Located on Portugal’s northern coast, Porto is an excellent destination for those seeking an exciting weekend getaway. With all of the main sites and attractions packed into close proximity around the city centre, 2 days in Porto is the perfect amount of time to spend.
From wine tasting in the historic cellars to exploring the cobbled streets of the Ribeira district and discovering the city’s best viewpoints, we couldn’t recommend Porto enough for a fun city break. Oh, and did we mention the wine? Porto is home to some of the most incredible wine on this entire planet!
After recently spending some time in this beautiful city, we’ve created the ultimate 2 day Porto itinerary to help you maximize your time and ensure you don’t miss any of the main highlights. If you have more time to spend in Porto, you’ll find an extra section at the end of this post with some recommended day trips and more fun things to do around the city.
Besides being an awesome place to spend a weekend, Porto can easily be included as a stop on your road trip through Portugal. We spent 2 days in Porto before beginning our epic 10-day road trip from Porto to Lisbon. If this interests you, check out the full itinerary here!
Table of Contents
The Perfect 2 Day Porto Itinerary – How to Spend 2 Days in Porto
Porto Tours and Tickets
2 Days in Porto Ticket– An excellent option that kills three birds with one stone is the 2 day combo ticket. This ticket is valid for 2 full days and it allows you to hop-on, hop-off sightseeing bus tours, 1 Douro River day cruise and 1 tour of the Cálem Port Wine cellars.
If you purchase this ticket at the start of your 2 days in Porto, you can spread these activities out over the 2 days. For more information and to purchase the combo ticket, click here.
Porto Card – Buying this card is a great option to save money on transportation around the city. The Porto card is valid for up to 4 days (depending on how long you choose to stay) and gives you unlimited access to Porto’s transportation system (including the metro, buses and trains.)
You can also enjoy up to 50% discounts and free entry to over 6 museums and attractions. Click here to see more info on what’s included in the Porto Card.
Porto Walking Tour – To kick off your 2 day Porto itinerary, why not take a walking tour and learn about the history and culture of the city from a local guide? This popular walking tour passes through some of the most iconic and photo-worthy spots around Porto as well as some of the city’s hidden gems on a 3 hour tour.
The tour runs on a daily basis starting from the Se Cathedral in the heart of Porto. This walking tour tends to fill up quickly, especially in the high season, so it’s best to book in advance to avoid disappointment.
If you’re like us and prefer to explore a city at your own leisure, see our recommended 2 day Porto itinerary below.
2 Day Porto Itinerary: Day 1
Porto’s Baixa district is packed with some of the city’s best attractions. On your first day in the city, you’ll want to make your way over to this area to tick some of these highlights off your bucket list.
In the afternoon, explore the historic streets of the Ribeira district followed by a relaxing evening sipping wine at a waterfront bar. So, get your sightseeing shoes on and let’s go see Porto!
Take a step back in time while stopping for coffee and breakfast at the prettiest and most famous café in Porto. It’s easy to find on the main pedestrian strip, Santa Catarina Street. Majestic café is beautiful from the outside, but it’s only once you enter the building that you will be truly impressed. Dating back to 1921, this historic café’s ornate interior will be sure to wow you with its chandeliers and wood carvings.
Don’t be surprised that the coffee and food is a little pricey at the Majestic, it’s worth the extra cost. There is a unique and special vibe to this place that will transport you to another era as you sip your coffee and eat your pastéis de nata.
São Bento Train Station
A trip to Porto isn’t complete without visiting the most beautiful train station in the world. Whether you have a train to catch or not, this place deserves a spot on your Porto itinerary. Dating back over 100 years, the São Bento train station is full of history and incredible artwork.
Marvel at the detail of the 20,000+ azulejos (Portuguese painted tiles) that cover the walls of this historic building. These stunning blue and white tiles were completed over an 11 year period (1905–1916) by artist Jorge Colaço.
Clérigos Church and Tower
Porto’s most iconic tower can be seen from almost anywhere in the city – it’s that tall (76 meters to be exact). They say the best views come after the hardest climb. For 5€ each, climb over 200 steps to the top of the tower and you’ll be rewarded with the most breathtaking view over the city and river below.
Clérigos Tower is one of the most famous landmarks of Porto, but don’t miss out on visiting the beautiful 18th century Baroque style Clérigos church while you’re there! Entrance is free for the church.
