squares with classic style statues and a small terraced rose garden. When the flowers are in bloom it is a delight to stroll around and inhale the fresh scents from the camellias, rhododendron bushes and colourful azaleas!

Hot tip: while you’re there, take some time for both the Romantic Museum and Port Wine Museum!

11 – Segway down Avenida dos Aliados

Avenida dos Aliados in Porto

A sloping boulevard teeming with historic buildings, tourist-favorite cafes and restaurants, and a truckload of hotels, banks, and boutiques, it’s worth spending some time checking out this happening street — not to mention the always bustling Liberty Square and the foreboding Porto City Hall building.

Forget about walking around on foot though; one of the best ways to do this is with a fun, rolling Segway tour. With so many hills around the city, the modern machines will certainly take the burden off those legs for a couple of hours… with a friendly, knowledgable guide to boot.

12 – Cycle around the historic Ribeira District

Ribeira District, Porto

An area beloved by tourists and locals alike, the Ribeira district is the oldest in all of the city and a well-deserving UNESCO World Heritage site. The narrow streets and colorful houses will make you feel like you stepped back in time to when this was an important trading port, filled with commerce and merchant ships from around Europe.

If history’s not your thing, no worries; the Ribeira district is also home to some of Porto’s finest bars and restaurants, no shortage of live entertainment (particularly in summer), and the spectacular, double-decker Luís I Bridge.

On leisurely-paced biked tours (don’t fret about the hills, they’re e-bikes!), expect to pass by quintessential locations like the 14th-century Casa do Infante house, always bustling Ribeira Square, and the touristy yet beautiful Cais da Ribeira (waterfront area).

13 – Turn up the romance with a candlelight concert

Coliseu Porto Ageas
credits to Coliseu Porto Ageas

On the hunt for something romantic? Looking to impress your better half? Or simply fancy putting your feet up after a long day of sightseeing around the city and want to experience music in an atmospheric and unforgettable setting!

A charming, relaxing candlelight concert — one that takes place in any number of historic, beautiful palaces and music venues — ought to do the trick. Some of the concerts take place in the Coliseu Porto Ageas just off the main Santa Catarina shopping highstreet or in the gorgeous Pestana Palácio do Freixo, an 18th-Century Palace classified as one of the National Monument of Portugal, overlooking the Douro river!

With a range of genres and routines to choose from, from Mozart classics to jazz or the tunes of Andrew Lloyd Webber, it’s hard to go wrong.

14 – Lace on the hiking boots at Peneda-Gerês National Park

Peneda-Gerês National Park tours from Porto

While there are many national parks in Portugal, Peneda-Gerês is special for its remote location and mostly untouched natural habitat near the Spanish border.

This means visitors can expect to find lush forest scenery, crystal clear rivers with the occasional waterfall, stunning rock formations, picturesque mountain villages like Lindoso or the spa town of Gerês, and a ton of outdoor activities to keep you busy.

Whether you’re after a chilled-out jeep tour where you can simply sit back, relax, and enjoy the sites, or something a tad more thrilling like some hiking, kayaking, or canyoning, this beautiful slice of Mother Nature has got you covered.

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Discover the history of health at the Pharmacy Museum

With exhibitions spanning 5,000 years, the Pharmacy Museum will take you on a fascinating journey through the history of human health. Learn how we once cured diseases and discover ancient relics from the Roman Empire and Africa. You’ll gain a whole new appreciation for historic and modern medicine.

15 – Explore the hidden gems of Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto

One of those fascinating facts that most people don’t realize until they see Porto first-hand is that most of the city’s most famous Port wine cellars are not, in fact, in Porto; they’re across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia (called Gaia, for short), where stunning views of Porto itself await.

Besides hopping around the wine cellars on the riverwalk (scroll up to #4) and checking out the UNESCO-listed Monastery of Serra do Pilar, deeper into the city you’ll find a host of noteworthy landmarks including the peaceful Jardim do Morro garden or the Parque Biológico de Gaia.

If you fancy an unusual experience try out the Look at Porto 5D Cinema where you can take a visual city journey accompanied by fun physical effects such as motion and wind! A great way to get a fully immersive feel of the city before embarking around the sites on foot.

After breathtaking views? Then look no further than the Gaia Cable Car.

16 – Explore the Palácio da Bolsa

Palácio da Bolsa, Porto

Back in the hustle and bustle of Porto now, the Palácio da Bolsa is a magnificent neoclassical building and stunning example of mid-19th-century Portuguese architecture — no wonder it’s become the most visited monument in northern Portugal.

Originally built as the city’s stock exchange, the UNESCO-listed palace now houses a range of beautifully decorated rooms, a grand staircase, and huge wall paintings.

The Arab Room, as well as the central courtyard called Pátio das Nações, are each spectacular — keep in mind, however, that you can only access the interior during the 30-minute guided tours.

17 – Traverse alleyways with a street art tour

street art tours in Porto

Food and history aside, Porto also has a strong street art scene, with the most picturesque walls often tucked away off the beaten track.

Just like any other European city worth its salt, Porto also hosts an impressive amount of contemporary murals that are spread across several districts in the center.

While there are numerous engaging tours available to explore this aspect of Porto culture — which is typically associated with the hipster scene — it’s not too difficult to find these works on your own, either.

18 – Stop to smell the roses at the Porto Botanic Garden

Botanic Garden, Porto

With thousands of plant species (including some rare and endangered specimens) housed within its lush grounds, the Porto Botanical Garden is neither large nor meticulously maintained, but it manages to exude a unique charm and therefore sells itself as a relaxing place to spend an afternoon.

The Botanical Garden of Porto is part of the University of Porto’s Faculty of Sciences and is used for the research of different plants with several greenhouses full of tropical palms and succulent leafy creepers. Right in the center of the garden stands the majestic warm red Casa Andersen where the famous Portuguese writer Sophia de Mello Breyner spent her childhood and took inspiration.

A perfect spot to unwind after a morning of exploring, this urban oasis is open daily from 9am – 6pm (from 10am on weekends).

19 – Grab a book from Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto

One of Porto’s most beloved cultural spots, Livraria Lello is a must-see for any book lover. An independent bookstore selling both new and second-hand titles in an unpretentious setting, it has become something of an institution since opening its doors in 1881.

Not only is it one of the world’s oldest bookstores, but it’s also considered the most beautiful, with inspirational ties to Harry Potter, said to have been the source of inspiration for JK Rowling’s penned magical library.

Did you know that J K Rowling spent time living in Porto for two years as an English foreign language teacher? You can see why Rowling may have been inspired by the ornate winding central staircase at Lello’s, the overhead stained glass windows and classic wooden book shelving!

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Make a hole-in-one at indoor mini-golf

Porto’s one and only indoor, glow-in-the-dark mini-golf venue is waiting for you! After an 18-hole round of golf under the neon lights, you can keep the fun going with some pool, air hockey or foosball. The perfect place for an afternoon with the family or some late-night fun with your friends.

20 – Check out the Tram Museum

Porto Tram Museum, Museu do Carro Elétrico

Sitting walking distance from the vibrant riverfront boardwalk (though not the busiest area of it), this unique Porto attraction features restored trams and trolleys dating back decades (though there are some modern models as well).

