Julie Itinerary, Portugal 2 Comments

If you are planning your first trip to Porto, this Porto itinerary is perfect for you. With 2 days in Porto, you have just enough time to see the highlights of this incredible city. Enjoy the views from the Dom Luís I Bridge and Torre dos Clérigos, go port tasting at the wine cellars in Gaia, stroll along the Douro River, try Porto’s street foods, and visit the most beautiful bookstore in the world.

We want to help you plan the best visit possible to Porto. In this guide, learn how to visit Porto’s top sights without spending hours in line, the best places to eat and drink with a view, and the most efficient way to plan your time.

About this Porto Itinerary

All of the times in the daily schedules are rough estimates, just to give you an idea about timing throughout the day. Your times may differ, based on queues and how much time you decide to spend at each place. I did my best to anticipate waiting times and visiting times, but on very busy days (or very quiet days) these times can differ.

You will have to do some work in advance by booking entrance tickets and restaurant reservations, but this will save you hours of time once in Porto. We’ll let you know how to do this, too.

I do my best to keep the hours of operation and pricing up to date for each attraction, however, these can change at any time. I recommend getting updated hours and pricing for your dates of travel. The link to the official website is provided for each site.

We have lots more information about Porto (and Portugal) which you can see in our Portugal Travel Guide.

How Many Days Do You Need in Porto?

Plan on spending a minimum of two days in Porto. This gives you just enough time to tour the famous landmarks, churches, and cathedrals in the old town plus visit a wine cellar or two in Gaia.

With more time in Porto, there is still plenty that you can do.

If you are a wine aficionado, spending 1 to 2 days in Gaia visiting the wine cellars is a very memorable experience. There are also many hidden gems in Porto, and having three or more days gives you enough time to go off the beaten track. A third or fourth day in Porto allows you to day trip to the Douro Valley, Braga, and Guimarães. For those with an abundance of time, you could easily spend five or more days in Porto.

We spent four days in Porto, using one of these days to day trip to Braga and Guimarāes. From Porto, we then traveled to the Douro Valley and spent three days here.

Best Things to Do with 2 Days in Porto

Below is a list of the places to visit if you have 2 days in Porto. All of these are included on this Porto itinerary. For a full list of places to go, read our article Best Things to Do in Porto.

  • Stroll along the Douro River
  • Enjoy the views from the Luís I Bridge and nearby viewpoints
  • Dine at the Majestic Café
  • Visit Livraria Lello
  • Taste port at the wine cellars in Gaia
  • Enjoy the view from Torre dos Clérigos
  • Visit the Porto Cathedral
  • Try Porto’s street foods
  • Bolsa Palace

Porto Itinerary

The view of Porto and the Douro River from Gaia

2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Porto Itinerary Day 1

Livraria Lello, Torre dos Clérigos & Cais da Ribeira

On this busy but memorable day, you will explore Porto’s old town, visiting historic churches, Bolsa Palace, and iconic Livraria Lello. In the afternoon, stroll along the Douro River in Porto.

Here is a quick overview of today’s itinerary:

9:00 am: Livraria Lello
10:00 am: Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas
11:00 pm: Torre dos Clérigos
12:00 pm: Lunch
1:30 pm: Miradouro da Vitoria
2:00 pm: Bolsa Palace
3:00 pm: The Church of São Francisco
4:00 pm: Cais da Ribeira, Douro riverfront
5:00 pm: Cruise the Douro River (Optional)
Evening: Dinner

How to Use This Map: Click the tab in the top left hand corner of the map to view the layers (places to go, restaurants, and the walking route). You can click the check marks to hide or show layers. If you click the icons on the map, you can get more information about each point of interest. This map has a walking route to the main attractions but does not include the detours to lunch and dinner restaurants.
 
If you click the star next to the title of the map, this map will be added to your Google Maps account. To view it on your phone or computer, open Google Maps, click the menu button, go to “Your Places,” click Maps, and you will see this map on your list.

9:00 am: Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello is called “the most beautiful bookstore in the world.” Its whimsical architecture, iconic staircase, and colorful stained-glass ceiling attracts an enormous number of visitors each day. It’s definitely a sight to see in Porto.

Porto Portugal | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Livraria Lello | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

For the least crowded experience, we recommend starting your day here, right at opening time. This is a site where we recommend booking your ticket in advance.

