2 Days in Porto: The Perfect Weekend Itinerary

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If you’re looking for an amazing European city to visit that’s off the beaten path, Porto is the place for you!

This charming city is located in northern Portugal and is home to a variety of historical buildings, delicious food, and beautiful scenery.

Douro River

In this blog post, you will get the perfect itinerary to spend 2 days in Porto! You’ll get some of the best things to see and do in the city as well as some recommendations for delicious restaurants where you can enjoy Portuguese cuisine.

Let’s start planning your trip to Porto today! (You can use the table of contents to navigate if that’s easier for you!)

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Note: Although each day is full, you will have enough time to explore each activity listed. Some activities, like the Sao Bento Train Station or the Chapel of Souls, only need about 10-15 minutes of viewing before moving on to the next activity. You can also tailor this itinerary to meet your needs.

Porto Itinerary: Evening of Arrival

  • You’ll most likely get to Porto in the afternoon or evening. If this is the case, you can take some time to walk around the historic city center.
  • You’ll want to book 3 nights in Porto so you’ll have 2 full days in Porto.
  • Fly into Porto’s Airport: Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) 
  • If you are training from Lisbon – You will arrive at the Campanhna or Sao Bento Train Stations
Gazela hot dog restaurant

If you’re arriving in the afternoon or evening, you can take some time to walk around the historic city center and orient yourself as best you can.

You’ll most likely be hungry, so I would highly recommend starting your first meal in Porto at Gazela. They have delicious Portuguese hot dogs (no it’s not what you’re imagining) eaten with fries and a pint of Super Bock. If beer isn’t your choice of drink, grab a Coke Zero.

Gazela has seating outside, but it’s fun to sit inside the restaurant. Warning though, that the restaurant only has bar seating with about 10 seats. If you do choose to sit inside, you’ll see how the cooks prepare the hot dogs and you can even chit-chat with them or your neighbors.

Gazela’s hot dogs are prepared on a panini press. The hot dog consists of cured Portuguese sausage and cheese, then pressed again with the top of the bun to make it crispy, and finally topped with chili oil.

If you finish your hot dog and want more, you can order more right there and they’ll cook you another hot dog.

After eating your fill, it’s time to take a walk around the Porto. You can go to the Porto Cathedral and view the Douro River from there. You can also head to the Miradouro da Vitoria Viewpoint and enjoy the sunset over the Douro River.

2 Days in Porto - view from the Miradouro da Vitoria
Miradouro da Vitoria

Porto Itinerary Day 1: Walking the Hills of Historic Porto

  • Today you’ll be doing a lot of walking around the historic city center of Porto, so make sure to pack some comfy shoes!

1. Start with some breakfast at Leitaria da Quinta do Paco

Before heading out to start your day, grab some breakfast at this local pastry shop. They offer so many delicious fares, but you’ll need to try the ham and cheese croissant.

It doesn’t look like a croissant, but it’s also not a sandwich either. However, this was so delicious. We bought a couple and walked with them on the way to our free walking tour.

Pro-Tip: Grab a couple of these so you can have a snack after your free walking tour as well!

  • Leitaria da Quinta do Paco | Address: Praça Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 47, 4050-293 Porto, Portugal

2. Take a Free Walking Tour

If you’re looking for a great way to start your first day in Porto, I would recommend taking a free walking tour.

There are a few different companies that offer free walking tours, but I would recommend checking out Guru Walks with Optimus Tours. The title of this tour is called “Essential Porto Free Tour.”

The tour meets every day at 10:45 am and 3 pm in front of the Praça Gomes Teixeira, nearby the Porto University. The tour lasts about 2.5 hours and you’ll get a history lesson and a tour of all the iconic sites in Porto.

Note: Most of the recommendations for day 1 in Porto are covered in the free walking tour. If you choose to do the walking tour, you’ll have seen many of these sites and can go back after the tour for more time if you’d like.

Book your Free Walking Tour in Porto with Gurwalks/Optimus Tours

2 Days in Porto - Sao Bento Train station with the azulejo tiles

3. Bask at the São Bento Train Station

Whether or not you choose to do a free walking tour, you can start your day off by visiting the São Bento train station. It is one of the most beautiful train stations in the world and definitely worth a visit when in Porto.

If your accommodation is not in this area, you can take the metro to the São Bento metro station, exit, and you’ll notice the Sao Bento station with the large clock.

