Recently, Porto has been attracting more and more tourists. It is a small city that takes at least two days to discover. It is not necessary to use public transportation because their tourist attractions are concentrated in one area. If you are planning to purchase a traffic card, it is better to first consider the route and see if you need one or not.
The blue walls full of azulejo tiles and Douru river are so impressive that you would be satisfied just by drinking a cool drink next to the Douru river. To enjoy Porto more indepthly, we'll provide below a great two-day itinerary for Porto.
Portugal is home of egg tarts, and is called "Pastéis de nata" in Portuguese. When you travel around the cities, you can easily find shops with a sign of 'Nata'. Warm egg tarts are crispy on the outside and moist and sweet inside which melt inside of the mouth. Those who do not usually like egg tarts are likely to fall in love with egg tarts in this country.
There are many egg tart shops all over the city. But Manteigaria is one of the famous shops located close to Bolhao market. It first opened in Lisbon and it also went to Porto thanks to its popularity. The interior is tidy and modern and you can enjoy egg tarts inside or take out. You can also see how they bake egg tarts directly in the field. There is a coffee shop right next to it, so it is recommendable to order coffee and eat it with the egg tarts.
Address : R. de Alexandre Braga 24, 4000-049 Porto
Opening hours : Daily 8:00-21:00
One of must-visit place for shopping in Porto, Bolhao Market. It was built between 1914 and 1917 during World War I. It has a similar atmosphere with Sao Bento station. Currently, it is under construction and it is temporarily operated in the basement of La Vie Shopping Center. The temporary market is very neat and modern so it is less likely to feel the local market with a long history but the scale is still quite large.
There is a wide range of kitchenware designed with azulejo, cork souvenirs, wine, jam, chocolate, and so on. If you want to go to the temporary market, search on Google maps 'Mercado Temporário do Bolhão'.
Address : Rua de Fernandes Tomás 506/508, 4000-211 Porto
Opening hours : Tues-Fri 8:00-20:00 / Sat. 8:00-18:00 / Closed on Monday and Sunday
Chapel of Souls is located on Catarina street which is famous as the shopping area. On Catarina street, there are many local brands with an affordable price range. Also, there are various cafes and restaurants which uplift the atmosphere.
The main aspect of Porto is azulejo decoration. Azulejo means a beautiful stone that is polished with ceramic tile works. Chapel of Souls was built in the 18th century and it is also called Chapel of Santa Catarina. Its exterior is fully decorated with colorful azulejo decoration, making it difficult for people to pass by without taking a photo of it. 16,000 tiles are used for this wall and it describes Saint Francis and Saint Catarina. There is also a beautiful azulejo decoration inside of the Chapel; don't miss it.
Address : Rua de Santa Catarina 428, 4000-124 Porto
Opening hours : Mon, Thurs, Sat. 7:30-13:00, 15:30-19:00 / Wed-Fri 7:30-19:00 / Sun 7:30-13:00, 18:00-19:00
Admission fee : Free
Built in 1893, it was originally called Porto Central Station. If you come by train from Lisbon, you will surely pass it. It is located in the city center that is easy to stop by. At first glance, it is just like an ordinary train station. But when you step inside, you will see why Sao Bento station is considered the most beautiful train station in the world. Azulejo wall describes historical scenes which give an impression as a gallery. It was created by Jorge Colaço in 1905-1906.
Address : Praça Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto
It is a well-known restaurant in Porto, located next to the São Bento station. From the entrance, you might think that it looks very small. But there are seats on the second floor. We recommend you to make a reservation in advance because most of the places are reserved. The charmingly decorated interior makes it seem like a Japanese pub.
There are a wide variety of menus including appetizers, soup, meat, fish, and a wide selection of wines. From Wednesday to Friday, you can order the chef's special meal that is made of the fresh ingredients bought each day. Steamed seafood and duck steak are popular dishes for travelers. The steamed seafood contains various types of seafood. Duck steak is big enough and you can try it with wine and fois gras sauce.
Address : R. da Madeira 222, 4000-069 Porto
Opening hours : Tues 19:00-22:30 / Wed-Sun 12:00-16:00, 19:00-22:30 / Monday closed
Reservation : [email protected]
It is considered as the most famous cafe in Porto and the most beautiful cafe in the world. The interior is very luxurious and gorgeous, like having a coffee in an old palace. The reason for its popularity is that J.K. Rowling wrote Harry Potter in this cafe. Even if you are not a fan of Harry Potter, you can enjoy its splendid interior while enjoyinh a cup of coffee.
