Things to do in Porto

About Porto

Porto's must-see attractions include touring the historic Ribeira district, admiring the azulejo tiles at São Bento train station, and exploring the Palácio da Bolsa. Also essential are the views from the Clerigos Tower and the baroque magnificence of the Church of São Francisco.
Entertaining kids in Porto is easy with visits to the interactive Porto World of Discoveries, exploring the Sea Life Aquarium, and enjoying the many parks and playgrounds like those at the City Park (Parque da Cidade).
Outdoor enthusiasts can savor river cruises on the Douro, amble through the scenic Crystal Palace Gardens, or cycle along the Foz coastal promenade. Tasting tours through the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia are also highly recommended.
On rainy days, visitors can enjoy the Lello Bookstore, marvel at the neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace or experience the rich heritage within the Bolsa Palace. For music lovers, Casa da Música offers exquisite auditory experiences.
The best tours in Porto include the Douro Valley wine tours, guided historical tours of the city's ancient sites, and the culinary tours offering tastes of traditional Portuguese cuisine. Porto's Hop-On Hop-Off bus tours also provide visitors with an overview of the city's landmarks.
The Serralves Museum is renowned for its contemporary art, while Soares dos Reis National Museum houses fine sculptures and paintings. The FC Porto Museum is a must for football fans, and the Museum of Transport and Communications attracts those interested in technological evolution.
Best rainy-day tours in Porto include a visit to the city's various port wine cellars for tasting sessions, exploring the Casa do Infante museum, and enjoying the aromas and tastes at the Bolhão Market.
For quick excursions, consider a 50-minute Six Bridges Cruise, a short walking tour through the historic center, or a brief visit to a wine cellar for a succinct introduction to Porto's famous tipple.

1 review for audio tours in Porto

September 2022
Porto: Highlights of the Northern Capital
The tour was wonderful, providing excellent stories about Porto’s culture, historical sites and must visit places. We enjoyed our tour and wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to our friends.

Best Things to Do In Porto

Discover the allure of Porto with an array of attractions guaranteed to enrapture travelers seeking cultural fulfillment.

Porto: Ribeira District

What is it?
A picturesque neighborhood, known for its historical buildings and riverfront promenade.
Why you should go?
Strolling through the Ribeira District is universally recommended as one of the essential things to do in Porto. The area's narrow cobbled streets, traditional boats, and colorful houses create a timeless atmosphere. Visitors can indulge in authentic Portuguese cuisine at waterfront cafés or simply relish the soulful rhythms of Fado that resonate through the alleys. Ribeira's vibrant ambiance captures the quintessence of Porto, making it a unanimous choice for visitors seeking to absorb the local culture and waterfront charm.

Porto: São Francisco Church

What is it?
An opulent Gothic church adorned with extravagant baroque gold leaf woodwork.
Why you should go?
The Church of São Francisco stands out among Porto's cultural heritage for its jaw-dropping interior, where gold seemingly flows over carvings of saints and biblical scenes. The contrast between its austere Gothic facade and the luxuriousness found inside makes it a captivating destination for history enthusiasts and lovers of fine architecture. Visiting this monument is undeniably among the top things to see in Porto for a glimpse into the city's religious grandeur and artistic splendor.

Porto: Crystal Palace Gardens

What is it?
Sweeping gardens surrounding a 19th-century palace, offering serene landscapes and stunning city views.
Why you should go?
While considering fun things to do in Porto, an afternoon spent at Crystal Palace Gardens should not be missed. These verdant gardens provide a peaceful escape from the city's bustle. With peacocks roaming freely and panoramic views over the Douro, the gardens invite leisurely exploration and moments of tranquility. The diverse flora and themed gardens, including a rose garden and an aromatic herb garden, make it an idyllic spot for both nature lovers and those seeking a romantic backdrop.

Porto: Casa da Música

What is it?
A modernist building hosting an array of international music performances.
Why you should go?
Casa da Música serves as Porto's contemporary architectural marvel and a temple for sound arts. The striking design crafted by Rem Koolhaas acts as a beacon for culture, drawing in visitors with an appreciation for cutting-edge structures and vibrant cultural scenes. It stands out among Porto activities, offering concert halls that resonate with melodies ranging from classical to avant-garde. Attending a performance here blends auditory entertainment with the excitement of witnessing innovative space usage and acoustic mastery.

