Top Excursions and Things to Do in Porto
Not everyone who goes on a city beak wants to trawl around every museum, or every gallery or every historical site but to get a flavour of where you are, I think it’s worth taking in a few of the landmarks or go on a day trip to the surrounding countryside – even just for one day. You’ll be glad you did and anything that enhances our knowledge of the world and its countries is no bad thing, right? If you find yourself on a city break to the beautiful city of Porto this summer, you’ll want to cram in as much sight-seeing as you can.
This place is steeped in history and culture and it would be a shame not to experience everything it has to offer. One of Europe’s most picturesque cities, Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary and UNESCO awarded World Heritage Status to its historical centre in 1996. The choices of things to see and do are plentiful and you’ll still have time left over to enjoy some chill out time in one of the many bars or restaurants.
Here’s a few suggestions from me to give you a taste of this wonderful Portuguese gem…
Day Trip to Santiago de Compostela from Porto
Why not take a road trip over the border into Spain and retrace the footsteps of pilgrims to Santiago de Compostela? You’ll be able to visit the sacred sites as well as the UNESCO World-Heritage listed Old Town. This trip is really worth the effort and you’ll enjoy the fascinating commentary from your expert guide too.
Full Day City Tour
If you only want to commit one day of your holiday to sight-seeing then one of the best ways to experience the city is by joining an organised tour. Accompanied by an expert local guide, you will be able to pack in the key sights and landmarks of the city such as Sao Bento Railway Station, Porto Cathedral, Praca da Batalha, Rua de Caterina, Bolhao Market and Avenida dos Aliados.
Take in the city sights from the water and admire the six famous bridges over the Douro River on a sightseeing tour that includes a short river cruise.
Many popular tours depart from Porto and if you are a lover of wine, then this is the trip for you. These excursions will give you the chance to sample typical wines of the region as well as enjoying guided tours of the cellars and wine presses and the chance to buy some of Portugal’s finest wines.
World of Discoveries
Kids in tow?
Don’t miss a trip to The World of Discoveries Museum, a fascinating attraction with interactive, multi-media displays where you can learn about Portugal’s famous explorers.
Cais Da Ribeira
Spend an afternoon or an evening in this charming waterfront district of Porto which is made up of a narrow streets and alleyways. The area really comes to life when the sun goes down and the lcoals come out to play. The main square is the focal point and here you can enjoy a drink or a meal in the hub of the city, soaking up the vibrant atmosphere.
This opulent coffee house is well worth stopping in your tracks for. The lavish interior is a fine backdrop for lunch in one of Porto’s most celebrated cafes.
Igreja do Carmo
Don’t miss this dazzling structure – Porto’s 18th century Carmo church. The striking façade is a beautiful display of blue and white tiles and the gilt carvings of the interior are just as impressive. Standing next door is the Igreja dos Carmelitas.
While we’re on the church theme, no city break would be complete without at least a glimpse inside the main place of worship. Check out Se Do Porto, the city’s fortress-like cathedral.
Estadio do Dragao
If you or anyone with you is a footie fan, then you simply must take a tour of the magnificent Estadio do Dragao, home to FC Porto.
If it’s luxurious then I am there! A self-confessed culture vulture from London. who appreciates a good plate of food and glass of wine. I travel to learn and to enjoy other cultures – and try to get involved in the kitchen! Finding deals online for travel makes this possible.