Things To Do In Porto Portugal + 2 Day Itinerary

You will love our things to do in Porto. Telling the story of what Portuguese and Porto born Mariana did in 2 days in Porto with her new husband Jack. Follow along with her must try 2 day Porto itinerary and make the most out of your trip to Porto in Northern Portugal.

Even better, this brilliant 2 day things to do in Porto list has many free and low priced attractions to try, making this perfect for those in Porto on a budget.

Things To Do In Porto Portugal + 2 Day Itinerary

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Porto Things To Do

A bit of real-life behind the scenes for you at Trip Meets Travel.

I had just found out that Mariana was heading out to Porto and asked her to write about it and share her experiences for you.

Up until recently she had lived in Porto, was raised in Porto and her family is from Porto. I thought if anyone would give a great account of travelling to Porto and making the most out of the attractions and the various things to do, then it would be her.

I asked her for suggestions, and she just amazed me with all these great places that I had never heard of and certainly were not part of any Porto things to do list that I had previously read, or photos I had been through on Pinterest.

I was just so, so, so excited.

Then on her return she showed me the amazing photos she had taken, talked me through where she had been and then my face dropped….

I got the bill from her for the expenses of everywhere she had tried. From eating out in Porto to the various attractions and my mind was blown…..

It was so cheap that I could spend more on food for our family of five at Manchester Airport than she spent on all these great places in 2 days.

I should really rename this from Porto things to do to best things to do in Porto on the tightest of budgets!

Meet Mariana

Mariana is a Portuguese Expat living in Yorkshire. She made the move from Porto in Northern Portugal to England when she married Jack in early 2023.  On a visit back to Porto  to visit family she spent 2 days exploring all the tourist hotspots of Porto including many hidden gems for the readers of Trip Meets Travel.

Is Porto Worth Visiting?

Yes, Porto is very much worth visiting and is one of the most beautiful smaller cities in Europe and full of culture and history.

Also, because Porto is located in Portugal it has great weather and combines great beaches with a vibrant city life. Plus, it is full of culture, beautiful streets to explore and so much more.

is porto worth visiting
Here is just one of the many beautiful streets in Porto, you can get lost down these little streets as you explore the city of Porto.

How To Use Our Porto Things To See List?

This Porto things to see list, is meant as a guide to get you started in your upcoming trip to Porto. To give you lots of ideas of where to go in Porto and to get your itinerary started.

You might be coming from Lisbon and have just one day free, or you might have 3 days planned in Porto and want extra ideas.

Simply scroll through our best things to do in Porto and start your plan of action.

How Many Days in Porto?

We recommend 2 days for Porto to be able to have one Porto city centre day taking in everything special, then another day by the coast, because Porto has some beautiful beaches for you to check out.

You can however do 2 days just in Porto city centre, or if say you have arrived from a cruise and only have one day, then you can choose between our day 1 itinerary and day 2 itinerary.

Is Porto Worth 2 Days?

Absolutely. You will love our 2 day action packed Porto itinerary. There are a lot of great city centre places such as the chapel of souls (one of the free things to do in Porto) and of course the Lello Library (with its links to Harry Potter) or of course everyone that visits Porto must go and eat some piri piri chicken and you don’t have to love Nando’s to love a piri piri meal experience.

In fact, you will love Porto so much that you will get excited just by the interior design of the train station. When a train station looks this good I am sure you are wondering what the rest of Porto looks like!

Porto To Algarve

Now this is something special, that I highly recommend doing and I notice many never do this and you must.

That is to pair Porto with The Algarve.

The Algarve if you have not heard of it, is the southern part of Portugal and is just over an hour on a plane, or 5 hours direct route by train.

The Algarve is known for its amazing beaches and quirky little towns and is perfect because by doing Porto to Algarve you can do a Porto city break with a Portuguese beach break.

  • Is there a train from Algarve to Porto Portugal? Yes, there is. There is a direct train with Porto and the train station in Faro right down at the far end of The Algarve. It’s the same region of The Algarve where the airport is.
  • How long is the train from Porto to Faro Portugal? The train from Porto to Faro is just over 5 hours. Its quite a long train but its great if you are pairing Porto with a trip to The Algarve region. Then if you are travelling into Spain you can then catch a train from Faro to Seville.
  • Is Porto or Algarve better? Both Porto & The Algarve are amazing. Its all about city vs beaches for which is best. Though I do prefer The Algarve. Though if you can’t choose I would recommend 2 days in Porto, then 8 days in The Algarve and have a great 10 day holiday.