Porto: Porto Cathedral

What is it?
A commanding Romanesque and Gothic cathedral, bearing witness to centuries of history.
Why you should go?
The Porto Cathedral is not just a religious edifice but also a cornerstone of the city's historical narrative. Perched atop a hill, this cathedral garners attention for its majestic façade and significant relics. Inside, the altar and cloisters recount tales of antiquity through intricate azulejos tilework, while the terrace offers panoramic views over the city. Its somber yet awe-inspiring atmosphere places it among the best Porto tours for those seeking to delve deeper into the city's ecclesiastical lineage and medieval roots.

Porto: Clerigos Tower

What is it?
An emblematic baroque bell tower, offering panoramic views of the city.
Why you should go?
Climbing the 200 steps of the Clerigos Tower, donned as one of the paramount things to do in Porto, awards visitors with breathtaking views across the historic city center. The tower's historical significance and exquisite architecture serve as a beacon for those who appreciate the majesty of Portuguese baroque design. Its proximity to other notable Porto attractions makes it a strategic starting point for any Porto excursions.

Porto: Livraria Lello

What is it?
A historic bookstore renowned for its ornate interior and a stunning staircase.
Why you should go?
Renowned as a literary temple and often featured in discussions about what to do in Porto, Livraria Lello invites admirers to step inside a world brimming with history and culture. The bookstore's neo-gothic façade and breathtaking Art Nouveau interiors provide an inspiring backdrop for book enthusiasts. Believed to be an inspiration for the Harry Potter series, it is a place where fiction and reality enchantingly converge, promising visitors an unforgettable experience among its spellbinding shelves.

Porto: Serralves Museum

What is it?
A contemporary art museum set within a magnificent modernist estate.
Why you should go?
For those pondering things to see in Porto, the Serralves Museum embodies a perfect merger of art, architecture, and landscape. This internationally renowned institution showcases a multitude of contemporary art exhibits within its sleek minimalist walls, all surrounded by lush gardens. Visitors can immerse themselves in creative dialogue and retreat from the urban hustle, as they meander through the art installations and verdant grounds that have put the museum on the map for global art connoisseurs.

Porto: Dom Luís I Bridge

What is it?
An iconic double-decker metal arch bridge spanning the Douro River.
Why you should go?
Standing as a testament to industrial prowess and considered one of the essential things to do in Porto, the Dom Luís I Bridge is not just a passage but an architectural landmark. Crossing this bridge offers unparalleled views of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, making it a favorite for photographers and sightseers alike. Gustave Eiffel's apprentice's influence is evident, inviting visitors to gaze upon the sprawling cityscape while nestled between the rivets and beams of a bygone era, now repurposed for both pedestrian and vehicular use.

Porto: Palacio da Bolsa

What is it?
A neoclassical palace that once served as the stock exchange of Porto.
Why you should go?
The Palacio da Bolsa is an architecturally stunning monument and a highlight for Porto activities. Guests are often amazed by its intricately decorated rooms, each telling a story of Porto's past economic ambitions and cultural exchanges. The Arabian Room is a particular highlight, enveloping visitors in a kaleidoscope of decorative motifs. Tours of this national monument provide insight into the city's mercantile history and showcase the opulence of 19th-century design, making it one of the remarkable places to visit in Porto.

TOP-5 Tours in Porto for First Time Visitors

  • Explore iconic places to visit in Porto with the "Riverside Reverie Tour," highlighting the city's astonishing riverscape and vibrant docks.
  • Dive into the history and what to see in Porto through the "Heritage Highlights Tour," encompassed by ancient architecture and hidden stories.
  • Embark on a journey with the "Port Wine and Pleasures Tour," meticulously crafted for those curious about the best things to do in Porto.
  • Unveil the heart of the urban landscape with the "City Center Explorer Tour," mapping out Porto activities in the bustling downtown core.
  • Savor the interactive "Cultural Fusion Tour" to discover fun things to do in Porto, marrying traditional heritage with contemporary creativity.

