2 Days in Porto Itinerary

The Perfect 2 Days in Porto Itinerary (2024)

Porto is one of the prettiest cities in Europe with colorful tall buildings flanking a busy river and bright blue skies. This 2 days in Porto itinerary, you will find all the details for the perfect trip.

In planning a trip to Portugal, you may feel the need to choose between the cities of Porto and Lisbon or the Algarve, but you can have it all.

This travel guide for two days in Porto will show you the top sights, delicious restaurants, the best places to sample Port wine, and the top tours. Get ready to fall in love with this charming city.

This post contains affiliate links. If you book or buy something through one of these links, we may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. You can read our full disclosure here.

Planning your trip to Porto last minute? Here are the tours and hotels we recommend. You will also helpful information on the Coolest Porto Boutique Hotels, the Top Hotels in the Douro Valley, and a Day Trip from Porto to Braga.


2 Days in Porto Itinerary Pin

Porto is the 2nd largest city in Portugal with a long and illustrious history. Founded by the Celts and occupied by the Romans in the 4th Century, Porto has witnessed many different occupiers, emperors, and leaders across the centuries.

Porto was even declared an independent city during the Middle Ages with its own King. With each change, the city became a mix of architectural styles including Gothic, Medieval, Romanesque, Renaissance, Neo-Classical, and Modern.

It’s a beautiful patchwork of architectural influences dotted with traditional Azulejo tiles and colorful buildings on an exceptional riverfront location.

The Historic city center, Luis I Bridge, and Serra do Pilar are protected UNESCO World Heritage Sites due to their continuous development over 2,000 years filled with important buildings and monasteries.

Notably, Porto became an important trading hub of Portugal, especially with respect to wine. It also became one of its leading cultural centers–it’s no wonder so many come to explore it every year!

Best Boutique Hotels in Porto Portugal

Best Time to Visit Porto

While Porto never reaches very low temperatures during the year, it doesn’t reach incredibly high ones either.

The most popular time to visit is during Summer, the warmest months, June through September. Highs are generally in the 70’s and lows are in the low 60’s.

The shoulder seasons in Spring and Fall are definitely good times to visit as well. The crowds are a little less in April, May, October, and November. Make sure to bring a jacket for the evenings and an umbrella for rain.

Winter has a lot more rainy days. The worst time to visit is January – February. December can be quite cold and rainy but there are fun seasonal events that make it more worth it.


Porto 2 Day Itinerary

  • Day 1 – São Bento Train Station, Porto Cathedral, Luis I Bridge, Jardim do Morro & Monastery of Serra do Pilar, Vila Nova de Gaia Port Tasting, Douro River, Ribeira District, Palácio da Bolsa, Clérigos Tower
  • Day 2 – Livraria Lello, Carmo church, Majestic Café, Afternoon in Matosinhos or 6 Bridges Cruise
  • Day 3 Option – Day Trip to Douro Valley Boat Tour & Wine Tasting, Amarante, or Guimarães and Braga full-day tour

About This Porto Itinerary & How Long to Stay in Porto

This 2-day Porto itinerary is perfect for a weekend trip or part of a longer Portugal itinerary. It’s a list of what to see in Porto, whether you have a long weekend in Porto or are trying to see Porto in a day.

Wondering how long to stay in Porto? On my first visit, I spent three days in Porto, and I still think that’s the way to go.
Explore Porto’s city center for the first two days and do a day trip on the third day.

Porto’s top tourist sites are easily seen on foot in 1 – 2 days. Guided tours are a teriffic option for fun activities while touring the city. I’ve included the best Porto tours below that are a good value and worth your time.

Since you’ll only have 2 days in Porto, the first day is filled with a busy walking tour, while the second day leaves time to slow down and enjoy.

If you can plan for 3 days in Porto, there are options to spend day 3 in the Douro Valley or on a day trip from Porto to Braga.

Regardless of the time of year you visit, we highly recommend that you book your hotels and tours as early as possible.

READ NEXT: 12 BEST BOUTIQUE HOTELS IN PORTO


2 Days in Porto Itinerary – Day 1

Porto is set on both sides of the Douro River. Actually, one side is called Porto, and the other is Vila Nova de Gaia.

The first day of this Porto itinerary will be spent on both sides of the river, giving you an opportunity to see it from all angles.

The Day 1 itinerary is a walking tour. The route is 1.9 miles (3 km).

