Our 3 days in Porto itinerary looks at the top things to see and during during a short city break. Porto is one of the most historic places in Portugal and is home to a vibrant arts, theatre and port wine production scene. From a leisurely cruise down its river Douro to a side trip to the beach, we explore the top things to do in three days. Browse our full 3 day Porto itinerary below.
A city of rich history known for its iconic bridges and wine
Day 1 – Morning:
What better way to start day 1 of your 3 days in Porto than a top rated city tour? Be it a walking, bike, motorcycle and sidecar or Segway, city tours are a great way of getting a taste of the main sites in a short amount of time. Being quite a small city centre, we’d recommend a leisurely morning walking tour, finishing with lunch at a local café. We recommend the Cool Tours or Blue Dragon tour groups. There’s also an excellent free walking tour for those looking for an inexpensive way to see the city. Check it out.
Most walking tours are similar and will feature the following top attractions in a walk which takes around 3 hours:
Clérigos Tower, Lello & Irmão Bookshop, Aliados Avenue & Liberdade square, Bolhão Market, Majestic Café, Sé, Luis I Bridge, S.Bento Train Station, Ribeira Neighbourhood
Liberdade Square – Head to Liberdade Square for a spot of Lunch. This busy area is ideal for watching the world pass by, enjoying local seafood dishes in an outdoor café. We recommend Nata Lisboa Rua das Flores, a cheap and friendly café serving up local lunchtime favourites.
Amazing architecture – One thing you’ll notice about Porto is the impressive array of buildings and architecture lining the narrow streets. The most notable of these are Porto Cathedral, Palacio da Bolsa and San Francisco Church, all must see attractions when sightseeing in the city. Spend your afternoon exploring these sites and stopping off for a coffee break in one of the many local bakeries in between. We recommend tucking into a pastéis de nata – a famous Portuguese custard tart local to the area!
Cais de Riberia – After spending your day seeing the heart of Porto city centre, return to Cais de Riberia for a relaxing dinner overlooking the river. Watch the sun go down and the boats sail by whilst enjoying a glass of Portuguese wine.
Day 2 – Morning:
Douro River Cruise – See the city from port side as you set sail down the river Duoro a boat tour. You’ll get to see the iconic Porto bridges, luscious green river banks, shore side wine cellars and local fisherman at work. There are many boat tours available on the Duoro, each offering different time duration’s and itineraries, but most will take you under the main bridge sites. We’d recommend joining a morning half day tour and choosing an itinerary that best suits your interests. Roteiro Duoro has a good selection of tours to choose from.
Crystal Palace gardens – Based on the Kensington Palace Gardens in London, Palacio de Cristal is located a short walk west from downtown Porto. Enjoy walking around these stunning gardens admiring impressive views of the city and river Douro. It’s a breath of fresh air from the tourist packed streets of the city centre.
Casa da Musica – After returning to your hotel to relax for a couple of hours, don your best threads and make your way to the Casa da Musica. Famous for its architecture and magnificent concert hall, it’s well worth trying to fit a live performance into your trip. The venue also has a nice restaurant for a pre-concert dinner, serving up traditional Portuguese and assorted European dishes.
Day 3 – Morning:
Porto bridge climb – End your 3 days in Porto with something exhilarating and totally unique – climb the Ponte da Arrabida bridge. The short bridge climb isn’t too difficult to complete and you’ll be glad you did it as the views are fantastic! The price of the climb is only 12.50 Euros per person and it will definitely be a highlight of your trip. Find out more on the official website here.
Shopping – Your trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without checking out some of the local shops and markets. Norte Shopping Centre is the ultimate place to visit for clothes, electronics, foods, department stores and both international and local brands. It’s easy to get to on the metro or a short taxi ride from the river area. If you’d prefer a local food market over gift shopping, head to Mercado Bom Sucesso to sample local dishes such as francesinha (a large meat based sandwich) or Terylene (slow cooked pork in a bun).
Praia da Luz beach – Porto’s main beach area is the ideal place to wind down in the sun and it’s only a 15-minute taxi ride from the Clerigos area. Spend the afternoon relaxing, having a drink on the boardwalk and enjoying an early dinner in one of the seaside restaurants. Depending on the month, you may even catch an early sunset.
3 days in Porto is a short amount of time but we like to think our itinerary gives you a good taste of the beautiful architecture and attractions Porto has to offer. You’ll be eager to return to see more! If there’s something else you’d like to see or try, substitute it into our itinerary at your leisure.
Other Porto attraction recommendations:
Portuguese cooking class – experiment with the cooking techniques of the locals and learn to cook fish like a pro
Day trip to Espinho beach – often considered the best beach in the Porto area, Praia de Espinho is worth a day trip if you’re looking to spend some time outside the lively city
FC Porto museum – Porto is home to one of the top football teams in the Portuguese Primeira Liga and the stadium/museum tour is a must see for football fans. Catch a match if you can!
Wine tasting – For wine lovers or those looking for a fun yet informative afternoon/evening out, sample local wines by the river on a wine tasting tour. Browse the top rated wine tasting tours according to customers here.