Click here to find tickets for the Clérigos Tower.
It’s easy to see why Livraria Lello is considered one of the world’s most beautiful bookshops. From its intricately designed ceilings to the striking red staircase leading you to the second floor, this stunning little shop is not to be missed out on.
If you’re a Harry Potter fan, you might notice something familiar inside. The red staircase of Livraria Lello inspired J.K. Rowling to use the same design for the Hogwarts staircase!
With over 100 years of history this gorgeous bookstore attracts masses of tourists daily which means one thing: expect to wait in line. It also costs 4€ to enter but this will be deducted if you purchase a book.
Grab a coffee or a port from the upstairs café and escape the world for a while or if you’d like to keep moving, a short stop here is fine too.
Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas
These two beautiful Baroque style churches are connected by a 1 meter wide wall on the inside which separates the two buildings. Igreja do Carmo is well known for its beautiful exterior decorated with blue and white tiles dating back to the early 1900’s.
Igreja dos Carmelitas is the older of the two, dating back to the early 17th century. The interiors of both of these churches are absolutely stunning and both are worthy of a peek inside!
Take a stroll down to the Ribeira district in the evening to try out some of that famous Douro wine while taking in river views. Enjoy the lively atmosphere of the Ribeira, this place really comes to life in the evenings.
The colourful Ribeira district is one of the city’s oldest neighbourhoods. Lining the waterfront is the Cais da Ribeira, the long row of colourful houses that this area is known for. These charming buildings have been home to the locals of Porto since the 15th century. The buildings below them were once warehouses and have now been turned into shops, cafes and restaurants.
Don’t be afraid to get lost in the labyrinth of narrow, cobbled streets of the Ribeira district. These ancient streets haven’t changed much over the centuries but this is where you will come across some of the city’s best and most traditional restaurants and bars!
2 Day Porto Itinerary: Day 2
Day 2 is an exciting one: it’s all about that wine! Home to some of the best wine in the entire world, Porto is the best place to learn all about and of course try the famous Port wine. Not only is the Port incredible, the Douro Valley non-fortified red variety is some of the best wine we’ve ever tried!
Enjoy a scenic boat cruise on the Douro River followed by an afternoon of touring the wine lodges while sampling some of the world class wines and Ports.
Dom Luis I Bridge
Start the day by taking a stroll across the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge for some panoramic views. Completed in 1886, this impressive double-deck iron arch bridge connects Porto with Vila Novo de Gaia, the city located on the south bank of the Douro River.
Pedestrians have access to both upper and lower decks of the bridge. Cars can only pass through on the lower section as the upper deck is reserved for the Metro. For the best views and photo opportunities, you’ll want to walk across the upper deck!
Douro River 6 Bridges Cruise
As touristy as it is, taking a cruise along the Douro River is a must when visiting Porto. Get a unique perspective of the city while cruising along the same route the traditional Rabelo wine boats once took. The Rabelo boats were used to transport wine from the Douro Valley to the wine cellars of Porto.
The 6 bridges boat cruise is by far the most popular option, but for good reason. This 50 minute boat cruise will take you along the Douro River, passing underneath all 6 of Porto’s bridges while learning the history behind each of them. Take in views of beautiful landscapes and the colourful Ribeira buildings from the water.
Tour the Wine Cellars
Visiting the wine cellars of Vila Novo de Gaia is one of the most popular things to do in Porto. Vila Novo de Gaia is home to an abundance of historic wine cellars that mark the end point in the wine’s journey from the wine estates of the Douro Valley.
Spend some time exploring a few of these 19th century wine cellars. Most of them offer guided tours or tastings and you’ll get a chance to take home the best souvenir: a bottle of vintage Port!
One of the most popular wine cellars is the Cálem Caves which offers a fantastic cellar tour along with a Port tasting that includes a live Fado performance. The tour lasts for 55 minutes and will take you through the complete history and traditions of Port production.
Some other famous wine cellars of Porto include:
Porto Wine Tour
Another great wine tour option which starts at the oldest Port cellar in Porto. Your guide will take you through a few different traditional wine houses and restaurants while tasting the best Port and other high quality Douro wines. This tour lasts for 3 hours and includes more tastings than the previously mentioned tour.
