6 Top Things To Do In Porto: Fun Activities For Your Trip

I had an unforgettable few days exploring Porto as a solo traveler, so here are my top things to do in Porto.

This list includes:

  1. Visit the Lello Library.
  2. Tour a Port Wine Cellar.
  3. Admire the city’s tiles.
  4. Visit São Bento Station.
  5. Take a Three Bridges Boat Cruise
  6. Visit Matosinhos Beach

1. Visit the Lello Library – a book lover’s top things to do in Porto

This is definitely one of the top things to do in Porto – especially if you are a Harry Potter fan. Rumour has it this bookstore inspired JK Rowling’s descriptions of Hogwarts.

Opened in 1906, it’s considered to be one of the most beautiful libraries in the world, and is a must-visit on any trip to Porto

Entry costs 8 EUROS and tickets can only be bought online, so make sure to book ahead to get your desired entry slot.

Book your Lello library tickets here

2. Tour a Port Wine Cellar

Porto is famous for Port Wine and so you should definitely schedule time to cross the Duoro River and visit one of the wine cellars located in Villa Nova de Gaia, to learn all about how this special wine is made.

Popular cellars to visit include Sandeman, Calem Cellars, Ramos Pinto and Ferreira.

Top tip: Sandeman Cellar has a beautiful outdoor terrace serving cocktails using their own port wines. I tried the traditional port tonic drink (which was delicious). It was lovely to take some time to sit and enjoy a cocktail and watch the boats along the river.

3. Admire the city’s tiles – a top free thing to do in Porto

Definitely pencil some time into your Porto plans to walk around and admire the beautiful Portugese tiles that cover the city’s buildings. Some great buildings to visit to see the traditional azulejo tile murals are Porto Cathedral, Igreja do Carmo and Capela das Almas.

If you want to take a tile painting workshop to learn more about the art of Portugal’s tiles, and even make a tile yourself to take home as a souvenir, then Gazete Azulejos in Porto who run workshops (book here).

4. Visit São Bento Station

This location has the most famous and arguably the most beautiful tiles in Porto.

It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and National Monument of Portugal, and you definitely realise why when you walk in!

The station is covered in murals made from traditional blue azulejo tiles, and each mural represent a period in Portugal’s history. From here, you can also catch the Douro scenic train, which runs along the Douro river between Porto and Pocinho.

5. Take a Three Bridges Boat Cruise

Taking a cruise along the river means you can see Porto from a completely different angle.

I originally was going to skip this activity, but I am so glad I didn’t, as it refreshing to take 40 minutes to sit and admire Porto from the water, and sail past the cellars in Villa Nova de Gaia and the restaurants in the Ribeira district.

Along the way you learn all about the history behind the three bridges that cross the Douro river, which have each been constructed in different time periods, by different architects and for different uses.

I took my boat trip with Manos do Douro, I chose this tour operator as they offered me a 20% discount as I had a Porto Card. If you decide to buy the Porto Card, then definitely check which boat operators offer discounts on Three Bridges Boat Cruises!

If you’re not sure if you should buy the Porto Card – check out Mummy Travels blog post: Review: Is the Porto card worth it?

6. Visit Matosinhos Beach

This is definitely my favourite thing to see and do in Porto – take a trip to Matosinhos beach. If you have more than a few days in Porto I would definitely recommend visiting the nearby surf town Matosinhos, to enjoy the beach and maybe even try your hand at some surfing.

It is super easy to get to Matosinhos from Porto town centre, all you have to do is take the Bus 500 from outside São Bento Station and after 30 – 40 minutes you arrive in Matosinhos.

TOP TIP: Make sure you sit on the left-hand side on your way there, so you can enjoy the beautiful views of the Duoro river along the way.

If you’re looking for more top things to do in Porto, then check out our other blog posts:

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