Musement shares 33 things to see and do in Porto the next time you’re in this charming Portuguese city.
From beautiful architecture, rich culture, fascinating history, and top gastronomy, Porto brings together all the best things about a big city in a city that isn’t really big at all. The most avid travelers can take on the slopes and walk the entire city from top to bottom in one go.
Here are 33 things to see and do in Porto when you’re in town. You’ll want to come back more often, no doubt.
1. The Cais da Ribeira is worth a visit for its restaurants, bars, and artists set against the backdrop of the lovely Luis I Bridge.
2. There is no shortage of boat rides available on the Douro River. Take your pick from the fastest to multi-day journeys that focus on gastronomy.
3. The Casa da Música, designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, is a veritable landmark that will take your breath away.
4. A francesinha is a croque-monsieur-like sandwich made with bread, cheese, pork, and beef. One of the best places to taste one is Café Santiago.
5. You don’t have to take a train to get to or from São Bento Station. Walk to see the beautiful tiles and that’s enough for a visit.
6. Visit the Igreja de São Francisco (Church of San Francisco), a 14th-century Gothic structure that holds UNESCO World Heritage status. The Baroque interiors are extraordinary.
7. Spend an evening out on the Rue des Galleries de Paris to eat, have a drink, or listen to live music.
8. Head to Casa del Libro Bar where, as evidenced by its name, you can sit in a comfortable chair and have a drink surrounded by books.
9. Parque da Cidade (City Park): Porto has plenty of green space and Parque da Cidade in particular stands out for its size. It is not far from Matosinhos beach in case you want to take a swim…
10. The centrally located Crystal Palace Gardens offer an excellent escape from the city’s hustle and bustle. Sit on the grass and relax to the tune of the birds.
11. The Bolhão Market is under construction and is not due to reopen until 2021, but the temporary proxy market is definitely worth a visit, especially for food lovers..
12. Lello Bookstore is a requirement for all bibliophiles. Its majestic bookshelves and the staircase inspired J.K. Rowling when she wrote the Harry Potter novels. The entrance fee is applied toward your purchase.
13. The Serralves Foundation and its beautiful collection of contemporary art is a necessity in this trip. You can also enjoy the Park.
14. Porto’s historic center is than that of Lisbon, so you can explore it all in detail in just a few hours.
15. The beautiful Avenida dos Aliados is the crossroads of the city’s major points of interest, including some of the aforementioned. Get off your free for a bit and watch the city move.
16. Just like Lisbon, Porto a See of its own, which dates back to the 12th century. Go here to see the spectacular Silver Altar.
17. The Stock Exchange Palace is an imposing building located in the middle of Porto’s bustle.. Enter and visit the Arabian Hall.
18. An unmistakable city landmark, the Luis I Bridge is definitely the most particular of the several that cross the Douro. Snap a postcard-perfect picture for your Instagram feed.
19. Technically the Port Wine cellars are not in Porto but in Vila Nova de Gaia. Though a simple walk across the Luis I Bridge will lead you to some cellars where you can taste this delicious drink.
20. Time travel to the 1920s at Café Majestic where you can satiate yourself with some toast or a cream pastry.
21. The entire facade of Capela das Almas de Santa Catarina is most enchanting covered with tiles. Lose yourself in the enchanting drawings.
22. The striking Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower) offers an exquisite view of Porto—once you’ve climbed the 240 steps. We promise you it’s worth it!
23. Nab tickets for a performance at the National Theatre of São João, inaugurated in 1798. Or at the very least, visit this gorgeous venue.
24. If you’re a stadium enthusiast, the Estádio do Dragão is home to a museum and also offers tours for football fanatics and FC Porto fans.
25. The Rua das Flores is ideal for those who want to do some shopping and explore the city on foot. It connects the Palácio da Bolsa area with São Bento Station.
26. Fado music is stronger in Lisbon, but Porto also has sensational places to listen to the most famous genre in Portugal. The Royal Fado Tavern is one of them.
27. Only a little bit of Muralha Fernandina (Fernandina’s Wall) remains, but the protection it offered in the 14th Century is worth the visit for the view and the internal garden.
28. Walking Porto can be tiring so don’t hesitate to hop on a tram. Plenty of charming older models are still in circulation.
29. Passeio das Virtudes is another place that brings a spectacular view of Porto. Staying there at sunset is undoubtedly a good idea.
30. Photography fans must visit the Portuguese Center for Photography (Centro Portugues de Fotografia), which is inside a former prison.
31. Sardines, Cod, Seafood: you have to try at least one in Porto.
32. Visit the Soares dos Reis National Museum and check out Portuguese art from the 16th to the 20th centuries as well as works from the museum’s namesake sculptor.
33. Adventure seekers must climb the Arrábida Bridge for the most breathtaking view of the city.