There is a wide variety of choices of coffee. The most famous one is Bombom coffee and French toast. Bombom coffee is made of condensed milk, coffee, and cream, which is softer and sweeter than cafe latte. French toast is crispy outside and sweet inside with its sauce which is similar to churros. As the cafe is popular, consider that you may have to wait to place your order.
Address : Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto
Opening hours : Mon-Sat 9:30-23:30 / Closed on Sundays
Porto Cathedral is the oldest building in Porto and it represents the Romanesque architecture. It is built in the 12th century, but during the decades, it has gone through some changes. After the 17th century, it followed the baroque style and the exterior and decorations changed considerably. It is a unique cathedral with a diverse architectural style such as baroque, romanesque, and gothic.
There is a big square in front of the cathedral where Portugese criminals were hung. Form the cathedral, you can also have a view of the city center and Douro river. It is close to Sao Bento station which is reachable by foot.
Address : Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto
Opening hours : Apirl-October 9:00-12:30, 14:30-19:00(Cloister 9:00-18:30) / November-March 9:00-12:30(Cloister until 12:15), 14:30-18:00(Cloister until17:30) / Sunday and Religious holidays - Cloister only accessible on afternoon / Christmas and Easter closed
Admission fee : Cathedral - free / Cloister - General 3 euros, under 10 years old free
One of the best places to see Porto's night view is Serra Do Pilar Monastery. It is located around Villa Nova de Gaia, across Luis I Bridge. You can look down at a glance of Duoro River, Luis I Bridge, and the city center. We recommend you to arrive before sunset to enjoy both the sunset sky and night view.
Morro Garden is not big but it is a good spot to enjoy the night view. It is recommended to have a picnic with a bottle of wine and snacks from supermarkets and enjoy a romantic sunset. You can go by public transport or walk by crossing the bridge and climbing up the hill. If you are going from Porto Cathedral, you don't need to climb up the hill.
Address : Largo Aviz, 4430-329 Vila Nova de Gaia
It is located not far from the Duoro River. Reservation is essential because it is not large but it is very popular. The interior is very clean with blue-green color decoration. It is a restaurant famous for seafood and fish dishes. You can order seafood rice for one person. It is large in quantity, full of crab, shrimps and other kinds of seafood. The fried cod is soft and crispy which goes well with seafood rice. It is a luxurious and tidy restaurant where you can enjoy a pleasant meal.
Address : R. de São João 85, 4050-553 Porto
Opening hours : Tues-Sun 12:30-15:30, 19:00-22:30 / closed on Monday
It is a bookstore that inspired J.K. Rowling, the author of Harry Potter. For the fans of Harry Potter, it is a must-visit place. It is actually a bookstore selling books but now due to its popularity, there is an admission fee of 5 euros. You can buy tickets from the building right next to the bookstore. If you buy a book at Lello Bookstore, you can get a discount of 5 euros by presenting the ticket.
Once entered, it's mysterious and the old-fashioned atmosphere covers you. It is extraordinary, as seen in the Harry Potter films. It seems like the books will fly all around the place. There is a photo spot in this bookstore. The stairs show off their own unique design and atmosphere.
On the other hand, there is a corner where the Harry Potter series are collected. The books' covers are designed in various ways which make us to buy one.
Address : R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto
Opening hours : Daily 9:30-19:00
Admission fee : 5 euros
A souvenir shop next to Lello bookstore. It is full of antique and charming items. There are a variety of interior accessories to remember your trip in Porto. If you are not a souvenir-person, you can visit just for eye-shopping.
Address : Rua de Cândido dos Reis 36, 4050-151 Porto
Opening hours : Mon-Sat 10:00-20:00 / Sunday & Holidays 10:30-19:30
There is a pretty cathedral next to Lello bookstore. Carmo Cathedral. It seems very large but if you look closely you can find out that they are two buildings connected. Carmo cathedral is also famous for Azulejo wall and the building beside is Carmelitas Church. Carmo cathedral has a large wall of azulejo tiles in blue and white tones which is so attractive.
There is a one-meter wide building between these two cathedrals which is named as one of the narrowest houses in the world. It was built because there was a saying that two churches should not share a wall at the time of the construction. Until 20 years ago, it was still a residential house.
