GUYS, we just returned from our time in Porto, and I have to tell you, it totally surprised me (in the best way possible!). Today I’m sharing our ultimate guide to Porto with you guys, so you know how to make the best of your time in Portugal’s “second city.”
We stopped here prior to our time in Lisbon, and I’m so happy we did! Porto is totally underrated (actually, I think Portugal as a whole is) and was such a phenomenal time! Porto is located in the heart of the Duoro Valley, and you guys know my wine lovin’ heart was swooning over this!
It’s the perfect weekend getaway to satisfy your European travel needs, without being overrun by tourists. Let’s jump in!
Where to Stay in Porto
You guys know I’m a huge fan of non-traditional lodging, because I think you can truly see the world, without breakin’ the bank! You also know I’m a huge fan (seriously, I go on and on) about how much I love Booking.com.
The best part about this? My two favorite things about traveling combined into one, and we snagged an amaaaazing loft apartment in Porto that was less than $50 a night. SCORE. Seriously, finding deals like this on cute places makes my heart oh-so happy. We’ve started using Booking.com religiously because they have amazing customer service, and an unheard of cancellation policy. Not to mention, you can snag cute places like this!
I was so obsessed with this little loft apartment, I didn’t want to leave! I’m a firm believer that staying in untraditional places makes your trip extra special, so I absolutely love that Booking.com is offering apartments to rent! We’re even thinking about putting our place in Barcelona up for rent so we can save toward our next trip (truly always plottin’ our next adventure over here!).
If you guys are ready to book your next big trip and want to stay in a gorg place like this, CLICK RIGHT HERE for $30 off your next booking on Booking.com! You can thank me later 😉
Okay, so now that you’ve got an epic apartment to rest your head in, what should you do while you’re in Porto? Let’s get to it!
What to Do in Porto
Take a river cruise on the Duoro
This was one of the most memorable things we did while in the city! Sometimes these cruises come off as overly touristy, but in Porto, these were held on boats that looked a tad like pirate ships. In reality, these traditional rabelo boats will give you a postcard perfect view of the city, cross under the six bridges of Porto, and admire the beautiful homes along the River. 10/10 recommend!
Eat Pasteis de Nata
The flakey delicious, creamy, sugary breakfast treats are a staple in Portugal (and yes, we definitely consumed our money’s worth.) These are the traditional “breakfast” pastry of the entire country, and it’s socially accepted (and expected) to consume them every morning. So dive in, grab a coffee, and enjoy. Our very favorites were at Confeitaria Do Bolhao
Drink Port by the Duoro
Drinking Port in Porto? I meannn come on! While the Port itself isn’t produced in Porto, but in the nearby Duoro Valley, it’s a staple of the area, and should be enjoyed as such. Head to Kopke, along the river, and enjoy Port from the regions oldest Port House, dating back to the early 1600’s! Stroll along and sample from other houses along the river, stopping to grab nibbles along the way.
Grab Lunch at Ribiera Square
Is it a touristy area? Sure. Is it worth the visit? Also, yes. Prior to that boat cruise we chatted about, hit up any number of restaurants in the charming Ribiera Square, one of the most picturesque places in the entire city. So pull up a chair, enjoy the view, sip on some port, and soak up that gorgeous Portuguese sunshine.
Head to the Dom Luis I Bridge
Designed by renowned engineer Gustav Eiffel (of, you guessed it, Eiffel Tower fame) stroll across this iconic bridge to get the best river view in the city. Let it be your guide from Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, a riverside walk so charming, you might just lose all your worries for the day.
Catch Sunset at Miradouro da Vitória
We stumbled upon this, and man was it one of the best things we did throughout the entirety of the trip. Head here for the most stunning sunset view in the whole city. It wasn’t crowded at all, and we were able to gaze down at the whole city and the terracota rooftops. Definitely add this to your to-do list!
Visit Porto Sao Bento Train Station
This is an easy one, because there’s a very good chance you’ll go through here anyway! But if for some reason you don’t, absolutely pay this gorgeous train station a visit! I know, I know. A train station? Yes. It is worth the visit. The seriously beautiful painted entryway, and an old school arrival board I couldn’t get enough of.
Visit Levraria Lello
I saved the best for last, and this is for any of my Harry Potter lovers in the building! Rumor has it that this is wear JK Rowling herself (aka the goddesses of goddesses) was inspired to write HP. WHAT. Step inside and you will absolutely feel like you’ve been transported to Hogwarts. Book your tickets in advance, as the line can get quite long. Not to worry though, you’ll be refunded the price of the ticket if you purchase a book! Maybe you need another copy of The Goblet of Fire? 🙂
Have you guys ever been to Porto? It was the perfect weekend getaway, and I highly recommend checking it out if you’re in Portugal!
*This post was produced in partnership with Booking.com, but all opinions are my own.