There are two ticket types: a standard ticket (the silver voucher) and a premium ticket (gold voucher). The premium ticket is double the cost of the standard ticket but you enter through a priority line, plus you get a free book in the bookstore.

If you have a standard ticket, even with a time slot entry, you could wait in line for up to 15 minutes to enter the bookstore. If you have a premium ticket, you enter right at your allotted time, without waiting in line for the standard ticket.

The bookstore opens at 9 am. If you choose the standard ticket option, it’s a good idea to get here early, because the line starts forming before 8:30 am. If you don’t mind paying the extra cost, the priority ticket is the way to go.

PRO TRAVEL TIP: To get the photos you see here, we were the first to enter the bookshop. In order to do this, we purchased premium tickets for the first time slot (9 am) and arrived 20 minutes before opening time. We were the first ones in the priority line, which allowed us to be the first ones inside the bookstore.

On the official website, get hours, pricing, and purchase your tickets in advance. A visit here lasts about 30 minutes, once you are inside of the bookstore.

10:00 am: Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas

From Livraria Lello, it is just a 2-minute walk to Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas, two churches that sit side-by-side. Casa Escondida (the ‘hidden house’), is a 1 meter wide house that separates these two churches.

Igreja dos Carmelitas | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Start your visit at Igreja do Carmo. There is a small fee to enter, and on your visit you will see the ornately decorated nave and then tour the three levels of the tiny, hidden house. We didn’t find the house to be all that exciting and it was quite crowded during our visit.

Next, you will enter the catacombs, followed by the Crucifix Gallery, with the option to walk onto the rooftop. The view from the rooftop is just OK, but still worth it while you are here. What is not worth it is waiting to climb the narrow steps for a higher viewpoint. This becomes a human traffic jam and the view is not much better than what you get from the lower level of the roof. Our visit to Igreja do Carmo took about 30 minutes.

Igreja do Carmo Rooftop | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Igreja do Carmo rooftop | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Next, visit Igreja das Carmelitas. This church is much quicker to visit. It’s also free. Step inside to admire the golden altarpiece and the small museum.

Igreja das Carmelitas | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Igreja das Carmelitas | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

11:00 am: Torre dos Clérigos

From Igreja das Carmelitas, it is a 6-minute, 400 meter walk to Clérigos Church.

Torre dos Clérigos is a 75-meter tower that is attached to Clérigos Church. Climbing this tower for 360° views is one of the best things to do in Porto.

To get to the top of the tower, you will climb 240 steps and from here, you can see the Douro River, Gaia, and famous Porto landmarks such as the Porto Cathedral.

Clerigos Tower View | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

The view from Clérigos Tower

This is an extremely popular thing to do and you can save yourself a lot of time by booking a time slot in advance. On the official website, you can get hours and purchase your tickets in advance, which can save you an hour or longer during peak season. If they are sold out, you can also purchase them on GetYourGuide.

While you are here, it’s also worth visiting the inside of Clérigos Church, which is free to do. Again, you can see another ornately decorated nave and walk the hallways on the second level of the church for stunning views of the nave.

Clerigos Church | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Clérigos Church | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

12:00 pm: Lunch

Sitting down to lunch and dinner is one of our favorite things to do in Porto (and all of Portugal…the food is incredible!).

For lunch, we have several options.

Just off of Rua da Flores, a lovely pedestrian shopping street and a 5-minute walk from Clérigos Church, is Voltaria. This tiny restaurant always had a line when we walked by. It gets rave reviews and serves tapas and seafood dishes. We never got a chance to eat here but if you can get a table, this is our top recommendation for lunch today.

Also nearby is A Sandeira do Porto (a sandwich shop very close to Clérigos Church) and Pregar (a sandwich shop at the bottom of Rua das Flores) which also get high reviews.

If you want to try some of Porto’s street food, you can do that now, but you will do some extra walking (make sure you check our map above for their locations, before committing yourself to this walk). A long walk is probably not a bad idea, because the street foods are very calorie-rich.

At A Regaleira, try the francesinha, Porto’s most famous street food, a sandwich of ham, steak, and sausage and drenched in a creamy sauce (7-minute walk from Clérigos Church and a 13-minute walk to Miradouro da Vitoria). The francesinha was invented at this restaurant.

