What to see in Porto in 3 days

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Lluis Enric Mayans

wikipedia.org, lonelyplanet.com

Author and references

Have you ever wondered what Portugal, this language of a country overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, owes its name to? Right in the city of Porto (or Oporto), home of the homonymous wine and bridges over the Duero River.
Porto is the ideal city to spend an alternative weekend immersed in an atmosphere of the past. Its art deco houses, with colored walls, overlooking the stream that crosses the city and then plunges into the ocean, its bell towers, every detail seems to come out of a fairy tale.
Here then what to see in Porto in 3 days.


  1. 1 day
  2. 2 day
  3. 3 day
  4. How much does a weekend in Porto cost
  5. User questions and comments

1 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Church of Sant'Ildefonso, São Bento station, Torre dos Clérigos

Breakfast at the Cafè Majestic, a historic venue in Porto. Go to the opening at 09:30 because then the queue begins: it is an old-time coffee shop, elegant and refined, very popular with tourists. It is also a bit expensive, breakfast will cost you around € 10,00, but it is worth it.
Leaving the restaurant we are spoiled for choice: we are in the most beautiful neighborhood, just walk on Rua de Santa Caterina to immediately meet the Church of Sant'Ildefonso in Piazza della Battaglia, one of the examples of azulejos, the blue-toned tile mosaics present on the facades of many buildings in the city. The church is located in the upper part and is really impressive, we will see it from every point with its blue facade (free admission, accessible from Tuesday to Friday 09: 00-12: 00/15: 00-18: 30, Saturday until 20:00 and Monday only in the afternoon).
The journey continues a few meters on Rua 31 de Janeiro where we will find another attraction with the famous azulejos, the São Bento station. Inside, in fact, there is a huge mosaic made up of more than 20.000 tiles, always in shades of blue, which tells the story of Portugal.
Then we continue on Rua dos Clérigos to reach, after about 500 meters, the Torre dos Clérigos, a Baroque masterpiece: here you can climb the 225 steps to the top to enjoy a view over the whole city (ticket € 5,00, open from 09:00 to 19:00 - buy online).

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Ribeira, Sé do Porto, Palacio Das Artes, Lada Ribeira

Lunch right under the Tower at Brick Clérigos, a very informal restaurant frequented by locals, with a large table and a few tables where you can eat all together (prices around € 20,00 per person). You can taste dishes with particular combinations, Aleira sausage recommended!
After lunch we go to the Ribeira district overlooking the river: it will be nice to simply stroll and enjoy the spectacle of the colorful buildings, other and narrow, which crowd the upper part and then descend towards the river. Inside the neighborhood you can visit the cathedral Sé do Porto, declared a national monument (09: 00-12: 30/14: 30-19: 00, free admission). Inside there is also a beautiful cloister accessible with a € 3,00 ticket.
We continue with a visit to the Palacio Das Artes, a historic place that today hosts many cultural events. The interior can be visited until 19:00, free of charge, there are really elegant rooms.
We finish the afternoon with an exceptional panorama: the Lada Ribeira lift which takes you to the side of the Luis I bridge, in this way we will see the sunset descend on the river and we will have access to the sparkling life of the area, full of bars. However, this lift is not recommended for those suffering from vertigo.

3 - Evening: Dinner, riverside

For dinner we cross the Luis I bridge and eat with a river view at the Taberninha do Manel restaurant, where they serve typical Portuguese dishes, clam chowder, cod, and of course an inevitable glass of Porto (prices around € 15,00- € 20,00, ).
After dinner we continue the walk on the river, which comes alive with life and is very suggestive. Also, walking towards the ocean you will encounter a great deal of ancient cellars where Port is produced and stored.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 3,3 km / 45 min
  • Places visited: Church of Sant'Ildefonso (free), São Bento station (free), Torre dos Clérigos (€ 5,00), Ribeira (free), Sé do Porto (free, cloister € 3,00), Palacio das Artes (free ), Lada Ribeira (free), Ponte Luis I (free), riverfront (free)
  • ticket for the Torre dos Clerigos Hop-On Hop-Off bus, river cruise and wineries
  • Breakfast at Cafè Majestic (Get directions), Lunch at Brick Clérigos (Get directions), Dinner at Taberninha do Manel (Get directions)

