Looking for the perfect Porto itinerary? Then you’re in the right place! Whether you’re going to spend 2, 3, or 5 days in Porto, you will have all the best things to do in Porto curated into a special itinerary right here at your fingertips.
Porto is such a quaint and charming little city. It’s buzzing with local life and isn’t yet exposed to mass tourism. In other words, it remains authentic and affordable in all the best ways!
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The riverside Ribeira district and historic Sé neighborhoods are loaded with tiled houses, churches, and cute cafés—everything you’ll come to discover in this itinerary!
In just two days, you could check off the bulk of your Porto bucket list! With 3 days in Porto or more, you could add in an exciting day trip to the Douro Valley and squeeze in a few more must-sees and dos.
Snag this ultimate Porto, Portugal itinerary below and get ready to set sail down the Douro!
How Many Days in Porto?
How many days should you spend in Porto? I wondered the exact same thing when planning my solo trip! Now that I’ve been there, I can say Porto is a city you can cover rather quickly.
However, I would recommend spending no less than 48 hours or two full days in Porto to see the top sights and fit in 1-2 tours.
How much time is “enough” also depends on your intentions for your trip. I prefer to slow down my travels whenever possible, spreading out my time across several days. That’s mostly why I spent a week in Porto (or 5 full days not counting travel days).
🎟 Get around with the Porto City Card & save! — Enjoy free entry to 6 museums, unlimited transport, and a 20-50% discount on admission to popular attractions (i.e. wine cellar, river cruise, etc).
I was also super glad to visit Porto in January, which allowed me to see some of the top touristy sights like the Livraria Lello — the Harry Potter Bookshop without enormous crowds.
That said, when exactly is the best time to visit Porto?
I haven’t been in summer, but I can imagine it’s like what I experienced in January, only more pleasant! Luckily, it didn’t rain during my time there so I could take advantage of all my 5 days in Porto exploring around on foot.
Also note that tourists typically flock to Porto on weekends, which doubles or even triples the size of the crowds compared to the weekdays. So if you can, plan to go sometime during the week!
Where to Stay in Porto for Short Trips
- Top Pick (Studio/Apartment) — PipaD’oro by YoursPorto
- Budget $ — Porto Lounge Hostel & Guesthouse
- Boutique $$ — Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel
- Luxury & Unique $$$ — ArmaZém Architectural & Design Hotel
As I mentioned, Porto is fairly small. At most, you can reach all the major attractions on foot within 15-20 minutes.
That said, you could pretty much stay anywhere in Porto and be well-positioned to get out and explore at a moment’s notice! Nevertheless, the historic center is arguably the best place to stay for a short trip.
You’ll be just a block or two away from the beautiful Azulejo tiled churches and cathedrals, Rua das Flores shopping street, and the famous Ribeira neighborhood (the bustling waterfront).
What to See in Porto in 1-5 Days
Ready to pack in the best of Porto in as little as 1 to 5 days? Here is what you can expect from this itinerary below!
- Livraria Lello (the Harry Potter Bookstore) and the Majestic Café where JK Rowling is said to have written her first words of the books
- Clérigos Church & Tower
- Tiled churches of Igreja de Como, Santo Ildefonso, and Capela das Almas
- Hidden passageways and shortcuts, like the Trevassa do Ferraz
- Viewpoints for sunrise and sunset like Mirador Vitória
- Bustling plazas such as Liberty Square and Praça Ribeira
- Port wine tasting in the Calem Cellar
- Popular shopping streets Santa Catarina and Rua das Flores
- Sé and Porto Cathedral
- Porto’s 6 bridges cruise down the Douro
- Tour of the Arab Room inside Palacio de Bolsa
- São Bento Railway Station
- Lunch and dinner tips at amazing cafés and restaurants
- Ponte Dom Luís I and Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar
- And more!
Now let’s put it all together into a jam-packed itinerary. Of course, feel free to use this as a guide but don’t forget to allow for a bit of flexibility during your stay, too!
The Perfect Porto Itinerary
Day 1: Intro to Porto
The best way to kick off your Porto trip is with a climb to the top of the Torro dos Clérigos (Clérigos bell tower). Get your skip-the-line entry ticket here.
Not only will you have the tower almost to yourself in the morning, but you’ll also have awesome 360-degree views of Porto. The museum and church make for a nice visit, but it’s really the climb and views people come to see (cost €6).
Right nearby the tower is the Livraria Lello — otherwise known as the famous Harry Potter bookstore. Doors open at 9:30 am, so you may want to go before climbing Clérigos. Either way, you should consider getting there early or as soon as it opens to avoid the mid-morning and afternoon crowds!
Finish touring the Clérigo district with a stroll through Jardim de João Chagas park and a visit to the blue and white tiled church at Igreja da Como.
This entire area is worth spending the morning in. Once you’re finished, grab lunch at Bilha Nova (the food and service are wonderful).
To wrap up your first day, stop by the Mirador da Vitória (for sunset) and finish the day with a stroll and dinner down by the Cais da Ribeira (quay).