More on The Algarve

Where To Stay In The Algarve

So you have decided to add The Algarve to your trip but where should you stay and is The Algarve budget friendly?

We found a few great deals for you including for the Tavira, Faro, Albufeira, and Alvor regions of The Algarve. We went with 3 star accommodation making it cheaper, and also note if you want to be closer to the Spanish border then Tavira and Faro are the closest. Yet the best location for beaches is Alvor and Albufeira.

Tavira Top Choice – The Pedras da Rainha is a three star hotel in the town of Tavira. This hotel is not only budget friendly but perfectly located by the beach and a golf course. If you want to enjoy the water without having to leave your Hotel, Pedras da Rainha Hotel has an outside pool – Click here for more details.

Faro Top Choice – If you’re travelling to Faro you might want to check out Hotel Pinhal do Sol, a 3 star family-friendly Hotel. This Hotel has a poolside bar, a terrace, and even a coffee shop/cafe. For the active travellers the Hotel provides cycling and sailing amenities – If you like the sound of this click here for more information.

Hotel Pinhal do Sol

Albufeira Top Choice – If you’re travelling to Albufeira and you’re looking for a budget friendly but clean and comfortable Hotel to stay you might want to take a look at the Hotel Santa Eulália Praia. Located close to Parque Aventura (a very popular water park in Algarve) the Hotel also offers a poolside bar and a coffee shop. For those more active and adventures there’s activities for you too – You can check for more details here.


Alvor Top Choice – If Alvor is the city of choice when travelling to Algarve, then you’re going to want to stay at the Pestana Alvor Atlântico Residences. This aparthotel offers a spa tub and a sauna. And of course, it’s clean and comfortable for the family or if you’re travelling solo – You can see more details, pictures and reviews right here.

Pestana Alvor Atlântico Residences

Now that we have explained to you all about The Algarve and how to pair it with your city break to Porto, let’s talk the best things to do in Porto and what Mariana recommends for 2 days in her birth city.

2 Day Porto Itinerary

Note, what you read below, is exactly what Mariana and Jack did for 2 days in Porto in the month of June. This would be easy to tweak for different times of the year and is very budget friendly.

Day 1 City Sightseeing In Porto

Let’s start with a day in Porto city centre enjoying the best things to do. I recommend that you are at your first attraction for 9am, therefore you can make the most out of the day.

#1 Lello Library

  • Visited at 9:30am
  • Length of time at attraction 1 hour

We started our day by visiting the famous Porto Library. Livraria Lello (Lello Library), is considered one of the most beautiful libraries in Europe. Lello’s was built in 1906, decorated with ornamental ceilings, a breathtaking glass ceiling that lets the natural sunlight in. Floor to ceiling wood shelves and majestic stairs that transport you from the first to the second floor of the shop.

If you’re a fan of Harry Potter, this is the place to be! Not only because you get the tails in the library (in many languages) but because it’s rumoured that the author, J.K. Rowling got inspiration to write the series from Lello’s Library’s own shop.

The library is easily reached, either by public transportation or just walking, and easily located (there are always big queues outside).

typical queue at lello library
This is the typical queue that we saw when we waited outside of the Lello library. The benefit of the premium tickets is that you get a dedicated time slot to enter and can avoid excessive queues.

The shop is highly popular, so my advice is to go book your slot in advance online and choose one of the earlier times. I bought the Ticket-Voucher Livro (Ticket-Voucher Book), which costs 15,90€ or 16,90€ (depends on which ticket you purchase). There’s a choice of four different Ticket-Voucher Books – Romeo and Juliet, The Art of War, Los Lusiadas and The Jungle Book. This Ticket allows you priority entrance and the value of the ticket goes towards the purchase of the book listed on your chosen Ticket-Voucher.

You can read more about the Lello Library and see more photos here.

