Second most visited city in Portugal, Porto has attractions for the whole family. From boat trips on the Douro River to viewpoints with spectacular views and wine tastings, see the best things to do in the city. I’ve marked the main sights of Porto on the map to make your itinerary easier.
In the details of each attraction, I also inform you if they are free or paid places, in this case with the ticket price. This makes it easier to calculate how much you will spend to visit the sights of Porto. If you have any questions, just ask.
Historic region, being one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is on the edge of the Douro River. It has a pedestrian street full of bars and restaurants. It is an essential and free tour to do. In addition to being one of the best neighborhoods to stay in Porto, with an incredible view of the river and the bridge.
→ Free ride. Best to do it between the end of the afternoon and the night, when the view is more beautiful.
2. Luís I Bridge
The bridge that connects the city of Porto to neighboring Vila Nova de Gaia is one of the main tourist attractions in the region. It was inaugurated in 1888. In metallic structure, it is 385 meters long and has a maximum height of 45 meters. It has two platforms, the lower platform for cars and pedestrians, and the upper platform for pedestrians and trains.
→ Free ride. It is worth walking on the upper platform to see the sunset.
3. Douro River
The famous Douro River rises in Spain and crosses the entire north of Portugal, giving life to the Douro Valley, one of the main wine regions in the country. After traveling almost 900 kilometers, he arrives in Porto in a rush, which knows how to take advantage of the navigable riverbed on tourist trips, such as on the Cruzeiro das Sete Pontes. A few kilometers ahead, the Douro already meets the sea, which is also a beautiful walk to take.
→ Boat trips on the Douro River can be purchased online or on site, which is a little cheaper. Prices from 12 euros on average.
4. Clérigos Tower
In the Historic Center of Porto, where some of the most beautiful buildings and main sights of the city are located, one of the biggest highlights is the Torre dos Clérigos, next to the church of the same name. At the time of its inauguration, in 1763, it was the tallest building in Portugal. It can be visited by tourists and has a lookout near the top, which offers one of the best views of Porto.
→ To go up to the viewpoint of Torre dos Clérigos, you need to buy a ticket. At the local ticket office it costs 3 euros, which is cheaper than on the official website and third-party sales sites.
5. São Bento Station
The beautiful architecture draws attention to the building of the São Bento Railway Station, in the Historic Center of Porto. And inside, the cultural richness is even greater: in the station’s lobby, murals in hand-painted tiles tell epic scenes from the history of Portugal. Opened in 1916, the station is still in full swing. The visit is worth it, even if you don’t need to take a train. If you want to understand a little more, I recommend doing an activity like this cultural walk, which goes through the most emblematic places in the city.
→ Free entry to the main hall, where more than 20,000 mural tiles are displayed.
6. Crystal Palace Gardens
If you like parks, unforgettable viewpoints and landscaping, this is an essential visit in Porto. In the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal, built in the 1860s, there are attractions such as the Romantic Museum of Quinta da Macieirinha, the Almeida Garrett Municipal Library and the Rosa Mota Pavilion. In addition, of course, to the gardens with different themes, such as the Jardim dos Sentimentos, the Jardim do Roseiral and the Jardim das Medicinais.
→ Entry to this large green area is free. I recommend visiting the Viaggiando blog to see tips, photos and find out about the visit.
7. Lello Bookshop
It opened in 1906 and has been in operation ever since. In neo-Gothic style, it has been an important tourist spot in Porto for decades. It became even better known after its stairs inspired the writer JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter book series, in the composition of the scenario of Hogwarts, the wizarding school.
→ Despite being a bookstore, it charges a ticket of 5 euros. Even so, it is almost always crowded, making it difficult to get around inside.
8. Majestic Coffee
One of the oldest and most luxurious cafes and bistros in the city of Porto. It will be 100 years old in 2021. Another attraction in Porto that was boosted by the success of Harry Potter, as it was supposedly frequented by the writer JK Rowling and here she would have written some chapters of the saga of the hero wizard.
→ Admission is free, but the prices on the menu are scary. For example, they charge 20 euros for a “francesinha” sandwich, which in other places costs a maximum of half that amount.
9. Rua das Flores
Main tourist street in Porto, it is exclusively for pedestrians. Full of cafes, wine shops and restaurants. It is an essential walk in the city, being the best way to walk between the Historic Center and Ribeira. A good place to buy wine, gifts or simply enjoy the people coming and going.
→ Public and free place.
10. Electric cable cars
It’s not just Lisbon that has electric cable cars. Despite being less famous than those in the capital, Porto’s cable cars are very charming. Line 1 is the best known and the ticket costs 3.50 Euros. The journey takes about 20 minutes and goes from Ribeira to Foz do Douro. Line 18 and Line 22 are also tourist routes. If you have time and want to go in, it’s worth taking the tour.
→ To ride the tram, as mentioned above, the fare is 3.50 euros.
Porto sights that are not in Porto
In addition to the 10 places mentioned above, Porto has many other unmissable tours. One of the most visited places by tourists is actually in the neighboring town, Vila Nova de Gaia. Just cross the Luís I Bridge to get there.
Right on the edge of the Douro River are the famous Port Wine Cellars. In practically all of them it is possible to take a guided tour and then taste different types of wines, including whites, ports and tawnies. The value of the visits varies a lot. On average, it is possible to pay from 14 euros for the visit with basic tasting.
Another Porto attraction that is also located in Vila Nova de Gaia is the Gaia cable car. We can say that it connects nothing to nowhere, as it only saves tourists from an average climb. But it is a famous walk and the view from the top is beautiful. The part of the tour costs 6 euros. For 9 euros you can go there and back.