Discover the Top 25 Must-See Attractions in Porto, Portugal


If you’re planning a trip to Porto, Portugal, you’re in for a treat. This vibrant and historic city has so much to offer, from stunning architecture to delicious cuisine, from peaceful parks to bustling markets, from fascinating museums to lively nightlife. To help you make the most of your visit, we’ve put together a list of the 25 best things to see and do in Porto. Whether you’re a culture vulture, a foodie, a history buff, or just looking for some fun, there’s something here for everyone.

1. Clérigos Tower and Church

One of Porto’s most iconic landmarks, the Clérigos Tower and Church is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in Baroque architecture and panoramic views. Built in the 18th century, this tall and slender tower stands at 76 meters high, and offers visitors a challenging but rewarding climb of 240 steps to the top. Once you reach the summit, you’ll be rewarded with breathtaking views of the city and the Douro River.

2. Ribeira Square

Located in the heart of Porto’s historic center, the Ribeira Square is a bustling and colorful hub of activity, where locals and tourists alike gather to socialize, eat, drink, and enjoy the lively atmosphere. Surrounded by traditional houses, cafes, restaurants, and street performers, this scenic square is a great place to soak up the local culture and vibe.

3.  Porto Cathedral

Dating back to the 12th century, the Porto Cathedral is a magnificent example of Romanesque architecture, with Gothic and Baroque elements added over the centuries. This grand and imposing building is situated on a hill overlooking the city, and boasts a rich history and stunning artwork, such as the silver altarpiece and the cloisters.

4.  São Bento Station

Considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world, São Bento Station is a masterpiece of Beaux-Arts style, with impressive azulejo tiles depicting scenes from Portuguese history and culture. This elegant and spacious station is not only a transportation hub, but also a cultural landmark and a visual feast.

5. Lello Bookstore

Famous for its neo-Gothic facade, its Art Nouveau interior, and its association with Harry Potter, the Lello Bookstore is a must-see destination for book lovers, architecture enthusiasts, and movie fans. This stunning and atmospheric bookstore features a grand staircase, a stained glass skylight, and a vast collection of books in Portuguese and other languages.

6. Palácio da Bolsa

The Palácio da Bolsa, or Stock Exchange Palace, is a stunning example of neoclassical architecture, with a lavish interior that showcases the wealth and power of Porto’s merchants in the 19th century. This opulent building houses a variety of elegant rooms, such as the Arabian Hall, the Golden Room, and the Court Room, as well as a fascinating collection of art and artifacts.

7. Dom Luis I Bridge

Spanning the Douro River and connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, the Dom Luis I Bridge is an impressive and iconic landmark of the city, with two levels for pedestrians, cars, and trains. Designed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel, this metal arch bridge offers stunning views of the river, the city, and the Port wine cellars.

8. Crystal Palace Gardens

If you’re looking for a peaceful and scenic retreat from the hustle and bustle of the city, the Crystal Palace Gardens are the perfect place to go. Located on a hilltop overlooking the river,these lush and well-maintained gardens feature a variety of flora and fauna, as well as fountains, sculptures, and panoramic views. You can also find a small lake, a greenhouse, and a pavilion, where cultural events and exhibitions take place.

9. Port Wine Cellars

No visit to Porto would be complete without trying the famous Port wine, which has been produced in the Douro Valley for centuries. To learn more about the history and production of this sweet and fortified wine, you can visit one of the many Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, such as Taylor’s, Sandeman’s, or Graham’s. Here, you can take a tour of the cellars, sample different types of Port wine, and enjoy the scenic views of the river and the city.

10. Foz do Douro

Located at the mouth of the Douro River, Foz do Douro is a charming and upscale neighborhood that offers a mix of natural beauty, urban amenities, and cultural attractions. Here, you can stroll along the promenade, relax on the beach, explore the Fort of São João Baptista, visit the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves, or savor the seafood at one of the many restaurants.

11. Casa da Música

Designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, Casa da Música is a striking and modern concert hall that hosts a variety of musical events, from classical to contemporary, from jazz to rock. This acoustically sound and visually stunning building features two concert halls, a restaurant, a bar, and a rooftop terrace, as well as a lively program of concerts, festivals, and workshops.

12. Mercado do Bolhão

Dating back to the 19th century, Mercado do Bolhão is a lively and colorful market that offers a wide range of fresh produce, seafood, meat, cheese, and other local specialties. This indoor market is a great place to shop, taste, and mingle with the locals, as well as to take some Instagram-worthy photos of the colorful stalls and the lively atmosphere.

13. Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis

Named after the famous Portuguese sculptor and painter, the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis is a comprehensive and engaging museum that showcases the art and history of Portugal, from ancient times to the present day. This museum features a variety of collections, such as painting, sculpture, decorative arts, and numismatics, as well as temporary exhibitions and educational programs.

14. Jardim do Morro

Located on a hill across the river from Porto, Jardim do Morro is a hidden gem of a park that offers stunning views of the city and the river, as well as a peaceful and romantic ambiance. This park features a variety of trees, flowers, and benches, as well as a small bar and a panoramic elevator that connects the park to the riverside.

