Many tourists spend a few days in Porto but if you haven’t the luxury to and just want a quick, concise, list of what is an absolute must about the things to do in Porto, this article is for you. Let’s see what you should be doing at a bare minimum when visiting this beautiful northern Portugal city.
Visit all the pretty churches
Portugal is full of very beautiful, colorful and tiny churches, along with majestic cathedrals. We wrote already about the best ones here. Porto is not an exception. You can visit a long list of churches, with the Chapel of Souls and the Cathedral being the highlights but not forgetting the Igreja dos Clerigos and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso, both in the very centre of Porto.
Walk along the river
No visit to Porto can do without a walk along the river of it, the Douro. It passes through the very center of the city and separates it from Vila Nova de Gaia, on the southern side, which is a separate town but practically a jointed entity with Porto. Restaurants, bars, plenty of boat tours and souvenir shops will wait you all along the riverside, strolling through it, especially near the sunset as many locals pour down to it for relaxing and people watching, is an experience not to be missed when in Porto.
Taste the Porto wine
Probably for many one of the main things to do in Porto, tasting the Porto wine. You may want to either try it at one of the various restaurants in the city (virtually all offer a glass of Porto), or take a proper tasting tour in Vila Nova de Gaia, where all the wineries where the wine is stored and sold are located. You won’t have any issue finding them as they are scattered all around and you will see signposts advertising them. Personal suggestions: Sandeman, Cockburn, Graham, Calem. All of them are located near the Douro and offer different tasting experiences, with 3, 5 or more different types of Porto wine to be tasted for different prices.
Visit Livraria Lello
I’d say the second, after the wine, things to do in Porto that comes to mind to most tourists is visiting Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. If you are an Harry Potter fan you will need no introduction to it’s rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s depictions of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts. For everybody else, buy a 7€ ticket (you can use it as a discount to buy books) and queue (hopefully not for an hour) to visit a stunning, wooden library, with a spiralling staircase in the middle and wonderful colorful glasses covering the ceiling.
For more info and under-the-radar places to see in Porto and all over the world head to Globalgrasshopper.com, where you will find plenty of tours, ideas and things to do not found elsewhere.
We specialize in under the radar travel: https://globalgrasshopper.com/category/travel-snobs-2/ beautiful places: https://globalgrasshopper.com/category/beautifulplaces/ and cool and unusual hotels: https://globalgrasshopper.com/category/cool-hotels/
We’ve also just launched a boutique tour to Provence and French Riveria: https://globalgrasshopper.com/boutique-tours/ which we’re aiming to be one of the most unique and Instagrammable tours on the market.