With a friendly guide on hand to tell the history of each vehicle, as well as the original warehouse depot in which it sits, it’s hard not to be swept up in the past! Marvel at the vintage trams dating from the late 19th and 20th century and discover the pivotal role that the tram system has played in the urban development of Poto city. Learn more about the technology behind how the trams actually work and see some old photographs of the early horse driven trams!

Hot tip: while tickets are usually around 8 euros, you’ll get a nice discount if you have a valid tram ticket!

21 – Head down to Aveiro for a day trip

Aveiro tours from Porto

An hour south of Porto by car or bus (therefore an ideal stopping point if driving to Lisbon), Aveiro is a picturesque fishing village filled with gilded church domes and colorful houses lining the riverfront.

Known as Portugal’s Venice thanks to its sparkling, crisscrossing canals that snake through town, it also boasts one-of-a-kind architecture (including its Forum mall and old train station), plenty of museums and, and some seriously delicious seafood.

For the most hassle-free and budget-friendly trip, consider a pre-arranged tour that also includes a stop at Costa Nova and Coimbra, as well as a traditional Moliceiro river cruise.

22 – Admire elegant Porcelain at the Museu Vista Alegre

Museu Vista Alegre, Portugal

Vista Alegre is a prominent Portuguese Porcelain and Ceramics factory that has been operating since 1824. Nowadays the celebrated brand sells a wide range of products ranging from fine dinnerware, lamps to textiles.

At the Vista Alegre museum you can also visit Capela em honra de Nossa Senhora da Penha de França, an attractive seventeenth century chapel with an interior plastered with ceramic blue tiles. The chapel also contains the ornate mausoleum of a prominent bishop.

Stop off at the Oficina de Pintura Manual da Fábrica da Vista Alegre to watch a hand painting workshop. You can book a tour to Aveiro that also includes a stop off at the Vista Alegre factory since the museum is conveniently located in Ílhavo very near the Aveiro estuary.

If staying overnight check out the Montebelo Vista Alegre Ílhavo Hotel, a luxurious 5 star experience!

23 – Dig into a heavy Francesinha

best Francesinha in Porto

It’s not all port wine and Pasteis de Nata in Porto — a classic dish that is always a must-try for first-time visitors to the city, or indeed Portugal itself, is Francesinha.

This hearty sandwich is made from layers upon layers of cured ham, fresh sausage and steak topped with copious amounts of melted cheese and served alongside other fixings like fries or chips — all soaked in an incredible tomato sauce!

While the dish is dotted all over town, some of the most famous and popular spots to try include Cafe Santiago, Lado B, Cervejaria Brasão, and Capa Negra II.

If you’re counting calories, it might be wise to skip this one…

24 – Spend the afternoon at the Serralves Foundation

Serralves Foundation, Porto

Home to over 4300 diverse works and sprawling, stunning gardens, the Serralves Foundation — which features a Contemporary Art Museum, park, Art Deco villa, and House of Cinema — welcomes over a million visitors every year, making it a strong contender among the lists of most-visited art museums in the world.

Located in the city’s leafy ex-pat suburb of Foz do Douro, not only does it offer an extraordinary contemporary art collection, but also a sculpture-stuffed botanical garden and Tree Top Trail perfect for a casual stroll.

25 – Admire the side-by-side Carmo & Carmelitas Churches

Carmo & Carmelitas Churches, Porto

At first glance, this curious landmark might appear as one of the biggest churches you’ve ever seen. But, look a little close and you’ll notice that it is, in fact, two separate churches, build on either side of the world’s narrowest house.

The baroque-style Carmo Church (on the right) boasts intricate tile art on its outer walls; Carmelitas (on the left), on the other hand, which is about a century older, is known for its wonderful altar woodcarvings.

Perhaps the most interesting part about these brotherly churches is their history and relationship, a competition of sorts that many walking tours dive into further.

26 – Get your culture fix at the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis

Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis
credits to Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis

One for the art lovers, the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis is a world-class museum and former palace that showcases the best of Portugal’s rich artistic history, with over 600 works spanning nearly three centuries housed in a building that’s more than two hundred years old!

The collection includes paintings by renowned Portuguese artists like Domingos Sequeira and Vieira Portuense, as well as modern artists and musicians like Júlio Resende (driver behind Fado-Jazz)

However, the main event is the wonderful collection of Porto-born sculptor Soares dos Reis.

27 – Get active along the Paiva Walkways and spectacular 516 Footbridge

Paiva Walkways, Portugal
Left: Credit to Carolina Ribeiro / Content Manager at TourScanner

Book up one of the breathtaking Paiva walkways tours to explore the trail of wooden walkways that stretch out for 8.7 kilometers along the valley of the Paiva River. This route is a hikers paradise with several river beaches, natural lagoons, rugged rock formations and lush vegetation!

When trekking along the Paiva river, remember to gaze up at the impressive 516 Arouca footbridge, one of the longest pedestrian suspension bridges in the world. Designed by the architect Ivo Vieira, the bridge has only been open to the public since 2021! Walk across the 175 meter high bridge for some spectacular views!

If you are a fan of rocky scenic river beds, it’s also worth checking out the dramatic Canyon of Rio de Frades in Arouca. Abseil down the canyon rock faces and swim in natural water pools surrounded by the Serra da Freita mountain range!

28 – Set sail for adventure on a Douro River cruise

sailing in Porto

Set sail on a small-group tour along the Douro River in Porto for an unforgettable experience.

Board a classic motor sailor boat and cruise from Douro Marina to the mouth of the river. As you glide, see Porto’s traditional houses from the water and enjoy stunning views of the famous Ribeira, Arrábida Bridge, Dom Luís I Bridge and the Douro Estuary Nature Reserve.

Delight your taste buds with ruby, tan, and white ports during a wine tasting on board, and sit back and enjoy the tranquil atmosphere. You can adjust the pace of the tour to your liking to create the perfect blend of adventure and relaxation.

29 – Take the kids to Sea Life Aquarium

Sea Life Porto
credits to Sea Life Porto

Located north of the main haunts near Matosinhos Beach (a great spot for low-key surfing and tanning) this aquarium is a fantastic place for all ages and can be easily accessed by jumping on the 500 bus route or the touristy Linha 1 tram route.

Home to over 3000 species, including sharks, turtles, rays, and penguins, a trip to this Porto attraction is perfect for family fun.

One of the highlights of the ‘Sea Life Aquarium’ is the mesmerising ocean tunnel where you can walk through for a 360 degrees view of the fish swimming overhead! Check out the daily program to ensure you don’t miss fascinating sessions such as ‘Sharks talks’ or ‘Penguin talks’ led by the aquarium team.

For the ultimate day out, consider a VIP upgrade that includes a turtle feeding!

30 – Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge (and back again)

Luís I Bridge in Porto
Credit to Carolina Ribeiro / Content Manager at TourScanner

Designed by a German student of the famous Gustav Eiffel, the Dom Luiz Bridge was constructed between 1881 and 1886. The Luiz I Bridge is undoubtedly the most famous bridge in Porto, offering a stunning view of both the city and Douro River.

Before the Dom Luiz bridge there used to be a former bridge on the same site known as the ‘Bridge of Boats.’ This old bridge consisted of 20 boats attached with steel cables! Unfortunately the bridge collapsed in 1809 when Napoleonic French troops entered the city and panicking crowds attempted to flee.