You can also see everything with the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, River Cruise, & Port Cellar Tour. At €35 per person, it’s definitely one of the best sightseeing deals in Porto.

Stop 1: São Bento Train Station is the Start of Your 2 Day Porto Itinerary

The train from Lisbon to Porto takes less than 3 hours. You’ll arrive at Sao Bento station, Porto’s 20th-century Beaux-Arts railway station decorated with 20,000 incredible, hand-painted, blue ceramic tiles that will take your breath away.

It’s the perfect entry point into the historic city center of Porto and a grand way to be welcomed by this fabulous town! Each image in the azulejo tile mural portrays some part of Porto’s history.

Make sure to visit Sao Bento train station if you arrive in Porto another way.

RELATED POST: The Best 2 Days in Lisbon Itinerary

The first building you’ll notice outside of the bustling train station is Igreja de Santo Antonio dos Congregados church, covered in more amazing azulejo tiles.

It’s a preview of coming attractions in a town that is filled with decorative exteriors, so unique to Porto. From São Bento you can catch a taxi to your hotel or walk if you are close enough.

Stop 2: Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto)

Porto Cathedral is a 5-minute walk from Sao Bento train station. The oldest Roman Catholic church in the city is also a national monument.

There is no cost to enter the cathedral but €3 for the cloister. The halls are adorned with azulejo tiles. You can also get a sneak peek from the outside.

Around the cathedral is a large square. During the Medieval Ages, commerce and trade would take place here.

The crowds here can get very busy. Make your way to the edge of the square overlooking the river for the beautiful view of the city shown in the photo above before making your way to the next stop.

Porto Luis 1 Bridge Upper Deck

Cross over the Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia

It’s time to head over to Vila Nova de Gaia. The Luis I Bridge has an upper and lower deck, which will connect you to the Vila Nova de Gaia riverbank area where you can do Port wine tasting.

The lower deck is for cars and there is a sidewalk for pedestrians but the upper deck has better views.

The upper deck connects you to the hills overlooking the riverbank. This big open bridge is also used by the Porto Metro so keep an eye out for trains.

As you step onto the bridge, you will have incredible views of the city and the Douro River. You can take amazing photos from the bridge but be careful with your camera, it’s very windy. I had a Marilyn moment with my dress!

2 days in Portugal Itinerary Jardim do Morro

Stop 3: Jardim do Morro

Walk straight forward from the bridge. On the right is Jardim do Morro, and it’s the perfect place to stop for a little break and sit down.

Jardim do Morro is a beautiful garden with exquisite views of Porto. If you are hungry, there’s a place where you can get coffee and a snack.

The park is probably most crowded at sunset because it’s such a pretty spot to take amazing photos of Porto with city and river views. Adjust your day to come here after port wine tasting (Stop 5) if you want.

2 days in Porto Serra do Pilar Monastery

Stop 4: Monastery of Serra do Pilar

For an even bigger view, head across the street and up the hill to the Monastery of Serra do Pilar. It’s honestly a little underwhelming until the lights go on in the evening.

This is one of the highest viewpoints in Porto and worth the walk up. You can enter the cloister for €4 (€2 for kids), but the best thing to see here is the view.

If you are looking to save a little time in your day or you don’t want to walk anymore, this would be the thing to drop and you can just appreciate its beauty from below.

Port Wine Tasting

Stop 5: Take a Port Cellar Tour & Wine Tasting in Vila Nova de Gaia

Walk down the hill to the Vila Nova de Gaia riverfront. This is where you will find all the port wine cellars. You will be able to learn about the port-making process and do tastings of the famous Porto wine.

Port is a sweet, fortified wine and probably not something you’ll drink glass after glass.

There are four styles of port, going from lightest to darkest, white, rose, tawny, and ruby port. Cooks may be familiar with ruby port, used for a port wine reduction sauce.

It’s best to pick two quality guided tours that have tastings of Port that are aged and will let you experience the distinct differences between the four styles.

Taylor is one of the most well-known cellars, but their tours are self-guided with an audio headset.

If you prefer a tour with a knowledgeable human, I recommend the Graham’s Port Lodge Tour & Premium Tasting with Pairings. It’s a working cellar with incredible Porto views. The price is €35 for the tour and tasting.

2 Days in Porto Calem Cellars

For the second tasting, I recommend the tour at Cálem and you can combine the Port Wine Tour and tasting with a Portuguese Fado performance. The best part is that it’s €23, which is much less than doing both things separately. Reserve your tickets for the Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting here.