2 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Lello bookshop, Ramalho Ortigão statue, Cordoaria gardens, Fountain of Virtues, Almeida Garrett's house

Breakfast at Padaira Ribeiro Express, a pastry shop that serves excellent desserts (€ 3,00 for coffee and croissants). Right next door, a few meters away, we can visit the very famous Lello & Irmao bookshop, which has become iconic both for its particular environment and for the fact of having inspired JK Rowling for the Harry Potter saga (open every day 10: 00-19: 30, ticket € 5,00). We recommend that you go early and book your ticket early.
Leaving the library we can see the University, visit the statue of Ramalho Ortigão, a famous Portuguese writer of the last century, and the gardens of Cordoaria, where you can relax for a few moments. Next to it there is another garden which houses the famous fountain of Virtues, a beautiful monument. We can pass in front of a very beautiful ancient building: it is the home of Almeida Garrett, another writer and statesman, a very important character for Porto, unfortunately it cannot be visited inside but it is still a typical example of th century architecture.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Marionette Museum, Palacio da Bolsa, Igreja de São Francisco

Passing in front of the Antigo Clube Ingles do Porto building, we go to lunch in a very special place: As 7 marvelilhas. Here we can enjoy tapas and revisited dishes of international cuisine, also a wide choice of beers (around € 20,00 per person).
After lunch we can visit the neighbor Marionette Museum, inspired by the work of the artistic director of the theater Cardoso. It is a very nice museum, it opens from 14:00 to 18:00 and the ticket costs € 2,00.
We continue the walk in the area and meet, a few meters away, the Palacio da Bolsa, perhaps the most beautiful in the city, declared a national monument. It is the seat of the Commercial Association of Porto, and a visit is a must, there are beautiful rooms, from the Golden Room to the Arab Room, 300 square meters inspired by the Alhambra in Granada, where receptions are held (The palace is open from 09:00 to 18:30, ticket € 10,00).
After we visit the beautiful Igreja Monumento de São Francisco, which is located behind the palace. It is an original church of 1200, a three naves completely covered with 300 kilos of gold dust. Below it are the catacombs and an ossuary visible from a glass on the floor, which can be visited together with the church from 09:00 to 19:00, the ticket costs € 4,00.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Jardim do Passeo Alegre, Farol de Felgueiras

This evening we move right on the ocean, at the point where the Duero river flows into it. From Ribeira we can take bus 500 towards Matosinhos Mercados, it takes about 20 minutes and get off at the Igreja da Foz stop. Do not worry to return: buses run all night.
We have dinner at the Restaurante Museu dos Presuntos, 400 meters from the stop. The restaurant offers excellent cuisine with tapas, but also complete dishes and good desserts for around € 25,00 per person. Then we can take an evening stroll along the promenade, visit the Jardim do Passeo Alegre, right on the sea, and the Farol de Felgueiras, beautiful lighthouse at the very tip of the promenade which directly overlooks the Atlantic Ocean.

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 7,1 km / 1 h 30 min
  • Places visited: Lello & Irmao bookshop (€ 5,00), Ramalho Ortigão statue, Cordoaria gardens (free), Fountain of Virtues, Marionette Museum (€ 2,00), Palacio da Bolsa (€ 10,00), Igreja de São Francisco ( € 4,00), Jardim do Passeo Alegre (free), Farol de Felgueiras (free)
  • Porto: Harry Potter's Inspiration Tour 3-hour walking city tour and visit to the Lello bookstore
  • Breakfast at Padaira Ribeiro Express (Get directions), Lunch at As 7 wonderilhas (Get directions), Dinner at Restaurante Museu dos Presuntos (Get directions)

3 day

1 - Morning: Breakfast, Jardim Botanico, Tram Museum

Breakfast at the Padeirinha Doce pastry shop, where we can order excellent cakes and coffee for € 4,00. We then take bus 200 or 207 towards Foz Mercado or Cast.Queijo, and we get off at the Casa das Artes stop to visit the Jardim Botanico do Porto. It is a really beautiful and interesting park where biodiversity is cultivated, so we can find many different plants and immerse ourselves in the green (10: 00-18: 00, free entry).
Then, taking bus 207 towards Campanha, we get off at the Junta Massarelos stop and walk about 850 meters to visit the Museo do Carro Eléctrico, or tram museum. Inside you can find some very old restored carriages: a dip in the golden age of trams. The museum is open from 10:00 to 18:00 and the ticket costs € 8,00, with which you can also travel on public transport in the following 4 hours.