At Gazela, try a cachorrinhos, which is a slightly spicy hot dog best enjoyed with Super Bock beer. This was our favorite street food experience. From Clérigos Church, it is an 11-minute walk to get here and a 14-minute walk to Miradouro da Vitoria).

Cachorrinho

Cachorrinho at Gazela | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

1:30 pm: Miradouro da Vitoria (Optional)

For a panoramic view of the city, climb the steps to Miradouro da Vitoria. It’s a hefty hill climb to get up here, so you’ll burn off some of those calories from lunch. If you’re not feeling up to quick workout, you can skip this viewpoint…there will be several others later in this itinerary.

Miradouro da Vitoria

Miradouro da Vitoria | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

2:00 pm: Bolsa Palace

From Miradouro da Vitoria, it is an easy, downhill, 7-minute walk to Bolsa Palace.

Bolsa Palace, also called the Stock Exchange Palace, was built in the 19th century, although it took until 1910 for the interior to be completed. Highlights include the Arab Room and the Hall of Nations.

Arab Room Bolsa Palace

Arab Room in the Bolsa Palace | SvetlanaSF/shutterstock.com

This palace can only be visited on a 30-minute guided tour. To avoid waiting in line, book your ticket and time slot in advance (2:00 pm should work with this itinerary, but you could schedule it for a little later in the day, to give yourself some extra time to get here, should lunch run late).

3:00 pm: The Church of São Francisco

Sitting next to Bolsa Palace is the amazing Church of São Francisco (the Church of Saint Francis).

On a visit here, you will visit the old church and the new church, and the catacombs. There is a small fee to enter.

The new church is worth a quick peek, as are the catacombs, which is where the Franciscan monks and wealthy families in Porto are buried. Don’t miss seeing the bones in the ossuary in the glass floor.

The old church is amazing. Most of the naves are covered in gold leaf. Unfortunately, photos are not allowed in the old church, so you’ll have to wait and see it with your own eyes. It’s definitely worth it.

Church of Sao Francisco Porto | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Church of São Francisco | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

4:00: Stroll along the Douro River

From the Church of São Francisco, it takes just a few minutes to walk down to the riverfront.

Cais da Ribeira is the promenade that runs along the Douro River in Porto. It’s a short, incredibly scenic walk, dotted with bars and restaurants. You’ll gaze across the Douro River to Gaia.

This is a great place to take your time, enjoy the view, and pop into a bar or café for a glass of wine, Porto tonic, or a snack.

Ribeira Promenade Porto

Cais da Ribeira | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

5:00 pm: Cruise the Douro River (Optional)

Cruising the Douro River on a 6 Bridges Cruise is a popular thing to do in Porto. These cruises typically last about an hour and start at Cais da Ribeira.

This cruise with Living Tours gets very good reviews and is one of the cheapest 6 Bridges Cruises available. Or, cruise the Douro River at sunset on this party boat.

Porto Boat Tour | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Evening: Dinner

For dinner, we have several recommendations.

Not far from Cais da Ribeira is Taberna dos Fernandes. This small, compact restaurant is located on Rua da Fonte Taurina. We had lunch here and it was one of our best meals in Porto. The service is impeccable, the octopus was some of the best we had in Portugal (which is saying a lot!), and the shrimp in olive oil and garlic was delicious. They don’t take reservations but it’s worth the wait, if there is one.

MISTU is a short walk from Cais da Ribeira (it is behind Bolsa Palace). This restaurant fuses Asian and South American flavors. We recommend the butterfish with foie gras and the sea bass. Make a reservation in advance.

And if you didn’t dine here earlier in the day, Voltaria is open for dinner some nights of the week, or you can try A Regaleira and/or Gazela.


Porto Itinerary Day 2

Majestic Café, Porto Cathedral, Douro River, Wine Tasting in Gaia

Get ready for another very memorable day in Porto. You’ll visit a few more key sights in Porto before crossing the Douro River to Gaia, where you have the option to go port wine tasting.

Gaia, also called Vila Nova de Gaia, sits south of the Douro River (across from Porto). Gaia is home to the wine cellars where the port wine is stored and aged.

