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101 things to do in Porto
We made a behemoth list with extacly one hundred and one things to do in Porto. Now, there are no more excuses for feeling lost, and hopefully there’s something for everyone.
Experience our city to the fullest.
1. Visit the amazing Ribeira
Ribeira is one of the oldest areas of Porto, and its history is intimately related to naval trade. Porto’s historical center’s rich legacy helped it to be classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. A walk through Ribeira is one of the main things to do in Porto, and although it is visited by hundred of tourists, the view remains the same. Enjoy the privileged panoramic view over the Douro river, the Ponte Luís I and the Port wine cellars.
2. Eat a Francesinha
So you might have heard about our monster sandwich. It’s ok if you haven’t. But after you’ve tried it you’ll never forget the cheesy, spicy, sauce-laden refuge for a clan of grilled meats, confined between two slices of white bread.
3. Climb the Torre dos Clérigos
Porto’s highest church tower, the Torre dos Clérigos, is the masterpiece of the baroque architect Nicolau Nasoni. If you climb its 225 stairs, when reaching the top nor you nor your legs will see Porto the same way.
4. Sail in a cruise up the Douro
If you’re up for a cruise up the Douro, there are many options. There is the 50-minute trip where you’ll pass the 6 bridges, the full day trip passing many dams and covering most of the Douro, or for those who want to deepen their knowledge on the viticultural region of Douro, why not a week-long trip sailing the Douro?
5. Visit Mercado do Bolhão and buy provisions
Mercado do Bolhão is one of the most fascinating and authentic spots of the city. Even with its historic building currently under construction you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to visit the temporary Mercado do Bolhão while the unique salespeople and incredible fresh products remain the same.
6. Go shopping at Rua de Santa Catarina
Santa Catarina is most definitely the busiest shopping street in Porto. Now, it is somewhat dominated by big brands, but the street vendors, chestnut roasters, painters and other artisans remain loyal to this street.
7. Discover the Port wine cellars
The cellars in Gaia are essential for Port wine ageing. Here, you can find wooden vats that are almost the size of small houses, but the best is saved until the end, with the port wine tastings.
8. Eat a pork sandwich and drink a glass of Espadal at Casa Guedes
A juicy pork leg roasted for hours in secret sauce, expertly sliced and fit in a bun? Yes, please. At Casa Guedes, you’ll get the best and most authentic.
9. Celebrate São João
Sardines, dancing, fireworks, and constant head hammering (don’t worry, they’re only plastic hammers). São João, Porto’s biggest celebration, happens on the night of the 23rd of June.
10. Admire the Sé Catedral and Casa Episcopal
Porto’s imposing cathedral dates back from the city’s early days. The cathedral’s facade and interior are filled with architectural details that stretch from the Romanesque period to the 19th century. Also, don’t forget to visit the impressive bishop’s house, the Casa Episcopal.
11. Stroll through Rua das Flores
This picturesque street is almost 500 years old and is home to several iconic buildings, such as the Igreja da Misericórdia and Casa dos Maias. It is also populated by great restaurants, bookstores and traditional commerce.
12. Observe the street art
13. Eat fish & seafood in Matosinhos
You want fish? How about a gazillion restaurants a few feet away from the fish market? Delicious fish, seafood and cephalopods, barbecued in the street.
14. Ride a tram
Old style wooden trams, aren’t they a beauty. Just riding one of these is already a joy, but tram 1 rides along the river and taking you from Ribeira to Jardim do Passeio Alegre, near the beach.
15. Cross the Ponte Luís I
It is almost impossible to miss Ponte Luís I, but in case you intend to, please don’t. This 19th century bridge is composed by monumental ironwork that shapes all the of Ribeira’s landscape. From the upper deck you will have the most magnificent view of Porto and Gaia, and also some dizziness.
16. Eat a Cachorrinho at Cervejaria Gazela
Our own version of hotdogs: small, crispy, spicy and cheesy, with fresh and cured sausage.