2 - Afternoon: Lunch, Port Wine Museum, Sandeman Cellars

We walk along the river towards the center and have lunch at the Taberna Cais das Pedras, which is a typical Portuguese place absolutely away from the tourist crowds: keep it a secret! Here you can eat soups and excellent seafood tapas for around € 20,00 per person. Then we take tram line 1 towards Infante, where we have to get off after 5 minutes. From here we continue on foot for about 100 meters to the entrance of the Port Wine Museum, the museum that tells you the history of Port wine. It is open until 17:30 and with the Porto Card you can enter for free, in any case the ticket is € 2,50.
But our tour to learn more about this fabulous wine and its evocative cellars is not over, because we head towards the Sandeman cellars, across the river. We can walk there on the Luis I bridge, it's about 1 kilometer, 10 minutes walk on the river, or take the 900 bus towards Santo Ovìdio and get off at the Luiz I stop. The guided tour of the cellars must be booked in advance on their site, and there are different experiences to choose from. The Cellars 1790 visit, for example, lasts about 2 hours at a cost of € 22,00 per person with the tasting of 5 wines! The best way to end our visit to Porto.

3 - Evening: Dinner, Muralha Fernandinha, jazz club in Ribeira

For dinner we return to Ribeira, cross the bridge and have dinner at the Fish Fixe restaurant, an excellent place that serves fish for around € 30,00 per person.
After dinner we throw ourselves in the area full of clubs, we pass in front of the Muralha Fernandinha, which we cannot help but admire in the evening lights and we go to the Jazz Club Hot five, where we can have a drink and listen to good live music until late. The drink at the table costs € 10,00.
Let's not forget to say goodbye to the city with a last walk on the river, with the upper town overlooking it: what a sight, we already miss it, right?

In summary:

  • Distance traveled: 9,1 km / 2 h 1 min
  • Places visited: Jardim Botanico (free), Tram Museum (€ 8,00), Port Wine Museum (€ 2,50), Sandeman Cellars (tour from € 13,00), Ribeira (free), Muralha Fernandinha (free)
  • Half day Historical Tour and Porto Wine Tasting
  • Breakfast at Padeirinha Doce (Get directions), Lunch at Taberna Cais das Pedras (Get directions), Dinner at Fish Fixe (Get directions)

How much does a weekend in Porto cost

Porto is a very lively city full of attractions for which 3 days are probably tight. However, it is possible to concentrate the most iconic attractions and spots and shoot it well. The restaurants are not too expensive, you just have to look well and there are many tapas bars that offer solutions for all budgets. Most museums are relatively cheap and the Porto Card allows you to have further discounts and also to travel unlimited on public transport, which is very efficient! In short, a city to return to soon.

  • Costs to eat: about € 50,00 per day per person (including breakfast, lunch, dinner)
  • Costs for museums and attractions: about € 40,00 per person following the itinerary we suggest
  • Transportation: about € 15,00 per person if you buy the card for 3 days
  • Hotels, accommodation and b & b: Hotel and b & b starting from € 60,00 per room -
  • Fun: from € 30,00 per person per day (including snacks, coffee, aperitifs, drinks, ...)
  • Total cost of a weekend in Porto: from € 450,00 per person (flights excluded)

Before leaving: useful tips

  • When to visit Porto: spring or autumn - find out more
  • Francisco Sà Carneiro airport is 12 km from the city center. To get to the center in about 20 minutes you can take the metro line E (ticket cost € 1,10) or bus lines 601, 602, 604 (ticket cost € 1,85) - Compare flights to Porto - from € 50,00 / Private transfer airport - city from € 6,00 per person
  • the recommended areas are Ribeira and Baixa - Hotels and b & b from € 60,00 per room
  • Getting around: both the subway (almost all on the surface) and the buses have numerous lines and the stops are widespread. The 72-hour pass costs € 15,00 and allows you to ride both - find out more
  • with the Porto Card, which costs € 3 for 25,00 days, you can travel unlimited on the entire transport network, enter several attractions for free and pay half the ticket for some others

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