5 Amazing Things to Do in Porto

5 Amazing Things to Do in Porto

Porto is a northern coastal city and the birthplace of the internationally renowned Port wine, with European wide protection of the name, reserved for the wine produced in Portugal, much like champagne. It is also home to Livraria Lello; the 3rd most beautiful bookshop in the world. 

When searching for what to do in Porto, pictures do not do Porto justice - this city has so much more to offer than the traditional tourist hotspots. On many tourism websites, Porto is described as an ideal destination for the elderly with sights to see such as churches and gardens, and this is no lie. The city has beautiful churches such as the Igreja de São Francisco and gorgeous gardens like the Crystal Palace gardens (as seen in the image in point 5).

However, Porto has the potential to be a perfect destination for millennials - or anyone for that matter - that want to take a dip into traditional, unspoiled Portuguese culture. Plus, despite the dated travel guides in books and online, there is an abundance of exciting things to see and do that for some reason aren’t mentioned on most of the travel and tourism websites. 

Check out my top recommendations for some of the best things to do in Porto below.


1. Douro Riverside Walk

Douro Riverside Walk, Porto

If spending your time underground on a wine cellar tour doesn’t sound like fun to you, an alternative could be taking a walk along the stunning Douro riverside, taking in the picturesque red-roofed buildings and basking in the clear skied sunshine that Portugal enjoys almost all year round. You don’t even have to pass up the cultural opportunity Port wine presents, as tastings are available along the river as well as all over the city. Both Port and cherry liqueur can be tasted in chocolate shot glasses - a definite must for a historically cultured taste sensation. 


2. Bus Tour

One thing mentioned on some tourist guide sites is the hop-on hop-off bus tours, an increasingly popular sightseeing method in a lot of cities. The hop-on hop-off bus tours offered in Porto are brilliant value; offering a 48 hour bus ticket in conjunction with a Douro River cruise for as little as €18. The bus routes cover all of the most popular sites in Porto as well as some lesser known ports of call circling all the way around the city and along the coast line with many hop-on hop-off stops along the beachfront and harbour.


3. Go Surfing

Surf in Porto

The beachfront may just look picturesque and like a good photo opportunity, but there are a lot of exciting activities to try out. If going to learn to surf in Portugal appeals to you then why not tick it off you bucket list in this city. Porto has surf schools offering private lessons and family lessons to help you get on your feet - literally - and ride the waves. 


4. Visit Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello, Porto

As previously mentioned, Porto is the proud home of the 3rd most beautiful bookshop in the world; Livraria Lello. Although built in 1906 after being designed in the Neo-Manueline style, the bookshop has become an increasingly popular place of interest for one particular lot of fans. J.K. Rowling, author of the multi-billion book and film franchise, lived in Porto and wrote some of Harry Potter while living there. So apart from being a beautifully carved gallery for hardback alternate universes and world renowned treatises, the store is overflowing with the wizarding world. 

However, don’t fret if the written works aren’t for you, as just three doors up from the famous book store, lies a gelato cafe with sorbets and macaroons exquisite enough to make it famous in its own right. It’s a compromise capable of bringing together anyone, whether a Gryffindor, Slytherin or no house at all. 


5. Put the Map Down & Get Wonderfully Lost

Crystal Palace Gardens, Porto

If the above didn’t sell you on a visit to Porto then it has one more thing up its sleeve to convince you; it’s an explorer’s paradise. 

A city isn’t often recommended to explorer travellers; its a concrete jungle, not a natural wildlife filled climate - but that doesn’t mean a city can’t have exciting boulevards off the beaten track, and Porto is the perfect example of this. You can get off the map lost down Porto’s culture-rich side streets in small, family owned craft shops and experimental cafe restaurants with grasping recipes to fuel your next side street. Porto deserves your time, and if the city centre’s cavern streets off the main squares aren’t adventurous enough, Porto has a brilliant new metro, so there’s an abundance of vibrant urban paths to wander. 

Disclaimer: it is not a requirement to actually get lost.

By Ailsa Watson


Related Pages

Related Opportunities

Highlights of Portugal

In Portugal, the sun is bright, the food is delicious, and the living is easy. Wander the hilly streets of coastal Lisbon, where you can munch on a custard tart while gazing at sun-dappled architecture. 

Iberian Voyager

21 Days, Barcelona to Barcelona - Travel to Spain and beyond.

Rio de Janeiro to Manaus Tour

Journey north from Rio, exploring some of the most stunning beaches of Brazil.

Cultural Day Tours

Search and book day tours in cities and popular destinations around the world. Visit local sites and attractions with an experienced local guide.

South American Explorer (15 weeks)

From the Amazon Jungle to Argentinian Vineyards and the mysterious ruins of Machu Picchu high in the Peruvian Andes, this trip has it all.

Quito to Quito (29 weeks) Trans South America

A truly epic overland expedition that takes us full circle around South America.

Nikki Beach Resorts & Spa, Porto Heli, Greece

We are now casting talents for Nikki Beach Resort & Spa Porto Heli. 

Portugal Surfari

8 Days, Lisbon to Lisbon - line up for the ultimate Portugal chill.

Surfing Lessons in Peniche, Portugal

Ever dreamed of learning how to surf in one of the most spectacular locations on the planet? Well now you can do just that! Spacious and serene, this surf camp along Portugal’s Atlantic Coast will become your home away from home.

Rio de Janeiro to Brasilia Overland Tour

Explore Brazil’s stunning beaches and lush tropical interior on this unique trip from Rio to Brasilia.

Surf Camp in Portugal

Ever dreamed of learning how to surf in one of the most spectacular locations on the planet? Well now you can do just that!

Spain, Morocco & Portugal

Immerse yourself & dive into the culture of unforgettable destinations with our sexy new trip to Spain, Morocco & Portugal!

European Explorer plus Greek island Cruising

The European Explorer is the ultimate holiday for those wanting to travel to all the major destinations and do it with a little luxury! Make your way through 17 countries in a little over a month.

Road to Marrakech

Follow the road to Marrakech on this unforgettable trip visiting 3 countries: Spain, Morocco, Portugal.

Best of Portugal and Spain Overland Tour

Experience the true culture and tradition on this 15 day overland tour from Lisbon to Barcelona.

Ultimate Spain & Portugal Adventure

As former imperial superpowers, Spain and Portugal have centuries of history and captivating culture to draw upon. You, on the other hand, have only 22 days. Make ‘em count! 

Australian Arrival Week: Melbourne

Created by travellers for travellers, Welcome to Travel: Melbourne is Australia's most unique, diverse and most of all FUN arrival package. 

London to the Mediterranean on a Shoestring

Like history? And art? How about beaches and pubs? Then say hello to Western Europe on this three-week tour of the highlights from London down to Madrid.

New Zealand Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Passes

We offer guided "hop-on hop-off" bus network. You choose a bus pass, then make your way around its travel route in the time that suits you.





About  |  Disclaimer  |  Privacy Policy  |  Company A-Z  |  Advertise  |  Press  |  Contact

One World 365 © 2007 - 2017