Address : R. do Carmo, 4050-164 Porto
Opening hours : Weekdays 7:15-19:00 / Weekend & holidays 9:00-18:45
A cute street in Porto that leads from São Bento station to the Douro River. There are a variety of shops, including Claus Porto and the Porto Jam shop. Also, a lot of cute cafes and restaurants are placed. It is always an active and energetic place where many artists perform their arts.
Address : R. das Flores 220, 4050-263 Porto
A tapas restaurant located in front of the Douro River which sparkles during the day and night. Portugal is where you can try a good quality seafood dish at an affordable price. But, at the same time, sometimes you may miss a familiar food rather than local food. Then, tapas restaurant is what you need.
It is better to make a reservation in advance because the view toward Douro River is awesome so that many people want to have a meal in this place. As it specializes in tapas and wines, they offer a variety of tapas and wine. It is not a cheap place, comparing to local prices. But the atmosphere is very luxurious. The most loved dish is squid inked pasta which is similar to Carbonara but with a deeper flavor. We recommend you to order 3 pieces of tapas for 2 people.
Address : Praça Ribeira nº 11 12, 4050-509 Porto
Opening hours : Daily 12:00-22:00 / Tuesday closed
Perfect place on the Douro river for enjoying the beautiful sunshine of Porto. The Douro River is a very long river with a length of 897 km which cross the borders of Spain and Portugal. In Portuguese, it means 'Golden River'. You can see the gold reflecting on the river from the sunlight.
Colorful houses are lined up along the Douro River. Restaurants, bars, and cafes are everywhere. Sometimes, small souvenir markets open on the riverside which give small happiness. Also, there is a cruise tour through which you can enjoy Porto from a different view. It would be a relaxed afternoon while looking small boats that carry Porto wines, taking photos in front of Luis I Bridge, enjoying small performances and having a cup of coffee.
The night view from the Villa Nova de Gaia district is amazing. Don't miss night lights on the buildings and its reflection on the Douro River.
Address : Praça Ribeira, 4050-513 Porto
Port wine is one of the must-tries in Porto. Port wine is made by adding brandy to fermenting wines, which is stronger and tastier than usual red wine. Vila Nova de Gaia is a district where wine cellars are located which are famous for their winery tours. You can choose one of the various wine cellars by comparing price and time schedule which would fit your standard.
Among those options, is a Calem tour is special which provides winery tour with wine tasting and Fado performance, Portuguese traditional music. You can reserve it through online and on-site. There is a time schedule for each language tour. At the museum, the guide will give you details about the history of port wine and the difference between port wine and regular wine. There are four types of port wines: white, ruby, tony and rosé. He explains the differences between each port wine. Then, it leads to a wine cellar which is full of large wine bottles he explains about the process of making wine.
After the guided tour, you will go to the tasting room where you can taste two wines: red and wine. Some sweets are also prepared on the table. Within a few minutes, a Fado performance starts. Fado is a typical Portuguese music genre based on guitar playing and sad melody. The Fado show in Calem cellar is displayed in a more comfortable atmosphere than a dark side so it could be more interesting than overwhelming. For children under the age of 10 who can not have a glass of wine is free to join winery tour and 11-17 years old can have a 50% discount.
Address : Av. de Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia
Website : https://tour.calem.pt/
Admission fee : winery tour & wine tasting - adults 13 euros, 11-17 years old 6 euros, under 10 years old free / winery tour & wine tasting & fado show - 21 euros
A hot dog place loved by local people. It is near to Sao Bento station and Porto Cathedral. It is always crowded even during non-lunch or non-dinner time. It is a small restaurant with a bar seat of 10 people and has a very cheap price range. You can enjoy hot dogs, french fries and a beer at 7 euros each. There are many kinds of hot dogs and sandwiches. 'Special hot dog' is the bestseller of this shop. You will be surprised at its taste. Even french fries are home-made which taste like cookies with a salty and sweet flavor.
It is a place where you might want to go everyday. But the road toward this store is a bit dark and lousy. So, it is better not to go along late at night.
Address : Tv. do Cimo de Vila 4-10, 4000-171 Porto
Opening hours : Daily 12:00-22:30 / Sat urday12:00-17:00 / Sunday closed
Words by Youra CHOI
Photographs by Yuna LEE