The station was built in 1916 and is home to 20,000 azulejo tiles, that depict scenes from Portuguese history. The tiles were created by a local artist named Jorge Colaco and took him 10 years to complete.

If you look up past the tiles, you’ll see a development of the history of Portugal starting at the top right corner and moving to the left around the whole station lobby.

  • São Bento Train Station | Address: Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal

4. Visit the Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral)

Check out the Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral). The entrance to the cathedral is free and it’s open from 10 am-6 pm. If there isn’t a mass taking place, you are able to go into the cathedral and respectfully tour it.

The cathedral was built in the 12th century and is one of the oldest in Portugal. It’s also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Make sure to go into the cloisters and check out the view of the city from there. You can also walk out to the front of the cathedral and find one of the best miradouros (viewpoints) looking over the Douro River.

  • Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral) | Address: Praça da Sé, 4000-572 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening Hours: 9 am – 6:30 pm Daily
  • Entrance Fee: Free, if the doors are closed it’s most likely in service

Pro-Tip: Most of the cathedrals in Porto are free to visit.

2 Days in Porto - view of Douro River from the Luis I Bridge

5. Cross Dom Luís I Bridge

The Dom Luís I Bridge is one of the most iconic sites in Porto and is a must-see when visiting. It was built in the 18th century and is a beautiful example of baroque architecture.

You’ll know you’re at the right bridge when you see something that looks very similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris – it was designed by Théophile Seyrig, who was a student of Gustave Eiffel!

The bridge crosses the Douro River over to Vila Nova de Gaia and offers amazing views of the city. Make sure to walk across it and take some photos. You’ll get panoramic views of both Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia (the village on the other side of the Douro river).

Be careful when you are crossing the bridge as the local tram does use the bridge as transport back and forth.

  • Dom Luís I Bridge | Address: Ponte Luís I, 4000 Porto, Portugal

6. Take a Short Break at Jardim do Morro (Morro Garden)

The Jardim do Morro is a beautiful park located in the hills of Porto. It’s a great place to take a break from all the walking you have been doing and enjoy the views of Porto across the Douro River.

If you have a snack with you, this is the perfect time to eat it or re-hydrate yourself with some water.

The Jardim do Morro is also a beautiful spot to view the sunset as well. If you are finding yourself with nothing to do at the golden hour, head to the garden and enjoy the sunset views.

  • Jardim do Morro | Address: R. do Morro São Bento, 4000-090 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening Hours: 7 am-9 pm
  • Entrance Fee: Free
2 Days in Porto - Serra do Pilar monastery

7. Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

The Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar is a monastery located across the street from the Jardim do Morro. It was built in the 17th century and is a beautiful example of baroque architecture.

Make sure to go inside the monastery and check out the chapel. It’s one of the most beautiful in Porto and definitely worth a visit.

There is also an amazing viewpoint outside of the monastery that will give you views of Porto and the Douro River below. You will also be able to see the Dom Luís I Bridge from above!

  • Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar | Address: Largo de São Domingos, 4000-490 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening Hours: 10 am – 6:30 pm | Closed on Mondays
  • Entrance Fee: 2 Euros
2 Days in Porto - view of the Douro river and the Luis I Bridge from the Vila Nova de Gaia riverfront

8. Hike down to the riverfront of Vila Nova de Gaia

If you take the stairs from Jardim do Morro and start heading down the hill, you’ll eventually reach the riverfront of Vila Nova de Gaia. The village is located on the other side of the Douro River and is known for its port wine cellars.

The riverfront is a great place to enjoy a relaxing stroll and take in the views of Porto. There are also a few restaurants located along the riverfront if you are looking for a place to grab food and try some port wine.

Port wine is a type of fortified wine that is produced in the Douro Valley in Portugal. The wine is made by adding a distilled spirit to the wine, which makes it stronger and helps it to age well.

Port wine is typically sweet and can be either red or white. It’s a popular drink for dessert or after dinner and is often served with cheese. You may not have time to take a trip to the Douro Valley, but luckily Vila Nova de Gaia has plenty of opportunities to try it!

If you are interested in trying port wine, there are a few places along the riverfront where you can do a port wine tasting.

One of the best places to try port wine is at Porto Cruz. You can even walk up to the 4th floor and enjoy a rooftop view of the Douro River and Porto. Another place with a rooftop view is Yeatman Hotel.

