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The unavoidable

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Whether you're coming to Porto for the first or the umpteenth time, it has buildings, sites to visit, natural wonders and experiences to enjoy that are must-sees! As we are all different, we thought of several categories of travelers: couples, friends, family... Porto is a city listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It is the just reward for the beauty of its whole, of the generous nature which surrounds it like a setting, of the vibrant and attractive culture which characterizes it. Gastronomy, history, heritage... Porto is a journey for the senses to be offered to be completely disorientated, while being stimulated by all the things to discover there.

The truly indisputable must-haves!

Discover the Ribeira and stroll along the quays

It is the epicenter of Porto, the Must-do, the number 1 place to go to start exploring the city. The Dom Luis Bridge in front of you, Vila Nova de Gaia and its cellars, the Douro and its boats. We don't even discuss, we don't think, we go! Visit our page on the historic center to find out more.

Porto Ribeira Quays
Porto Ribeira Quays

Cross the Dom Luis Bridge

Better twice than once! Once by the lower apron, on foot and once by the upper one to marvel at the view. And take the opportunity to take a trip to the Jardim do Morro and the Serra do Pilar just on the other side of the bridge (at the top). Read our article on the Douro River to find out more.

Cross the Dom Luis bridge
Cross the Dom Luis bridge

Visit the Gaia cellars

You are in Porto, so you will surely want to know more about the drink that took its name from this locality! Port is the king of the city and there are numerous aging cellars. It is an experience to be had, which can be found in different formulas. Check out our page on Port cellars to visit.

Visit the Gaia Cellars
Visit the Gaia Cellars

Visit Sé Cathedral

Whether you like visiting religious buildings or not, the Sé Cathedral is a must, if only for the beauty of its facade and that of its square, which offers some of the most beautiful views of Porto. Visit its Gothic cloister and admire the azulejos that adorn it. Consult our section on churches and religious buildings in the city of Porto.

Visit the Cathedral of Sé
Visit the Cathedral of Sé

Take a traditional boat trip

They are everywhere on the river, they go up and down to help you discover the bridges of Porto and enjoy a magnificent view from the water. The Douro is the city's central artery and Rabelos are traditional flat-bottomed boats, which once transported goods on the river. They are a kind of barge and the ride is worth it! Consult our section to discover the providers who offer boat trips in Porto.

Boat trip in Porto
Boat trip in Porto

Taste the gastronomy of Porto

A journey of the senses is nothing without the excitement of the taste buds! Easy in Porto, Portuguese food is enhanced by local Porto specialties. You can eat at any time, fresh produce and at reasonable prices. Restaurants, covered markets, bakeries and other sandwich shops for street food. We enjoy. To find out what to eat in Porto, read our article on this subject. Visit the Mercado Do Bolhao first, a place rich in color and perfect for foodies.

Gastronomy in Porto Photo: Adobestock diana rui

Stroll around the Crystal Palace Gardens

There are many gardens in Porto, but the Jardim do Palacio de Cristal is particularly beautiful, large, with breathtaking views and sumptuous, diverse and well-kept spaces. In short, it’s one of our favorite places and we recommend it! This will give you the opportunity to visit the Porto West district.

Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace

The family must-sees when visiting Porto with children

Are you with family in Porto? You can draw from the list above and add some cool experiences.

Take a tram or cable car ride

Porto has many different and complementary means of transport, it's really practical! To get around while having fun, there is the tram (ideal for going to the Foz do Douro side), but also the cable car to go up from Vila Nova de Gaia to the Jardim do Morro. There is also a funicular, but it is less interesting for children. Read our article on the use of Porto's trams and also on the Porto cable car.

Take a tram ride in Porto
Take a tram ride in Porto

With teenagers: Take a ride on an electric scooter

To get around, nothing better than the scooter. With young children, we do not recommend it, unless you are an urbanite used to this mode of travel. Teenagers, on the other hand, will love it! Perfect for going to the city center from the Ribeira, perfect for walking on the quays on both sides (on all 4 sides even, because you can also go up the river along the quays, it's nice). Read our article on using electric scooters in Porto.

By electric scooter in Matosinhos
By electric scooter in Matosinhos

The Lello bookstore

Are your children fans of Harry Potter? This seems to have no direct relationship, but take them to the most famous Portuguese bookstore! The Lello Bookstore is famous for the beauty of its interior layout and for several years, there has been real madness around this place, which, it is said, inspired the author of Harry Potter for his works! It's true that it's worth the detour and a book is never a bad gift to give yourself. Read our page on the Lello Bookstore. Please note that there are also Harry Potter-themed guided tours in Porto!

