The second biggest city of Portugal is home to narrow cobbled streets, a beautiful harbor, delicious food and, of course, port wine in abundance.
Porto is a lovely city with many great sights, welcoming locals and beautiful nature – you’re going to love it here!
As there are so many great things to do in Porto, I’ve made a list to make things a bit easier for you. This list contains all the best sights in the city and also my personal favorites. Enjoy!
Here is the list of the Top Things to Do in Porto!
Climb the Clérigos Church
74 meters and 240 narrow stair steps – that’s what you’ll have to challenge if you decide to climb the Tower of Clérigos Church. Torre dos Clérigos is the most iconic building of the Porto skyline and offers a fantastic view of the city. A baroque building from the 18th-century lies on the highest point of the town. Climb the church tower and be rewarded with a stunning view of the Porto rooftops and the glimmering Douro river.
I recommend going here late afternoon to see the golden light shining on the rooftops of Porto.
Eat the famous Francesinha
This traditional greasy dish is a must to try when you visit Portugal. Francesinha is nothing for vegetarians as it’s a big portion of meat. Eating Francesinha is a must when it comes to things to do in Porto, as its a bit of a local pride – and also a great food experience.
The Francesinha is made out of steak, sliced ham and spicy sausage between toasted bread covered with melted cheese and hot sauce. This dish is a real calorie bomb, but still a must to try. If you’re trying to stay healthy – share with a friend!
This dish you will find all around town, from fancy restaurants to the locals favorite hangout spots.
Visit Igreja do Carmo “Church of Sao Francisco”
This church is somehow not included in the most articles about the top things to do in Porto. That surprises me as this is a great piece of art. The Sao Francisco church offers fantastic architecture, fascinating history and a facade made out of the beautiful white and blue Porto tile, also known as Azulejos. It costs to enter this church, but I can promise you that it’s worth it if you’re interested in architecture!
Explore Ribeira – Old Town of Porto
A nice way to end a day full of sightseeing is to head down to the Ribeira and enjoy a cold sangria or a nice glass of port wine while watching the sun slowly sink behind the hill of Gaia. As it gets darker and darker, the neighboring city across the river will be covered the lights marking the famous Port wine cellars, the Dom Luís Bridge and the Serra do Pilar church.
An unforgettable view that you’ll want to come back for the rest of your stay – magical!
Explore the Douro River
The Douro river start is Spain and goes through northern Portugal all the way to Porto. This river is incredibly beautiful and can be explored in many ways. You will find the many boats departing from the port of Ribeira, and there you can choose what kind of tour you would like to go on. There are several tours to choose from that varies from just exploring the city’s bridges to all the way out to the countryside where you can see where the famous port wine is produced.
Visit a Port Wine Cellar
When visiting Porto, it’s a must to visit one of the fabulous wine cellars in town, as it’s one of the best things to do in Porto. On the opposite side of the Douro River, your will find Gaia, a home to all the major wine cellars of the best wine that’s produced here in northern Portugal!
Most of the wine cellars offer a great wine tasting with a guided tour of the cellar where they tell you about the process of the famous port wine making.
My favorite Wine Cellar is Croft, which offers super delicious wine for you to taste for only 7 Euros. For this price, you get to taste three different kinds of wine, one rose, one 5-year old red wine and one 10-year-old red wine and a guided tour of their wine cellar.
This wine-tasting experience was worth it for the price, and the wine was also super tasty. My favorite was the rose wine, which was one of their newest wines! It was so good that I bought one 5-year-old red bottle and the rose wine as a gift to my mother!
Take a stroll in Foz – one of the oldest quarters in Porto
Foz is the oldest area of Porto, the part where the Duoro river and the ocean meets. Foz Velha, also known as old Foz, is the best part of these quarters. A cozy area of narrow cobblestone streets where you are more than happy to get lost. In Foz, you will find several great restaurants that serve delicious dishes of seafood, lovely beaches, and amazing sunsets!
A romantic part of Porto where you and your love have to take an afternoon stroll!
Enjoy the view from Gaia
An excellent way to slow down your pace is to sit along the promenade in Gaia – the neighbor part of Porto on the other side of the Douro river. Sit at one of the benches or one of the many bars and enjoy a chilled glass of port wine while watching the boats pass by. As the sun slowly sets the sky gets darker and the view even more beautiful over Ribeira, the Dom Luís Bridge, and the Douro river.
Take a ride on the old tram
Porto is built on the hills overlooking the Douro river, and as you might think, there are lots of up- and downhills while walking here. Sure it’s nice to enjoy a stroll in the city, but after a whole day of sightseeing, your legs and feet will probably get pretty tired. A good way to rest your feet is to take a ride in the electrics cars, also known as the ”American Cars.” These yellow-brown vehicles were first introduced to the city in the early 1900s and had gradually disappeared since the buses have been taking over the transportation in town.
A couple of years back, the tram has been re-introduced and has a few ”heritage routes”, where they drive past some sights in Porto and also the seafront.