15. Museu do Vinho do Porto

If you want to delve deeper into the world of Port wine, you can visit the Museu do Vinho do Porto, a small but informative museum that tells the story of the wine from its origins to its present-day fame. This museum features a variety of exhibits, such as historic objects, documents, and videos, as well as tastings and guided tours.

16. Ponte de Dom Manuel II

Built in the early 20th century, Ponte de Dom Manuel II is a lesser-known but equally impressive bridge that connects Porto to Gaia, near the mouth of the Douro River. This steel arch bridge offers stunning views of the
river and the city, as well as a unique perspective on the architecture and history of Porto. The bridge is also a popular spot for photographers and sunset seekers, as the light reflects on the river and the buildings, creating a magical and romantic atmosphere.

17. Museu Romântico da Quinta da Macieirinha

Located in the romantic and historic district of Cedofeita, Museu Romântico da Quinta da Macieirinha is a charming and intimate museum that showcases the life and times of the Portuguese aristocracy in the 19th century. This museum features a variety of rooms, such as a drawing room, a dining room, a music room, and a bedroom, as well as a beautiful garden and a café.

18. Explore the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is a must-visit for art lovers. The museum features stunning contemporary art exhibitions, including works by local and international artists. It also has beautiful gardens and a sculpture park.

19. Porto Beaches

Porto is not known for its beaches, but there are several nearby that are worth visiting. Matosinhos Beach is the most popular and is known for its long stretch of golden sand, clear water, and great waves for surfing. Praia do Ourigo is a quieter option, with a smaller beach and rocky cliffs that provide stunning views of the ocean. Praia da Luz is also a popular choice, with calm waters that are ideal for swimming and sunbathing. All of these beaches are easily accessible by public transportation or car and make for a great day trip from Porto.

20. Igreja de São Francisco

Located in the historic and picturesque district of Ribeira, Igreja de São Francisco is a stunning and ornate church that dates back to the 14th century. This Gothic and Baroque church features a variety of decorative styles, such as the gilded woodwork, the azulejo tiles, and the carved statues, as well as a crypt and a museum. The church is also known for its macabre chapel, which is decorated with human bones and skulls.

21. Casa do Infante

Built in the 14th century, Casa do Infante is a historic and cultural center that was once the residence of Prince Henry the Navigator. This Renaissance and Baroque building features a variety of exhibits and collections, such as the history of Porto, the navigation and discovery of the world, and the arts and crafts of Portugal. The center also hosts a variety of educational programs and workshops, as well as a café and a gift shop.

22. Take a Day Trip to the Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is one of Portugal’s most beautiful regions and is renowned for its stunning landscapes and world-famous wine. If you have time during your stay in Porto, a day trip to the Douro Valley is an absolute must.

The Douro Valley is located about 100 kilometers east of Porto and is easily accessible by car or by booking a tour. If you choose to drive, be prepared for winding roads and steep inclines, but also be prepared for some breathtaking views of the valley.

23. Take a Cruise Along the Douro River

Taking a cruise along the Douro River is a great way to see Porto from a different perspective. You can enjoy stunning views of the city and the surrounding hills while relaxing on a boat.

24. Explore the Porto City Park

The Porto City Park is a beautiful public park that covers over 80 hectares and features stunning gardens, lakes, and fountains. The park is perfect for a relaxing stroll or a picnic with friends and family.

25. Try the Local Cuisine

Porto is known for its delicious cuisine, and there are many local restaurants where you can try traditional dishes such as francesinha, bacalhau, and cozido à portuguesa. Some of the best restaurants to try include Casa Guedes, O Forno dos Clerigos, and Cafeína.

Francesinha – Portuguese sandwich

In conclusion, Porto is a vibrant and diverse city that offers a unique blend of history, culture, and nature. Whether you are interested in architecture, art, food, or adventure, Porto has something to offer for everyone. By visiting these 25 best things to do in Porto, you can experience the essence and the charm of this beautiful city and create memories that will last a lifetime.


Frequently Ask Questions

Some of the top tourist attractions in Porto include the Ribeira district, the Dom Luís I Bridge, the Sé Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower, and the Livraria Lello bookstore.

The best way to get around Porto is by foot, as the city is compact and most of the main sights are within walking distance. Alternatively, you can also take the metro, tram, bus, or taxi.

Some must-try local dishes in Porto include francesinha (a sandwich with meat, cheese, and a spicy sauce), bacalhau (salt cod), tripas à moda do Porto (tripe stew), and pastel de nata (Portuguese custard tart).

The best time of year to visit Porto is in the spring (March to May) or fall (September to November), when the weather is mild and the crowds are smaller than in the summer.

Yes, there are several beaches near Porto, including Matosinhos Beach, Praia do Ourigo, and Praia da Luz. These beaches are easily accessible by public transportation or car.

Some popular day trips from Porto include visiting the Douro Valley wine region, exploring the medieval city of Guimarães, and seeing the Baroque-style Mateus Palace.

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