17 Places to Visit in Porto
Bem-vindo ao Porto! Porto is a gorgeous and colourful city with loads of places to visit on your holiday. Follow our guide and get in the know about the 17 top places to visit in Porto.
The second-largest city in Portugal has a lot to see and we don’t want you to miss any of it. Porto is famous for its appropriately named wine, and for its beautifully tiled facades which characterise the city. It’s a popular destination, and one you’ll certainly fall in love with. Here’s our guide to the top 17 places to visit in Porto.
São Bento Station
We love railway stations, especially when it’s full of gorgeous tile work and history. São Bento Station will specifically impress you and is one of the first places you’ll probably visit in Porto. The station was built on the exact site of a 16th century Benedictine monastery, called São Bento de Avé-Maria, hence the name. Even if you don’t need to catch a train, you have to visit and admire the hall filled with white and blue tiles!
Passeio das Fontainhas
From here, you’ll get one of the best views of Puente de Don Luis I. Because let’s be honest, you NEED that Instagrammable spot to enhance your feed!
Jardim do Morro
There’s something magical about this place: the light, vibe, chilled out music, and the views. It’s one of our favourite places to visit in Porto, especially at sunset.
Escadas dos Guindais
When we think of “romantic Porto” we picture these long-cobbled stairs, with picturesque houses and hanging laundry, and the bridge and river in the background. Go down the stairs to reach Ponte Luís I!
This cathedral is another must see in Porto. And it’s not enough to just see it from outside; go inside and see the cloister, exhibitions, and tower, temple are all worth seeing. Also, stay for a while at the viewpoint in front of it, and admire the typical orangey roofs, aka the real “Porto postcard”. For a less busy scene, take the stairs down to reach the Igreja dos Grilos viewpoint. Great views too!
Avenida dos Aliados and Praça da Libertade
Considered the heart of the city, this main square in Porto is one of the big attractions, chaired by the town hall building. Here is where people gather on New Year’s Eve, São João, and other big holidays. We’re not suggesting you go eat at McDonald’s, but we encourage you to at least admire the building it’s in.
Capela das Almas
It’s located on a very busy and commercial street. Its spectacular hand painted tiles attract many visitors. If you go in high season, expect some waiting time for your pic!
Clérigos Church and Tower
You’ll see the prominent bell tower from any part of the city, so it’s definitely a place you have to visit in Porto. Going up costs 5€ and includes a visit to the exhibition. There’s always a queue, but if you like viewpoints, the wait is worth it! FYI, the stairs are narrow, which makes it difficult for traffic to flow up and down the tower, but challenges are part of the adventure, don’t you think?
Igreja do Carmo
Another beautiful church facade of white and blue tiles that can’t be ignored! Okay, we know there’s a lot in Porto, but this is one of our favourites. It’s located close to Igreja dos Carmelitas, forming a big complex that looks like a single church. But actually, there’s a tiny house in between to keep the nuns and monks apart, and it’s said that this is the narrowest house of the city. You can pay 3, 50€ to visit everything.
The Fernandine walls, which are remains of the 14th century defensive wall of Porto, is another famous attraction. They can be seen from different places and angles, but are best seen from the walkway of the Luis I bridge, or from the funicular from Cais to the upper Barrio Alto.
Igreja de Santo Ildefonso
A church completed in 1739 and built in a proto-Baroque style. It’s another great Instagram spot in Porto, so naturally you can expect some crowds here.
Don Luís I Bridge
You’ll find lots of spots around the city to appreciate the bridge and river views but crossing the bridge itself is one of the top things to do in Porto! You can walk both on the upper level or lower level, which are two very different experiences. From above you’ll see the houses of Cais da Ribera, and from below you can check out all the boats crossing underneath you!
Well, you know what they say: contemporary art isn’t for everyone. But if you’re a fan, Museu Serralves hosts good art exhibitions and admission is free on Sunday mornings. The two buildings are worth a visit: the original is from the Art Decó Epoque, and the second is the modern museum. The gardens are also incredible for a nice stroll. And if you feel a bit hungry, they have a great restaurant with authentic Portuguese food.
You’ll read about Café Majestic everywhere, so we’re not going to kill your excitement about it, but keep in mind that it’s very popular and you may have trouble finding a free spot. Generally, Porto has very cheap prices, but you won’t find that here. However, the inside of the place is beautiful!
Palacio da Bolsa
This is the old Stock Exchange of Porto and, if you’re interested in beautiful architecture, you’ll love this place. It’s also on the UNESCO “World Heritage Site” list. You can take guided tours which take approximately 45 minutes and cost €10. We recommend planning your visit ahead as tours only start at certain hours and not all languages are always available.
Vila nova de Gaia Wine Cellars
You cannot come to the famed port wine city of Porto and not do a tour in a wine house. It’s a unique activity and, naturally, a very touristic one. We don’t recommend going for the cheapest option and paying a bit more to taste better wines. Don’t hesitate to ask the hostel staff about where to go!
Mercado do Bolhão
The last mention on our list of the 17 places to visit in Porto is the Mercado do Bolhão. It’s worth a visit and is truly a feast for all your senses! Enjoy the smells and flavours and let yourself be advised by the friendly vendors. They really want you to experience and taste the best in Porto.
Where to Stay in Porto
Our top recommendation in Porto Cats Hostel. You’ll love the staff, choice of rooms, and most importantly – the rooftop bar! Whether you’re travelling alone, or with people, you’re bound to meet other travellers at their in house bar or by participating in a variety of their free activities. Are you a Cat?
17 Places to Visit in Porto
We hope you’ve enjoyed our guide and are prepared for the 17 top places to visit in Porto.
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