What truly separates the incredible Dom Luiz I bridge is the fact that it has two levels! You can walk across one way, admiring the city from above with a pastéis de nata in hand, and stumble across the lower level later that evening after a glass of port!

31 – Enjoy a glass of local Portuguese wine in some of the best Porto Rooftops

best rooftops in Porto

On the Gaia waterfront enjoy the pumping DJ base on top of the Espaço Porto Cruz. The bar appeals to a young hip crowd who like to indulge in a Port tonic. If you are more of a jazz fan head to the relaxed rooftop Mirajazz on the Porto side.

After looking round the Crystal Palace gardens enjoy a chilled beer at the Miradouro Ignez with stunning views overlooking the Douro. Alternatively fans of Taylors port will enjoy a tipple at the Taylors owned Bar Rooftop Flores just up the hill from the Rua da Flores.

When shopping along the Santa Catarina highstreet consider taking a pause to enjoy a cocktail at the LIFT Rooftop Via Catarina, an excellent place to lie in on a deckchair and sun bathe.

One of the most elevated positions for contemplating the Porto skyline is from the 17º Restaurante & Bar on the 17th floor of Hotel Dom Henrique!

32 – Explore the beachside Matosinhos district

surf lessons in Porto

For seafood lovers and surfers alike, a visit to Matosinhos, easily accessible by public transport from the main Porto area, is an absolute must.

This former fishing village just north of downtown has become a quick favorite for its authentic atmosphere at unbeatable prices.

Before riding the waves with a private or small-group surf lesson, stop at the Fort of São Francisco, take a stroll around the City Park, and check out the beloved giant-jellyfish-like She Changes sculpture by the water.

There is also the possibility to try some scuba diving in Porto at the Leça da Palmeira. Plunge into the refreshing Atlantic waters and look out for gilt-head bream, sea bass or damselfish!

If you are a fan of tasty sardines, why not visit the Conservas Pinhais Factory Tour where you can even wrap up your own sardine tin!

33 – Discover Porto’s ultimate rosé wine experience at the Pink Palace

Pink Palace, Porto
credit to WOW Porto

Welcome to the Pink Palace, the ultimate destination for rosé lovers and connoisseurs alike.

This eccentric and extravagant museum is a feast for the senses, immersing visitors in the vibrant world of rosé wine and unpacking the story behind this beloved variety.

The Pink Palace also aims to educate visitors about the versatility of rosé. As you wander through the museum, you’ll have the opportunity to taste five different rosé wine styles, expanding your palate and discovering the nuances of this delightful beverage.

So put on your rose-tinted glasses and enter the wonderful world of rosé at the Pink Palace in Vila Nova de Gaia!

34 – Indulge your senses at The Chocolate Story

The Chocolate Story, Porto
credit to WOW Porto

Embark on a tantalizing journey from cocoa to chocolate at The Chocolate Story, a captivating interactive museum in Porto’s WOW district. Uncover the fascinating history of cocoa, explore the secrets of chocolate production, and indulge your senses with delectable aromas and flavors.

This sweet adventure provides the perfect backdrop for taking unforgettable selfies in a quirky chocolate-themed exhibit designed for kids and adults alike. See a real chocolate factory in action and watch cocoa seeds magically transform into delicious chocolate bars.

Get ready for a treat that will leave your taste buds craving more, all while creating a chocolate-filled photo album to cherish!

35 – Dive into a wine lovers’ paradise at The Wine Experience

The Wine Experience, Porto
credit to WOW Porto

From the vine to the glass, The Wine Experience will reveal the nuances of wine on a fascinating journey.

Explore rooms that showcase how grapes are grown, the different types of wine and what makes each variety unique. Learn about wines that suit your taste and lifestyle, and enjoy rich flavors and unique aromas.

As you tour the regions of Portugal through this experience, you’ll discover unique customs and architecture. And of course, you won’t leave until you’ve had a professional wine tasting. Enjoy red, white and port wines and be a wine lover like never before.

36 – Delve into the rich heritage of Planet Cork

Planet Cork, Porto
credit to WOW Porto

Embark on an educational and interactive journey at Planet Cork, a top family-friendly attraction in Porto. Once inside, you’ll be greeted by a majestic replica of a cork oak tree and surrounded by captivating sounds and images that depict its ecosystem.

Experience the fascinating process of peeling cork oaks and turning corks into wine and champagne stoppers. You’ll gain a new appreciation for the seemingly simple and often taken for granted material, and even have the opportunity to unleash your creativity and craft your own personalized cork stopper.

This excursion will give you a fresh perspective into the versatility of cork, and the importance of its sustainability.

37 – Toast to the history of drinking at The Bridge Collection

The Bridge Collection, Porto
credit to WOW Porto

Marvel at over 2,000 drinking vessels, spanning from antiquity to modern times to gain insight into the history and culture of drinking.

Discover stories of gods, warriors, queens, and emperors told through these elaborate artifacts. Admire dazzling cups made from precious metals or that glow in the dark.

Each piece at The Bridge Collection spotlights human customs, rituals, and celebrations. Put yourself in the shoes of those who made history, toast to their lives and quench your thirst for knowledge at this wonderful museum.

38 – Spend the day up north in Braga and Guimarães

Braga day trip from Porto
church of Bom Jesus do Monte in Braga

While both cities got a brief mention earlier as part of a Minho highlights package, each historic city is well and truly worthy of its own day-trip.

Arguably the two best-preserved medieval cities in Portugal, both were declared UNESCO World Heritage Sites for their cultural significance.

Check out the Braga day trips from Porto to discover this majestic religious city, home to a handful of millennia-old churches, one of which, the Diocese of Braga, dates back to the 3rd century.

Or opt for one of the Guimarães tours from Porto, to uncover a city full of cobbled streets, picturesque squares with a prominent ducal palace that was built in the 15th century. Guimarães, dubbed the “cradle of the Portuguese nationality”, played a pivotal role in Portugal’s formation and development.

Whether you prefer a small-group or VIP tour (with a delicious lunch), a visit to these northern cities is one of the best things to do in Porto.

39 – Admire the art at the Misericórdia Museum

Misericórdia Museum, Porto
credits to Misericórdia Museum

Sitting on the historic Rua das Flores, the Misericórdia Museum (which is connected to an impressive church) is a Porto landmark that’s fully deserving of its status as one of the city’s most visited attractions, even for its Portuguese Renaissance style facade alone. The building is known as the ‘Misericórdia’ because it was originally set up as a charitable institution by Queen Leonor way back in 1499!

Today it houses some fascinating artifacts from Portugal’s history, including a strong collection of 16th-century religious paintings, sculptures, and silverware — the highlight, of which, is arguably Rui Chafes’ curvaceous eye-catching sculpture, ‘My Blood is Your Blood’.

After looking around the Misericórdia Museum enjoy a chilled glass of Port in a comfy deckchair at the onsite café behind the gallery with a small terraced garden overlooking the Cathedral at the ‘Bar Rooftop Flores.’

40 – Have a photo shoot at the best Instagram spots in Porto

best Instagram spots in Porto

What’s a trip anywhere these days if you don’t share it online with your friends? Here are some of the city sights worthy of a spot on your feed.