17. Walk the Miguel Bombarda art district
With numerous art galleries and independent design shops open for exploration, this is one of the most creative districts in Porto.
BATALHA - RIBEIRA
18. Observe the Muralha Fernandina
Discover the remains of the medieval wall that once surrounded and protected the old city.
19. Visit the Igreja dos Grilos
The Jesuits began building this church in the 16th century, but it was only completed over a century later. Wonderful mannerist jesuit-barroque architecture complemented by gilded woodwork and complex stonework.
FOZ DO DOURO
20. Walk up to the Farol de Felgueiras
A 19th century lighthouse in the middle of the Atlantic with a cinematic view of the city. Visit up close only when deemed safe by the authorities.
21. Visit Museu de Serralves, the gardens and the Villa
Serralves Contemporary Art Museum was projected by Pritzker awarded architect Álvaro Siza, and is surrounded by vast formal gardens, which withhold a farm, and an enchanting tea house facing a tennis court. But surprises aren’t over yet: Casa de Serralves is one the most important Art Deco Villas of Portugal.
22. Eat octopus fillets and octopus rice at Casa Aleixo
The speciality is the traditional fried octopus fillets and rice, which is a must-have dish for all seafood lovers.
23. Drink Port wine
Everyone knows Port wine, but now that you are in Porto you can forget that 5€ bottle and go for the real thing. You can buy a bottle in one of the many wine shops, like Garrafeira do Carmo, have a glass at a wine bar, a Port tonic or some of the other great Port cocktails out there, like at The Royal Cocktail Club.
24. Stroll through the gardens of Palácio de Cristal
The first thing you’ll see is the huge 1950s UFO-like sports pavilion by the architect José Carlos Loureiro. Also, there are many thematic romantic gardens, a lake, dancing peacocks and gorgeous views over the river.
25. Have a coffee at Majestic
Widely known as Porto’s most iconic cafe, Majestic is immersive in its amazing Belle Époque style, and just perfect for a coffee and a sweet. Be aware that there will be queues.
26. Eat at one of Porto’s Michelin star restaurants
RIBEIRA / SÉ
27. Discover the oldest houses in Porto
In the entrails of Ribeira, at Rua de Baixo n. 5, you can find a tower/house which is the oldest remaining example of medieval civil architecture in Porto, probably dating from the 13th century. Close by, at the alley behind Sé (Beco dos Redemoinhos) you can also find an ancient house with Flemish influence, dating from the 14th century.
28. Walk the Avenida dos Aliados and visit the City Hall
Porto’s main avenue is surrounded by Neoclassic buildings with ornamented domed roofs. The equally imposing City Hall building is opposite to the grand facade of the Palácio das Cardosas.
29. Watch a concert at Casa da Música
Casa da Música is not only Porto’s most important concert hall, but it is also one of the city’s most bizarre and beautiful buildings, designed by Dutch architect Rem Khoolhaas. Take a tour, or better even, attend one of the many concerts.
30. Discover Porto's old prison and the Portuguese Centre of Photography
This massive building with neoclassical features used to hold Porto’s courthouse and prison. Now it hosts the Portuguese Centre of Photography (CPF); the exhibitions and the intriguing interior may be visited for free.
31. Observe the trams at Museu do Carro Eléctrico
Located in front of the railway of Tram 1, the Museu do Carro Eléctrico preserves the long history of the many trams that once circulated through Porto.
FOZ DO DOURO
32. Have a sunset drink at the beaches in Foz
Sunsets are always better when gazing at the Atlantic Ocean. Try one of the several beachfront bars and cafés for a relaxing evening.
33. Eat lamprey (seasonal)
This weird and delicious fish is not for all, but may be tried by the bravest gastronomers in search of Porto’s authentic cuisine.
