10 Things to do and see in Porto, Portugal!

After sharing my top 10 things to do in Lisbon, I will now continue with everything we did in Porto!

This time, I didn’t have as many photos, but if you want more visual impressions of our stay in Porto, make sure to watch my Portugal travel video!

Now let’s start with 10 Things to do in Porto, Portugal!

#1 Walk along Ponte Dom Luís I.

The probably most famous sight in Porto is Ponte Dom Luís I. It is a gigantic bridge, in the heart of Porto, that can be either crossed at the top or the bottom.

If you’re like me and have never seen such a bridge before, walking along it alone is a remarkable experience! However, it get’s even more impressive as there are cars passing it on the bottom lane and trams on the upper. Walking along, the size of the bridge becomes truly overwhelming.

By the way, we’ve seen some kids as well as grown-up people jump into the water from the bottom bridge, which is not something I would advise you to do, but also doesn’t seem that unusual in Porto!

#2 Taste Francesinha (not vegan)

One of the things I tasted for the first time in Portugal was “Francesinha”.

We found it at a place called Ribeiro, which was not far from the centre. As we wanted to try something new, we all ordered the Francesinha and didn’t know what to expect at all.

The description of the dish was already quite interesting (and definitely not suitable for a vegan diet) as it contained eggs, beer, sausages, pizza bread and cheese.

At the beginning it tastes quite good and just really savoury. Later, it did become a little too much for me as the portion sizes were huge and it was filled with quite greasy ingredients.

However, if you’re not at the verge of becoming vegan (like me at that time) this is an interesting local dish to try.

I would still advise you to share it with some friends as it is really a lot!

#3 Search for local shops

Porto has a lot of beautiful local shops. Especially good like different fashion pieces or locally produced pottery have their home in there.

Sadly, I didn’t have the time to go shopping a lot, but once I come back visiting small local shops is definitely a must-do!

#4 Visit the beach

As Porto is close to the ocean, we decided to visit the beach! We visited “Praia do Senhor da Pedra”, a beautiful beach with some rocks as well as a small chapel on the coast.

While the beach itself was beautiful, it was quite cold and windy outside and the waves were huge. We all only went in our shirts and bathing suits, so it was way too cold to stay there for long.

I would still advise you to visit, but definitely bring a sweater or jacket with you if you do!

#5 Stroll through Ribeira

The historical centre of Porto was my favourite part to walk through and find new spots and places.

One of the things you will find there is the famous cathedral of Porto. It’s a gorgeous and huge cathedral that definitely can’t be overseen. Once you arrive there, there is quite a big square where you can enjoy the beautiful views of the roofs of Porto as well as the river.

After visiting the cathedral, you could then go back down to the Douro via the narrow streets of Ribeira. Try to explore these streets as there are lovely restaurants and shops around every corner.

#6 Get some souvenirs at the market

Once you got back to the river, you will find yourself at the river bank next to Ponte Dom Luís I., also called “Cais da Ribeira”. There, you will sometimes find a market where people sell all kinds of local goods as well as some souvenirs.

Not going to lie, this market is mainly focused towards tourists as you can find quite a lot of souvenirs there. However, the goods are still quite different than in the souvenir shops you might know.

They sell cork bags and wallets, different pottery, tiles and just all in all lovely items. When searching for a souvenir for either someone else or yourself, you might find something nice there!

#7 Eat out at Bao-Bao

One place we wanted to check out during our stay in Porto was Bao-Bao, an Asian restaurant with a beautiful garden.

The restaurant has a one of a kind ambience. There are some tables in the garden and some on a little balcony above it. Additionally, the whole place is colourfully decorated and the staff is lovely!

The food was good as well. They offered a lot of different asian mains as well as starters and different types of rice. Although this restaurant is a little on the expensive site, it’s definitely worth a visit!

#8 Chill at Jardim do Morro

Once you cross Ponte Dom Luís I. you’ll find yourself in a much calmer and greener part of Porto, called “Vila Nova de Gaia”. I would definitely advise you to stroll around a little, as it just feels like a whole different city.

However, if you want to relax first, visit Jardim do Morro. This place is perfect to enjoy some views of the city, have a little picnic, or simply meet with friends.

The view from Jardim do Morro

#9 Have some Port wine

Talking about Vila Nova de Gaia, this is also the best place to visit a Port wine tasting!

This one is a little bit of a cheat, as we had our first Port wine in Lisbon instead of Porto, however it was still good and worth a taste!

Port wine contains Porto’s locally produced grapes and is usually a rather sweet wine. You can get it in different variations and tastes!

I had a Rosé version of the wine, which is a little more modern, and it tasted delicious and quite sweet! So if you’re a wine drinker, trying some Port wine is a must!

Photo by Ivo Rainha on Unsplash

#10 Visit Livraria Lello

Almost every die hard Harry Potter fan knows that a lot of architectural inspiration for the books came from J.K. Rowling’s stay in Porto!

Livraria Lello is one of the many places that influenced her. It’s a small book shop with some beautifully formed stairs that inspired Rowling when creating the stairs that change direction!

Sadly, due to the huge amount of worldwide Potterheads, as well as architecture and bookshop lovers in general, Livraria Lello is always full and you have to wait for really long to get in.

Therefore, we decided to take a look at the stairs from outside and they really do look beautiful! So if you want to visit, make sure to come before it opens. However, you still have to be prepared for a huge crowd of people once you’re in (even in the morning it sadly does not look like in the photo).

https://www.livrarialello.pt/en-us/

Thanks for reading!

So, that’s it! Those are the things we did in Porto!

I hope you found something you want to do as well. I’m definitely planning on revising as there are so many more things to do we didn’t have the time for!

If you were already there, tell me what your favourite thing to do in Porto was!

Carrie

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