Things to Do in Porto

Sao Bento train station

Train Stations

Travellers might come to São Bento for its trains, but they’ll get a history lesson, too. This building was once a monastery, but it swapped clerics for conductors in 1900. During the revamp, artist Jorge Colaço painted the ornate interior with sky blue panels depicting major events from Portugal’s past. The Portuguese prints are pieced together from 200,000 blue tiles.

Accommodations near Sao Bento train station
  • Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000 Porto
  • Open Monday-Sunday 05:00–01:40
Paris Galleries Street

Popular Areas

“Shall we go to the Galleries?”. In Porto, this is a common way of asking someone out for a drink. This street is piled high with trendy bars and groove-tastic discos. Out on the street, different strains of music thump out of clubs beckoning you in. Locals recommend Plano B, a funky bar with art exhibits and two separate dance floors. Night owls, fly this way.

Accommodations near Paris Galleries Street
Lello Bookshop

Landmarks

This ancient bookshop is a lit lover’s paradise. Inside, bookworms swoon at that treasured musty smell of worn paper and tattered tomes. It’s a sight to behold, too. Curving wooden staircases criss-cross in the middle of wall-to-wall shelves amassed with old copies of novels and plays. No wonder Lello’s always on top of “the world’s most beautiful bookshops” lists.

Accommodations near Lello Bookshop
Clerigos Tower

Monuments

What’s a historical city without that quintessential tower sitting provocatively at its centre? Meet the Clerigos Tower, Porto’s very own baroque beacon. An indispensable piece of the city skyline, this tower is worth the trek up. When you’re at the top, piles of pastel buildings, terracotta rooftops, and forgotten city streets paint a pretty patchwork picture of Porto below.

Accommodations near Clerigos Tower
Palacio da Bolsa

Landmarks

It’s strictly historic of Palacio da Bolsa. This neoclassical palace was designed as part of the São Francisco Church, but was rebuilt as the headquarters for the Porto Commerce Association. Today, it’s used to house permanent art collections. Make sure to pass by the Arab Room, a gleaming gold chamber that dazzles with its decoration.

Accommodations near Palacio da Bolsa
Sao Francisco Church

Landmarks

São Francisco Church is the epitome of opulence. You know you’re treading holy ground when you step into the warm, honeyed light of its interior. Look up in awe at its mass of gold, its intricate domed ceilings, and massive marble arches. You could spend a lifetime admiring the detail of the carved statues, banisters, and columns here.

Accommodations near Sao Francisco Church
  • Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto
  • Open Monday-Sunday 09:00-17:30. Changes seasonally. Check website for details.
  • http://www.ordemsaofrancisco.pt
D. Luis I Bridge

Landmarks

The Dom Luis Bridge is more than a convenient way to cross the Douro River. It’s a coveted city icon and arguably the best place to catch long-reaching views of Porto’s rooftops, Rabelo boats, and the Fernandine Wall. Amble over it at sunset and you’ll hear the call of seagulls, the ring of the metro, and the song of various languages melding together into one.

Accommodations near D. Luis I Bridge
  • Ponte Luís I, Porto
Cristal Palace Gardens

Parks

The tree-canopied lanes and verdant landscape of this park create a leafy haven for city dwellers. Make these gardens the next stop on your literary tour of Porto. Hidden within the lush greenery is a library. The adjoining garden also hosts Porto’s yearly book fair, Feira do Livro. The botanical garden's lawns and patches of grass make the perfect spots for impromptu picnics.

Accommodations near Cristal Palace Gardens
  • Rua de D. Manuel II, 4050-346 Porto
Port Wine Cellars

Popular Areas

Named after the city of Porto, port wine runs through the city’s veins like blood. Dozens of cellars and port wine merchants operate along the riverfront area of Vila Nova de Gaia. Take a tour of the darkened Sandeman cellars, where the city’s most famous export ferments in large barrels. Then head upstairs to the terrace overlooking the river, and relish the view as boats float past.

Accommodations near Port Wine Cellars
Music House

Landmarks

Porto’s newest city symbol moves to its own beat. From the outside, the unique architectural lines of this all-white concert hall conjure descriptors like “futuristic” and “minimalist”. Each night, a range of music attracts attendees as diverse as jazz cats, classical connoisseurs, and disco divas. When after-dancing hunger hits, just head up to the top-floor.