If you are a big wine fan, I also list an alternative itinerary for today, a full day spent in Gaia at the wine cellars, restaurants, and riverfront. If you choose to follow this itinerary, you will miss the sights in Porto (or visit a few of them on day 1).

Here is an overview of today’s itinerary:

9:00 am: Majestic Café
10:00 am: Rua da Santa Catarina and the Chapel of Souls
10:30 am: Church of Saint Ildefonso & São Bento Station
11:00 am: Take your pick between three churches
12:30 pm: Luís I Bridge
1:30 pm: Wine Tasting in Gaia

9:00 am: Breakfast at the Majestic Café

The Majestic Café is an Art Nouveau style café that opened in 1921. It is a historic café and one of Porto’s most beautiful dining experiences.

Majestic Cafe Porto | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Majestic Cafe | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

It is open from 9 am to 11 pm Monday through Saturday (it’s closed on Sunday). Plan on arriving here right at 9 am to save yourself a wait in line for a table. It’s also possible to make a reservation in advance, but first thing in the morning it is probably not necessary.

10:00 am: Rua da Santa Catarina and the Chapel of Souls

The Majestic Café is located on Rua da Santa Catarina, a pedestrian shopping street. In the morning, places will just be opening for the day.

From the café, it’s a 5-minute walk up this street to the Chapel of Souls, a small church that is covered with beautiful blue and white tiles. You can step inside for a quick visit but it’s the outside that amazed us.

Chapel of Souls Porto

Chapel of Souls | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

10:30 am: Church of Saint Ildefonso & São Bento Station

Walk back down Rua da Santa Catarina until you reach the Church of Saint Ildefonso (8-minute walk, 500 meters). You can admire this church and its blue and white tiles from the outside, or step inside if you have an interest in seeing the interior of this church.

Next, walk down Rua de 31 de Janeiro, enjoying views of the Torre de Clérigos in the distance, until you get to the São Bento Railway Station. Step inside for yet another view of azulejos (blue and white tiles).

Sao Bento Railway Station

São Bento Railway Station | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

11:00 am: Take Your Pick between 3 Churches

Next, we list three churches to visit. The Porto Cathedral is the most famous and one of the most important landmarks in the city to visit. It’s nice to see but there are two nearby churches that are highly underrated: the Church of Santa Clara and Igreja de São Lourenço. These tend to have small crowds and a big wow factor. You can visit all three or take your pick from this list.

Porto Cathedral

The Porto Cathedral, also called Sé do Porto, is the largest, grandest church in Porto. You can visit the interior of the church for free, and then pay a small fee to visit the cloister and climb the tower for panoramic views of Porto.

Porto Cathedral | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Porto Cathedral | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

 

Porto Cathedral View

View from the Porto Cathedral

 Porto Cathedral Interior | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Porto Cathedral | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Igreja de São Lourenço

This highly rated church (also called Saint Lawrence Church) is a very short walk from the Porto Cathedral. To get here from the cathedral, cross the parking lot in front of the cathedral, take in the view from Miradouro da Rua das Aldas, and take the steps down to the next parking lot. Igreja de São Lourenço will be on your left (you can’t miss it).

There is a small fee to enter, cash only. Climb the spiral staircase to the top of the tower and from here, and the walkway that connects to the second tower, you get amazing views of Porto. You also get a sweet view of the Porto Cathedral. These rival the views at the cathedral and when we did this, there were only two other people here.

Porto View from Igreja de São Lourenço

View from Igreja de São Lourenço | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Church of Santa Clara

The Church of Santa Clara is a 3-minute walk from the Porto Cathedral (in the opposite direction of Igreja de São Lourenço). There is a small fee to enter.

Inside, the nave is covered with gold leaf, even more than we saw in some other larger, more famous churches in Porto. This church is unique in that there are a lot of large windows and the afternoon sun really brightens up this church. Make sure you climb the stairs to the second level where you can look over the nave from the choir room.

Church of Santa Clara | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Church of Santa Clara | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

PRO TRAVEL TIP: If you want to see all three churches, the best order is Santa Clara, then the Porto Cathedral, ending at Igreja de São Lourenço. This will take between one and one and a half hours. Just be aware that it will be a short uphill walk from Igreja de São Lourenço to get to the Luís I Bridge.