Kitties Rock (Sunset Spot) is as you can guess, the perfect place to catch golden hour, with sights of the Dom Luis l Bridge, the Douro River, and iconic Portuguese homes and architecture from above.

Check out Largo da Pena Ventosa, known for its array of colorful homes, in a typical street in Porto, and then head to Passeio das Fontainhas, also known as the “Stairway to Heaven” for its staircase that looks like it’s floating above red tiled roofs, and looking out to the Douro River.

Looking for a creatively colorful backdrop to stand against? Check out Steak n Shake, and a few minutes away is another hot spot, A Perola do Bolhao, a traditional store known for its colorful facade.

41 – Be enchanted aboard the Porto Magic Train

Porto Magic Train, Portugal
credit to Magic Train

Embark on an immersive exploration of the city aboard the enchanting Porto Magic Train. The train winds its way through Porto’s historic center, past iconic sights such as Porto Cathedral, the Carmelitas Church, and the bustling Avenida Aliados.

With informative audio guides available in multiple languages, you’ll delve deeper into the stories and secrets of Porto’s captivating past and thriving wine culture, along with the opportunity to visit a wine cellar and taste Porto’s renowned wine.

Departing every 60 minutes from the Sé Catedral, this captivating train ride promises an unforgettable experience of Porto’s rich history and vibrant charm.

42 – Spend a day at the zoo

Zoo Santo Inácio, Gaia
credit to Zoo Santo Inácio

When traveling with kids in tow, there’s no better way to make their day than by visiting one of Porto’s ever-popular zoos where hundreds of animals of all shapes and sizes await (many of which you can learn more bout through live feedings and trainer shows).

The Santo Inácio Zoo, just 10 minutes away from Porto, in (Vila Nova de) Gaia houses rare wildlife like snow leopards and Burmese pythons. Other interesting animals include cute dwarf sheep, energetic black spider monkeys and graceful small flamingos! Spend your day eagerly watching the giraffes munching on the trees above or the lions sunbathing on the rocks.

Maia Zoo, about a 15-minute drive north, is known for its nature conservation teachings, reptile house, and fun-filled sea lion show. Maia Zoo also has some feisty piranha fish that can live for up to 8 to 10 years!

43 – Check out the FC Porto Museum at Dragão Stadium

FC Porto Museum at Dragão Stadium

Sports fans, listen up!

A visit to the 50,000-seat Dragão Stadium, otherwise known as Estádio do FC Porto or just ‘The Dragon’, is a must for anyone looking to get out and experience the lively atmosphere of one of Europe’s most decorated football clubs.

At the entrance to the stadium keep an eye out for the large dragon statues, a traditional symbol of strength and protection that has become the club emblem of FC Porto!

While regularly hosting games from Portugal’s top-tier Primeira Liga league, FC Porto fans can also tour the on-site museum, full of trophies and other memorabilia, or go behind the scenes and explore the clubrooms and pitch.

Learn more about the notable players of FC Porto, how the club has developed over the years and the various memorable victorities!

44 – Explore the Foz do Douro neighborhood

Foz do Douro, Porto

Beloved by ex-pats and tourists alike, the Foz do Douro neighborhood is a large waterfront area that’s been transformed over the years into an outdoor haven of bars, restaurants, and shops.

In addition to its regularly lively yet not-overwhelming atmosphere, the area also boasts a selection of noteworthy landmarks: the Pérgola da Foz is a peaceful seaside promenade, and the Fortress São João Baptista at the confluence of the Atlantic and Duomo provides a unique look back at what was once a dominating 16th-century defense stronghold.

While exploring the area, don’t forget to check out the Felgueiras Lighthouse, or kill a couple of hours with a stop at the Passeio Alegre Garden for a game of overly competitive mini-golf.

45 – Spot sections of the Fernandina wall

Fernandina wall, Porto

The Fernandina Wall is a perfect example of the city’s rich cultural heritage; in fact, this collection of fortifications dates back to the 1300s, with plenty of upgrades and expansions (and crumbles) along the way. This defensive wall made out of hefty granite stone is known as the ‘Fernandina’ because it was constructed by King Ferdinand I of Portugal back in 1368!

The Fernandina walls were originally constructed to protect the city against external threats such as attacks from Moorish invaders or possible Castilian invasions.

You could easily spend a week wandering the city and not notice it. Why? Because much of the ancient walls are seamlessly integrated into the buildings of the old town.

That said, the main section of the wall, and certainly visible, is the Guindais wall and tower next to the Guindais Funicular.

46 – Stuff your belly on a food tour

food tours in Porto

Of course, Porto is also a foodie haven.

While the city’s restaurant scene has exploded in recent years — with more and more spots vying for culinary excellence each day — there are plenty of walking tours that will lead you through the old town while teaching you about traditional dishes.

Regardless of which tour you opt for, expect to dig into a host of quintessential Porto dishes and snacks like Francesinha, a local sandwich stuffed with pork and covered in melted cheese; Bacalhau, a friend and salted cod; pastéis de nata, the custard tarts that are synonymous with the nation; or alheira sausages… just to name a few.

47 – Step back in time during the annual ‘Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria’

Viagem Medieval em Terra de Santa Maria, Portugal
Left: Credit to Carolina Ribeiro / Content Manager at TourScanner

History buffs will go wild to assist the biggest Mediaeval recreation events in the whole of Portugal that lasts a whopping 11 days every year! The event takes place in Santa Maria da Feira, a town located between Porto and Aveiro with an impressive well preserved medieval castle!

The event program is jam packed with historical storytelling, jousting, acrobatics and fire shows, you can even assist the recreation of the royal wedding of King João I of Portugal and Phillipa of Lancaster! Have the opportunity to test your archery skills or why not get creative and try some Mediaeval handicrafts such as engraving, weaving, carpentry or shoe making!

Be prepared for lots of costumes, sword bearing and plenty of knights in armour!

48 – Hop on a Tuk Tuk and tour the city

tuk tuk in Porto

Organize a private tour of Porto on an electric Tuk Tuk, and call the shots when it comes to what side of Porto you want to see, and what you want to learn more about.

Offering up to 8 different types of Tuk Tuk vehicles, each with different capacities, feel total confidence in riding around the city reliably and in one of the most environmentally friendly ways.

Don’t want to organize your own customized tour? No problem! Select from discovering the right bank, to getting to know Porto Baroque or Porto by night, and more!

49 – Learn about ancient explorers at World of Discoveries

World of Discoveries, Porto

Part theme park, part museum, Porto’s World of Discoveries attraction pays homage to Portugal’s rich history in nautical exploration, re-enacting the remarkable journey of 15th and 16th-century explorers —  a must-visit staple for any history buff or culture vulture.

Complementing the host of interactive displays, the real highlight is the 20-minute boat ride through the jungle that tours around different parts of the world.

While a fun experience for kids, it’s also packed to the brim with historically significant information that adults are sure to love too.

50 – Take a seat at the world-renowned Majestic Café

Majestic Café, Porto

True to its name, it’s not just the service that’s majestic at Majestic Café.