Lello Bookstore
Lello Bookstore

Lello Bookstore in Porto

Sea Life, Porto Aquarium

If you spend several days in Porto, take the children to the seaside at Foz do Douro (by tram for example) and visit Sea Life, the second largest aquarium in Portugal. It's not very "traditional" but it will allow you to take a break if it rains or if the children are tired of heritage and history. Our Children's Hobbies page to find out what to do with the little ones.

Go down Rua das Flores

Go shopping, stroll through one of the most popular streets in Porto, while inviting your children to look for transformers decorated by local artists! It’s pretty and there’s even a big blue cat to be found somewhere… surprise… Read our article on street art in Porto.

Rua das Flores
Transformer Rua das Flores Porto

A must-see in Porto as a couple

Porto is great, but for two it's more wonderful. Take your other half to a city on a human scale that is warm, joyful and accessible. You will not be disappointed!

A romantic restaurant

Go eat in a restaurant with a superb view, on the Ribeira or Porto Plage side. A royal romantic meal? Go to Matosinhos for fish specialties in a typical atmosphere. On the Ribeira side, it's touristy, but so charming with breathtaking views (we love the restaurants around Cais da Estiva).

Meals in Porto
Meals in Porto

Visit the Wow

If you like museums, this one is particularly amazing because it is a huge complex with several museums around Portuguese and Portuense culture and Portuguese wine. The World of Wine is located in Vila Gaia de Nova and it is an elegant place, quite expensive, but with quality museums in an immaculate, new and monumental environment!

the Wow in Porto
The Wow in Porto

Go shopping

Want to give your other half a makeover? To stroll while sipping a smoothie, hand in hand while window shopping? Meet at Santa Catarina Street. It is a pedestrian shopping street which brings together small addresses, large brands, a covered shopping center and it is right next to Formosa Street which is also worth the detour. Read our article on shopping in Porto, to find the best places to do business.

Porto Shopping Center
Porto Shopping Center

Take a tuk-tuk ride

As a couple, with a guide all to yourself, treat yourself to a tuk-tuk ride! It's an original way to discover the city and get your bearings before setting off on foot. There are several providers, see our section on tuk-tuks in Porto.

Tuk tuk ride

The must-sees of Porto with friends

Festive trip with friends? Porto opens to you! You will have as much fun as you will be amazed.

Go surfing in Foz do Douro

This is a nice experience to do, an initiation or simply go and test the waves of Matosinhos. The beach is suitable for all levels, depending on weather conditions. You can get there easily by metro. Equipment rentals and course reservations are located on the large Matosinhos beach, before the port. Read our description of Porto's beaches

Porto Beach Surfing
Go surfing on the beaches of Porto and Matosinhos

Have a picnic and go enjoy it at Jardim das Virtudes

It is the favorite garden of Porto's youth. Take a picnic, some refreshments and go sit on one of the grassy terraces of the Virtudes Garden, to enjoy a magnificent view of the city, in a friendly atmosphere.

Garden of Virtudes
Garden of Virtudes

Go party in the evening

To party in the evening in Porto, there are several lively places:

  • La Ribeira is of course one of them. With its bars and restaurants open late, always crowded and small establishments with music and a festive atmosphere.
  • Cedofeita is another lively area in the evening, with bars of all styles and atmospheres. Head towards Galeria de Paris street and das Oliveiras street.
  • Praça Filipa de Lencastre (near Aliados) is also a lively place in the evening.
  • In the summer, there are activities, concerts and a good atmosphere at the Jardim do Morro. The sunsets are extraordinary.
  • The quays of Vila Nova de Gaia are lively with bars and street musicians.
  • Finally, in Foz do Douro there are lively bars that turn into nightclubs until the early hours.

Porto in the evening
Porto in the evening

A unique experience: climbing onto a bridge

It's not "unmissable", but it's really fun to do with friends and the opportunity to discover Porto from a unusual point of view: The concrete Arrabida bridge can be climbed, with a harness and roped. It’s magical and original! Our profile of the Arrabida bridge

The Arrabida Bridge
The Arrabida Bridge

By adding up all these unmissable experiences, you will develop a perfect knowledge of this colorful and vibrant, joyful and attractive city! Consult our Porto City Guide Blog articles to regularly get new ideas for adventures and visits.