12:30 pm: Luís I Bridge

Next up is an incredibly scenic walk across the Douro River on the Luís I Bridge. To get onto the upper level of the bridge, you will have to get to the intersection of Avenue Vimara Peres and Rua de Saraiva de Carvalho. From the Porto Cathedral, it is a 1-minute walk. From Igreja de São Lourenço it is a 5-minute uphill walk.

Walk along Avenue Vimara Peres towards the Douro River. Then enjoy the spectacular views as you walk across the Douro River.

Porto Photo

The view from the Luís I Bridge

Once you make it to Gaia on the opposite side of the river, you have the option to add on the view from Jardim do Morro (which is located next to the bridge) and Miradouro da Serra do Pilar (a higher viewpoint but you’ll do a lot of extra walking to get here).

Best Views of Porto | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

View from Miradouro da Serra do Pilar | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

To get to Miradouro da Serra do Pilar from the Luís I Bridge, walk down Avenue da Republica, turn left (almost do a U-turn), and immediately walk up Rampa do Infante Santo. It’s an uphill walk on this street to get to the viewpoint. From the Luís I Bridge, it is almost a 1 km walk that takes about 12 minutes (one-way), a little shorter if you start at the Jardim do Morro metro station.

If adding on 30-minutes of walking isn’t worth it to you, you can head right to the good stuff, wine tasting in Gaia. You also have the option to visit Miradouro da Serra do Pilar at the end of the day, at sunset.

1:30 pm: Wine Tasting in Gaia

The remainder of the day will be spent in Gaia, where you can tour a wine cellar, go wine tasting, stroll along the riverfront, and visit the World of Wine. It’s a fabulous way to end your visit to Porto.

Before we get into how to plan your afternoon, I recommend that you take a look at our Guide to the Porto Wine Cellars, which has lots of information about the best wine cellars to visit in Gaia, plus more things to do and restaurant recommendations.

If you simply want to stroll along the riverfront, visiting a few of the more popular wine cellars for a tasting or tour, ride the cable car that has a station next to Jardim do Morro and takes you down to river level. From here, it is an easy, flat walk to big port names such as Caves Ferreira, Sandeman, and Caves Cálem. There are also quite a few restaurants offering lunch.

For lunch with a view, we recommend Vinum, which is part of Graham’s Port Lodge. It’s located far from the Luís I Bridge, so consider hiring an Uber to get you here. Make your lunch reservation in advance. After lunch, you can visit another wine cellar for a tour or tasting, stroll along the riverfront, or walk over to the World of Wine.

If you want to tour a wine cellar, it is best to book this in advance, because tours can sell out. We had our best experience at Niepoort and highly recommend it for port wine lovers, as it is a good, all-around experience in a very small group.

In an afternoon in Gaia, you have enough time to do two tours, if they are short. Again, see our Guide to the Porto Wine Cellars for recommendations.

Finally, you can also visit the World of Wine, a good option for those traveling with kids. There are several informative, very well-done museums about chocolate, wine in Portugal, cork, and rosé wine. We list your options in our Guide to the Porto Wine Cellars.

Gaia Promenade

Gaia promenade | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

 Sandeman Porto

Sandeman, one of the port wine houses on the Gaia riverfront.

 

World of Wine Porto

World of Wine | 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

 

Vinum Restaurant Porto

Lunch at Vinum

 

If we were to return to Porto and spend an afternoon in Gaia, this is what we would do:

1:30 pm: Lunch at Vinum
3:00 pm: Tour a wine cellar, Niepoort is my first recommendation, followed by Cockburn’s 
5:00 pm: Stroll along the riverfront and do a port tasting at Kopke and/or Burmester
7:00 pm: Dinner at Enoteca 1756. We had a fantastic dinner here. Dona Maria Restaurante is another restaurant that gets glowing reviews. Alternatively, you can visit Jardim do Morro or Miradouro da Serra do Pilar for sunset views of Porto (get sunset times for your dates of travel here).

Day 2 Alternative Itinerary: All Day in Gaia

If you want to spend a day in Gaia, tasting port, having lunch and/or dinner, and enjoying the views across the Douro River to Porto, here’s how to do it.

This itinerary is what we did on our first day in Gaia. You can substitute the wine cellars we visited for different ones.