Accommodations near Music House
  • Av. da Boavista 604-610, 4149-071 Porto
  • Open Monday–Saturday 10:00–19:00, Sunday 10:00–18:00. Check website for details.
  • http://www.casadamusica.com/en/

Accommodations and Hotels in Porto

Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site

9 Wonderful

Score from 897 reviews

$187

Average price per night
  • Praça Da Ribeira, 1, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira

8.5 Very good

Score from 1639 reviews

$115

Average price per night
  • Rua do Infante D.Henrique, 1, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Hotel Mercure Porto Centro

8.2 Very good

Score from 2630 reviews

$83

Average price per night
  • Praça da Batalha, 116, Sé, Porto
Hotel Dom Henrique - Downtown

8.4 Very good

Score from 1807 reviews

$73

Average price per night
  • Rua Guedes de Azevedo, 179, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Hotel Internacional Porto

7.9 Good

Score from 2417 reviews

$71

Average price per night
  • Rua do Almada, 131, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Pao de Acucar Hotel

7.9 Good

Score from 4122 reviews

$69

Average price per night
  • Rua do Almada 262, Centro / Baixa, Porto
HF Ipanema Park

8.1 Very good

Score from 5433 reviews

$91

Average price per night
  • Rua De Serralves, 124, Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos, Porto
Hotel Infante De Sagres - Small Luxury Hotels of the World

8.4 Very good

Score from 1162 reviews

$148

Average price per night
  • Praça D. Filipa De Lencastre 62, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Eurostars Das Artes

8.3 Very good

Score from 1452 reviews

$81

Average price per night
  • Rua Do Rosario 160, Centro / Baixa, Porto
Discover Porto

Popular Neighborhoods in Porto

Centro / Baixa

643 properties

The poster child for hip Porto. The Vida Portuguesa shop takes you back in time with its retro toothpaste and hair tonics. For a trendy place to imbibe, head to Champanheria da Baixa and toast with chalices of champagne sangria. The literati should take supper in Casa do Livro, a posh restaurant arranged inside a bookshop.

120 properties

Porto’s historic centre. In Sé, slim streets wind past stone houses, some painted in effulgent yellows. The narrow roads and clandestine allies are best seen by foot. Heritage is writ large in Sé Cathedral, which is a threeway mashup of romantic, gothic and baroque. It’s the perfect place to finish your pilgrimage through these streets.

Bonfim

103 properties

Lively nights come to a quaint end on the Bonfim promenade. The waterfront kiosks are the perfect after-party outposts for relieving late-night hunger. Go there for snacks like “bifanas", the region's trademark steak sammy. Bonfim also keeps a candle burning for Porto customs like “bailinhos”, where the young and old dance together on the street.

Boavista

72 properties

Comics, clothes, and a side of chocolate. These are the three things to tick off your list in Boavista. Visit Mundo Fantasma Comic Book Shop & Gallery, where Portugal’s cartoon culture draws an artful crowd. Head to Península for a hive of high-end boutiques and big brands, and then cut your sweet teeth on Arcádia’s confections.

Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos

61 properties

Cast your line into this quaint fisher’s district. In sleepy Lordelo do Ouro, boats bob at the docks and suntanned men in galoshes unload their day’s catch. Cyclists take note – there’s a bike path that winds all the way from Matosinhos and cuts through here. Take a break from your ride with a fresh sardine snack at a seaside restaurant.

Miragaia

45 properties

This affluent area is awash in colourful facades. It’s a postcard moment everywhere you turn. Wander through the area’s unique bars and cafes, some of which are inside docked boats. Or head over to Alfândega, which topped 2014’s charts for best conference space in Business Destinations Magazine. It's a prime place to peruse a rotating set of global exhibitions.

Aldoar - Foz do Douro - Nevogilde

40 properties

In Portuguese, Foz means “the meeting of ocean and river”. It’s here that the gentle current of the Douro merges with the mighty Atlantic. Stroll along the ever-popular promenade, where salt thickens the breeze, and sun saturates the seaside walkway with ample auburn rays. Joggers and cyclists huff past, enjoying the city’s immaculate weather.

Ribeira

27 properties

Take the scenic route. The best way to get up to Ribeira from downtown Porto is on the Guindais Funicular. As you climb, the River Douro glistens below, as sailboats glide its cobalt currents. Colourful buildings add an artsy touch to the shoreline. Come with an appetite - traditional "tascas" abound and little local markets brim with bounty.

Local Tips for Porto

Equador Chocolate Shop
Teresa by Teresa

A fun-loving travel addict, Teresa gets a kick out of discovering secret corners of the Algarve.

