What to Do in Porto, Portugal: 20 Ideas for Every Budget and Itinerary
There’s no shortage of fun, unique, and even free things to do in Porto when you visit! No matter what your budget, itinerary, or personal travel style, this list of 20 things to do in Porto has something for everyone.
Free Things to Do in Porto
If you’re traveling on a budget, add these eight free things to do in Porto to your itinerary!
1. Window Shop on Rua de Santa Catarina
Rua de Santa Catarina runs through central Porto. The pedestrian street is lined with shops, restaurants, bars, and bakeries and is the perfect place to pick up some souvenirs before you leave the city.
2. Walk Along the Ribeira
The Ribeira is one of Porto’s top tourist attractions, and for good reason. This waterfront walk boasts beautiful views of the Luis I bridge, the Douro River, and the historic, colorful houses that make Porto so special.
3. Cross Luis I Bridge on Foot
The Luis I bridge spans 172 meters and was built in 1886. It has one of the best views of Porto, so history and photography lovers alike should add a quick walk across the bridge to their Porto to-do list.
4. Admire Porto’s Many Churches
Like many old European cities, Porto is dotted with spectacular churches. Some of the most notable are the Porto Cathedral, the incredibly ornate Santa Clara Church, the blue and white tiled Capela das Almas, and the Clerigos Church. The Sao Francisco Church is also worth a stop, but entrance costs four euros per person.
5. Spend a Day at the Beach
If you visit Porto in the summer, a day at the beach is a fantastic (and budget-friendly) outing from the city. There are plenty of beautiful beaches near Porto to choose from, and almost all of them are accessible by public transport.
6. Enjoy the Crystal Palace Gardens
The Crystal Palace Gardens are an oasis of green in the center of the city. Roam the gardens alongside some colorful peacocks and enjoy spectacular views of Porto and the Douro river from above.
7. Browse the Bolhao Market
The Bolhao Market is a great place to buy fresh produce, meat, seafood, flowers, or traditional Portuguese food, side by side with the locals in the city.
8. Stand in Awe of Sao Bento Station
Even if you don’t have a train to catch, a visit to the Sao Bento station is one of the best free things to do in Porto. The interior of this hundred-year-old structure is covered floor to ceiling in tiles depicting the city’s history in vivid – and beautiful – detail.
Non Touristy Things to do in Porto
If you want to really get off the beaten path, check out these two non touristy things to do in Porto when you visit.
9. Go to a Meetup
Meetups are a great way to meet locals in any city that you travel to, and Porto is no different. Meetup.com lists plenty of options for any type of traveler, like get-togethers for hiking, socializing, coding, and much more.
10. Volunteer at an Animal Shelter
CaoViver animal shelter is located about 10 kilometers north of Porto. Visit their Facebook page to learn more about how to volunteer with the shelter during your stay in Porto!
Unique Things to do in Porto, Portugal
Check out these six unique things to do in Porto to see a lesser-known side of the city.
11. Discover a Lonely Chapel on the Beach
The Capela do Senhor da Pedra is a tiny chapel built on rocks that run up against the sea. Snap a photo of it sitting alone on the beach, and then step inside – the calm chapel is a serene place to pause and reflect for a few moments before going back to the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
12. Take a Dip in the Leca Swimming Pools
The Leca Pools are saltwater pools built directly into the rocks on Leca Beach. They’re open from June to September and accessible from Porto by public transport.
13. Relax at a Cat Cafe
If you’re looking for some cuddly companionship, it’s time to head to a cat cafe. At O Porto dos Gatos you can sip a coffee or enjoy an entire vegan meal while playing with the adorable cats that call the cafe home.
14. Eat Lunch at McDonalds Imperial
If you’re still hungry after the cat cafe, consider a quick stop at this historical McDonalds in downtown Porto, where you can enjoy your burger in an ornate building with stained glass windows and chandeliers!
15. Climb the Arrabida Bridge
This is one of the most unique things to do in Porto, Portugal, but it’s not for the faint of heart. If you’re a thrill-seeker, book a climb up the arch of the Arrabida bridge with the Porto Bridge Climb tour company. The tours run almost every day and cost 15 euros per person.
16. Explore Porto with GoCar Tours
GoCar tours are the most unique way to explore Porto! Our GPS guided karts let you explore the city at your own pace while still learning about its history and landmarks from the detailed narrated guide. Click here to rent karts for one-hour, a full-day, or anything in between!
Things to do in Porto at Night
Round out a perfect day in the city with these four things to do in Porto at night!
17. Catch a Concert at Casa de Musica
The unique shape of the Casa de Musica makes it an architectural landmark worth seeing whether you attend a show or not – but if you can, try to catch a concert as well. They regularly host shows in a variety of genres, so check out the calendar of events on their website to see what’s coming up next.
18. Drink Port Wine and Eat Francesinha
One of the best things to do in Porto at night is a port wine tasting. The sweet dessert wine is made in the region and many wine cellars in the city offer tours and tastings. Afterward, try francesinha, a sauce-covered sandwich, for another taste of the local Portuguese cuisine.
19. Cheer on the Home Team at a Soccer Game
Catching a soccer game is one of the most exciting things to do in Porto at night. Click here to see the schedule of upcoming matches and buy tickets to cheer on FC Porto at the Estadio do Dragao stadium.
20. Take a Night Tour of the Clerigos Tower
The Clerigos Museum closes at 7 pm but you can still buy tickets to climb the tower at night until 11 pm. This is a great way to get a new view of the city, with the lights twinkling below your feet as far as the eye can see!
Add These 20 Ideas to Your Porto Itinerary!
Porto is a fantastic vacation destination because there is so much to see and do in the city.
This guide will help you discover what to do in Porto, Portugal from top sites to free attractions to unique outings and everything in between. Are you ready to plan the perfect trip? Get started by booking your GoCar tour of Porto today!