City Guide: Porto
I absolutely fell in love with Porto. All of Portugal was amazing but there was something about this city that just stole my heart. It’s narrow cobblestone streets, tiled facades and riverwalk made for the perfect combination. We had INCREDIBLE food here, the people were kind and we loved getting lost in the streets. Every corner was even more beautiful than the last. We stayed near the river in an awesome Airbnb (linked below) with the best host who was born and raised in Porto. She gave us a whole slew of recommendations, all of which we used and WOW! I wanted to share everything we did and loved but I also included her other recommendations that we didn’t make it to. If you’re making a trip to Portugal, you must visit this amazing city.
THINGS TO KNOW
Make reservations for lunch and dinner ahead of time! Everywhere was SLAMMED. We couldn’t believe it. Most places we couldn’t get into. We didn’t make reservations in advance and regretted it. You hotel concierge or a kind Airbnb host (ours offered- we should’ve taken her up on it) will make reservations for you!
Just like Lisbon, Porto is HILLY and all cobblestone. Wear sneakers and be prepared to walk a lot! Some of the hills are super steep, so you will get a workout. I just want to give you a fair warning. Porto is a bit smaller than Lisbon so we found most things to be a 15 min walk or less!
Just like any city, you have to be careful of pickpockets. We had no issues, but we have heard a lot of stories of it happening. It’s good to wear things with zippers and keep your purses and backpacks in front of your body. We never for a second felt unsafe, but like anywhere, always be careful and be aware!
It’s good to have some cash on you! Pretty much everywhere takes cards, but if you have a small bill or want to take a tram, they’ll ask you for cash.
The airport is busy but check in gates open only two hours before your flight. I’d be there 2 hours early but no need to be there much earlier than that.
If you walk over the bridge, walk on the far side! Everyone walks on the close side so you’ll move quicker if you cross the street to cross the bridge!
Spend time along the River! That area is filled with bars and restaurants and it’s quite a scene! Fair warning, it’s also filled with pigeons for those of you who are scared of birds like me. HA!
WHERE TO EAT
Intrigo: R. de Tomás Gonzaga 90, 4050-431 Porto, Portugal
A charming little spot with an amazing view of the river! Great for a coffee or glass of wine and they also have wonderful food!! We ended up going here TWICE! It’s kind of hidden down a big staircase so just be on the lookout for their little sign at the top of the stairs. Enjoy the view!
Cantina 32: R. das Flores 32, 4050-262 Porto, Portugal
Book a table! Do not miss it! We had an insane lunch here. We loved the ambiance and the food was even better. Highly recommend.
MISTU: R. do Comércio do Porto 161, 4050-430 Porto, Portugal
We had one of the most incredible meals of the whole trip here! In comparison to the rest of our meals, it was on the pricey side, but well worth it! The restaurant is absolutely beautiful and the food was out of this world.
Tapabento: R. da Madeira 222, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal
The perfect spot for dinner! It was SLAMMED!
Café Santiago da Praça: Praça dos Poveiros 82, 4000-041 Porto, Portugal
Almeja: Rua de Fernandes Tomás 819, 4000-219 Porto, Portugal
O Paparico: Rua de Costa Cabral 2343, 4200 Porto, Portugal
Known as one of the best restaurants in Porto!
Casa Serrão: R. Heróis de França 521, 4450-159 Matosinhos, Portugal
If you're a grilled fish lover or seafood you must visit!
Restaurante O Xarroco: R. Heróis de França 507, 4450-159 Matosinhos, Portugal
Ask for "leite-creme" for dessert!
O Gaveto: R. Roberto Ivens 824, 4450-279 Matosinhos, Portugal
Go here for great seafood!
WHERE TO STAY
We stayed at the cutest Airbnb! Impeccably decorated, amazing location and the best host! The photo below was taken on the balcony of the apartment which overlooked the old Stock Exchange building! Find it HERE!
Intercontinental Porto: Praça da Liberdade 25, 4000-322 Porto, Portugal
Pestana Vintage Porto: Praça Ribeira nº1, 4050-513 Porto, Portugal
Eurostars Porto Douro: Av. Gustavo Eiffel 20, 4000-279 Porto, Portugal
WHAT TO DO
Jardim das Virtudes: Passeio das Virtudes 53-3, 4050-366 Porto, Portugal
An incredible view for sunset! It’s where all the locals go. We only heard Portuguese being spoken here. It’s a super fun scene! Grab a beer and head to this spot for sunset over the river.
Igreja do Carmo: R. do Carmo, 4050-164 Porto, Portugal
Dom Luís Bridge: Pte. Luiz I, Porto, Portugal
Porto’s most famous bridge. The bridge spans the Douro River between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia! You can easily walk (or drive) across! Both towns along the river are so charming!
Livraria Lello: R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal
One of the most famous bookstores in the world! It’s famous because JK Rowling actually lived in Porto and this is where she got a ton of inspiration for Harry Potter! The students at the university wear capes as a part of their uniform, it’s so fun to walk around and see Harry Potter inspo everywhere!
Palácio da Bolsa do Porto: R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal
The beautiful stock exchange building (above)! We actually had a view of this building out of of our Airbnb window! The building is STUNNING! You can purchase tickets to go inside as well if you’d like!
The São Bento Railway Station: Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal
Portos train station is adorned with the famous blue and white tiles you see all over (pictured above)! The station is from the 20th century and has a certain charm to it. The way the light came through the large arched doors made this one of my favorite spaces to stop at in Porto.
If I had to choose, Porto would be my favorite place we visited in Portugal. I can’t wait to go back one day! Hope this recommendations are helpful and let me know if you have any other questions!