Traditional handmade chocolates are a rare treat, especially when they’re as good as these. This lovely old-fashioned chocolate shop has a timeless atmosphere and produces some of the best bonbons, chocolate bars and beautifully wrapped gift packs you’ll ever find.

Hard Club
Pedro by Pedro

Pedro's calm demeanor hides his wild side, which comes out during his metal band's performances.

This multipurpose space within Porto’s iconic Ferreira Borges Market building features 2 stages, a recording studio, a book and record market and the top-floor n’O Mercado Restaurant. It’s a great place to catch a concert, with a packed schedule ranging from pop and dance to heavy metal.

  • Mercado Ferreira Borges, Rua Infante D. Henrique, 95. 4050-252 Porto
  • www.hard-club.com
  • Open Tuesday–Sunday 11:00–00:00
Art Gallery District
Filipe by Filipe

Filipe is a Porto-born cooking enthusiast who loves spending time with his wife and baby son, Tomás.

Known locally as ‘Miguel Bombarda’ after its most famous street, this neighbourhood is filled with art galleries and quirky boutiques. Be sure to stop for tea on Rota do Chá’s peaceful Japanese garden terrace, or shop for rare vinyls in the trendy Artes em Partes design centre.

  • Rua de Miguel Bombarda, 4050 Porto
Bom Sucesso Market
Cláudia by Cláudia

A whirlwind of good-natured fun, Cláudia fell in love with the Algarve during her university years.

What's a city break without some top-notch food and wine? This former market has been transformed into a vibrant gourmet food court, where you can indulge in meals, snacks and drinks from a vast range of different kiosks and restaurants.

  • Praça do Bom Sucesso 132, 4200-132 Porto
  • www.mercadobomsucesso.com
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 10:00–23:00, Friday–Saturday 10:00–00:00
City Park/Primavera Sound
Manuella by Manuella

Outgoing and fun-loving, Brazilian-born Manu lived in London before falling for Portugal's charms.

Porto's City Park is a wonderful place for a quiet walk, but my main reason for coming here is the annual Primavera Fest Music Festival. It usually has one of the best line-ups around, and it’s such a treat to watch your favourite bands accompanied by greenery and a cool ocean breeze.

Weekend Markets
Laura by Laura

Fashion-savvy Laura enjoys nothing more than a good chat, preferably over a nice glass of wine.

As an avid shopper, I'm a big fan of markets. One of my favourites starts in Carlos Alberto Square and runs along the Galerias de Paris, while the Cardosas Square market offers great designer bargains in a hidden square overlooked by traditional façades. Both are held on select weekends.

  • Praça de Carlos Alberto, 4050 Porto
Rivoli - Theatre, Bar, Understage
Rita by Rita

Rock chick Rita is passionate about watching good movies and discovering Portugal's best spots.

More than just a theatre, the Rivoli has a gorgeous old façade and a lovely, little-known bar with fantastic views. The real star of the place is the Understage, a subterranean concert area where you can catch up-and-coming bands presenting their new albums.

Soares dos Reis Museum
Tuna by Tuna

Half Turkish, half Dutch, multilingual Tuna lives life to the full on weekend trips with her family.

Easy to miss if you're not looking for it, the Soares dos Reis Museum was Portugal's first national museum and has a lovely neoclassical façade. It's near the Cristal Palace Gardens, so I enjoy making an afternoon of visiting the gardens and then checking out the exhibits at the museum.

Serralves Gardens
Carlos by Carlos

A 6' 3" fitness fanatic, Carlos is always sharply dressed and loves travelling with his girlfriend.

Serralves is famous for its modern art museum, but among locals it’s just as well known for its gardens. During the week you have to pay but on Sunday mornings it’s free. The spacious grounds are perfect for long walks – you might even bump into the friendly farm animals that live on site!

  • Rua D. João de Castro, 210, 4150-417 Porto
  • www.serralves.pt
  • Check website for details.
Praia dos Ingleses Bar
Luís by Luís

Cycling fan Luís is constantly in a good mood, but is always happiest in his hometown of Porto.

This seaside bar in the trendy suburb of Foz do Douro is worth visiting for the view alone. Perched above Ingleses Beach, it serves up tasty cocktails and wonderful views over the beach and Atlantic Ocean. For me, it’s the best place in the city to watch the sun go down.

  • Rua Coronel Raúl Peres, 4150-532 Porto
  • Open Monday-Sunday 10:00–02:00
Café Santiago
Rui by Rui

Rui is passionate about rock, good food and excellent wine, preferably accompanied by close friends.