At this traditional café/restaurant, which has been voted as one of the top 10 most beautiful cafes in the world (according to LocalPorto), you can expect to find shimmering chandeliers, an aura of luxury, and glamourous decorative touches.

Admire the walls adorned with elongated mirrors encompassed by charming wooden frames and the extravagant marble flooring and tables! It is no surprise that this dazzling café has been the favourite spot of various intellectuals and artists over the years such as the celebrated Portuguese poet Teixeira de Pascoaes and the prominent Portuguese writer Aquilino Ribeiro.

While the food is notoriously impressive too, even if just for a cup of coffee, add it to the top of your list of things to do in Porto.

51 – Run around town with a scavenger game!

scavenger games in Porto

Sick of run-of-the-mill walking tours? Want something a little more past-faced and interactive? Then try one of Porto’s scavenger hunts, a surefire way to unlock some of Porto’s best-kept secrets.

Porto (as well as Gaia) is home to several different game companies that offer a range of themed Amazing Race-style games from the convenience of your phone. As you solve riddles and clues along the way, you’ll be sure to stop into not only must-see landmarks but also off-beat bars and hidden alleyways.

Learn fun facts and curiosities about the history of the city while walking around the different areas. An entertaining scavenger hunt is a great way to bring a group of friends and family together with plenty of laughs and perhaps some challenging enigmas to get the brain racing!

52 – Treat yourself to a Pastel de Nata

best Pastel de Nata in Porto

Portugal’s signature sweet treat, the Pastel de Nata (or custard tart) is a baked delight that can be found just about everywhere in Porto.

Made from a rich egg-based pastry and topped with cinnamon and powdered sugar (or chocolate, occasionally), you can pick up this delicious snack pretty much anywhere. However, locals swear by the historic Confeitaria do Bolhão next to the Mercado do Bolhão (market) as well as the Manteigaria Bakery on Rua de Alexandre Braga 24.

The new kid in town, however, Fábrica da Nata, which has only been serving the delicacy since 2016, has already climbed the ranks and is considered one of, if not the best.

53 – Fly through the air with some exhilarating skydiving

Dream Fly Porto

Thanks to an incredible wind tunnel that imitates a speed of 300 kilometres per hour, you don’t have to launch out of an aeroplane at 4000 meters above sea level to experience the thrilling sensation of being levitated in flight!

At DreamFly Indoor Skydiving Porto you will feel completely at ease thanks to a dedicated instructor who will seamlessly guide through the sky diving protocol. Build up your confidence and try out some awesome acrobatics for some legendary photo opportunities.

For those looking to take it up a notch to the next level, take a look at Skydive Maia. Take off in an aeroplane and enjoy a free fall jump travelling at 200 kilometers per hour before gently gliding to land with a parachute!

54 – Surround yourself with colorful lights and music at the moving spectacle of the Spirits by Ocubo

Spiritus by Ocubo, Porto
Credit to Spiritus Porto

Experience a constellation of lights, music, and magic inspired by a famous Portuguese poem written by Álvaro de Campos, inside the 18th century Clérigos Church in Porto, most notable for its 75-meter tall bell tower.

Enter the light show inside the church, and gaze at the imagery that comes alive detailing the main character’s thoughts and the world inside the church. Available to people of all ages, the light show typically runs around 30 minutes.

To book your tickets, make sure to purchase online and choose one of the many different slots offered every day.

55 – Wander the rows of stalls at the Bolhão Market

Mercado Bolhão in Porto

One of Europe’s oldest and most iconic food markets, Bolhão Market is a hub for all those with an appetite. Even if you’re not peckish, the lively atmosphere and chance to mingle with the locals are reason enough to check out this popular place.

From stalls of fresh produce to butchers chopping up meat on street corners to handmade Pasteis de Nata and the freshest fruit, this bustling city center landmark has everything you’ll need for the perfect Portuguese meal — even if it’s just ingredients or a cup of coffee!

56 – Snap a selfie from the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar terrace to end your trip

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, Porto

We said we’d circle back to this terrace, and here we are. While most high viewpoints look from Porto onto Gaia, the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar terrace does the opposite, providing a unique perspective and picture-perfect moment.

The Monastery itself is a prime piece of Renaissance architecture dating back to the 17th century with a distinctive circular shape. Historically the monastery was inhabited by Augustinian monks however due to its strategic elevated position it was later taken over by French soldiers during the Peninsular war around 1809.

If, after ticking off all the main attractions, you need a selfie to remember your trip by and show off to your friends, look no further than the monastery’s rooftop.

57 – Check out the city’s other remarkable churches

remarkable churches in Porto

We’d be here for hours if we tried to list off all of the churches in this magnificent city, so if you’ve already meandered by the Clérigos Tower and Porto Cathedral, here are a few more worth checking out!

Church of Saint Ildefonso near Batalha Square dazzles with its distinctive azulejo tile facade; the gothic, UNESCO-listed Church of São Francisco dates back to the 13th century and is enormous, to put it simply; the Church of Santa Clara while humble from outside boasts a remarkable interior bejeweled by impassioned 17th-century artists; and the Church of Our Lady of Lapa has a rather bizarre focal point… the heart of King Pedro IV.

58 – Enjoy the views from Virtudes Garden

Virtudes Garden in Porto
Right: Credit to Carolina Ribeiro / Content Manager at TourScanner

This peaceful haven is one of Porto’s most beautiful gardens, serving as the perfect escape from the bustling city center.

As well as being a small and quiet place to relax with flowers and trees galore, Virtudes Garden also offers some incredible views over the river below — one of the most spellbinding places to watch the sunset. Locals and visitors have been gathering in these picturesque gardens since the 19th century to share a picnic or to lie out on the grass to read a book.

The best part? Due to its split-level landscape, it’s impossible to have someone block your view!

59 – Find your balance on a stand-up paddleboard

paddleboarding in Porto

Typically taking place at Matosinhos beach, but also at various quiet points along the Douro River, SUP (stand up paddleboarding) promises to be both a fun and relaxing way to experience the great outdoors (after you manage to get your balance, that is).

With friendly instructors on hand, even if you have little experience with SUP, you’ll soon be standing tall and slowly gliding along the river’s calm waters — a brilliant way to soak in that year-round sunshine.

Listen to the gentle cries of seagulls overhead and embrace the salty breeze coming in off the Atlantic. Admire the sandy stretch of Matosinhos beach from the water and the impressive fortress of the ‘Castelo de Queijo’ or ‘Cheese castle’ that is nestled on top of the rocky outcrop.

60 – See a live Fado show

Fado shows in Porto

Mellow yet enchanting, soft yet emotive, Fado, Portugal’s national music and song style has its roots in the 1820s. With a melancholic tone that reflects the Portuguese soul, it perfectly encapsulates life experiences such as love loss or homesickness.

And while many bars around town offer Fado as background music, one of the best ways to experience this traditional style is by attending a dinner show at revered spots like Casa de Guitarra, Ideal Clube, Calem wine cellars, or Casa de Mariquinhas.

Hot tip: For the best bang for your buck, consider a package that also includes a city tour and wine tasting.

61 – Conquer Arrábida Bridge on the Porto Bridge Climb

Porto Bridge Climb, Arrábida
credit to Porto Bridge Climb

Thrillseekers, listen up, cause this one’s tailor-made for you.