34. Buy a book at Livraria Lello
Livraria Lello is one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops, and home to some of J.K. Rowling’s inspiration for Harry Potter.
35. Hunt for antiques at Feira da Vandoma
Porto’s most iconic flea market, starts very early every Saturday morning. At first glance it will look confusing, but you’ll soon find everything from antique books, vintage furniture, decoration pieces, stamps and all sorts of bric-à-brac.
36. Admire the sculptures and mausoleums at Cemitério de Agramonte
Inaugurated in the mid-19th century, Agramonte is one of Porto’s largest cemeteries. It is embellished with dozens of statues and mausoleums by important sculptors, and is the resting place of many famous artists.
37. Have your own sunset party at Passeio das Virtudes
Next to an art school and gallery this garden is a favorite for post-work relaxation, with a perfect view of the sunset over the Douro.
38. Visit the Museu da Misericórdia
The Museum of the Misericórdia do Porto was created by one of the oldest charity institutions in Portugal with a display of painting, jewelry and sculpture from the 16th century onwards, and the annexed 16th century church.
39. Visit the Douro Valley
The Douro Valley is one of Portugal’s most iconic landscapes, formed by the steep terraced hills that swim into the Douro river. Its importance has given it place as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, and it is also the oldest demarcated wine region in the world. Douro’s breathtaking beauty, remote history and unique culture make it an unmissable destination. Be sure to take a day off for a complete tour of the Douro, you won’t regret it.
40. Behold the Ribeira Negra tile mural
A huge painting in tile by the Master Júlio Resende portrays the bustling life of Ribeira.
41. Visit FC Porto's stadium and museum
Estádio do Dragão is home to the best (yes, we’re biased) team in Portugal, and the club’s past and future glories. The museum, already nominated for Best European Museum, displays the many national and international titles of FC Porto along its 130 years of existence. An excursion of both the stadium and museum is a must-do.
42. Eat a pratinho misto at Buraquinho
Buraquinho is an old tavern with new owners, but the same essential dish. Mixed pork bits, boiled to perfection, accompanied by broa and wine. Tongue, blood sausage, stomach, floured intestines, belly, pickles, and more.
FOZ DO DOURO
43. Ride a bicycle through Avenida Brasil and Montevideu
If you’re a bicycle enthusiast or just want to travel faster along Porto’s beach line enjoy the use the fully adapted streets for bikers and skaters from Foz to Matosinhos.
44. Visit the Palácio da Bolsa
This 19th century palatial building remains one of the most preserved and authentic buildings in Porto. The main hall is lit by a giant skylight and embellished by intricate artisan woodwork on the floor and furniture. But the most extraordinary work of art is to be admired in the Oriental hall, and this is really one of the best things to do in Porto.
46. Take in the view from the Palácio das Sereias
A monumental 18th century palace overlooking the Douro is protected by two granite mermaids. To the left, you can find a stone pyramid with a flag, the Bandeirinha da Saúde, which warned ships about plague epidemics.
47. Eat arroz de cabidela at Rei dos Galos de Amarante
A delicacy from Northern Portugal: a poignant rice made with braised chicken, wine and blood.
FOZ DO DOURO
48. Attend the S. Bartolomeu paper costume parade
Every year, during August, the very traditional S. Bartolomeu festivities at Foz do Douro culminate in a parade of paper costumes, which ends with a dip in the Atlantic.
49. Eat castanhas in the street (seasonal)
We love roasted chestnuts, and so will you. Buy a few dozen at the mobile vendors that can be found all over town during the autumn and winter months.
50. Visit Parque da Cidade and feed the geese
Parque da Cidade is Porto’s largest public park, spanning over 83 ha of green spaces, lakes and all kinds of birds. Perfect for a walk, a picnic or a nap under a tree.
51. Climb the Escadas do Codeçal
If you’re up for a small challenge, walk up (or down) the Escadas do Codeçal. You’ll endeavor through ancient Porto, pass a beautiful baroque church and walk under the Ponte Luís I.