You’ll get to learn all about the history and wine making process, get tips on wine tasting and also try some traditional Portuguese snacks paired with the wine. This highly rated tour tends to fill up quickly so it’s advisable to book ahead of time to avoid disappointment.
Watch a Live Fado Concert
If you still have time left in your busy day of sightseeing, we recommend to finish the day off by watching a live Fado performance. Fado music is a form of traditional singing that has been a big part of Portuguese culture for centuries.
This beautiful performance will take you through the history of Fado and introduce you to the different styles of the music that comes from Lisbon and Coimbra. The show lasts for 1 hour and includes a Port wine tasting with handmade chocolate.
More Fun Things to do in Porto
Planning to spend more than 2 days in Porto? Below are some additional activities and day trips that are worth checking out if you have any extra time.
Book a Douro Valley Day Tour
Take a journey through the incredible landscapes of the Douro Valley for a memorable day of wine tasting. Discover the fascinating history of one of Europe’s oldest wine regions while trying all the delicious wines and taking in the epic views.
If you’re spending a few days in Porto, the best way to see the Douro Valley is by booking a guided tour. Visiting this spectacular wine region is something you can’t miss, it was definitely the highlight of my time in Portugal!
Full Day Douro Valley Wine Tour From Porto – Allow an experienced guide show you the best of this world-class wine region as you relax and enjoy the day. Get picked up from your accommodation in Porto first thing in the morning before setting off to the Douro Valley.
This highly-rated day trip includes stops at 2 different wine estates where you’ll learn all about the wine making process while sampling it. Lunch and a scenic boat cruise on a traditional Rabelo boat is also included in the price of your tour ticket.
Before beginning the trip back to Porto, your guide will take you to one of the best viewpoints in the region for the opportunity to capture the stunning scenery. See the link below for more detailed information about this incredible day trip!
World of Discoveries
This interactive museum showcases the incredible history of the Portuguese explorers who once crossed oceans in search of discovering new worlds. Learn all about this important part of Portuguese history with a series of interactive screens showing information about the historic Portuguese ships and explorers.
Finish off the visit with a 20 minute boat ride that takes you through the journeys and lands that these explorers once discovered.
The World of a Discoveries is a fun experience where you will learn just how much of the world was actually discovered by the Portuguese!
Price: 14€ for adults, 8€ children
Save money and purchase your tickets online at a discounted price.
Port Wine Museum
For Port lovers looking to gain some extra knowledge on the history of this famous drink, the Port Wine museum is something to add to your Porto itinerary. Located in an 18th century warehouse, this museum focuses on the history of production, transportation and ageing process of Port.
It’s a relatively small museum so it doesn’t take long to check it out. Wine and food can be purchased here as well. Most of the reviews on Google suggest that it’s more fun to visit the wine cellars of Vila Novo de Gaia but if you have a bit of extra time in Porto, a quick stop in here isn’t a bad idea!
Dominating the skyline of Porto is the hilltop Episcopal Palace. This beautiful Baroque style building was once home to the Bishops of Porto. You will pass through a number of beautifully decorated rooms and a majestic grand staircase as you explore the palace. There is an awesome view of the bridge and river from inside.
Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso
This 18th century Baroque style church features stunning blue and white azulejo tile work on its facade. You can find the Igreja de Santo Ildefonso located near Porto’s busy Batalha Square. Admire the traditional Portuguese architecture on both the interior and exterior of this beautiful historic church.
As you stroll past Avenida dos Aliados, Porto’s main boulevard, you’ll come across the gorgeous City Hall building. Dating back to the 1950’s, this impressive building features a 70 metre tower and water feature at the front. Admire its beauty as you walk through the popular square, or climb the tower for yet another awesome city view of Porto!
Tram to Foz
Take a ride on the historic tram line that runs along the Douro River from the Ribeira district to the seaside town of Foz. Not only are the views of this route scenic, these 1930’s trams are full of character with many of their original features still intact.
This tram route can get extremely busy, especially in the high season months. If you prefer a more enjoyable experience, aim for a morning or evening ride when the crowds have dispersed.
The tram leaves frequently from the Infante stop outside of the Igreja de Sao Francisco church in the Ribeira district. Tickets can be purchased on board and they cost €3 one way or €6 return to Foz.
Best Viewpoints In Porto
Our favourite part of exploring any city is discovering all the best viewpoints so we can take the best photos! Porto did not disappoint in this department. Below are the best photography locations we found in Porto.