While typically only open to vehicles, the Arrabida Bridge, which sits some 65 meters above the river below, offers adrenaline-chasing visitors the chance to climb its main supportive arch. Porto Bridge Climb takes you through 262 nerve-wracking steps up and then down what is the city’s only official 20th century National Monument.

Appreciate the engineering excellence of this classic cable-stayed suspension bridge full of clean lines and elegant curves as you gradually ascend up fully equipped with your harness and climbing gear!

Hot tip: if you’re up for a picturesque walk, it takes about 40 minutes to stroll alongside the Gaia side of the river from the Luís I Bridge to the Arrábida Bridge.

62 – Treat your tastebuds to the best tea and coffee shops in Porto

Zenith Brunch & Cocktails Bar, Porto

For the perfect pure tea, we recommend Rota do Chá, offering a selection of teas and infusions originating in the East, alongside a wonderful breakfast menu.

Are you a vegetarian that loves cats? O Porto dos Gatos will be your new favorite cafe in Porto, offering a complete menu of vegetarian and vegan-friendly options, all while petting the resident cats inside.

For brunch, visit Zenith Brunch & Cocktails Bar, featuring a full menu of delicious foods, from shakshuka with bell peppers, to banana bread with blueberry jam, and coffee or a refreshing morning sangria. Fancy some pancakes? Go to O Diplomata, known as one of the best pancake restaurants in Porto.

7groaster is a vegan’s dream come true, offering an array of yummy brunch options with zero-animal products. Pick between some homemade bread with non-dairy butter or vegan Portuguese pastry, Velhotes da Braguesa.

Enjoy a filling breakfast on the open terrace at Garden Porto, whether it’s a plate of hearty eggs benedict, a healthy bowl, alongside freshly squeezed orange juice, or a comforting latte.

For a bit of a guilt-free option, indulge in the healthy options at Noshi, starting with a cup of artisanal coffee to accompany your gluten-free vegan toast or fruit, honey, and yogurt bowl.

63 – Splash around for some family fun at the Amarante Water Park

Amarante Water Park
credits to Parque Aquático de Amarante

Spend a fun day out in the first water park in the North of Portugal, a 50 minute drive inland from Porto. Soar down the 95 meters aquatube slide and twirl around the Space Hole!

Party on down at one of the foam parties are held daily or cool off with a rain shower in the cascade pool. Kids will love the childrens stripey slides and the fun bright green frog slide!

There is also a wave pool complex with a slow river circuit if you fancy taking it easy before building up the courage to face the adrenaline rush of the Fast Mountain.

64 – Shop till you drop on Santa Catarina Street

Santa Catarina Street, Porto

A vibrant pedestrian street packed with cafes, shops, and restaurants that are surrounded by pretty flower boxes and colorful buildings, Santa Catarina is a great place to wander and take in the local architecture and atmosphere — or even grab some ice cream or a new pair of kicks.

Make a note to check out Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls), sticking out like a sore thumb due to its gorgeous azulejos tiles all over the walls.

It is along this street that you can find the gorgeous Majestic Café and if you keep on walking down to the end you will find yourself at the spacious Batalha square with the Grand Theatre. The square is named ‘Battle square’ in reference to when the Moors under the command of Abd al-Rahmān invaded Porto during the 10th century!

65 – Sit front row at the Casa da Música or simply admire the architecture

Casa da Música, Porto

Serving as a cultural hub and the new home of the National Orchestra of Porto, the Casa da Música is an iconic concert hall located in the suburbs on Boavista, within walking distance of the Praça de Mouzinho de Albuquerque

The world-renowned venue regularly hosts concerts by leading international orchestras and musicians — but it’s also open to visitors during the day so you can check out all of its luxurious design details.

You can find the iconic Casa da Música at the end of the longest avenue in Porto, that stretches 5.5 kilometers all the way to the sea near Matosinhos! The building was designed by a Dutch architect Rem Koolhas in 2005 but the design still feels strikingly contemporary and space age!

66 – Take a day trip to Santiago de Compostela & Minho

Santiago de Compostela & Minhoday trips from Porto

If your idea of a great vacation is not only exploring a city but the vast landscapes which surround it, then a visit to the Minho region is a must for any Portuguese trip.

This charming corner of northern Portugal has it all, from historical towns like Guimarães and Braga (Portugal’s religious capital) to medieval castles along with scenic countryside drives, picturesque vineyards near the resort town of Viana do Castelo, world-class surf spots at Praia do Cabedelo, and the dramatic coastline of Costa Verde.

The sandy beaches at Viana do Castelo provide the perfect landscape for some horse riding near Porto! Travelling along the scenic shoreline and crossing over small mountainous trails on horseback is the perfect way to immerse yourself and reconnect with nature!

You could easily spend a week here — that said, a day trip is more than enough time to see all the major highlights. Many excursions also include a stop at Santiago de Compostela, just across the border in Spain, a beautiful historic pilgrimage city.

67 – Pop into the Portuguese Centre for Photography

Portuguese Centre for Photography in Cadeia da Relação, Porto

The Portuguese Centre for Photography is located in a huge dark stone building; Porto’s historical prison, the Cadeia da Relação, where prisoners were once held on their way to exile.

Today it’s home to some fascinating exhibitions and serves as a museum dedicated to photography.

Though you’ll find occasional local-themed exhibits (such as the work of two nationally-esteemed photographers Emilio Biel and Domingos Alvão), there’s also a spectacular collection of cameras that make you appreciate the evolution of the medium.

68 – Dive into an immersive experience at the Immersivus Gallery

Immersivus Gallery, Porto
credit to OCUBO / Porto Immersivus Gallery

Not your average art gallery, the Immersivus Gallery is all about bringing visitors as close to the action as possible.

Where traditional art gallery meets 21st-century technology, this new-age Porto staple transports visitors into a 360-degree world of wonder complete with light shows, narration, art (like Monet, Michaelangelo, Van Gogh and Da Vinci), and history (through ‘Porto Legends – The Underground Experience‘ and Mysterious Egypt).

Be dazzled by the rapid changing lights and stunning visual effects as they dance over the wall spaces. The gallery is located right down on the riverfront within the large former Porto Customs House known as the Alfândega.

69 – Turn up the volume for the energetic Primavera Sound Porto

Primavera Sound Porto

The festival Primavera Sound Porto is often described as a smaller version of Primavera Sound Barcelona making it easier to get your way around the stages and get up closer to the main performing acts!

Despite the name which translates into ‘spring’, the festival actually usually takes place in the summer month of June. The festival unfolds across the large Parque da Cidade which is easily accessible from Porto historic center by bus or metro.

The festival has been running for 10 years now with a big international line up, popular acts over recent years have included the Pet Shop Boys, Blur, Kendrick Lemar and Rosalia. The diverse lineup scanning a wide range of music genres means that the festival caters to all sorts of musical tastes!

70 – Dine (or drink) with a view at The Yeatman hotel

The Yeatman hotel, Porto

A modern take on a historic wine lodge, the Yeatman is an exquisite boutique hotel and restaurant with one of Porto’s most exclusive eateries, The Yeatman Gastronomic Restaurant. The restaurant has been awarded a Michelin star and has grown in notoriety due to its extensive wine cellar which is believed to hold around 25,000 quality bottles!