Day 2: Porto Bridges & Port Wine
For your second day in Porto, learn all about the history and production of the world-famous Port wine with a cellar tour and cruise down the River Douro.
The Porto 6 Bridges Cruise is a 1-hour boat ride on the Douro River that takes you under Porto’s iconic bridges. You can go anytime between 11 am-4 pm, so plan it for sometime mid-morning or mid-afternoon. You can learn more about what to expect on this tour in my guide to the six bridges tour in Porto here.
Do the bridges river tour from 11 am to 12 pm, that way you can stroll the Ribeira and have lunch. Head up the stairs to cross the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge for epic views.
Cross to the other side to Vila Nova de Gaia and visit the Monastery of Serra do Pilar. (Watching the sunset from here and the adjacent Jardim do Morro is very popular!) Walk, or take the funicular down to the riverside. Depending on when you go, there may be a local artisanal market along the quay you can visit while you await your wine tasting reservation time.
The top recommended Port wine cellars are Cálem and Graham and Burmester (according to the Portuguese guide I asked at the Palacio de Bolsa).
There are several ways to experience Port wine in Porto!
- Live Fado Show with glass of Port wine at Casa do Fado
- Cálem Tour + Tasting — basic or premium (2 glasses or 3 glasses with Tawny)
- Graham’s Port Lodge Tour + Tasting
- Cálem Cellar with Chocolate, Cheese, and Wine Tasting
- 3-Hour Walking Tour with 11 Tastings
- Burmester Cellar Tour
I did the simple tour and tasting at Cálem Cellar and enjoyed it even though it felt a bit rushed. Groups are bigger on weekends which makes it harder to hear and move around the rooms to read the displays.
Day 3: Baixa & Sé Historic District
For day 3, continue your tour checking off the other must-see sights in Porto. Luckily, everything in this area is within easy reach on foot!
Start your day with breakfast or brunch at either the Floresta Café on Rua das Flores (500-yr old street) or the Do Norte Cafe near Liberty Square. Both are owned by the same brand, Hungry Biker, and have similar menus: giant avocado toasts, salty salmon waffles, strawberry fields pancakes… all super delicious, all nutritious!
From either one of those points, make your way down the buzzing Avenida dos Aliados and eventually to the São Bento Railway Station for a peep inside at its gorgeous tiled interior.
Next, walk over to the imposing Sé Porto Cathedral — you can’t miss it! This area, known as the cathedral quarter, is the oldest part of Porto. Its tiled houses, with the day’s laundry drying out the window, and narrow streets like Rua Santa Ana remind us of its medieval history and modern-day charm.
🌟 Walk down toward Igreja dos Grilos barroque church for a beautiful little viewpoint overlooking the historic center. It’s called Miradouro da Rua das Aldas.
Day 4: Douro Day Trip or More Porto Tours
With 5 days in Porto, you have plenty of time to take a full-day trip to the Douro Valley or spend more time wandering around discovering more hidden corners of the city.
Here are more Porto activities to do with spare time:
- Tour the World of Discoveries themed museum
- Visit the Crystal Gardens
- Tour the ornate Arab Room inside the beautiful Palaçio de Bolsa (30-minute guided tour)
- Porto Legends — audiovisual immersion into Porto’s history with The Underground Experience
- Tour The Chocolate Story museum
Day 5: Bolhão & Bonfim
For your last day in Porto, I recommend visiting the neighborhoods of Bolhao and Bonfim.
Bolhao is mostly known for the Mercado de Bolhão (which, unfortunately, was still under construction when I visited). It was high on my list. If it’s open, go and enjoy the fresh food market for me.
If it’s still closed, not all is lost. In this area is also the famous Rua de Santa Catarina — also known as the ultimate shopping street in Porto. Here, you can waltz down the bustling avenue lined with shops and restaurants. Step inside the Fábrica de Nata shop for a one last pastéis de nata (or just buy a bunch). They are made fresh here and only cost €1/piece!
Nearby is also the ViaCatarina shopping mall. A cool thing to see is its food court on the top floor decorated with Portuguese-style houses. It’s super cute! (Thanks to my sweet friend Ana who clued me in on this spot! Check out her destination guides for more.)
As you head south on this popular street, take note of the adorable blue-tiled chapel, Capela das Almas.
Keep going, and then stop in for overpriced tea service or coffee inside Majestic Café where JK Rowling is said to have written her first words of the Harry Potter books.
The end of this street will lead you to the tiled church of Igreja de Santo Ildefonso. From here, go explore Bonfim! Bonfim is an up-and-coming, non-touristy neighborhood! Think art galleries, pop-up concept stores, gastropubs, and hipster cafés.
Ultimately, use this day to see and do everything you didn’t get to check off your Porto bucket list!
As you can see, even though Porto is relatively small in size, it’s bubbling over with things to do! If you think this Porto itinerary needs adjusting, feel free to swap and replace activities as you go; making room for a little flexibility goes a long way when traveling!
Finally, if you have any questions or want my advice on how to plan your days in Porto, please let me know in the comments below.
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