10:00 am: We took the Niepoort and Friends tour and tasting. This ended at 11:30 am, but tours can run late, so keep that in mind if you are making a reservation for your next activity. Alternatively, you can tour a different port lodge, or visit WOW in the morning, saving a wine cellar tour for the afternoon.

1:00 pm: Lunch at Vinum, Graham’s Port Lodge

3:00 pm: 1790 Tour at Sandeman. Alternatively, you could visit a museum at WOW followed by a tasting at Taylor’s (we liked the port and the experience more at Taylor’s than nearby Fonseca).

5:00 pm: Spend some time along the riverfront in Gaia with the option to do tastings at the wine houses here. Kopke and Burmester would be our top picks (we are big fans of these ports).

7:00 pm: Dinner or watch the sunset from the Luís I bridge. We had dinner at Enoteca 1756. Of course, you can pick a different restaurant in Gaia or return to Porto, if you are staying in Porto. Walking across the Luís I bridge at sunset is a great thing to do in Porto. You can walk up to the bridge from the riverfront or ride the cable car.

Enoteca 1756 Porto

Enoteca 1756

Make Your Reservations in Advance

Below are places in Porto that we recommend making an advance reservation, plus the links to make your planning easier.

You should also make a reservation in advance at any wine cellars you plan to tour as well as dinner restaurants.

Portugal Travel Guide

How to Get Around Porto

The best way to get around Porto is on foot. It’s a relatively small, compact city and easy to walk between most sites. However, it’s also good to know that Porto is hilly, so you will walk up and down some hills and stairs, especially the closer you get to the Douro River.

There are a few trams and funiculars that connect the riverfront area to the hillier areas of Porto, which can save you a big uphill walk.

In Porto, Funicular dos Guindais has a bottom station on the Douro River next to the Luís I Bridge and ends near the Church of Santa Clara. So, if you are strolling along Cais da Ribeira and then need to walk to the city center or to Luís I Bridge, you can take this tram to save yourself the uphill walk, or walk the winding streets and staircases up the level of the Porto Cathedral. There is a small fee for the tram and there could be a line, so in some cases, walking is faster.

And in Gaia, the Gaia cable car connects Jardim do Morro and the upper level of the Luís I Bridge to the riverfront area.

There is a metro but there are only a few stations in the city center. You can use the metro to get from Porto (station: Sao Bento) to Gaia (station: Jardim do Morro).

To connect points that are farther apart, hire a taxi or use Uber or another ride share app. We used Uber to get from our hotel (near Liberty Square) to and from Gaia.

How to Get to Porto

You can get to Porto by plane, train, bus, car, and on a tour. Porto has an international airport, so you can fly here from other locations around the world.

São Bento Railway Station has a convenient location in the city center. If you are coming from Lisbon or another city in Portugal, getting to Porto by train is fast, budget-friendly, and convenient. Buses are also budget friendly but sometimes have longer travel times, so check timetables when planning your journey.

If you are road tripping through Portugal, you’ll need to park your rental car while in Porto. Driving and parking is challenging in Porto, so I don’t recommend driving from place to place. When choosing a hotel, it’s best to choose one that offers parking.

Livrario Lello Porto

Livrario Lello

The Porto Card

The Porto Card offers free, unlimited use of public transport (excluding the historic street cars), taking the metro from the airport to the city center, free admission to several museums (none of which are in this itinerary), and small discounts on other sites, such as Clérigos Tower and the Porto Cathedral.

The savings is minimal and I don’t think it is worth it, unless you plan to use public transportation frequently (such as taking the metro from the airport to the city center and using the metro or buses to get around the city) or plan to visit a few of the included museums (which are relatively obscure and probably not of interest to most first time visitors).

Learn more here.

Where to Stay in Porto

The historic center of Porto is the best place to stay for this itinerary, followed by a few select hotels in Gaia. If you are traveling through Portugal by train, consider choosing a hotel near the São Bento Railway Station.

We have a list of recommended hotels in Porto in our Porto Travel Guide (coming soon).

Tours of Porto

Joining a tour can help save you time waiting in line, get tickets to a site that may have sold out in advance, or allow you to experience Porto in a unique way, such as a cooking class. Here are some of the best tours in Porto.

