Wondering how many days to spend in Porto? Is one day in Porto enough? Maybe you are on a long layover in Porto or taking a day trip to Porto from Lisbon? There are many reasons why you would need to see the best of Porto in one day.
Located in the Northwest of Portugal, Porto is often overlooked by tourists in favour of Lisbon or The Algarve region. However, those who do make it to Porto quickly realise that it is a fun, vibrant city with plenty to see and do. I actually think that Porto is one of the best cities in Western Europe for a city break. It is also a very budget-friendly city as there are many cheap and free things to do in Porto!
I recommend spending at least a day in this fab city or maybe even more if you truly want to experience all it has to offer.
In this post, I’ll show you what to see in Porto and all the awesome things you can do when spending one day in Porto, Portugal. Use the ideas below to create your own one day Porto itinerary!
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- Porto in one day – 10 things to do
- #1 Ride Porto’s historic tram
- #2 Climb the Clerigos tower
- #3 Porto free walking tour
- #4 Take the 6 bridges cruise
- #5 Stop for a beer by the river
- #6 Port wine cellar tour and tasting in Porto
- #7 Find the Half rabbit street art
- #8 Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge at golden hour
- #9 Watch the sunset from Jardim de Morro
- #10 Grab a drink at Guindalense Football Club
- Best restaurants in Porto, Portugal
- Day trips from Porto Portugal
- Tours in Porto, Portugal
- Where to stay in Porto
- Summary of one day Porto itinerary
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Porto in one day – 10 things to do
#1 Ride Porto’s historic tram
Start your day with a ride on Porto’s historic tram line. Dating back to 1895, Porto’s trams are one of the oldest tram systems in Europe.
The old trams are beautiful and full of character. The Linha 1 route, in particular, is incredibly scenic as it runs alongside the Douro river all the way to the Foz district.
The trams are relatively frequent, and to ride the entire line takes roughly 20 minutes. The trams are rather slow so I suggest that you don’t think of riding the tram as a way to get from A to B, but rather appreciate the ride as an experience in itself.
Address: Linha 1 (Porto one) runs from the Infante stop, in front of the São Francisco Church, and ends at the Passeio Alegre stop.
Price: €3.50 each way
#2 Climb the Clerigos tower
If you wish to see the best of Porto in a day then starting at Clerigos church and tower is a great choice.
The church and the Tower are part of a baroque-inspired building from the 18th century designed by Nicolau Nasoni, whose architectural influence can be seen all over the city.
Take some time to admire the beautiful church before climbing the 200 steps to the top of the tower to savour the incredible sweeping views across the city.
Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto, Portugal
Opening hours: 9am-7pm daily
#3 Porto free walking tour
After you are done soaking up the views from the tower it’s time for a walking tour of Porto! You’ll see many of the best sights in Porto including the beautiful Sao bento train station, the famous harry potter library (livraria lello), UNESCO world heritage sites, Porto Cathedral and many more!
The free tour leaves from outside the tower every day at 11am. The tour is free but very popular so you must book your space in advance. And of course, don’t forget to tip your guide! Our guide João was fantastic and really gave us a great insight into the city.
I always recommend walking tours, whenever exploring a new place, as they are a great way to get a feel for the destination before you start exploring by yourself. If you only have one day in Porto then the walking tour is your best option for seeing all the points of interest around the city.
Where: Outside Clerigos tower
When: 11am and 3pm daily
Price: Free but tips are expected – Book here
#4 Take the 6 bridges cruise
The 6 bridges river cruise is a very popular activity and for good reason! This Douro river cruise is one of the best things to do in Porto.
Enjoy a 50-minute boat ride along the Douro river, following in the traditional footsteps of the old wine merchants that transported port wine from the Douro valley to the wine cellars of Porto. You’ll be treated to incredible views of six of Porto’s iconic bridges and the surrounding gorge.
#5 Stop for a beer by the river
This one day in Porto itinerary has been jam-packed so far, so by now, you will probably want to relax for a while and grab some food or a beer by the river.
There are lots of great spots to stop for a drink. My favourite is Cafe do cais as it has exceptional views across the river, a great atmosphere and is the perfect spot to do a bit of people watching.