Fun things to do in Porto with kids

Porto offers a treasure trove of activities that the whole family can enjoy. For a blend of science and fun, the interactive World of Discoveries Museum provides an engaging historical journey with multisensory exhibits and nautical-themed amusement. It's a fantastic way for kids to learn about the Age of Discovery through play and exploration. Another great spot is the Porto Sea Life Aquarium, where families can marvel at the vibrant marine life in its extensive collection of exhibits. Children will be enthralled watching the elegant ballet of sea creatures, including sharks, rays, and tropical fish. Lastly, no family trip to Porto would be complete without a visit to the Magikland amusement park. Located just outside the city, this enchanting playground offers a range of rides and attractions that cater to all ages, ensuring a day filled with laughter and memorable moments.

Things to do in Porto with family

Porto enchants families with its blend of cultural attractions and recreational spots. A visit to the city's renowned Crystal Palace Gardens offers a picturesque setting for a family picnic, featuring peacocks, sprawling lawns, and whimsical themes in the varied gardens. The children can romp on the playgrounds while adults appreciate the magnificent views of the Douro River. For a more adventurous experience, families can head to the Gaia Cable Car, which provides a thrilling ride with panoramic vistas of Porto's historic landscape and the river below, a perfect segue to explore the Gaia riverside and its inviting esplanades. Additionally, Foz do Douro, the city's chic seaside district, promises a day of fun with its sandy beaches and inviting promenade, ideal for leisurely walks, cycling, and indulging in the local seafood cuisine at one of the many oceanfront restaurants.

Free things to do in Porto

Uncovering the charms of Porto doesn't have to come with a price tag. The city bursts with free attractions, such as the idyllic Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. These gardens are an oasis of tranquility, offering panoramic views of the Douro River and a delightful escape among peacocks and lush flora. For art enthusiasts, Porto's street art scene is a colorful canvas of creativity, best enjoyed through a leisurely walk around the city, where vibrant murals and intricate tileworks reveal stories of local culture. Another prized experience is soaking up the rich atmosphere of Ribeira, the UNESCO World Heritage riverside district. Here, families can wander through ancient narrow lanes, marvel at the historic architecture, and relish the lively ambiance, all without spending a cent. These are just a handful of experiences that reaffirm Porto's place as a city of wonder accessible to all.

Cheap things to do in Porto

Porto, a city that beautifully balances tradition with modernity, offers a variety of inexpensive experiences for those on a budget. One of the most rewarding cheap things to do in Porto is to explore the historic São Bento Railway Station. Here, visitors can admire the stunning azulejos murals that depict Portugal's history, at no cost. For a modest fee, one can also ride the iconic vintage trams that trundle along the city's scenic routes, offering an authentic glimpse of Porto's streets and landmarks. Additionally, the bustling Bolhão Market provides an insight into the local way of life, with opportunities to sample regional delicacies without breaking the bank. Fresh produce, vibrant flowers, and traditional crafts create a lively atmosphere within this time-honored marketplace, making it a delightful destination for those seeking economical attractions in Porto.

Things to do in Porto for couples

Porto is a city that whispers romance through its cobblestone streets and scenic landscapes, making it an idyllic destination for couples. Embrace the charm of a sunset stroll across the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, where the golden hues reflect on the Douro River, creating a memorable, picture-perfect moment. For an intimate cultural experience, couples can visit the Serralves Museum and stroll hand-in-hand through the art exhibitions and enchanting gardens. The museum's contemporary art collections coupled with the tranquil grounds offer a serene retreat. Wine-loving duos will find the Vila Nova de Gaia wine cellars irresistible; with a small entry fee, they can savor tastings of Porto's world-famous Port wine while learning about its rich heritage. This indulgence is a delightful way to create shared memories and celebrate love in one of the most romantic places to visit in Porto.

Things to do in Porto at night

As dusk descends, Porto transforms into a city aglow with vibrant nightlife options. Couples can immerse themselves in the soulful melodies of traditional Fado music at one of the city's authentic Fado houses, where performances blend sorrowful tunes with hearty Portuguese cuisine. For an electric evening, the Galerias de Paris street brims with life, offering an extensive selection of bars and clubs that cater to every musical preference and atmosphere, from quiet cozy nooks to boisterous dance floors. Visitors looking for a more relaxed vibe can embark on a moonlit cruise on the Douro River. The illuminated cityscape and bridges create an enchanting backdrop for an unforgettable evening imbued with romance and charm. These night-time attractions spotlight Porto's eclectic character and provide an array of experiences for visitors to savor every moment after sunset.