Francesinha sandwiches are a Porto institution, and I haven't tasted a better one than at this unassuming café opposite the Porto Coliseum. Their epic version has layers of bread, assorted meats, cheese and egg, and comes slathered in a rich golden sauce made with beer. Delicious!

Porto’s Theatre Itinerary
Sérgio by Sérgio

Avid footballer Sérgio is an artist and actor at heart, and treads the boards in his spare time.

I love Porto's bustling theatre scene, with wonderful venues like the São João National Theatre, the Carlos Alberto Theatre and the Helena Sá e Costa Theatre. One of the most unique spots is the Teatro de Marionetas, which stages interpretations of classic works using traditional puppets.

  • Teatro Nacional São João, Praça da Batalha, 4000-102 Porto
Flores Street
Tiago E. by Tiago E.

Ever the life and soul of the party, Tiago enjoys nights out eating tapas and drinking with friends.

This beautiful old shopping street still has some historic businesses, but is now best known for its revamped pedestrian area full of cafés, designer shops and fancy hotels. My favourite spot is Mercearia das Flores, a charming throwback grocery store selling traditional wine and food.

  • Rua das Flores, Porto
Fantasporto
Tiago C. by Tiago C.

A proud Porto native, Tiago can't resist good films, sushi and making people laugh with corny jokes.

This annual international festival is a treat for all horror film fans, with screenings of classic movies, exclusive premieres of little-known gems and signings by cinema royalty like David Lynch. It closes with the Vampire's Ball, a giant masquerade which is an experience unto itself.

Porto is just a fantastic destination for port wine and wine from the Douro valley. You can easily have a great day just visiting the storage houses on the other side over the river. Make sure to try a 40 year old port.

The people, the history and the overall architecture on the port making it a nostalgic and romantic heaven.

Booking.com asked travelers...

Why do you recommend Porto for food?

Provided you by pass the tourist traps there is some great food in Porto. Good food and good wine!!!

Walk along the river streets from City centre towards sea and walking in old town.

They are very kind, always with a smile. I never encountered grouchy people

Sights, good food and wine, ideal base to explore region

Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, Luís I Bridge

Visiting the Oporto Wine Cellars in Gaia.

old preserve historical building.

Transportation

Porto Transportation

Air - Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport

Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport is easily accessible by metro. The 45-minute journey costs EUR 0.85 (plus EUR 0.60 if you want an Andante top-up card, which can be used on other forms of transport). Many public buses and private shuttles also stop outside Arrivals and run to the city centre. Prices and timetables are provided at the main Arrivals information desk. Alternatively, a taxi should take around 15 minutes and cost about EUR 15, depending on traffic.

  • Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, ANA - Aeroportos de Portugal
Metro

Porto's modern metro has 6 colour-coded lines which run through the city and suburbs. All lines converge at the central Trindade Metro Station. Tickets are available from vending machines in stations and must be validated before boarding and when changing lines. Andante cards can be used on the metro and most bus and tram lines. Cards can be topped up at vending machines or STCP vendors, with single ticket and day pass prices varying according to the zones covered.

Train

The CP train network connects Porto with most of Portugal, including Lisbon and Faro, as well as with Spanish cities such as Vigo and Madrid. The city’s main train stations, São Bento and Campanhã, offer both regional and high-speed national services. Tickets can be bought either online, at the station, or on the train after boarding. Booking ahead of time offers the best value, with various discounts available for advance purchase tickets.

Bus

Porto's STCP bus network covers the whole city and suburbs. Bus stops are clearly marked with route details: expect regular buses from 06:00 to around 21:00, then a reduced service until 01:00. Buses are included in the Andante top-up card, which you can use across various means of transport. A single ticket costs EUR 1.20–EUR 3.80, depending on the zones covered, while day passes cost EUR 4.15–EUR 13.10. Tickets are available on the bus or from STCP booths.

  • STCP - Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto, SA
Taxi

Taxis in Porto are a relatively cheap and hassle-free way to get around. You can hail one in the street, but it’s a safer bet to look for a taxi rank or call ahead and book. Cabs don't have to be any specific colour, but most seem to be fairly modern brown or black cars. Drivers tend to be chatty and may even speak English. Fares are metered, with higher rates from 21:00–06:00 and at weekends. Be aware that the final price can vary wildly depending on traffic.

Car

Motorists in Porto tend to drive quickly but are generally respectful, and the city is relatively easy to navigate by car. However, patience is needed at weekends and in weekday rush hours (07:30–09:30 and 17:30–19:30), when traffic builds up in the one-way streets of Aliados and along the riverfront. On-street parking is scarce but there are many car parks around the historic centre. Be warned that the closer you are to Aliados, the higher the price of parking.