2 Days in Porto - Paf and N on a Teleforico; Paf is looking surprised that there is a cable car behind them

9. Enjoy a ride on the Teleferico de Gaia

The Teleferico de Gaia is a cable car located in Vila Nova de Gaia that takes you from the riverfront right back up to the top so you don’t have to hike uphill (which was why we took it, despite fears of height!).

Riding it offers a bird’s eye view of Porto and the Douro River as you go up. You can choose to ride it down as well if you’d rather not walk downhill, but we enjoyed our short walk downhill and got a cool shot of the Dom Luis I Bridge while we were at it!

  • Teleferico de Gaia | Address: Rua D. Manuel II, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
  • Opening hours: Oct-Mar 10 am – 6pm | Apr-Sept 10 am – 8pm
  • Entrance Fee: 6 Euros one way | 9 Euros round trip | the ride is about 6 minutes long
2 Days in Porto - Clerigos tower and view of the city of Porto

10. See the city from the Clérigos  Tower

The Clérigos Tower is one of the most iconic landmarks in Porto. It is a tower located in the center of the city that offers panoramic views of Porto and the Douro River.

The Clérigos Tower is 75 meters high and was built in the 18th century by Nicolau Nasoni. One interesting fact about this tower is that Nicolau’s heart is buried underneath the tower, as he had wanted to be close to heaven when he died.

You can climb the 240 steps of the Clérigos Tower to see Porto from a bird’s eye view; however, we chose to just admire the tower from below!

  • Clérigos Tower | Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening hours: 9 am – 7 pm Daily
  • Entrance Fee: 3 Euros
2 Days in Porto - Francesinha and super bock in Cafe Santiago

11. Grab food at Cafe Santiago

Cafe Santiago is a great place to grab dinner while in Porto. The restaurant is located in the heart of the city and offers a variety of traditional Portuguese dishes.

However, you might go to Cafe Santiago to try the infamous Francesinha sandwich. The sandwich is made with various meats (usually ham, cured sausage, fresh sausage, and beef) covered in a beer and tomato sauce and then grilled. You might also find an egg on top too! It’s usually served with melted cheese and a side of fries and Super Bock.

The Francesinha is a Porto specialty and definitely something you should try while in the city.

  • Cafe Santiago | Address: Rua de Santa Catarina, 2-26
2 Days in Porto - view looking at the city hall on Avenida dos Aliados

12. Walk along Avenida dos Aliados (Avenue of the Allies)

After getting refilled with some energy, take a walk on Avenida dos Aliados. This is the main avenue in Porto and is a great place to people-watch or grab a coffee.

Avenida dos Aliados is also where the city hall is located, which is a beautiful building definitely worth seeing. You’ll also see various historic statues and Banco do Minho, which is one of the oldest banks in Portugal.

While on the Avenida, you’ll also come across the fanciest McDonald’s in the world. This 2-story McDonald’s is located in a beautiful, historic building with a stained glass backdrop and chandeliers.

Even if you don’t order anything, stroll in and take a glance at the bougie-ness of this place!

  • Avenida dos Aliados | Address: 4000-038 Porto, Portugal

From here, you can hop on the Aliados metro line and head back to your accommodations for a night of rest!

Porto Itinerary Day 2: Exploring the Ribeira District and Its Surroundings

  • Today you’ll be exploring the Ribeira district of Porto and seeing some of the beautiful historic surroundings.
  • You will be doing some uphill walking, so continue wearing your comfy shoes!
2 Days in Porto - the inside of Majestic Cafe

1. Starting off with breakfast & expresso at Rua de Santa Catarina

Start the day by grabbing breakfast at one of the cafes along Rua de Santa Catarina. This street is full of bakeries, cafes, and shops.

To get to the Santa Catarina road, you can take the metro to the Bolhao stop, which will exit right onto this street.

Grab a coffee and a snack at Cafe Majestic voted as one of the most beautiful cafes in the world. It is pretty majestic, indeed!

  • Cafe Majestic | Address: Avenida dos Aliados, 195
2 Days in Porto - chapel of the souls

2. Stand in Awe of the Capelas das Almas (Chapel of the Souls)

If you continue walking north on Rua de Santa Catarina, you’ll come across the Capelas das Almas, also referred to as the Chapel of the Souls. It is a small, but beautiful chapel that is definitely worth a visit.

The chapel was built in the 18th century and shows the souls in Purgatory washed with the redeeming blood of Christ in its stained glass.

