If you are wondering what to do in Porto in 3 days, you have come to the right place. In this article, I describe some of the must-do’s in Porto. After visiting Lisbon, which was a real favorite, and then the Algarve, I really wanted to discover the north of the country and more precisely Porto. Once again, I was not disappointed in Portugal!
With its UNESCO listed city center, its lively traditions and its many port wine cellars on the banks of the Douro, Porto is for me one of the most charming European cities. It remains a city on a human scale, which you can easily walk around.
Our accommodation 😴
We stayed at Oportohouse hotel, located in the city center, not far from the famous Clerigos tower. The location was perfect, and the rooms were nice. I recommend this hotel if you don’t want to spend a lot of money into accommodation.
Things to do in Porto in 3 days? 🧐
Below, I have listed some of the must-sees in Porto to help you plan your next 3 days city trip in Porto.
1 | Walk Across the Luís I Bridge
You can walk this bridge from either the top level or the bottom level. It is worth walking both levels, but the view from the top is by far the best lookout point you can get. From above, you will have a panoramic view of both sides of the river.
2 | Walk along the river on the quays of Ribeira district
Ribeira Square is the perfect place to stroll along the side of the Douro River, heading towards the Luis I bridge. The square gives you a great view of the Douro and its many bridges. There are also many restaurants and cafés here for you to sit and relax.
Tip | I do not recommend eating here, because it is quite touristic.
It is also from the quays of Ribeira that many small cruises leave on the Douro, among which the small cruise of the 6 Bridges, very popular.r.
3 | Visit the Porto Cathedral
This Roman Catholic Church, located in the historical center of Porto, is one of the oldest and most well-known churches in Porto. Its location, on top of a hill dominating the city, serves as a good spot for a panoramic view of the city.
4 | Admire the Portuguese handicrafts (Azulejos) 💙
You can see Azulejos all over Porto. Azulejos are small glazed and hand-painted tiles. They are used to decorate the facades of houses as well as the interior of buildings (palaces, train stations, churches…). Here are a few known spots:
- Porto Sao Bento train station – Main train stations are not usually a tourist attraction, but Porto’s is an exception. The walls of the Porto Sao Bento station are decorated with about 20,000 azulejo tiles, dating from 1905. (picture 1)
- Igreja do Carmo en Igreja do Carmelitas – The church of Carmo is the one next to the church of Carmelitas, only separated by a one-meter-wide house. The church of Carmo has a beautiful wall with large windows with blue tiles that attract many tourists. (picture 2)
- Capela das Almas – Capela das Almas (meaning Soul’s Chapel), also called Saint Catherine Chapel, is a building from the 18th century that is known by its tile covered façade.
- Igreja de Santo Idelfonso – Another church covered with beautiful tile. (picture 3)
5 | Try a Francesinha 🤤
Francesinha is probably the most typical dish of Porto. It is impossible to spend a weekend in Porto without eating this gigantic sandwich.
The Francesinha is a sandwich made of soft bread filled with “linguiça“, fresh Portuguese sausage, ham, and beef. The whole thing is covered with melted cheese and drowned in a sauce made of tomato, beer, and pepper. You can ask for an extra fried egg and French fries to go with it. We found a restaurant that made half Francesinha, as we just wanted to taste, called Tempero D’Maria, which I highly recommend.
6 | Enjoy one of the viewpoints of Porto
- Miradouro da Vitoria – Not too far from the church of Clérigos, you will have a view over the port and all the signs of wine cellars located on the hills across the river. (picture 1)
- Miradouro da Serra do Pilar – From the Miradouro da Serra do Pilar, you’ll have a great view of the city walls, the Ribeira, the Douro and the famous Luis I bridge.
- Miradouro das Fontainhas – A viewpoint near the Ponte do Infante. From here you can also see four of the six bridges of the city of Porto. We went there for the sunset, and it was beautiful. (picture 2)
- Jardim do Moro – A small garden on the top of the hill and at the top of the Gaia cable car. This is another great place to watch the sunset with a beautiful view of Porto and its Luis 1 bridge. (picture 3)
- Kitties rock – Named after the many small cats that live here in small huts. From the upper rock, you have a breathtaking view of the Ponte Dom Luís, especially at sunset.
CAUTION: This spot is not easy to reach. Put on good shoes and be very careful. If you don’t dare to go all the way to the top, you can also take great pictures further down.
7 | Escada Guindais
This is a picturesque street with a rather steep climb, but with a nice reward at the top, a great view of the bridge and the Douro (link to get there).
8 | Porto Wine tasting from The Opposite Side of Douro River 🍷
Porto is mainly known for its fortified wine, Porto. Along the Douro River, on the other side of the bridge, you are directly in the heart of Vila Nova de Gaia, the district of the Porto wine cellars are located multiple wine cellars.
Its docks, lined with small restaurants and bars often linked to one or another of the port producers, are the perfect place to rest while enjoying a splendid view of the old town on the other side of the Douro. On the water, you can also see “rabelos“, wooden boats that used to carry the wine barrels (see photo above).
We did a tasting at Ramos Pinto. For the sum of 15 EUR, we could taste 5 different Porto. For each glass, we had a card with explanations. It was a very pleasant moment which I highly recommend. 🤩
9 | Instagrammable spots 📸
Although, the views of Porto as well as the facades with Azulejos are very instagrammable there are also some other spots, like the Steak n Shake Wall and the Largo Da Pena Ventosa.
Discover more Instagram spots in my article – 11 photo spots in Porto.
Food & Drinks recommendation 🍽️
Chama restaurant | This is the most perfect experience in Porto! We had a great time at this beautiful restaurant! The food was exceptionally delicious, but the staff is the real highlight. They are just super nice, friendly and they always try to make you feel comfortable and welcome.
It was a real dining experience. At Chama they offer 10 different dishes of Portuguese specialties, all accompanied by good wine and or cocktails. We ate during 3 hours. Everything was excellent, and during the meal we had shots to toast with the other customers of the restaurant. The atmosphere was great. 🥳
Terrace Cable Car | A bar with a great view of the city and the Douro. The cocktails are delicious and the staff is very nice. The food is not bad either.
I advise you to try the local cocktail, the Porto tonic made with Porto of course.
Breakfast and lunch 🥞
Zenith café | A good and nice place in the city.
Nicolau | After having tested the one in Lisbon that we loved, we were eager to go back and we were not disappointed.
I hope this article on the things to do in Porto in 3 days, will help you prepare your visit! If you have any questions, feel free to ask me in the comments of the article. I’ll be happy to answer them.
Find here also my article about my city trip in Lisbon.
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[…] I hope you enjoyed this article about the things to do in Lisbon. If you want to discover other regions of Portugal, discover also my article on the Algarve and Porto. […]