Cobblestone under my feet. An ocean breeze passed through my hair. Seagulls chirping in the background.
The sounds and sights of Porto were unexpected. Before I traveled there, I had thought Porto would be another Instagram ‘oversell’, and one that wouldn’t live up to my expectations.
Of course, that thought was too quick thinking – and I found myself loving Porto more than I had predicted.
Porto is located in Portugal, the second-largest city, and it’s one of the major urban areas of the region.
The region is known for Port Wine and is located along the Douro River. It’s one of the oldest regions in Portugal, and it’s labeled a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Porto is small enough to enjoy for a quick weekend trip, and it’s large enough that you could make Porto into an extended stay. Porto has a large digital nomad community, and it’s for sure something on my list to check out one day.
But if you’re looking to make a stop in Porto on your Portugal holiday tour, it’s great for that, too. Here is how I spent the day in Porto, and a few things for you to visit also.
A day in Porto
Ready to start your holiday off fantastically in Porto? Here is what you can do.
The first stop of the day, for me it’s always coffee. Porto has many charming coffee houses that are traditional Portuguese but many others also have a hipster vibe.
You can take your pick.
Sé do Porto, the Porto Cathedral, has breathtaking views towards the river. It’s very simple to get to from the old town, and once you find yourself on top, you will enjoy a small square with street music. Going inside the cathedral is also worth it. The interior hosts breathtaking Azulejos blue tiles.
Next, walk down the small pathways between the stone house, and come out to the Ribeira do Porto area. It’s very touristy, but I only mention it, because it does have a nice scenic look on the river. It’s also a great place to grab a beer late at night.
The famed Ponte Dom Luís I will take you across the river. It’s very impressive. Porto is known for their impressive bridges, and it’s worth an informational boat tour to learn more about them.
Your next viewpoint is Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar – which is impressive by yourself, and you can look from the opposite side of the river, where you once stood at the Porto Cathedral.
After drinking too much Port Wine and having tired feet, it’s a relaxing trip to take the old historical trolley from the Infante tram stop to the beach. It’s about a 25-minute trolley ride, and once at the Atlantic ocean, you can feel the power of the ways, sit and have a coffee, and enjoy the views.
Porto, though it is small, was very enjoyable. I would have no problem visiting again and getting lost within the small and rustic stone alleyways.