FOZ DO DOURO
52. Roam through the streets of Foz Velha
Once a Roman settlement, then a fishing and military village, Foz Velha is filled with history and composed by quaint, narrow streets filled with centuries-old buildings. Foz Velha is also populated by several restaurants and bars, and is just a step away from the waterfront.
53. Buy cheese at Queijaria Amaral or Casa Lourenço
Both spots are specialized in Portuguese cheese and charcuterie, and the helpful staff will ease your difficult choice: queijo da Serra, goat, sheep, cow, mix, spicy, cured, fresh…?
54. Spice up your life with a bifana and beer at Conga
If you like pork, you might like bifana: a sandwich made with shredded pork stewed in a very hot sauce. And drink a fino (20 cl beer) to cool it off.
55. Relax at Jardim das Virtudes
At the former grounds of an important horticultural company, Jardim das Virtudes is divided into high terraces of lush gardens that overlook Alfândega, Gaia and the Douro.
56. Discover the fishing community at Afurada
From Porto, catch the small boat (Flor do Gás) and sail to the port of Afurada, on the other margin. Here you’ll find a tightly knit fishing community, where you can watch the men bring their catch and mend their nets, and also eat great fish and seafood.
RIBEIRA - FOZ DO DOURO
57. Walk (or jog) from Ribeira to Foz do Douro (~7 km)
This trip will enable you to appreciate the sensational Douro waterfront right up to the Atlantic ocean. A pleasurable walk in good weather, great for de-stressing and appreciating the local lifestyle.
58. Visit the Museu Soares dos Reis
Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis is the oldest art museum in the country, and guards in its collection some of works from some of the finest Portuguese painters and sculptors, as well as works in textile, ceramics, jewelry, glass and furniture.
59. Swim in the salt water pools of Leça da Palmeira
These magnificent seawater pools have been around since the 1960’s, and were drawn by the expert hand of Siza Vieira, Priztker prized architect and one of Porto’s most respected artists.
FOZ DO DOURO
60. Eat a muffin (queque) or coconut cake (côco) at Café Moreira
Because if you’re by the beach, you’ll want to load up on these delicious yet simple muffins, which keep coming out of the oven. To die for, especially when still hot.
61. Party at the bars of Galerias de Paris
The area of Galerias de Paris is the trendiest drinking and partying block of Porto, so be sure to wade into the crowd and check out the amazing bars.
62. Visit the amazing gilded woodwork at Igreja de Santa Clara
Hidden behind a baroque entrance this tiny gothic and apparently humble church is a finding. The interior, completely covered in gilded woodwork, is really a rare sight.
63. Take in the view from Miradouro da Vitória
The terrace of an uninhabited house that was once used as a military base to protect the city from sieges, now its only propose is giving you an epic view over Porto.
64. Buy chocolate from Chocolataria Equador or Arcádia
Life isn’t the same without chocolate, so buy delicious artisanal chocolate from these local makers. You’ll find a myriad of flavors, including Port wine.
LORDELO DO OURO
65. Eat petiscos at Adega Rio Douro and stay for the Fado
Nibble on delicious petiscos like pataniscas de bacalhau (shredded cod in batter, fried), bolinhos de bacalhau (cod fritters), rojões (pork belly) and pastelão de sardinha (sardine omelette), and listen to Fados on Tuesday afternoons.
67. Take the kids to World of Discoveries
The Portuguese Age of Discoveries was over 500 years ago. Have you tried to tell this story to your kids? At World of Discoveries, you’ll have an exciting and didactic overlook of the events while sailing on a boat.
68. Watch the figurine parade of the mechanical clock at Galerias Palladium
Designed by the notorious architect Marques da Silva in the 1920’s for a department store and café. Now you can admire its striking facade, and every three hours the mechanical watch watch is set for a show with figurines of the Portuguese culture.