If you prefer to have someone coordinate everything for you, take the Porto: Walking & Wine Tour. This is a 3.5-hour afternoon tour to two wineries, and can try Port wine, green wine, and some cheese!

  • Cost: €34.90 per person
  • Duration: 3 hours
  • Starting time: 4:00 PM
  • Meeting point: Dom Luis I Bridge in Porto’s side

Stop 6: Walk Back Over the Bridge to the Cais de Ribiera (Porto Riverfront)

To head back to the Porto side of the river, walk back across the lower portion of the Luis I Bridge.

When you reach the lively riverbank, it’s a great time to get something to eat or check out the views from one of the best rooftop bars in Porto.

At some point during your two days in Porto, meat lovers should try a francesinha sandwich. It’s one of the most famous foods in Porto. I didn’t like it but lots of people do.

The most well known sandwich is at Café Santiago but you can find it all over. If you want to do it right, you have it with fries and a beer. Share with a friend. The portions are huge.

Stop 7: Palácio da Bolsa, the Former Porto Stock Exchange

Porto’s itinerary is incomplete without a trip to Palácio da Bolsa. This architectural gem is the perfect blend of neoclassical and Palladian style.

Porto architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Júnior spearheaded the project, with other notable artists and architects contributing to the finished palace.

It is no surprise then that this building was classified as a National Monument in 1982, drawing almost half a million visitors every year!

Since you cannot tour the building on your own, book a 30 minute guided tour of Palácio da Bolsa. Tours are conducted in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French.

Some of the best things to see art the moorish Salão Árabe (Arab room) with painted ceiling and the iron and glass dome in the Hall of Nations sown above.

This is the perfect place to visit if you’re in Porto when it rains.

  • Cost: €12 Adults, €7.5 Students/Seniors, children under 13 are free. (includes entry ticket and tour)
  • Hours: 9:00 AM-6:30 PM

Stop 8: Clérigos Tower and Church

A Roman baroque style church, Clérigos Church has a very tall (249 foot) prominent bell tower, which you can see from all around the city of Porto.

You’ll find quite a bit of tourist traffic coming to see the view from the top. If you get here at the end of the day, you may be able to catch a beautiful sunset.

  • Cost: €6
  • Hours: 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM

2 Days in Porto Itinerary – Day 2

  • Livraria Lello
  • Igreja Do Carmo
  • Majestic Café
  • 6 Bridges Cruise
  • Praia de Matosinhos

The architecture in Porto is magnificent. The first half of the day will take you by many notable buildings. If you want to enter, you should make choices about what places are most important because some are very crowded.

Choose between Livraria Lello Bookstore or Clérigos Church Tower as your starting point so you don’t get stuck with a ton of waiting time.

Livraria Lello Inspiration for Hogwarts

Start Day 2 of Your Porto Itinerary at the Livraria Lello & Irmao Bookstore

Livraria Lello also known as the Lello Bookstore is a wildly popular attraction in Porto. The design of the bookstore is unlike any other.

It is believed that J.K. Rowling used to work in this shop and that it was the inspiration for Harry Potter Hogwarts.

The biggest tip I will give you is to get here at least 15 or 20 minutes before it opens. People queue up outside Livraria Lello, especially Harry Potter fans, and the lines get long very quickly. Purchase a €5 entry ticket at the bookstore.

If it doesn’t matter that much to you, you still might want to walk by the shop at night when no one is there. You can partially see inside.

  • Cost: €5
  • Hours: 9:30 AM – 7:00 PM

Stop 2: See Some of The Beautiful Azulejo Tile Buildings During Your 2 Days in Porto

Walk approximately two blocks from Livraria Lello to Igreja Do Carmo.

Carmo Church definitely has a starring role on Instagram and might have been the beautiful building that drew you to Porto in the first place.

The azulejo tile, for which Porto is well known, is just one type of beautiful exterior.

For a modern example of tile-clad buildings in Porto, check out this mural of 8,000 colorful tiles by artist Joana Vasconcelos at Steak & Shake, one block from Carmo Church.

These are just a few examples and you will undoubtedly see many like Igreja de Santo Ildefonso on the right above.

Porto Itinerary Carmelitas Church

Stop 3: Igreja Do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas are Porto Itinerary Must Sees

The ornate decor extends to the interior of buildings too. Right next to azulejo-tiled Carmo Church, you will find Igreja dos Carmelitas, a baroque-style church that is very large and architecturally magnificent.