The chapel is neoclassical and features beautiful blue azulejos tiles all over its exterior facade and the inside is just as beautiful. When you do walk in, just be aware that there may be people praying so be respectful of them.

  • Capelas das Almas | Address: Rua de Santa Catarina 428, 4000-124 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening hours: Mon-Sat: 7:30am-1pm / 3:30pm-7pm | Sun: 7:30am-1pm / 6-7pm
  • Entrance fee: Free
2 Days in Porto - Cais de Ribeira independent artists busking

3. Exploring the Ribeira District – Cais de Ribeira

After the chapel, head on down to the Ribeira district, which is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Porto and is located east of the bank of the Douro River. The district was once an important commercial center and is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

The Ribeira district is full of winding streets, colorful houses, and stunning river views. You’ll also find independent artists busking in the streets as well! It’s the perfect place to spend a day exploring!

If you skipped the Rua de Santa Catarina, you’ll want to take the metro to the Sao Bento station to get to the Ribeira District. Instead of crossing the Dom Luis I Bridge, you’ll start walking down towards the riverfront, also known as the Cais da Ribeira.

Pro-Tip: After exploring the Ribeira district, you can take the funicular dos guindais up from Cais da Ribeira and avoid the hills. I would not recommend eating here as the prices are exorbitant and the food isn’t as great.

4. See the Praça da Ribeira (Ribeira Square)

Find one of the uphill openings and walk up to find the beautiful Ribeira Square. The square is now surrounded by various restaurants, cafes, bars, and boutique shopping.

The historic Ribeira square is also home to various monuments, including a monumental fountain decorated with Portugal’s coat-of-arms and a modern cubic sculpture by José Rodrigue.

  • Praça da Ribeira | Address: Praça da Ribeira, 4000-513 Porto, Portugal
2 Days in Porto - Ribeira square

5. Take a Guided tour at Palácio da Bolsa

Palácio da Bolsa, or the Stock Exchange Palace, is a beautiful building located in the Ribeira district of Porto, on the west side of the Ribeira Square. The palace was built in the 19th century and was once the home of the Portuguese Stock Exchange.

The Palácio da Bolsa is now a museum and is open to the public for guided tours. The guided tour will take you through the various rooms of the palace, including the Arab Room, which is considered one of the most beautiful rooms in Porto decorated in gold leaf!

Guided tours are offered in various languages including English but only during specific hours. You cannot do a self-guided tour at Palácio da Bolsa! So you will want to plan according. Check out their website for tour guides in your preferred language.

  • Palácio da Bolsa | Address: Rua Ferreira Borges, s/n 4050-253 Porto
  • Opening hours: 9 am – 6:30 pm Daily | Check the website for guided tour times
  • Entrance fee: 10 Euros
2 Days in Porto - the gilded gold inside of the Sao Francisco Church

6. Wonder at Igreja de Sao Francisco (Church of St. Francis)

The Church of St. Francis, also known as Igreja de Sao Francisco, is a beautiful Baroque-style church located in the Ribeira district of Porto and located right behind the Palacio da Bolsa.

The church was built in the 17th century and is considered one of the most beautiful churches in Porto. It’s also home to various works of art, including a gilded altarpiece, one is famously known as the “Tree of Jesse.”

The whole chapel of the church is also gilded in gold. It is believed that 300 kilos of gold dust were used to cover the walls, columns, and ceiling of the church!

Underneath the church, you’ll also find the catacombs, which can be a little freaky as you are walking over thousands of bones seen through glass flooring. You will also see people such as the Franciscan monks and the wealthy people of Porto buried in boxes labeled with their names.

If you only have time for one church in Porto, this is the church to see! The Church of St. Francis is open to the public and the entrance fee is currently 7.5 euros.

  • Igreja de Sao Francisco | Address: Rua Infante D. Henrique, s/n 4050-253 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening hours: Nov – Feb: 9 am – 5:30 pm | Mar – Oct: 9 am – 7 pm | Jul – Sept: 9 am – 8 pm
  • Entrance fee: 7.5 Euros

7. Have a Picnic at Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique

The Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique, or the Garden of the Infante D. Henrique is a beautiful park located in the Ribeira district of Porto and is located right next to the Church of St. Francis.

The garden was built in honor of the Portuguese explorer and conqueror, Infante D. Henrique, and is a great place to relax and have a picnic lunch. The garden has various benches, trees, and flowers. There is also a cafe located in the park if you need coffee or snacks!