Location – Rua das Carmelitas, 144

Opening Times – Everyday, from 10:00 to 19:30

Pricing – The Lello Library offers a ticket voucher which costs between 15,90€ or 16,90€ depending on which ticket you buy, or a basic ticket which costs 5€ which will give you access to a general queue.

Transportation – Metro: Aliados, line D, Tram: Carmo, line 22, Bus: lines 6, 20, 35, 37, 52 and 78.

Things To Do Near Lello Library:

#2 Igreja Do Carmo

  • Visited at 10:30am
  • Length of time at attraction 30 minutes

Next in our journey was Igreja do Carmo, which is just a couple minutes away from the Lello Library.

Igreja Do Carmo
Here is the view of the outside of the Igreja do Carmo isn’t it beautiful? And this is just the outside, just wait until you go inside!

Igreja do Carmo was built in the second half of the 18th century and it’s one of the most notable Rococo buildings in Porto, both in terms of architecture and the carvings that shape its interior.

On the inside you can see the chapel, which has ornate alters and religious images; and make your way to various rooms where a unique sample of Silverware from the Order of Carmo is displayed, glorifying Portuguese silverware and the Sacristy, where the priestly vestments and liturgical implements are kept.

top view of the Igreja do Carmo
Here is the view of the outside of the Igreja do Carmo isn’t it beautiful? And this is just the outside, just wait until you go inside!

You can also make your way up to the roof of the Church where you get a beautiful view of the city of Porto.

The outside of Igreja do Carmo is beautifully decorated with typical Portuguese tile on the side, with vibrant blue and white colours. Its construction is a popular spot on its own, if visiting the inside, it’s not your cup of tea or maybe if you’re just a fan of beautiful architecture (or maybe you just fancy a picture with a beautiful background).

Location – Rua do Carmo, 4050-164

Opening Times – Monday to Friday: 9:00 to 12:00 and 14:00 to 16:00

Pricing – 5 euros per person

Ice Cream Break!

It was now 11am and it was time for an ice cream stop. After all, you can never have enough ice cream on holiday, can you? And vacation ice cream calories don’t count right???

We went to the Amorino, a gelato shop situated right next to Lello Library. You can find Amorino in various points of the city, and they are very popular.

This is also a lesson on how close things are together, if you think we have gone from the Lello Library to the Igreja do Carmo and now we are getting ice cream right next to the library.

Amorino offers a variety of products – gelato, crepes and waffles, warm drinks, milkshakes, gourmet creations and macarons. And an even bigger variety of flavours (and vegan options as well).

Amorino ice cream porto
This is the selection of ice cream available – are you a sweet tooth kind of person and really struggle to choose? At least they do the tubs so you can have more than one scoop!

I had a small vanilla and chocolate ice cream and Jack had a medium mint choc chip, chocolate, and milk chocolate ice cream (which we HIGHLY recommend). Jack also had a chocolate frappe (which was also very yummy).

All their products are organic and gluten free.

On top of the amazing quality of products, Amorino is beautifully decorated, with spacious spaces (with the option of sitting outside).

Location – Rua das Carmelitas, 158-162 (right next door to the Lello Library)

Opening Times – Sunday to Thursday: 9:00 – 00:00 and Friday & Saturday: 9:00 – 1:00

#3 Igreja E Torre Dos Clerigos (Clerigos Tower)

  • Visited at 11:30am
  • Length of time at attraction 20 minutes (we didn’t go inside)

After a sweet treat next on the list was the Clerigos Tower it’s Portugal’s tallest tower – it measures 76 metres high, and it has a lot of steps that give you a privileged panoramic view of the city.

If your goal in Portugal is photography, then this is the place to be. Kind of like when you visit Edinburgh and head to the top of the castle to get that perfect picture of the city.

At the top of Clerigos Tower there’s 49 bells that play a lovely symphony when the clock hits each hour, but that might give you a fright if you’re by them when they start to play as they are very loud.

I would highly recommend a trip to Clerigos church and tower on your visit to Porto. Even if it is just for quickly admiring the Clerigos tower view.

How many steps are in the Clerigos Tower? You will be amazed to learn that there are a total of 240 steps to climb between you and the extraordinary view at the top of the tower. Though be warned for those that don’t do steps, these steps at Clerigos Tower are steep! Kind of like the steep steps at Cliffords Tower in York.

