Use This Guide to Decide!
If you’re planning a trip to Portugal you may find yourself with the pressing question: How many days in Porto do you really need?
While the answer depends on the length of your trip and your own personal travel preferences, we can help you discover the best Porto itinerary for your stay.
There is no one size fits all answer to this question. Instead, choose what you want to do and see in the city and then determine how many days in Porto you need to cross it all off your bucket list!
How many days to spend in Porto depends on your travel preferences.
Some travelers say only spend one or two in the city while others recommend a whole week! So, how many days in Porto do vacationers really need to see it? This breakdown may help.
Spend 1 day in Porto if…
You’re on a tight schedule.
For a quick weekend trip to Portugal, one day and one night in Porto are really the bare minimum visitors need to experience this bustling city.
The number one activity in Porto is wandering the winding streets of the town’s Historic Center and admiring the colorful architecture. Porto is a UNESCO World Heritage Site because the city has over 2,000 years of history!
It can trace its history back to the first century BC so it’s seen thousands of years of change and growth. Simply reflecting on the past and while you walk through this ancient place can be a truly awe-inspiring experience.
Before you finish your whirlwind day in Porto, make sure to climb the Clérigos Church tower for a bird’s eye view of the sprawling city and snap a picture of the charming blue and white facade of the Chapel of Souls.
Walk across the Luís I bridge and cap your evening with dinner on the water. Seafood is a specialty in Porto, but try the locally-famous Francesinha sandwich as well.
Spend 2 days in Porto if…
You enjoy wine tasting.
Porto is the home of port wine, a sweet dessert drink that’s made from grapes and aguardiente. Port wine cellars line the south side of the Douro river so it’s easy to hop between them for a a day. Enjoy the tours and tastings at your own pace as you learn about the delicious drink and the city’s wine-soaked history.
Spend 3 days in Porto if…
The weather is nice.
How many days in Porto that you need will increase if you visit in the summer. Porto is situated on the Atlantic Ocean and has a long stretch of beachfront just begging to be enjoyed.
In the summer it’s especially nice, but even in the winter you can’t go wrong with a sunset on the water. Rent a bike from the local shops and ride along the paved trail that runs along the coast. Pack a suit (and an extra bottle of port wine, of course) and this is a perfect way to wile away your day.
Spend 4 days in Porto if…
You want to see more of the Douro valley.
Are you a nature lover or landscape photographer? If you want to explore more of the Douro valley that surrounds Porto, consider adding a fourth day to your itinerary.
Whether you prefer to float on the river among the lush green hills or visit the small towns and wineries that dot the countryside, the wide variety of Douro valley cruises from Porto means there’s truly something for every traveler.
Spend 5 days in Porto if…
You want to experience even more of Portugal.
Porto is north of Lisbon so it makes a great base to explore the entire northern half of the country. It’s also incredibly easy to reach from Lisbon – use our guide to explore six different ways to travel to Porto from the capital city.
Once you arrive, you’ll be glad you booked the extra days because there are many fabulous half-day and full-day trips to choose from. Visit a medieval castle in the town of Guimarães, snap photos of the colorful fishing village in Costa Nova, reflect at the religious site of Our Lady of Fatima, or go hiking in Peneda-Gerês National Park. The list goes on and on! Check out these 16 awesome day trips from Porto to plan your own adventure from the city.
Spend a week in Porto if…
You’re ready to relax.
If you’re looking for a rejuvenating experience in a gorgeous setting, Porto is the place to be.
How many days in Porto do you need to unwind and reset your energy levels? Here, a week may be just right!
Porto is full of luxury hotels and spas ready and waiting to pamper you. The Pestana Palacio do Freixo is an absolutely stunning 18th century palace with a terrace, spa, and infinity pool overlooking the Douro river. Or, consider a stay at The Yeatman hotel where you can dine at a two-starred Michelin restaurant and sleep inside a port wine barrel shaped bed!
Extra activities to add to your itinerary
If you’re still unsure about how many days to spend in Porto, explore a few more interesting activities to help you decide.
Cheer on the local team at a soccer game. FC Porto plays at the Estádio do Dragão located in the outskirts of the city. Visit the club website to see the schedule and book tickets for a match during your stay.
Get educated at the city’s many museums. Porto is packed full of museums covering a wide range of topics from military to pharmacy to contemporary art and everything in between.
Take a GPS-guided GoCar tour. Sometimes you just want to do your own thing. GoCar tours are GPS-based so you can go at your own pace. Rent them for one hour or up to a full day and explore the historic downtown, seaside, port wine lodges, and so much more with this one-of-a-kind activity.
Step back in time at the catacombs. If human bones don’t make you queasy, consider adding the catacombs in the ultra-ornate Igreja de São Francisco church to your Porto itinerary.
Browse the shelves at Livraria Lello. Come for the books, stay because you just can’t stop taking photos of the spectacular interior. The Livraria Lello bookstore is over 100 years old – which, of course, only adds to its charm!
So, how many days do you need in Porto?
Porto is one of the most amazing cities in Portugal and a must-see stop on any trip through the country.
The colorful center is beautiful and packed full of thousands of years of history. Plus, Porto located on the picturesque Douro River and has miles of beachfront along the Atlantic Ocean as well. Between the wineries and the day trips, the museums and the spas, there is more than enough here to fill an entire week of your vacation.
How many days in Porto that you need all depends on your travel personality and your own personal preference! Luckily, this guide covers everything you need to know to create the perfect itinerary for your vacation.
Plan your trip, book your GoCar tour, and get ready to explore all that the city has to offer – we can’t wait to see you there!