To get your picnic food, you can go shopping at Mercado Ferreira Borges, which is a large indoor market located across the street from the Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique. The market has various stalls selling fresh fruits, vegetables, meat, cheese, and more!

  • Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique | Address: Rua das Taipas, s/n 4050-253 Porto, Portugal
  • Entrance fee: Free
2 Days in Porto - the boat getting for the Douro River Cruises

8. Have an Afternoon Cruise on the Douro River

After a full day of exploring, end with some rest on the Douro River, which is the river that runs through Porto and is one of the main reasons why the city is so beautiful.

On a sunny day, you can see all the colors of the buildings reflecting on the water. It’s truly a sight to see!

On the Douro River cruise, the boat will take you through 5 bridges on the east of the river, and then all the way back to the 1 bridge on the west side. You’ll also get some historical and factual commentary as you enjoy the sunshine and views on the Douro River cruise.

You can book a Douro River cruise with Viator where you’ll take a 50-minute-long cruise that includes a tour guide who will tell you all about the history of Porto as you cruise down the river.

  • Cruise Port Departure | Address: Cais da Ribeira, Cais da Ribeira, 4000 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening hours: Cruises usually end around 6:30 pm, but run every hour
  • Entrance fee: 16 Euros

Book your Douro River Cruise with Viator

2 Days in Porto - Jardim dos Palacio de Cristal's manicured lawns

9. Stroll the Jardim do Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens)

The Jardim do Palacio de Cristal, or Crystal Palace, is a beautiful garden with a view of the Douro River. It is also a manicured garden and includes flowers such as rhododendrons, camellias, araucarias, ginkgoes, and beech trees.

There are also fountains and statues and several themed gardens like the rose garden and the aromatic garden.

If you’re looking for a sanctuary with several free wi-fi spots, head on over to the Crystal Palace for some natural beauty.

To get there, you can walk through Miguel Bombarda street, which is Porto’s alternative art street and leads you to the Crytal Palace Gardens.

  • Crystal Palace Gardens | Address: R. de Dom Manuel II 3163, 4050-378 Porto
  • Entrance Fee: Free
2 Days in Porto - Casa Guedes Store front

10. Grab dinner at Casa Guedes

After all your exploring, walk on over to Casa Guedes for dinner.

Casa Guedes is a traditional Portuguese restaurant located in the heart of Porto’s old town. The restaurant started off as a snack bar by the Corria brothers, who wanted to provide cheap Portuguese meals like hot dogs, roasted pork sandwiches, and francesinhas.

The roasted pork sandwiches started becoming popular, and as Casa Guedes put itself in the growth of that popularity, today it’s one of the best places to get a pork sandwich, also referred to as a pernil sandwich in the restaurant.

The restaurant is small and typically filled with locals, but if you go around 8 pm on a weekday, you shouldn’t have a problem getting seated.

My favorite order was the number 8, which is a pernil sandwich with queijo da serra, or roasted pork sandwich with traditional Portuguese cheese (I think it was sheep cheese).

  • Casa Guedes | Address: Praça dos Poveiros 130, 4000-393 Porto, Portugal

11. Grab a drink and a rooftop view at Hotel Dom Henrique 

If you’re looking for a nice place to have a drink and take in the view of Porto, head on over to Hotel Dom Henrique and its 17º Restaurante.

The hotel is located right in the heart of the city and has a rooftop bar that offers stunning views of the Douro River and the cityscape.

  • Hotel Dom Henrique | Address: Rua do Vilar, 63 4000-322 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening hours: 12 pm – 2 am Daily

Have an Extra Day in Porto? Optional Activities and Day Trips

If you have an extra day in Porto, there are several options you can add to your trip in Northern Portugal.

2 Days in Porto - Matosinhos sculpture of women crying for their men lost at sea

Take a Day Trip to Matosinhos

Matosinhos is a city located about 40 minutes from Porto and is known for its seafood. The city is home to several seafood restaurants, the beach, and surfing.

If you want to take a break from all the walking you’ve done in Porto, you can relax at the beach and even touch the Atlantic Ocean! Be warned though that the water is freezing!

To get to Matosinhos, you can take the 500 bus, which is a bus stop right across the street from the Sao Bento train station. It’ll cost about 2 euros for your bus ticket.

You can also get off at the Matosinhos Praia stop and head to Rua Heróis de França for a long street full of seafood vendors that grill fish right outside. You’ll know you’re there by the delicious smells!