As you can see in the photo above, the interior of Carmelitas Church is very ornate and well worth a step inside.

Stop 4: Coffee at Majestic Café During Your 2 Days in Porto

Majestic Café is another great place to tap into Porto’s exquisite architecture. This Art Nouveau cafe dates back to 1921, and you can visualize what it must have been like over the years.

This is a perfect place to stop and recharge for the sightseeing day ahead. It’s a little on the expensive side, but definitely worth the experience. Get a coffee and some pastels de nata, the delicious Portuguese custard pastries.

2 Days in Porto Majestic Cafe

Afternoon Option 1: Take a 6 Bridges Cruise

After a day of touring buildings, get an open-air perspective of Porto from the water on the Porto: 6 Bridges Cruise.

It’s a 50-minute tour and you will get to see the 6 bridges, Vila Nova de Gaia, the historic center of Oporto, and more. It’s a nice way to wrap up your time in Porto out on the water.

  • Cost: €18 per person
  • Duration: 50 minutes
  • Meeting point: Cais da Estiva
Praia de Matosinhos Porto Itinerary

Afternoon Option 2: Head to the Beach Like a Local

If you want to get out on the sand and into the surf, catch an Uber to Praia de Matosinhos, 13 km from Porto. It’s one of the best Portugal Beach Towns.

There are places to rent surfboards and stand-up paddleboards. There are also some great seafood restaurants in the area. You can also visit the Fort of São Francisco do Queijo at the end of the beach.


Best Day Trips to Add an Extra Day to Your Porto Itinerary

Seeing Porto in 2 days is great but if you can add extra time, and you really want to experience Portugal to its fullest, why not consider adding a day trip on to your Porto itinerary?

Douro Valley

Douro Valley

Get out of the city to the terraced hillsides of the Douro Valley for Port wine tasting with incredible vistas. It’s prettier in real life than any photos you have seen.

You’ll also be able to experience a longer wine tour, I recommend trying visiting the Douro Valley w/ Boat Tour, Wine Tasting & Lunch.

This is a 9-hour tour that takes you to 2 wineries and tastings of port, red, white, and rose wine within the Douro Valley region. The tour also includes a traditional Portuguese lunch and a Douro river cruise.

  • Cost: €95 per person
  • Duration: 9.5 hours
  • Meeting point: picked up at a specified hotel
Best Things to do in Amarante Portugal

Amarante

You can book a Douro Valley Wine Tour with a Stop in Amarante. It’s a charming Portuguese hidden gem that will add another dimension to your day trip.

The best things to do in Amarante include visiting beautiful Romanesque churches, walking across the historic bridge, visiting a fantastic museum, strolling along the Tâmega River, or enjoying a delicious meal.

We spent an entire lovely weekend in Amarante and highly recommend a visit.

Braga Portugal Day Trip from Porto

A day trip to the nearby Minho region is equally great. A Guimarães and Braga full-day guided tour offers visitors incredible views and experiences that shouldn’t be missed since they are so close to Porto.

Marvel at the sites of Guimarães and its beautifully preserved center that is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is also where companies like Parachute produce their fine linens.

Braga is one of the largest cities in Portugal, filled with beautiful buildings and more flowers than you can imagine. After touring around, have lunch and then visit the breathtaking Bom Jesus do Monte.

Adding an extra day or two to this Porto itinerary is highly recommended if anyone wants to get off the beaten path and journey through Portugal’s hidden gems.

  • Cost: €65 per person
  • Duration: 9 hours
  • Meeting point: picked up at a specified hotel

Where to Stay in Porto for 2 Days

Best Boutique Hotels in Porto Portugal

Porto Hotels

We LOVE the boutique hotels in Porto so much that we have a whole post with our recommendations. Here are a few favorites.

  • Torel 1884 Suites & Apartments (9.4) – This is where we stayed on our most recent weekend in Porto. They offer suites and apartments that are tastefully decorated.
  • Torel Avantgarde (9.1) – We wanted to stay here, but it was fully booked. Best location with a pool with river views. Book early. This is one of the top hotels in Porto.
  • Wine & Books Porto Hotel (9.5) – Stay at this hotel if you want a great location and access to a spa and pool. They have one of the best boutique hotels in Lisbon too.
  • Pestana Palácio do Freixo (8.9) – A gorgeous and totally luxurious hotel on the Douro River. This baroque-style hotel includes a Turkish bath and infinity pool.