69. Observe the Capela do Senhor da Pedra
A 17th century chapel built on a rock outcrop of the Miramar beach provides a dramatic and picturesque scenario, especially when surrounded by water.
70. Walk the Caminhos do Romântico and visit the Museum
Tucked behind the Palácio de Cristal lie the quaint narrow streets that are part of the routes of the Romantic. On your way, visit the gardens of Casa Tait and the Romantic museum, which demonstrates the lifestyle of the 19th century’s bourgeoisie.
71. Eat bacalhau
Bacalhau (cod) is the king of fish for the Portuguese. You can find hundreds of different recipes, but you’ll want to try Porto’s own, such as Bacalhau à Zé do Pipo or Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá.
72. Observe the weird and wonderful of Rua Cimo De Vila
What can be said about Rua Cima de Vila? It’s one of Porto’s oldest streets: it’s weird, and it’s wonderful. There are old style brothels, tascas (e.g. Casa Louro), an 18th century church by Nicolau Nasoni and traditional leather stores, like Casa Crocodilo.
FOZ DO DOURO
73. Walk through Jardim do Passeio Alegre
A romantic garden placed in an amazing setting, surrounded by the mouth of the Douro. Its charms have entertained Porto’s intelectual elite for over a century. Also, observe the wonderful public bathrooms with Art Nouveau tiles.
75. Feel the history at Casa do Infante
Set as the royal customs in the 14th century, Casa do Infante is one of the city’s oldest buildings and is now a museum, besides holding the important archives of Porto’s history. Henry the Navigator is believed to have been born in this building.
76. Eat typical pastry and bakery
Bread and pastries (either savory or sweet) are national obsessions and pastelarias can be found in every corner. For instance, try biscuits and savory pastries at Padaria Ribeiro, eclairs at Leitaria da Quinta do Paço, jesuítas at Confeitaria Moura, pastéis de nata at Manteigaria and buy real broa de Avintes at Mercado do Bolhão or the mercearias finas.
78. Shop 'til you drop in Baixa
Baixa is the most prolific area of the city for shopping. Besides the big international chains, you can find lots of traditional shops and new independent stores with great food, wine, clothing, leather products, crafts, homeware, toys, and more. Check out Rua de Santa Catarina, Rua do Almada, Rua das Flores, Rua de Sá da Bandeira, Rua de Mouzinho da Silveira, Rua Formosa and the area around Galerias de Paris.
79. Visit all the Mercearias Finas in Rua Formosa and the vicinity
Porto’s traditional commerce is greatly represented by ‘mercearias finas’, which are local groceries selling small batches of specialty cheeses, charcuterie, bread, dried and fresh fruit. The most notorious are: Comer e Chorar Por Mais, Casa Chinesa, A Favorita do Bolhão, Pérola do Bolhão and Mercearia do Bolhão.
BAIXA / BOAVISTA
80. Learn about the Jewish culture in Porto
The Jewish culture has been present in Porto for many centuries. Porto has the largest synagogue in the Iberian Peninsula, the Kadoorie Mekor Haim, and you may also find several Jewish routes and tours through the historical center of the city.
81. Have a pint at a craft beer shop
82. Watch a play at Teatro de São João
The Teatro Nacional de S. João is another building by the architect Marques da Silva, where the robust exterior contrasts with the oval and red main theater hall that lies beneath an impressive fresco.
83. Visit the São Bento train station
This busy train station is a work of art by Porto’s most notable architect from the 19th to the 20th century, Marques da Silva. Once in the main entrance, look up and around for the 20.000 blue hand-painted tiles, evocative of the many battles and victories of the Portuguese.
84. Admire the azulejos throughout the city
Portugal is known for its diversity and rich history of azulejos (tiles). Take a long walk, and be sure to check out the old tiled houses, as well as special places such as Igreja do Carmo, the S. Bento station, Sé Catedral, Capela das Almas, and the collection at the Biblioteca Municipal do Porto. A fair warning: please withhold yourself from buying antique tiles, as they may have been illegally removed from protected buildings.