Read next: How to Spend One Day in Braga

one day in braga - Paf and N in front of the Braga Sign

Take a Day Trip to Braga

Braga is a city located about 1 hour north of Porto and is known as the religious capital of Portugal, or the Portuguese Rome.

The city is home to several churches, including the Bom Jesus do Monte and the Sé Catedral de Braga.

To get to Braga, you can purchase a train ticket for about 6.5 euros at Porto’s Campanha train station. If you’d rather go on a tour, you might be able to explore the Guimaraes castle, too!

Book your tour to Braga and the Guimaraes Valley!

2 Days in Porto - Douro Valley

Take a Day Trip to the Douro Valley

The Douro Valley is located about 2.5 hours from Porto and is known for its beautiful scenery and wine country. This is where most of Porto’s port wine comes from.

There are several places you can visit in the Douro Valley, like the town of Pinhao or the city of Lamego.

To get to the Douro Valley, you can purchase a train ticket for about 12 euros at Porto’s Campanha train station. If you’d rather go with a tour, check out this wine tour from Porto that includes transportation and wine tastings!

You can get to the Douro Valley on your own, but I would highly recommend booking a tour. You’ll have a tour guide to bring you to the best spots and not have to worry about transportation as they will take care of it.

Book your tour to the Douro Valley

Summary of the 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Porto Itinerary: Arrival Afternoon

  • Grab food at Gazela
  • Explore Porto on Foot
  • See the sunset at Miradouro da Vitoria Viewpoint

Porto Itinerary Day 1

  • Grab a snack at Leitaria da Quinta do Paco
  • Free walking tour
  • Wonder into São Bento train station
  • Tour the Porto Cathedral
  • Cross the Dom Luís I Bridge
  • Snack at Jardim do Morro
  • Tour the Serra do Pilar Monastery
  • Explore the Vila Nova de Gaia
  • Grab lunch and try Port Wine (Porto Cruz or Yeatman Hotel)
  • Ride the Teleferico de Gaia
  • Take a picture of the Clérigos Tower
  • Eat Dinner (Cafe Santiago)
  • Walk on Avenida dos Aliados

Porto Itinerary Day 2

  • Grab breakfast at Rua de Santa Catarina (Cafe Majestic)
  • Wonder at the Chapel of the Souls
  • Explore the Ribeira District
  • View the Ribeira Square
  • Take a Guided Tour at Palácio da Bolsa
  • Wander at the Igreja de Sao Francisco
  • Picnic at Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique with food from Mercado Ferreira Borges
  • Take a Douro River cruise
  • Stroll the Palacio de Cristal, or Crystal Palace
  • View the art on Miguel Bombarda street
  • Grab dinner at Casa Guedes
  • Grab a drink and a rooftop view at Hotel Dom Henrique in the 17º Restaurante

Map of Things to Do for 2 Days in Porto

Key: Blue – Porto Itinerary Day 1 | Purple – Porto Itinerary Day 2

Useful Travel Tips for 2 Days in Porto

2 Days in Porto - Livraria Lello store front

Skip the Livraria Lello (Bookstore).

This is a controversial topic, but I would highly recommend skipping the Livraria Lello bookstore, even if you are a die-hard Harry Potter fan like I am. The beautiful bookstore is known for its stunning architecture and Harry Potter connection.

J.K. Rowling is said to have been inspired to write the Harry Potter series while she was visiting the bookstore.

To visit it, you’ll need to pay an entrance fee (which is added to your book total if you do decide to buy a book), then stand in a very long line, just to get into an overly crowded bookstore. Of course, the inside is stunning (I’ve seen the pictures), but I don’t think it’s worth the hype.

But, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t go there and take a picture of the storefront, as it’s also beautiful! Livraria Lello is located about a 10-minute walk from the São Bento train station.

  • Livaria Lello | Address: Rua das Carmelitas, 144 4000-291 Porto, Portugal
  • Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 9:30 am – 7:00 pm | Sun + holidays 11:00 am – 7:00 pm
  • Entrance Fee: 5 euros and hour-long lines!

Is t worth spending 2 days in Porto?

If you’re looking for a city break in Europe that is affordable with stunning architecture, delicious food, and plenty of things to do, then Porto is worth visiting!

In fact, we enjoyed Porto so much more than Lisbon. If we ever head back to Portugal, Porto would be at the top of our list!