Tram

Porto’s vintage yellow trams operate daily from 08:00–20:55. There are 3 lines, all starting at the Tram Museum and running along the riverside or towards the historic centre. Tickets are available on board the trams, at STCP booths or from the Tram Museum. A single ticket will set you back EUR 2.50, while a day pass is EUR 8 for adults / EUR 5 for children. Day passes also include entry to the Tram Museum.

  • STCP - Sociedade de Transportes Colectivos do Porto, SA
Food in Porto

Top Restaurants in Porto

Mid-Range Fare
Portuguese
Zázá
  • Rua Ramalho Ortigão, 4000-407 Porto
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 10:00–22:00, Friday–Saturday 10:00–00:00
  • 00351 222085091
Mid-Range Fare
Local
Brasão Cervejaria
  • Rua Ramalho Ortigão 28, 4000-407 Porto
  • Open Sunday–Wednesday 12:00–14:30 and 19:00–00:00, Thursday–Saturday 12:00–14:30 and 19:00–02:00
  • www.brasao.pt
  • 00351 934158672
Cheap Eats
Portuguese
Conga - Casa das Bifanas
  • Rua do Bonjardim 314-318, 4299-115 Porto
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 09:00-00:00, Wednesday–Saturday 09:00–02:00, Sunday 11:00–00:00
  • www.facebook.com
  • 00351 222000113
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
Champanheria da Baixa
  • Rua da Picaria 107, 4050-478 Porto
  • Open Monday–Thursday 12:00–00:30, Friday and Saturday from 12:00–02:30
  • 00351 220962809
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
Baixa 22
  • Praça Dª Filipa de Lencastre 205, 4050-260 Porto
  • Open Tuesday–Sunday 19:30–02:00
  • 00351 910718766
Mid-Range Fare
International
Baixa Burguer
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Candelabro
Cheap Eats
Portuguese
Guarany
Upscale Dining
Italian
La Ricotta
  • Rua de Passos Manuel 18, 4000 Porto
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 12:30–15:30 and 19:00–00:00, Friday–Saturday 12:30–15:30 and 19:00–00:30
  • laricotta.pt
  • 00351 222023300
Upscale Dining
Mediterranean
Palco
  • Hotel Teatro, Rua de Sa da Bandeira 84, 4000-427 Porto
  • Open Monday–Sunday 12:30–15:00 and 19:30–22:30
  • 00351 220409620
Mid-Range Fare
Portuguese
Patuá
  • Rua da Conceição 94, 4050-214 Porto
  • Open Monday–Wednesday 12:00–00:00, Thursday–Saturday 12:00–02:00
  • 00351 222080622
Mid-Range Fare
Portuguese
Café Lusitano
Cheap Eats
Desserts
Gelataria Sincelo
Cheap Eats
Grill
Churrasqueira Lameiras
  • R. Do Bonjardim 546/548, 4000-118 Porto
  • Open Monday–Sunday 08:00–21:30
  • 00351 222009117
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Armazém do Chá
Cheap Eats
Bar Bites
Pitch Club
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Confeitaria do Bolhão
Upscale Dining
International
Tribeca Jazz Club & Restaurant
  • Rua 31 Janeiro 147, 4000-543 Porto
  • Open Monday–Tuesday 19:30–01:00, Wednesday–Saturday 19:30–03:00
  • 00351 967477527
Upscale Dining
Portuguese
Astoria
Mid-Range Fare
Bar Bites
Pherrugem
  • Rua das Oliveiras 83, 4050-448 Porto
  • Open Sunday–Thursday 21:30–04:00, Friday–Saturday 22:00–04:00
  • 00351 919505696
Mid-Range Fare
International
Restaurante Celta Endovélico
Mid-Range Fare
Portuguese
Andor Violeta
  • Praça de Carlos Alberto 89, 4050-158 Porto
  • Open Monday–Friday 18:00–00:00, Saturday 12:30–16:00 and 18:00–00:00
  • andorvioleta.com
  • 00351 222016618
Cheap Eats
Bakery
Padaria Ribeiro
Cheap Eats
Cafe
Majestic Café
Cheap Eats
Bakery
Pastelaria Mengos
  • R. de Santa Catarina 161, 4000-450 Porto
  • Open Monday–Friday 07:00–22:00, Saturday 07:00–20:00
  • 00351 222003194
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