Porto City Guide
Located on the Douro River, the home of port and several voted best European destination by travelers; we are of course talking about PORTO! Portugal ‘s second largest city has already captured many hearts including ours. Why? Porto has great food, culture, history, architecture and countless attractions. Rather, the question should be why not! It is a city full of surprises where you can have a great time for a few days.
The city is a lot smaller than Lisbon, which gives it a more cozy and charming feel. Something that attracts us tremendously in the city.
In this article on Porto
- To do
- Travel time
- Practical information
- The nicest accommodations
- How do I get there?
- Our opinion
What to do in Porto
- Stroll through the old city center and spot the most beautiful Azulejos tiles
- Book a Food Tour. Tip! Plan this right at the beginning of your trip, that way you’ll know how to find the best hot spots right away.
- Do a Port Tasting –
- Join a Free Walking tour
- VISIT Palácio da Bolsa (Bolsa Palace)
- Go shopping at Mercado do Bolhão
- Visit a soccer game
- Take the yellow streetcar to the beach
- Lello Bookshop a.k.a the library of Harry Potter (very touristy and crowded though)
- Stroll through Rua de Miguel Bombarda, Rua da Madeira, and Escadas do Codeca and admire the most beautiful street art of Porto
- Hike at sunset to Parque de las Virtudes for spectacular views
- Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge and enjoy stunning views
- Visit São Bento Station for the most beautiful Azulejos tiles
- Drink a specialty beer opposite Igreja do Carmo, perhaps the most beautiful building in Porto
- If you have some time to spare, a day trip to the Douro Valley is a big tip!
Best time to travel to Porto
Porto is beautiful to visit all year round, but it can rain heavily in winter. In high season, it can be quite crowded and prices are a lot higher. The best months to visit Porto are May, June, September and October.
Transportation in Porto
What makes Porto so nice is that you can reach almost all the sights on foot. Do put on good shoes because Porto is anything but flat. If you get tired of walking, you can always take a streetcar, cable car or even an uber.
Which budget do i need in Porto?
We normally budget around 60 euros per day. In a city, this is often a bit more difficult. In total, we spent 2 days in Porto and spent 181 euros. Then we did have nice drinks all day and went out to dinner a few times.
This is a daily budget of 90 euros for 2 people.
Tip! Often we go terrace hopping where we always order small bites. In the end, you then finished a whole meal without it costing you a fortune.
Practical information about Porto
- Try to avoid toll roads as much as possible. The toll in Portugal is huge. We paid about 30 euros for an hour’s drive. You also miss the most beautiful spots this way.
- You have electronic Tolls in Portugal. You can arrange this in advance by purchasing a toll card or you can buy a prepaid card at the gas station. The electric toll roads are not very clearly marked, so pay attention!
- Most people speak English in Portugal, but a translate app can sometimes come in handy
- You can just drink tap water in Porto, it does have a bit of a chlorine taste
- Use the app park4night or camper contact to find the nicest RV sites and campgrounds
- Looking for a free overnight stay? Through Trusted Housesitters, you can babysit other people’s homes and pets for free.
- We have already had 2x per breakdown on the road and were very happy with the ANWB then. This year we even opted for the complete package, since last year we got stuck in Germany for 8 days and only spent 80 euros per day on accommodation
- Download the foreign affairs app and stay up to date with the latest travel advice
- Attention Orange Travel Advisory. Also, if you travel through an orange area, your insurance can deny charges. If there is an orange travel advisory regarding Corona, the insurance will only not cover costs related to Corona (please check, because this is not the case everywhere).
- Refueling is cheaper in villages. So never fill up your tank on the highway. Should you enter Portugal via Spain, fill up your car with gasoline, as gasoline prices are very favorable in Spain.
- If you want to withdraw money in Europe, you often have to pay a small fee to your bank. We recently switched to Knab, which does not charge additional fees. We are very happy with it + you now receive €50 gift when you use Knab’s Switch Service!
- A credit card is really handy to have with you. For example, purchases are extra insured and in some places you can only pay by credit card.
What are nice places to stay in Porto?
Porto is a perfect city trip destination during your road trip. If you are with an RV or caravan, you have numerous options for camping on the coast. You pay about 15 to 30 euros per night for a camper spot or campsite in Porto. During high season, it is wise to make reservations in advance as it is more difficult to get a spot. You also have the choice of several ACSI campsites where you can get a discount in the low season. Check out the Campsites in Porto and ACSI card options here. Buses and cabs go to town. This costs about 5 euros per ride and takes about 10 minutes.
Hotels in Porto
Although we really enjoy sleeping in our bus thanks to our amazing camper mattress , we prefer to discover a city with an overnight stay in the city center. So we can roll straight from the terrace into bed. We have collected some great overnight stays in Porto for you.
How to get to Porto?
Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport (OPO) is less than 20 minutes from the city center. MEt the metro, bus or cab you can easily travel to the center.
We visited Porto during our 2-month road trip through Portugal. Just outside the city by the water you will find several campsites (15 – 35 euros per night). A cab will get you into town in 15 minutes. The cost of a cab is about 5 euros per trip.