Is Porto Safe?

Not only is Porto a beautiful city, but it’s also a safe city to visit. The biggest danger in Porto is just like any city – being aware of your surroundings and not flashing valuables around. I never felt unsafe in Porto, even when walking around at night. As long as you’re smart about where you go and what you do, you’ll be fine.

Is Porto Expensive?

No, Porto is not an expensive city. In fact, it’s one of the more affordable cities in Europe! You can easily find a meal for under €15 and a drink for under € 2. Prices for activities are also very reasonable, with most things costing less than €20.

Is 2 Days in Porto Enough Time?

Spending 2 days in Porto is enough time to enjoy the historic city center and the Ribeira district. There’s plenty to see and do in the city, and you can easily get a feel for the place in just 2 days.

However, you can tack on an extra day in Porto for slower traveling and revisiting some of your favorite places and restaurants. You can also explore other parts of Northern Portugal from Porto if you’d like!

2 Days in Porto - Sample route of the yellow bus for hop on hop off tours

Consider purchasing a CityPass for 2 Days in Porto.

If you’re looking for a way to see the city and minimize your walking up and down the hills, I’d highly recommend purchasing a hop-on hop-off bus tour.

There are several companies that offer these tours, but we went with the Yellow Bus Tour, which has 2 lines. One will take you around the historic center of Porto and the other will take you up to Matosihnos and down to the Ribeira district.

The best part is you hop on and off anytime and from any stop. The tour starting at €24 up to 32 and include 2 days of unlimited rides on the bus.

The price of the tour goes up in price if you choose to add the Douro River Cruise and wine tasting at Quinta da Boeira.

Book your Yellow Bus Hop-On Hop-Off Ticket

I had never taken a tour with the hop-on hop-off busses before, but I thought it was a great deal and definitely worth it for all the walking and money I saved!

If the hop-on hop-off bus tour isn’t your thing, you can also consider purchasing the Porto card, which will give you free public transportation as well as free entrance into 6 museums and various discounts on other activities. Check out the website and make sure you’ll take advantage of the free entrances before purchasing.

The Porto card for 2 days is €35 and changes in price depending on how many days you’d like to purchase the card.

Ready for Porto? Purchase your Porto Card here!

How to Get Around in Porto

2 Days in Porto - street view in Porto

Porto is a very walkable city, but if you’re looking for other ways to get around, here are your options:

Public Transportation

The public transportation system in Porto is great! There’s a bus stop right across the street from the Sao Bento train station and it’ll cost about 2 euros for your bus ticket.

You can also take advantage of the metro system, which is actually very easy to use. You just need to make sure to “validate” your trip by swiping your card on the yellow card readers before hopping on.

Some of the metro trains will turn into trams, which are the trains that go over the street. This can also get you to Matosinhos as well.

Taxis/Uber

Taxis and Uber are both widely available in Porto. If you’re taking a taxi, make sure to use one of the official taxis with the green and white logo.

Biking

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can always rent a bike! There are several companies that offer bike rentals in Porto. Just be aware that some of the streets can be very hilly!

You can even do a bike tour if you’d like!

Walking

As I mentioned before, Porto is a very walkable city. If you don’t mind walking up and down the hills, then this is definitely the best way to see the city! (It’s also free!)

Where to Stay for 2 Days in Porto

2 Days in Porto - Estadio Drago Arena

There are plenty of great areas to stay in Porto. The best part is, there’s something for everyone!

Where We Stayed for 2 Days in Porto

Because we are Marriott Bonvoy members, we chose to stay at the AC Hotel by Marriott, which is actually about 20 minutes outside of the historic center of Porto.

However, it was a great option for us as we got our rooms for free! N is also now a platinum member, so we got our rooms upgraded to the top level as well!

We took the metro station from the Estadio Drago stop to the city center every day, but that was no trouble for the rooms we got. We soon became die-hard fans of the Porto’s soccer (or football) team, F.C. Porto. Their merch shop was right next to us and had a wow factor right in the store’s lobby.

There was also a supermarket right next to our hotel, which was perfect for late-night snacks and Coke Zero as we headed back to our hotel rooms.

Other options for accommodations for 2 Days in Porto

If you’re looking for a hotel that’s in the heart of Porto, there are plenty of great options!

If you’re looking for a more affordable option look for places in the Santo Ildefonso area and still be within walkable distance of many sites.