Watch a live Fado show and enjoy a glass of wine.

On this 3-hour food tour of the old town, try pastries, cheese, and sausage, plus a wine tasting.

Cruise the Douro River at sunset on a party boat.

Learn how to make Pastel de Nata, one of Portugal’s most famous pastries, in this cooking class.

Take a guided tour of Cockburn’s wine cellar, Graham’s Port Lodge, or Caves Cálem (this tour includes a fado show).

If you will be in Porto for more than 2 days, you can day trip to the Douro Valley or visit nearby Braga and Guimarães on a full day trip.

 

 

Frequently Asked Questions

Is 2 days enough in Porto?

Two days gives you just enough time to see Porto’s must-see landmarks, churches, and historical sites, plus stroll through the scenic old town and the Douro River, and go wine tasting in Gaia.

When is the best time to visit Porto?

Porto can be visited all year. Spring and fall are the best times to visit, when the weather is pleasant but crowds are manageable. Summer is the hottest, busiest time to visit Porto. Our visit was at the end of September. Porto still felt busy, but it was warm and sunny every day we were here.

Is a day trip to Porto from Lisbon worth it?

To travel from Lisbon to Porto by train, it takes between 3 and 4 hours one-way. That totals 6 to 8 hours just in travel time, so you aren’t left with much time to see Porto. It takes at least one full day to visit a few of Porto’s highlights and go port tasting, and on a day trip, your time will be even more limited, so a day trip to Porto from Lisbon is not worth it.


If you have any questions about this 2 days in Porto itinerary, let us know in the comment section below.

More Information for Your Trip to Portugal

PORTO: We cover the best things to do in Porto in our Porto Bucket List. In our Guide to the Wine Cellars in Gaia, get recommendations on which wine cellars to visit and how to plan your time.

DOURO VALLEY: Get started with our Douro Valley Travel Guide, which covers the essential things to know when planning a trip to this wine region. We also have a guide to 8 Wineries to Visit in the Douro Valley.

BRAGA & GUIMARÃES: These two towns are located in northern Portugal and make a great day trip from Porto. Plan your visit with our guides to Braga and Bom Jesus do Monte and medieval town of Guimarães.

LISBON: In our Lisbon Bucket List, we list 40 highlights and hidden gems to visit in Lisbon. Here are 14 amazing day trips to take from Lisbon.

PORTUGAL ITINERARY: If you have 10 days in Portugal, here are 5 different ways to plan your trip.

NAZARÉ: Nazaré is famous for its enormous waves, making it a top surfing destination in the world. Learn more about this coastal town in our Guide to Nazaré.

We have TONS more information about Portugal in our Portugal Travel Guide, including Lisbon, Sintra, Porto, the Algarve, and the Douro Valley.

 

2 Days in Porto Portugal Itinerary

 

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Comments 2

  1. Avatar for Anne
    Anne

    Hi Michelle,
    We plan to visit Portugal in October. Our itinerary was to be 4 nights in Lisbon with day trip to Sintra, 4 nights in Porto with a day trip to Douro Valley, a night in Evora, and 4 nights in Algarve before returning to Lisbon for flight home. Because of the limited days TAP flies to San Francisco, we will need to cut our trip by one day. Which city would you recommend we might cut a day?

    1. Avatar for Julie Post
      Author
      Julie

      Hello Anne. That’s a good question, and a surprisingly tough one. With 2 busy days in Porto, like this one, you can see most of the city. You’ll use a day to day trip to the Douro Valley. Your fourth day could be used to day trip to Braga and Guimaraes (we will publish a guide to this soon), which is nice. There is a similar situation in Lisbon, where you can see the highlights in 2 days, plus the day trip to Sintra. That fourth day can be used doing more in Lisbon or day tripping to a place like Obidos. So I’m thinking you keep 4 nights in both cities. We spent a night in Evora and weren’t loving it there. You can spend a few hours in Evora on the drive between Porto and the Algarve, but if it were me, I’d go directly to the Algarve. And I’d definitely keep 4 nights in the Algarve. So, it depends if you want to keep the day in Porto to visit Braga in Guimaraes, keep a day to day trip from Lisbon, or break up the drive with a night in Evora. Whatever you choose, it will be an amazing trip! I hope this helps! Cheers, Julie

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