Hotel guests can also enjoy the jaw-dropping infinity pool and luxurious spa oozing with indulgent vinotherapy treatments.

The hotel, namely Dick’s Bar & Bistro, features panoramic views over the city from its rooftop bar — it’s not very big but certainly worth having at least one drink here to admire those incredible sunset colors!

71 – Fasten your seatbelt for a buggy tour!

buggy tours in Porto

Another great option for the adventure-inclined, buggy tours head off the beaten track and into the rugged wilderness beyond the city limits.

Depending on your tour of choice, besides the obvious off-road thrills, you might also get the chance to stop into Castro of Monte Mozinho (AKA ‘City of the Dead’) and Quintandona (a preserved Rural Village), and pass family-run vineyards along the way.

Breathe the fresh mountain air of Serra do Porto Natural Park, as you head towards its natural beauty on a quad tour, as another adventurous option!

72 – Enjoy a breath of fresh air at the S. Roque House & Garden

S. Roque House & Garden, Porto

Another one of those essential things to do in Porto, particularly for nature and architecture lovers, is the São Roque House & Garden — a perfect excuse to ditch the main tourist area and explore the suburbs beyond.

The São Roque house is a bright yellow 16th-century mansion, an example of where noble Portuguese families used to reside and go hunting in times gone by! Nowadays you can go on a guided tour of the property where it is used as an art space to showcase different exhibitions.

Organized in a rather unique way (you’ll see what we mean), the property is very family-focused and you can expect to find a handful of activities for kids and adults alike, such as a playground, hedge maze, fountains and ponds, and a lovely camellias zone.

73 – Race against the clock in an escape room

escape rooms in Porto

You’re locked in a room with your friends/colleagues and must solve puzzles to escape. It’s the latest craze taking over Porto, where you can choose from an array of rooms.

Some are themed on books or movies like Stranger Things (at White Rabbit Escape) while others harness the power of VR or revolve around local traditions like ‘Port Wine Sabotage’ at Porto Exit Games — either way, you’ll require teamwork, quick thinking, and plenty of wit to crack the codes before time runs out!

The Occultus Room Escape offers a variety of themed escape rooms with themes of popular movies and series. Choose between Money Heist or the Hangover, and make your plan to escape in 50 minutes or less, whether it’s your group of friends or your partner who’s on your team.

On the occasional rainy day, it’s a fun, interactive way to pass a couple of hours.

74 – Don the apron for cooking classes

cooking classes in Porto

A rare cultural insight, why not take your love for food to the next level with a series of hands-on cooking classes in Porto, where you’ll learn everything from traditional Portuguese dishes to modern cuisine?

Wherever possible, local ingredients are used and all recipes are taught by professional chefs or local home cooks, with plenty of wine flowing throughout the entire experience and a 3-course meal to boot!

Unlock the mysterious secrets of how to cook the ultimate pastel de nata with crisp outer pastry and a soft rich interior or experiment with preparing a mouthwatering Portuguese bacalhau surprise! Get your taste buds tingling with some typical Portuguese flavours such as garlic, parsley, coriander and much more!

75 – Catch a movie at the Coliseu do Porto Theatre

Coliseu do Porto Theatre

A huge cinema and concert hall housed inside an Art Deco building, the Coliseu do Porto Theatre is one of the city’s biggest cultural hubs and a must for movie buffs.

The theater opened in 1941 and has housed an exciting array of blockbuster films and live shows ever since — check the website to see what’s on during your visit and enjoy the show!

Conveniently located a short walk up the street from the shopping highstreet of Santa Catalina, the Coliseu is easy to spot! When inside make sure to look up at the remarkable Art Deco-inspired mural with intricate geometric patterns and motifs covering the ceiling!

76 – Wet your whistle with a beer tasting

beer tastings in Porto

If port wine isn’t your thing (or you’ve already had a few too many sweet reds), a social beer-tasting tour is a perfect alternative.

With a group of like-minded thirsty travelers, you can enjoy an afternoon exploring Porto’s beer scene and learning about its history through lively commentary from your guide as well as getting to taste a handful of different types (including the infamous Super Bock) along the way — all included in the tour price!

Superbock has definitely become the king of beer within the North of Portugal, brewing away since 1927! Nowadays they also produce beers in different styles such as stout black or lemon flavoured! There is also the option of a special craft beer tour where you can enter into various breweries to learn more about the production process and niche fermentation secrets!

77 – Spend a night in the Freixo Palace

Freixo Palace Hotel, Porto
credit to Pestana Palácio do Freixo, Porto

An iconic landmark in Porto that is steeped in history, the Freixo Palace was built back in the 18th century and has since transitioned from an opulent abode to a 5-star hotel, with its floor-to-ceiling luxury still well and truly on display.

While the rooms are exquisite and service impeccable, it’s hard to go past the infinity pool that dished up fantastic views of the River Douro as the real highlight.

Even if just for a night, if you want to treat and pamper yourself (yes, there are spa facilities), book a room at this palace.

78 – Check out some of the best Porto restaurants

best restaurants in Porto

For typical rustic Portuguese cuisine head to the Tasquinha Dos Sabores or the cosy and quirky Restaurante Bulha where diners can write on the walls and leave messages! Another great tavern for some typical and hearty Portuguese dishes is the Taberna Dos Mercadores very close to the waterfront. Taste their flavoursome clams, prawns and juicy fresh mussels!

For smart modern decor and gastronomic flair head to the Cantinho do Avillez on the main street leading down from São Bento station to the river.

Meat lovers will love the stylish restaurant Nogueiras´s Porto for some perfectly grilled steak, sophisticated low lighting and funky modern lamp shades.

If you are after some Asian cuisine, look no further than Boa Bao. Tuck into their Malaysian yellow curry, spicy woks or healthy big soup bowls. For a variety of world flavours prepared using locally sourced ingredients, try out Tapabento for mouthwatering small bites!

79 – Get ready, set and go for some speedy karting near Porto

Cabo do Mundo Karting
credits to Cabo do Mundo Karting

If you are looking for a fast paced activity head straight to Cabo do Mundo Karting, just north of Leça da Palmeira. Wizz around on their brand new Motor Honda 270 CC karts and enjoy 980 metros of outdoor karting tracks

In case of unpredictable weather, why not enjoy the indoor racing tracks at the Kart Center de Matosinhos on the 330 meter inside circuit. Get competitive and race against family and friends and attempt to beat your lap time! Improve your tactical driving skills as you swerve round the smooth corners and accelerate the engine!

80 – Go on a day tour to Fátima and Coimbra

Fátima and Coimbra day trips from Porto

Located about 140km from Porto, Fátima is one of the most visited religious pilgrimage sites in all of Europe, and for good reason.

In addition to being blessed with some of Portugal’s finest historical and religious monuments — the Basílica de Nossa Senhora do Rosário de Fátima, to name the most celebrated — the town also sits in the hills of Santarém, with nature never too far away.

Often combined with Fatima on a day trip, Coimbra is a charming little riverfront university town that acted as the formed nation’s capital and is also home to one of the oldest universities in the world, the Universidade de Coimbra.

With stacks of history associated with both towns, a guided tour is definitely recommended.