If you’re looking for a luxurious option, you can certainly stay in the Ribeira district or Vila Nova de Gaia and get beautiful views of the Douro River. This is where you’ll find some of the best hotels in Porto!

No matter where you decide to stay, you’re sure to have a great time in Porto!

Where to Eat for 2 days in Porto

2 Days in Porto - Castro shop for Pasteis de Nata

Many of my favorite places to eat were listed throughout the itinerary. For a quick overview, here are all of them (and then some) listed out:

  • Leitaria da Quinta do Paco – Breakfast Ham and Cheese Sandwich
  • Cafe Santiago – Franchesinha
  • Casa Guedes – Pernil (roasted pork sandwich) with Cheese
  • Gazela – Hot Dogs
  • Seafood street food in Matosinhos – Grilled fish
  • Majestic Cafe – coffee or a croissant
  • 17º Restaurante – Rooftop view with a drink
  • The Good Burger – Hamburgers
  • Empanadas Malvón (for snacks on while walking)
  • Castro – Pasteis de Nata
  • Amorino – Gelato

When is the Best Time to Visit Porto

The best time to visit Porto is in the spring or fall. The weather is mild and there are fewer tourists.

We visited in May and the weather was perfect with a breeze coming through! There are definitely tourists around as well, but we didn’t feel overcrowded with lines for attractions.

You can also visit Porto in October or November for cooler weather and even fewer crowds.

2 Days in Porto - Paf posing in front of the Porto Cathedral

What to Pack for 2 Days in Porto

Porto is a city with varying weather conditions. In the summer months, it can be quite hot, so make sure to pack light, airy clothing.

In the spring and fall months, the weather is milder, but it can still rain from time to time. So make sure to pack a light jacket or sweater.

No matter what time of year you visit Porto, comfortable shoes are a must! The city is very hilly and you’ll be doing a lot of walking.

Here is a list of what I packed for Porto:

  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • 1 light long sleeved shirt
  • 1 t-shirt
  • 1 pair of shorts (or jeans)
  • 1 dress
  • 1 cardigan

Need some comfortable walking shoes today? These Skechers are my favorite!

Final Thoughts on 2 Days in Porto

Porto is an amazing city that has something for everyone. Whether you’re looking for historic landmarks, delicious food, or beautiful scenery, you’ll find it all here

So there you have it, everything you need to know for 2 days in Porto! I hope this itinerary helps you plan your trip. If you have any questions, feel free to leave a comment below.

Have you ever been to Porto? What was your favorite thing to do?


Other posts you may be interested in:

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My Favorite Travel Tips + Resources

Here is a quick glance at all my go-to travel tips and resources that I use to plan every trip! For more information, check out my travel resources page.

  • Booking flights: I use Google Flights to check all routes and find the best flights. Then I compare them with Expedia (for reward points) and Skyscanner (for the lowest prices) before I book.
  • Accommodations: I love budget-friendly rentals or booking at a hotel where I can earn points. For hotels, I go through Booking.com or book directly with Marriott (for points + rewards). When I travel internationally, I’ll book through Hostelworld for very budget-friendly stays. For vacation rentals, I usually look through Airbnb, but you could also use Vrbo. Expedia also has some great bundles for hotels, flights, and car rentals altogether.
  • Transportation: For travel in the United States, I love renting through Expedia with Enterprise or Thrifty. They have been consistent and provide the best customer service. For international travel, I’ll book through Rome2Rio or Eurail for trains or bus fares.
  • Travel Credit Card: I book all my travel (flights, hotels, car rentals) through my favorite travel credit card. I also use this card for everything on my trip including dining, excursions, and souvenirs. Apart from earning 5x more points towards free travel, there are amazing benefits: no foreign transaction fees, trip cancellation/interruption insurance, trip delay reimbursement (so I can book worry-free), fraud protection, emergency assistance – it’s really a great deal! Check it out here!
  • Vaccines and Medications: Check the CDC website for updates on necessary vaccines to enter a country, including updates on Covid-19 and recommended places to visit. I recommend getting all the vaccines you need before you go!
  • Tours + Experiences: I absolutely love my tours! Everything from eerie walking ghost tours to food tours, I’ll usually book something every trip either through Viator or GetYourGuide. I also love LastMinute.com for very affordable tickets to theaters and other experiences in Europe.
  • What to Pack: I almost always travel by backpack. For products I like, check out my packing guide page for all the things I take with me on different trips.