Well Located Vacation Rentals in Porto at a Great Price

If you prefer to make yourself more at home, these vacation rentals will give you more of a local experience and the convenience of extra space, full kitchens, and WiFi. 

Porto Portugal at Night

Restaurants to Try During Your 2 Days in Porto

Here are a few other notable Porto dining options to add to your itinerary.

  • Bartolomeu Bistro & Wine in the Torel 1884 Hotel is delicious. Make reservations ahead, We had to wait a bit but the food was worth the wait. Check out the wine cellar in the former bank vault.
  • Euskalduna Studio – A cozy yet pricey restaurant in the center of Porto. If you are looking to go all out, you don’t want to leave Porto without coming here. The food is beautiful and delicious, and the wine pairings top off the meal perfectly.
  • Farinha – A more casual pizza & pasta restaurant with outdoor and indoor seating. The pizzas here are definitely the most popular; try the honey pizza for a more unique experience!
  • Tapabento S.Bento – A smaller restaurant in the heart of Porto that serves Portuguese food. The seafood is to die for, but make reservations ahead of time as it can get quite busy.
  • Natas D’Ouro – We came here to get the port-flavored Pastel De Nata but ended up walking out with a sampler box of multiple flavors. Don’t miss this yumminess.

Sao Bento Railway Station Porto Itinerary

How to Get to Porto

PLANE: Porto has an international airport called Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport or Porto Airport (OPO).

The cheapest airlines to take into Porto Airport are RyanAir, EasyJet and Vueling. With that said, TAP Portugal is a great airline to fly all over Portugal or internationally.

If you are flying into Porto from an international destination, you will generally have a layover in Lisbon or another European city.

TRAIN: Being that Porto will likely not be the only destination on your Portugal itinerary, there is a good possibility you will be coming from Lisbon. Although you can fly from Lisbon to Porto, I would recommend taking the train.

There are trains almost every 45 minutes and they are relatively cheap. The total trip duration is about 2 hours and 50 minutes on average. Click here to get more information and check out the train schedule.

  • Cost: $30+ per person
  • Duration: 2hr 50min average
  • Departure Station: Lisboa Santa Apolónia & Lisboa Oriente
  • Arrival Station: Porto campanha 

Getting Around Porto

Porto is a very walkable city. You don’t need to rent a car unless you are taking a Portugal road trip. There are a lot of public garages where you can park, but the busier the season, the harder it is to find a spot.

Ubers and taxis are readily available but walking can be faster especially when it comes to crossing the bridge. Just pack some good walking shoes for your 2 days in Porto and you’ll be set!

We highly recommend bringing an anti-theft travel bag because like all major cities, Porto has pickpockets.


Final Thoughts About This 2 Days in Porto Itinerary

Seeing Porto in 2 days is busy but doable. You could easily spend a month exploring this fascinating city. Extending to 3 days will make it a little more relaxed and let you take advantage of a day trip in the area.

I have no doubts that you’ll enjoy this city filled with rich history, culture, great food and shopping! If you have any questions, leave a comment below. Porto truly is such a picturesque city and an essential stop when visiting Portugal.


Other Posts to Help You Plan Your Portugal Itinerary:

Save this Itinerary for 2 Days in Porto. Pin it!

2 Days in Porto Itinerary Pin

You Might Also Like...

5 Comments

  • Reply
    Cori Susanna Dykman
    March 19, 2023 at 12:46 pm

    I love your blog!!!
    Thank you so much. I am a friend of Nona’s and she told me about this wonderful resource.
    Hugs to you and your husband.
    Cori

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      March 19, 2023 at 5:02 pm

      Thanks so much Cori!

  • Reply
    Jenny
    December 2, 2020 at 6:13 pm

    This is a great post with some really useful information, especially the prices and recommendations.
    Just one extra recommendation, some of the best sunset shots we have seen have been taken on the Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia, the river and the buildings take on an even more special feeling (great tip about the wind, it can take you by surprise)

  • Reply
    Jennifer
    June 2, 2020 at 12:36 am

    I’d love to go to Porto! It’s on my bucket list.

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

    • Reply
      Jenifer
      June 2, 2020 at 12:39 am

      It’s such a beautiful, fun city!

Leave a Reply

error: