Porto is a small, charming city and is perfect for a quick getaway. The city is world famous for its beverage Porto that has been brewed locally since the 17th century and its Pastel de Natas. It is the city where almost every facade is decorated with beautiful Azulejos, authentic blue and white tiles, and where you can eat deliciously and cheap all across the city. It was the second time that I visited the city and this time I was blown away by Porto’s nice streets, beautiful squares and in particular by the hospitality of its inhabitants.
In this detailed travel guide to Porto you will read everything you need to know about Porto’s finest attractions as well as my personal recommendations on wonderful things to do in Porto.
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Detailed travel guide to porto
Best time to visit Porto
The best travel time to travel to Porto are in the months of April to October, during which you can enjoy the pleasant temperatures and will have hardly any rain. Porto is a small city, I recommend staying in the city for two nights so you can easily discover the hilly city. We stayed in the centrally located Cocorico luxury guesthouse, read more about this beautiful boutique hotel here.
Moving around in Porto
From Zaventem, Brussels you fly about two hours and twenty minutes to Porto. From the airport in Porto to the city, it takes about 20 minutes with Uber. The ride will cost you around 20 euros. The bus is a much cheaper alternative. It will take you to the city as of 6 am to midnight for only 3 euros.
The best way to move around in Porto is by foot. If you really want to move around on weels, know that Uber is available in the city.
detailed travel guide to porto
Top 10 things to do in Porto
- Porto’s historic center is on the UNESCO World Heritage List. This old center is called the Ribeira and is my favorite neighborhood by far. Explore the small, colorful and chaotic alleys along the river.
- Walk over the famous Luís I bridge, the industrial symbol for Porto.
- Visit the lovely Church of Saint Ildefonso, which is situated close to the Batalha square.
4. Drink some Porto! In the old city center, there are still some port houses that are definitely worth a visit.
5. Visit Livraria Lello, the library where J.K. Rowling got her inspiration for the famous Harry Potter book. The shop is recognized as one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops. This Art Nouveau book shop has become world famous and the most popular tourist attraction in Porto, resulting in endless queues at the entrance, even long before the store opens. The entrance is 5 euros and you need to buy your ticket in advance online.
6. Vist Igreja De Carmo, this 17th century church is not only worth a visit for its marvelous interiors. The facade of this building is covered with the most beautiful and famous white-blue tiles Azulejos
7. Take a boat trip on the Douro River and enjoy the lovely views of the Riberia riverfront
8. Pay a visit to one of the most beautiful train stations in Europe, the Sao Bento station
9. Discover Sé Do Porto, a beautiful cathedral built at the highest point in the city. Put on your hiking boots for this tough climb but you will rapidly forget your stiff muscles once you notice the beautiful city views.
10. Relax at Porto beach!
Where to shop in Porto
Rua de Santa Catarina is the main shopping street in the city. On this busy street you will find both expensive boutiques and as well as large chains. In the side streets you will find small souvenir shops and nice restaurants.
Best view over town
At Teleférico de Gaia you can not only take an iconic photo with a spectacular view over the Ibeira, but as a nice park has been developed, it is also a place where you can have a quiet drink or have a nice picnic.
Best restaurants in Porto
- Zenith – Brunch & Cocktails Bar
- Base Porto – Drinks in the open air
- Cruel Restaurante
- Mercado Bom Sucesso, a covered food market
- Mercearia Flores – besides good food, also the perfect place for some souvenirs
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