Besides being the second largest Portuguese city, Porto´s history and sights are World Heritage sites. Even though Porto has not always been a very popular destination, in the last years since it won the award for Best European Destination in 2012, 2014 and 2017, the city is a must for tourists.
When visiting Portugal, it would be great if you could find the time to visit Porto. One day is enough for those who have limited days on their trip. The city is truly beautiful and you fall in love with it instantly.
Sao Bento Train Station
If you are lucky enough to arrive in Porto by train, then embrace yourselves to get magnetized by the views. From one side you have the mountain with colorful houses and from the other side, a spectacular view of Ponte de Dom.
The train station is a piece of art on its own, with the walls being covered with the iconic blue tile of Portugal. The moment you get out of the station is when you fall in love with a city you thought would never surprise you.
In the center of Porto, you will find this square, full of restaurants and cafes. 2 minutes from the Sao Bento station, makes it a great spot to pass by on your way to other sights. Usually, when a big event happens in the city, it will take place right there.
This famous Portuguese bookstore, also known as Livraria Lello, is one of the oldest bookstores in Europe and one of the top bookstores in the world. The admission fee for entering is 5 euros, but if you purchase a book, it will be reducted from the final price. It is definitely well worth the wait to get in, especially if you are a book lover.
What makes it even more special for the Harry Potter fans, is that the library in the Hogwarts Castle was inspired on the Lello bookstore since J.K Rowling lived in Porto when she was writing the first book of Harry Potter.
The cathedral is standing tall in the center of Porto. Being one of the most famous sights in Porto, it gathers visitors all day long. By going to the top, you can enjoy some amazing views and with a fee of 3 euros, you can get into the side building.
Palácio de Bolsa
Known for its beautiful architecture, the Stock exchange Palace of Porto is an amazingly preserved building full of history and a World Heritage Site. From the inside, the sight is simply stunning and will make you feel like you take all its history in.
You can pick tours based on your preferred language throughout the day. The highlight of your visit would definitely be the Arab themed room.
Cais da Ribeira
Ribeira spreads along the Douro river and is a stunning square full of life, with shops, restaurants and local goods. It is a very touristy area, but on the bright side, you will be greatly entertained by all the street artists.
When you are there make sure to try the Francesinha, a local dish that is more or less a toast with different types of meats, like steak, sausage, and ham. It is usually topped with an egg and a spicy sauce made with beer and tomato, which is poured over melted cheese.
Ponte de Dom Luis I
The city´s iconic sight is perfect for photographers since it can give you the best views of the city. A cable car (Funicular dos Guindais) will be ready to take you to the top of the 172-meter long bridge. If you are more adventurous, you can climb the 65 meters tall bridge with professional equipment. That would be a unique opportunity since it is the only arch in Europe that people can visit.
The sight is filled with tons of people on a daily basis, that enjoy the views and the street performances. Around you will find many cafes and restaurants with fresh and delicious seafood.
If you want to try the local wine with a view, then go to the Wine Quay Bar. It is located on the Ribeira Square and it is open from Monday to Saturday (16:00 – 23:00). The view is amazing, especially during the night. The service is great and so are the options of cheeses and meats to go with your wine.