Clerigos tower porto
Or if you don’t feel like you can do the stairs, you can take an outside shot from the street and then from this you can appreciate just how tall it is and how it really does become the main talking point of the city of Porto.

Location – Rua de São Filipe de Nery, 4050.

Opening Times – Everyday, from 09:00 to 19:00

Pricing – Church is free/Tower and Museum is 5,00€ (free for children under 10)

Transportation – Metro: Aliados, line D, Tram: Carmo, line 22, Bus: lines 6, 20, 35, 37, 52 and 78.

Things To Do Near Clerigos Tower:

Burger Break At Steak n Shake!

It was now 12:10pm and it was time for a lunch break.

What Porto and Lisbon have that The Algarve don’t, is a good mix of chain restaurants one of them being Steak N Shake.

In 1934, Steak ‘n Shake was a pioneer with its offer of “better burgers” – burgers made in an artisanal way. High quality meat, cooked in a steakburger style (thin burger), homemade chips and their delicious milkshakes. Kind of reminds me of Five Guys just with amazing milkshakes!

steak n shake porto
Not exactly the kind of cuisine you would expect to see in Porto. But we have met many American friends that go on vacation to Porto and crave some home comfort food.
decor inside steak n shake porto
Though the décor in there is beautiful and reminds me of visits to USA diners when we visited Disney World + Universal Studios.

On top of the delicious food, the staff is incredibly helpful and accommodating, and the restaurant takes us back to those old style dinners typically found in the United States.

With vibrant colours, Steak ‘n Shake is a highly recommended spot if you’re looking to eat a very good and affordable burger.

When we visited Steak n Shake Porto, I had a plain steak burger with regular chips and Jack had a steak burger with bacon and regular chips as well or French Fries if you live in the US.

Location – Praça de Guilherme Gomes Fernandes, 67, 4050-159

Opening Times – Sunday to Thursday: 11:30 – 00:00 and Friday & Saturday: 11:30 – 02:00

#4 Mercado Do Bolhão (Bolhão Market)

  • Visited at 1:20pm
  • Length of time at attraction 10-20 minutes

Opened since 1914, the Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhao Market) is the best place to experience Porto’s essence and authenticity.

The Market has different levels, where different stores are located – the focal one located in the centre. A big patio with different vendors and products.

Meat, fish, fruit, and flowers are just some of the products that are sold.

Bolhao Market
As you can see from the photo Bolhao Market is rather a large market and has an excellent choice and typical of a Portuguese indoor market and you will find similar (just smaller) versions in The Algarve.

Each vendor has its one little spot named after themselves. This was a way that the city found to show appreciation for the vendors that have been selling there for years and make the market what it is – a place full of life and joy. So don’t get scared if you hear some haggling and a lot of hand gestures, it’s just our way to show we care!

My favourite finds from Bolhao Market include the little boxes with a design of Portuguese tile with chocolate sardines inside (which is a very popular and local fish) which we bought as a souvenir. I always love to look at the beautiful fresh flowers. And like any other good Portuguese, look at the bread stool (can’t go wrong with some nice Portuguese bread).

Location – Rua Fernandes Tomás (Edifício Mercado Bolhão)

Opening Times – Monday to Friday: 08:00 to 20:00, Saturday: 08:00 to 18:00, Sunday: closed

Transportation – Metro: Bolhao, lines A, B, C and E

Things To Do Near Bolhao Market:

#5 Capela Das Almas De Santa Catarina (Chapel Of Souls)

  • Visited at 1:40pm
  • Length of time at attraction 10-15 minutes

The construction of the Chapel of Souls or Chapel of Santa Catarina dates back to the late eighteenth century, when the brotherhood of souls and Chagas of San Francisco passed from the monastery of Santa Clara to the chapel of Santa Catarina. The building has about 16,000 “azulejos” on its exterior facade.

The chapel has its origins in an old chapel made of wood, built in honour of Santa Catarina. The construction of the building that exists today dates back to the end of the 18th century.