85. Watch the crazy kids dive from the Ponte Luís I
Kids may seem crazy these days, but the kids from Ribeira top that easily. They dive from the lower deck of Ponte Luís I into the cold waters of the Douro river during the summer.
86. Admire the Igreja dos Carmelitas and Igreja do Carmo
These two churches are often confused as one. The first is a 17th century church with a classical facade but Baroque interior. The latter is an 18th century Baroque and Rococo styled church, with a great panel of tiles throughout its right facade. In the middle of both churches you can also spot Porto’s narrowest building.
87. Have a beer at Café Piolho
The most famous watering hole for students in Porto, the location is great and the beer is cold.
88. Buy supplies at Mercado de São Sebastião
Smaller and lesser known than the large Mercado do Bolhão, Mercado de São Sebastião is right next to the Sé Catedral. Expect friendly sellers and fresh produce of every kind.
89. Dine at Porto's high-end restaurants
90. Ride the scenic cable car at Gaia
If you’re not afraid of heights and enjoy exclusive viewing points, then why not ride the cable car at Gaia, that offers amazing views of Ponte Luís I, Gaia, Douro and Ribeira.
91. Visit the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar
The Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar is one of the buildings that stands out from Gaia’s landscape. This 16th century monastery has a curious church with a rounded plant, and on the terrace you can have the widest views over the city. The view at night is stunning.
92. Surf the waves (and sunbathe) at Praia de Matosinhos
The cold waters of the Atlantic can’t stop the surf. At the beach of Matosinhos you’ll find surf shaks, stores and avid surfers and bodyboarders looking for that perfect wave.
LORDELO DO OURO
93. Visit the Botanical Garden and the Gallery of Biodiversity
Porto’s Botanical Garden has been under renewal for the last few years, and the greenhouses are now back to their former glory. Now, the main house also holds the brand new Hall of Biodiversity, a museum that clashes biology, natural history and art.
95. Visit the Igreja de São Francisco and its catacombs
This monument is known as the “golden church” due to the abundant and detailed gilded woodwork. The underground floor is composed by the tunnels of church’s catacombs.
FOZ DO DOURO
96. Play minigolf with the kids
Considered one of the best in the world, Porto’s minigolf course is idyllically located where the river meets the ocean, and set in the Jardim do Passeio Alegre. Great for a fun time with — or without — kids.
97. Skate the hills of Casa da Música
Skateboarders elect the wavy travertine pavement of Casa da Música as the best place to skate in town. However, skaters can be found all over the city, even on the steep streets of Baixa. On the outskirts of Porto you can also find the very praised skate park of Póvoa do Varzim.
98. Admire the Palácio do Freixo
Palácio do Freixo Hotel is an 18th century fairytale palace by Nicolau Nasoni right next to the Douro. Its Baroque architecture is an incredible ordeal in detail in stuccos, frescos, and more artistic expressions.
99. Have a coffee at the Yeatman Hotel
Having an afternoon tea or coffee at The Yeatman hotel is one of the most relaxing experiences you can have after a tiresome day, and enjoying the breathtaking views of Porto is quite a special treat.
101. Visit Porto's Quintas
Porto was once surrounded by several large estates (quintas), owned by the rich or the noble. We highlight several 18th century buildings, namely Quinta da Prelada, designed by Nicolau Nasoni, the magnificent gardens of the Quinta da Lameira in the Parque de S. Roque da Lameira, Quinta de Bonjóia, also by Nicolau Nasoni, and the amazing landscaping at Quinta de Villar D’Allen.
If you liked our list or found it useful, please don’t forget to share it with any friends and family that may be planning a trip to Porto and are still scratching their heads.
What is your favourite thing to do in Porto? Tell us on the comment section bellow.
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