Address: Cais da Estiva 130-131, 4050-553 Porto, Portugal
Open: 10am – 11pm daily
#6 Port wine cellar tour and tasting in Porto
A trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a tour of one of the famous Port wine cellars. There are numerous different port wine cellars to choose from, all of which are located across the river from Porto city centre, in the Gaia neighbourhood.
Nearly all the cellars offer tours and a variety of tastings. We visited Burmester and tasted two different varieties of Port, a white port and a tawny. Both were excellent!
If you have more time then you can also take a wine tour to the Duoro valley
Address: Largo Dom Luís I, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Open: 10am – 7pm daily
Book here: Port cellar tour with port wine tasting
#7 Find the Half rabbit street art
Now that you are on the Gaia side of the river, take the opportunity to hunt for the famous Half Rabbit street art. Created by Portuguese street artist Bordallo II, this unique sculpture is made from recycled materials and trash collected from around the city and is intended as a reminder of the impact waste can have on nature.
To find the sculpture simply head away from the river towards WOW Porto. The sculpture can also be seen from the cable cars.
Address: R. Guilherme Gomes Fernandes 42, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4430-999, Portugal
#8 Walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge at golden hour
One of the best viewpoints in Porto is from the Dom Luis I Bridge.
Golden Hour, the hour before sunset, is the best time to grab some epic photos from the bridge. Or you can simply stroll from one end of the bridge to the other whilst admiring the breathtaking views. Just be careful to watch for the trams that pass over the bridge frequently.
Opening hours: 24/7, but golden hour is the best time to go for great photos
Address: Pte. Luiz I, Porto, Portugal
#9 Watch the sunset from Jardim de Morro
A day trip to Porto would not be complete without watching the gorgeous sunset over the city and the Douro river.
Jardim de Morro is a small park located a mere stone’s throw from the Dom Luis bridge. It consists of a hilltop garden and is the highest point in Gaia, which makes it the perfect place to watch the sunset over Porto.
I recommend grabbing some beers and snacks and heading up there early to grab a spot on the grass. This little garden is a super popular sunset spot so it fills up very quickly!
Opening hours: 24/7, the best time to go is at sunset
Address: Jardim do Morro, 4430-210 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
#10 Grab a drink at Guindalense Football Club
End your one day in Porto at the Guindalense football club. Here you can enjoy cheap drinks and tasty bar snacks out on the terrace. The views from here are great especially as the light is fading just after sunset.
Address: Escada dos Guindais 43, 4000-337 Porto, Portugal
Open: 12 – 11pm, closed on Sundays
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Best restaurants in Porto, Portugal
At some point during the day, you are bound to get hungry and need to stop for a bite to eat. Porto has plenty of great cafes and restaurants, As a vegan traveller, I found it relatively easy to find good vegan food in Porto.
Below is a selection of my favourite eateries, all of which offer at least one vegan option.
Zenith is a great spot to stop for brunch or cocktails. I ordered the vegan shakshuka and loved it!
Another excellent spot for brunch is Nicolau Porto. This is a great option if you are looking to eat something a little more healthy during your trip.
Árvore do Mundo
This cosy little vegan restaurant offers daily menus and excellent burgers for really good prices. Everything here is vegan but my non-vegan travel companion also enjoyed the food here very much. They also do a great selection of craft beers.
If you are just looking for something to eat quickly on the go then I highly recommend Divan to grab a tasty kebab, burger or falafel.
Day trips from Porto Portugal
If you have more time to spare and are planning on spending more than one day in Porto then I highly recommend taking a day trip. There are a number of fantastic places you can visit only a short distance from Porto.
Some of the best tours in Porto are:
Douro valley wine tour – The best option for a Douro valley tour
Surfing at Matosinhos beach – We had a great time doing this activity!
Tours in Porto, Portugal
Where to stay in Porto
I highly recommend staying at Selina Porto. This boutique hostel is beautifully designed and features a range of private rooms and dorms, so there is something to suit everyone. It is in a perfect location in the heart of the city and the food in their onsite restaurant is delicious!
Alternatively, use the box below to search for places to stay:
Summary of one day Porto itinerary
As you can see, Porto is a fantastic city with plenty to offer and lots to do. I highly recommend adding it to your Portugal itinerary and if you only have one day to spend in Poro then I hope this one-day itinerary can help you to make the most of your time there.
Are you planning to spend one day in Porto? Let me know in the comments below!
Happy travels xo
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