One Day in Porto Itinerary – Top things to do in Porto, Portugal

Porto is the second most well known city in Portugal and also one of the most charming. Its history, architecture, gastronomy and the fame of its wine have been attracting visitors from the four corners of the world. With its historical center classified as a UNESCO World Heritage site, it’s not difficult to lose a whole day in Porto’s streets and monuments.

One day in Porto Itinerary


Guest post by Marlene Marques
Blog: Surfer Girl On The Move


What’s the best time to visit Porto?

If you visit Porto during the summer you have a good chance of catching good weather. However, this is also the time when the city is completely invaded by tourists. So if you prefer to get away from the high season, try to go in the spring or fall months, since in winter rain is almost always a certainty.

Porto in spring
Porto in spring, Author: Berit Watkin, Source: Flickr

And why not visit Porto during the city festivals? São João is the local patron saint and on the night of June 23 to 24, the smell of grilled sardines and the sound of popular music invade the streets. Also, firework is usually epic!

Duoro River
Duoro River, Author: Yellow.Cat, Source: Flickr


What’s good to know about Porto?

Porto is a city full of history, which dates back to the 1st century BC, when it was known as Portus Cale.

It was in Porto that D. Henrique was born (1394), and from here he departed, in 1415, for Africa, beginning the time of the Portuguese Discoveries. You can see this episode of the History of Portugal portrayed in a fantastic tile panel inside the main train station of the city.

Porto, Author: Ieva Haa, Source: Flickr

Port Wine is one of the best-known wines in the world, being aged in the cellars that are located on the riverside, in Vila Nova de Gaia. You can easily walk across the D. Luís Bridge and get to know them.

Dom Luis Bridge
Dom Luis Bridge, Author: Ieva Haa, Source: Flickr


One Day in Porto Itinerary

Top things to do in Porto, Portugal

Follow this guide and make the best of your trip even if you’re short on time. These are the top sights and things to do on your one day in Porto.


Porto’s Ribeira

Standing on the banks of the Douro River, Ribeira is one of the city’s visiting cards, so start here your trip. It’s one of the oldest districts of Porto, with a very traditional architecture. Go on a boat trip up the river or enjoy the view on one of the various terraces in this riverfront spot.

Porto’s Ribeira
Porto’s Ribeira, Author: Ieva Haa, Source: Flickr


Porto’s Cathedral

Porto’s Cathedral is one of the religious icons of the city. Built in the 19th century, is distinguished by its two towers and a large central rosette in romantic style. Right next door you can find the Medieval Tower and the Church of St. Lawrence.

Porto’s Cathedral
Porto’s Cathedral, Author: Yellow.Cat, Source: Flickr


Aliados Avenue

Aliados Avenue is the main artery of the city, marked to the north by the City Hall and, to the south, by the Cardosas Palace (19th century). Several buildings of 20’s and 40’s rule this avenue. At the top of the Aliados, to the right, you’ll arrive at the Bolhão Market.

Aliados Avenue
Aliados Avenue, Author: Rick McCharles, Source: Flickr


Clérigos Tower

One of the most emblematic monuments of Porto, Clérigos was built in 1754, designed by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni. Its tower has six floors and about 240 steps to the top, where you can have an amazing view of the whole city.

Clérigos Tower View
Clérigos Tower View, Author: Yellow.Cat, Source: Flickr


Lello Bookshop

Born in 1906, Lello Bookshop is one of the oldest and most beautiful of its kind in the country. A meeting place for men of arts today is visited by thousands of people who want to admire the architecture of the building, appreciate the wood crafted shelves or walk the grand staircase that gives access to the upper floor.

Due to the large influx of tourists, the bookstore decided to start charging entrance, but the amount charged will be deducted in any book purchase.

Lello Bookshop
Lello Bookshop, Author: Yellow.Cat, Source: Flickr


Portuguese Photography Center

The beautiful building of the former prison houses today the Portuguese Center of Photography. Here, you’ll be able to get to know the history of photography in Portugal, as well as see a collection of cameras, from the 16th century to the present day.


Stock Exchange Palace

Take a guided tour to know the history of each of the rooms of the Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace). You can visit the Gustavo Eiffel Hall, where the well-known architect designed some of his best works in Portugal, such as the D. Maria Pia Bridge, or the Arab Hall, the ex-libris of the building, which took 18 years to complete.


San Francisco Church

San Francisco Church was built in the 14th century and considered, in 1996, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Also known as the “Golden Church”, this church-museum is distinguished by the golden carvings in its interior.

San Francisco Church
San Francisco Church, Author: Yellow.Cat, Source: Flickr


Dinning in Porto

For dinner, we suggest one of the most typical dishes of Porto: the Francesinha.

At Passos Manuel Street, head for Café Santiago. The house dates back to 1959 and its Francesinha is considered one of the best in Porto. As such, it’s not uncommon to find a queue at the door. The bread used in this dish is cooked in wood-fired oven, sausages and steak are of the best quality. And, of course, the sauce, the big star (and the best kept secret) of this dish.


Where to stay in Porto?

In recent years tourism has grown in Porto, so what isn’t lacking are accommodation options for all tastes and wallets.
So that you don’t have to leave the city center, here are some suggestions:


Gallery Hostel

Gallery Hostel is in the district of Miguel Bombarda, the so-called Art District of Porto. It’s a 1906 building, rehabilitated entirely and super trendy, with its own art gallery and ideal for design and culture lovers.

Book here
Gallery Hostel Porto
Gallery Hostel Porto
Gallery Hostel Porto
Gallery Hostel Porto

Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel

Between Avenida dos Aliados and Ribeira, Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel occupies the oldest stationery building in Europe leading to a trip up to the 19th century. A place of charm that doesn’t forget the city’s history.

Book here
Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel
Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel
Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel
Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel

Find the Best Hotel Deals in Porto


Extra tips for visiting Porto

– Avoid renting a car to visit the center of Porto. All locations are accessible on foot and parking in the middle of the city can be a real nightmare. Use taxis or Uber to make bigger distances, such as the airport route.

– There are several low cost airlines flying to and from Porto, so this is a fantastic destination for a short visit if you are in a country in Europe.

– Make your trip to Porto even more exciting! Check out Tripadvisor for all the activities and organized tours in Porto or around the area. Make sure to purchase your tickets to all the attractions right away to skip the queues.


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Porto Portugal One day itineraryPorto Portugal Top things to do

If you have any other propositions for this One Day in Porto Itinerary feel free to share it in the comments below!








Here are some of the top travel items you must bring to your next trip. These items will make your trip a lot more relaxing and you’ll surely get rid of some extra hassle.

Make sure to travel light, safe and stylish following our travel item guide for 2018.

Marlene Marques
Marlene Marques
Travel Blogger at

Marlene is a Portuguese journalist and author of Surfer Girl On The Move blog. She writes about her adventures in Portugal and all over the world. It’s not uncommon for her to travel to new countries and discovery new cultures … always with a surfboard as luggage. For more info on Marlene and her travels please visit

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