See also: Read more about things to do in Coimbra.

81 – Let your hair down on a pub crawl

Pub crawls in Porto

For an epic Porto public crawl, head straight for Galeria de Paris Street — locals start the party a lot later than most, so arrive any earlier than 10.30 and you’ll most likely find the bars sparse with people.

Some of the best bars and nightclubs include Base Porto located in the urban garden under the majestic Clerigos Tower. Gin lovers will go wild at the trendy Gin Club with their extensive Gin based cocktail list or relax on the comfy sofas in the downstairs lounge of the Royal Cocktail Bar where you can find a sophisticated and well stocked bar.

For a popular pub atmosphere with atmospheric low lighting enjoy a pint at Bonaparte Downtown or head to the Adega Sports Bar for a good location to watch a football game, a very popular pastime in Porto!

The FÉ Wine & Club has a fun dance room full of neon lighting and disco balls or head to Adega Leonor overlooking the green space of the Gardens of Cordoaria for lots of outdoor seating and the student happy hour.

82 – Party it up at the annual São João Festival

São João Festival in Porto

If you’re umming and ahhing about when to visit Porto, here’s a tip: go in the summer, and line up your trip with the night of June 23rd — for centuries, that date in the calendar has been when the riverside city comes alive with fireworks, street parties galore, live music, and an atmosphere that can only be witnessed to be truly understood.

Watch out because street vendors sell plastic hammers so partygoers can bang friends over the head, supposedly a symbol of good luck! In addition to the unusual hammer ritual, one of the beautiful moments of São João is the lighting of the lanterns that soar into the night sky and twinkle across the city.

As far as food goes, expect to see plenty of grilled sardines and peppers (with wine and Super Bock beer, of course) up for grabs.

How to get to Porto?

You’ve packed your bags, landed at Porto Airport, and touched down in a new, exciting destination.

Now what? Getting around in a new city can be quite stressful if you don’t have an idea of how public transport works. Thankfully, many travelers are thrilled to know that there’s plenty of airport transfers in Porto that take all the hassle out of arrival. The driver will meet you at the arrival gate and, if traveling as a group, it’s usually a cheaper per-person option than transport tickets.

If you are arriving in Porto by boat, get inspired by our extensive list of shore excursions in Porto. Take a tuk tuk around the historic centre, jump on a hop-on-hop-off bus ride, cruise along the Douro river in a mini boat trip or dive into the Port cellars for some tastings!

Where to stay in Porto?

Whether you’re a penny pincher or a luxury seeker, Porto is teeming with noteworthy hotels and hostels. We’re almost spoiled for choice, so, how do you know which one will be right for you?

The answer is simple: do your research and read the reviews from past travelers. Thankfully, you don’t need to do all the research yourself, because Booking.com has already done it! The industry-leading hotel booking website has put together a list of the top hotels in Porto for every kind of traveler, so you don’t have to spend hours reading reviews.

Plus, if you want to stay at revered places like the Intercontinental Porto, Sheraton Porto, Crowne Plaza, or Flores Village, you’ll find the best prices on Booking.com too.

Worthy of note is the 5 star boutique hotel Torel Avantgarde, a design hotel with decor inspired by the 1930s! Book up a treatment in their spa and wellness center or try out their sensorial rain showers or recently renovated gym. Take a dip in the outdoor pool with sweeping views overlooking the Douro river before soaking up the sun on the lounger beds on the terrace.

On the Vila Nova de Gaia side, you won’t want to miss the ultimate luxury of the Vinha Boutique Hotel set in a 16th-century converted manor house surrounded by lush manicured gardens. The decoration exudes a sense of style and sophistication thanks to the contemporary art and artistic low lighting with a trendy bar and library space as well as an ample indoor pool!

Visiting Porto on a budget?

If you’re worried about not breaking the bank, then Porto offers a wonderful tourist-oriented program called the Porto Card.

With one purchase, you get free and unlimited public transport use, free entry to 6 of the city’s main haunts, and discounts up to 50% on restaurants, stores, experiences, guided tours, and plenty more.

You can also book free walking tours in Porto, they’ve been known to be of exceptional quality! Tourists rave that the guides are friendly, passionate, and knowledgeable, always willing to give insider tips on the best places to eat, and the best things to do in Porto.

A range of themes is covered, from the historical to the cultural and even a few ghost stories. Just remember to leave a tip at the end, if you felt the tour was worthwhile.

Where to go next?

After exploring the center of Porto, use the city as a base for exploring other nearby places in Northern Portugal. Take a look at the multi day trips from Porto for example a tour to discover the wines of the Douro valley or embrace the outdoors on a hiking expedition round the Gerês Natural Park.

Discover all the things to do in Lisbon, whether it’s the cultural must-see sights like the Belem Tower, the Jeronimos Monastery in Belem, or it’s getting lost in the picturesque Alfama district. Whatever you do, you’re bound to fall in love with Lisbon faster than you can say onde está o mirador?

Escape the city’s hustle and travel to Madeira to soak in the subtropical climate, and endless adventurous activities. There are many things to do in Madeira such as delving into the cellars of the sweet fortified Madeira wines or admiring the breathtaking views from the Cabo Girão, one of the highest sea cliffs in Europe!

The Azores charms its visitors with its natural thermal pools, outstanding natural sights of volcanoes, rugged landscapes, and individual heritage in all of its 9 islands. Embarking on a whale watching tour, hiking along scenic trails and canyoning are among the top things to do in The Azores.

Why not extend your Portuguese adventure and spend a few days in the well loved Algarve region. There are plenty of things to do in Faro such as climbing up the towers of the historic Cathedral or watching the boats pass in and out of the busy harbor.

Uncover the many things to do in Lagos such as taking a surf lesson, photographing the golden cliffs and dramatic rock formations or walking along the endless stretch of white sands of the Meia beach. Enjoying the animated nightlife or swimming in the refreshing waters of the sandy Fisherman’s central Beach are amongst the essential things to do in Albufeira.

There are also a fun array of things to do in Portimão such as strolling along the wooden boardwalk that stretches into the estuary of the Alvor river for some excellent birdwatching or brushing up on the history of the region at the fascinating Portimão Museum housed in a former sardine canning factory!

Final thoughts

Whether it’s sipping the famous Port Wine, exploring the historic district of Porto, or it’s trekking its rugged side on a quad, not too far from the city – Porto is undoubtedly making a name for itself as another hot spot to add to your Portugal itinerary.

We hope you enjoyed our list of things to do in Porto.

Boas viagens!

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Evan Bryce Riddle is a versatile and ambitious content producer whose passion for globetrotting runs deep. When he’s not crafting travel content, Evan is the Content Executive at Australia’s leading digital marketing agency, managing end-to-end video production and written content to build brands to 7 and 8 figures. Evan has also spearheaded content for world-leading digital media channels (TheRichest, TheTravel), written multiple published books, photographed weddings, and hosts the coveted MegaMinds podcast – a handful of highlights from his 10+ year content and marketing career. Where does the love for travel come from? Born in Melbourne, Australia but having grown up in Hollywood, Evan fell in love with international jetsetting from a young age. Fast forward to today and he’s visited 30+ countries, highlighted by a 4-year stint in vibrant Montreal.