Clérigos Tower – It’s no surprise that the top of Clérigos Tower made the list, if you’re looking for an epic, panoramic view of the entire city then get yourself to the top of this tower.
Ribeira de Gaia – Once you cross the Dom Luís I Bridge, you’ll end up in the city of Vila Nova de Gaia. Head down to the river bank once you reach the end of the bridge and find a perfect view looking across the river at the Ribeira district and all the Rabelo wine boats.
Dom Luís I Bridge – If you’re not afraid of heights, take a walk across the top of the Dom Luís for some seriously stunning views of the entire city and river all at once.
Vila Novo de Gaia– This popular viewpoint can be reached by crossing the Dom Luís I Bridge from Porto and into the city of Vila Nova de Gaia. If you cross the bridge from the upper platform, you will find this viewpoint at the end. Enjoy breathtaking views of the city and river from a high vantage point.
How to get to Porto – Airport to City
Metro – A cheap and easy way to get to the city centre from the airport is by taking the Metro Line E. This train leaves from the airport and costs €2.60 per person. It runs direct to the city centre every 20-30 minutes depending on time of day and it takes about 30 minutes.
Porto Airport Transfers – The most convenient way to get from Porto airport to the city centre. If you’re traveling with a group or just prefer a more reliable transfer, this is the way to go. Porto Airport Transfers is a service that greets you at the arrivals hall of the airport and brings you directly to your hotel doorstep in a bout 20 minutes.
It costs €24.50 for up to 3 people. For the same price as a taxi, you can have peace of mind that a driver is awaiting your arrival at the airport. Book your Porto Airport Transfer here.
Where to Stay in Porto
From budget to luxury accommodation and everything in between, Porto has it all. We typically prefer to stay in mid-range places because let’s face it, we spend most of our time out exploring the city! As long as it’s clean, has a decent bed, maybe a kitchen and definitely some good Wi-Fi, we’re in.
Find some of the best places to stay in Porto for all budgets below!
Bluesock Hostel Porto – This highly rated hostel is perfect if you’re visiting Porto on a budget and looking for something clean and well located but still reasonably priced.
Perfectly located in the bustling Ribeira district, the Bluestock Hostel features clean and comfortable rooms, air conditioning, breakfast included, and a bar to socialize at. There is an option to book either a shared dorm or private rooms.
Aparthotel Oporto Entreparedes – These clean and spacious self-catering apartments include a full kitchen, good Wi-Fi and a friendly host – all for a very reasonable price. Base yourself in Porto’s historic centre, surrounded by restaurants, shops and attractions. The São Bento Train Station is only a 6 minute walk away, free bicycles are available for guests to use, and beautiful city views can be seen from the property.
Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel & World Heritage Site – This luxurious 5-star heritage hotel is perfectly situated at the Ribeira waterfront, overlooking the Douro River.
The Pestana Vintage hotel is highly rated on Booking.com and has all the amenities one could wish for. It includes an outstanding breakfast and friendly staff who are always ready to help.
An excellent location, perfect views, located inside a beautiful 16th century building, this hotel is the perfect option if you’re looking for a bit of luxury and comfort during your 2 days in Porto!
Best Time to Visit Porto
Like most cities in Europe, Porto gets particularly busy during the summer months of June-August. If you’re like us and love to avoid the crowds, then either spring or fall would be an ideal time of year to visit Porto. We visited the city in October and while it was a little on the chilly side, we had sun for the duration of our stay.
Porto is such a beautiful and unique city and we hope you love it as much as we did! We hope this guide proves to be useful during your 2 days in Porto. If you have any extra time during your stay, we can highly recommend taking a day to explore the incredible Douro Valley. This wine region is truly one of a kind and it was one of our favourite places that we’ve ever road tripped!
Planning your trip to Portugal? Check out more detailed Portugal guides below!
- The Ultimate Portugal Road Trip Itinerary: From Porto to Lisbon
- How to Spend 2 days in Lisbon – An ideal 2 Day Itinerary
- Day trip from Porto: A complete guide to spending a day in the Douro Valley
- The top 3 day trips from Lisbon that you cannot miss!
- Visiting Porto and looking for more day trip options? Check out this detailed guide on visiting Guimarães, the birthplace of Portugal!
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