Until 1929, the outer surfaces of the chapel were plastered and whitewashed without tiles. The chapel’s cladding is currently made up of 15947 tiles covering around 360 square metres of wall.

chapel of souls design
If you can’t imagine the blue tiles that I am so passionate about, here is a close up of the gorgeous blue tiling on the side of the chapel of souls.

You can read more about the chapel of souls and see more photos here.

Location – Rua de Santa Catarina, 428, 4000-124

Opening Times – Monday to Friday: 07:30 to 18:00, Saturday & Sunday: 07:30 to 12:30 and                                     18:00 to 19:30

Pricing – Free

#6 Estacao De Sao Bento (Sao Bento Train Station)

  • Visited at 2pm
  • Length of time at attraction 30 minutes

If you love the beautiful blue tiles that you have just experienced at the chapel of souls, then you will love Sao Bento Train Station as it has a hall as you arrive with similar architecture.

The infamous Sao Bento Train Station also known by its Portuguese name of “Estacao de Sao Bento” was built at the beginning of the IX where an old convent laid.

On top of offering convenient transportation, this train station is known for its beautiful architecture – both on the outside and inside.

sao bento train station porto
This is just one small part of the wall inside the Sao Bento train station. You can take photos of this and of course, do some selfies in front of it too.

When you enter the building, you can find a hall whose walls are decorated with over 20.000 Portuguese tiles that tell the story of Portugal.

Even if you don’t plan to travel by train, this station is a must go! As someone who lived in the city my whole life and often used the train station to go to University, I still get blown away by it every time I visit.

For those of you that are planning to use the Sao Bento Train Station for transportation to a different city or country then do read our full guide to the Sao Bento train station as we talk about our favourite routes as well as sharing loads more pictures.

Location – Praça de Almeida Garrett

Transportation – Metro: Sao Bento, line D.

Things To Do Near Sao Bento Train Station

#7 Miradouro Da Vitória

  • Visited at 2:40pm
  • Length of time at attraction 10-15 minutes

Do you know that feeling when you find a hidden gem, in the middle of the city, after walking through little streets that seems like they will lead to nothing? This is how you’ll feel when you find Miradoura da Vitória.

Miradouro is the Portuguese word for viewpoint.

Miradoura da Vitória
And wow what a viewpoint – just check out Miradouro da Vitória and the kind of landscape photos that you can take of the skyline of Porto.

So, you can imagine what miradouro da vitoria Porto is like for a quick visit!

When you first walk through the gate it will look abandoned and run down, but once you make your way to the edge you will be blown away by the view of the city.

From the Miradouro you can see the Main Bridge (Ponte D. Luis I), the river and so much more.

What makes the Miradouro da Vitória particularly appealing is the fact it is free. There are other great views of Porto, for example from the top of the Clerigos Tower, however, you must pay for these.

You must put this on your best things to do in Porto!

Location – Rua de São Bento da Vitória, 11

#8 Teleferico De Gaia (Porto Cable Cars)

  • Visited at 3pm
  • Length of time at attraction 6 minutes

The cable cars connect the high part of the city of Porto to the lower part of Gaia.

inside porto cable cars
This is what the cable cars look like up close. You enter the cable car indoors before you are transported outside and to see the views of the city of Porto.

The journey takes around 6 minutes, where you get to enjoy a view of Gaia as well as the Douro River, the bridges and Porto’s old town, which is right on the other side.

It’s located by Jardim do Morro (Morro Gardens) and the tram station.

porto trams
These are the Porto trams and they are such a fun way to get around the city and for quickly getting to the local attractions.

As someone who is scared of heights, I can assure that the Cable Cars are very safe and stable.

We have a guide just dedicated to the Porto cable cars that you can read and see lots more pictures here.

Location – To get in at the top:Rua Rocha Leão, Estação do Teleférico To get in at the bottom: Avenida Ramos Pinto – Cais de Gaia

Opening Times – May and June: Monday to Friday: 10:00 – 18:00, Saturday, Sunday and Bank Holiday: 10:00- 19:00 July and September: Everyday, from 10:00 – 19:00 October and December: Everyday, from 10:00 – 18:00

Pricing – One way ticket: 7,00€ (per adult), 3,50€ (children 5-12 years old), FREE (children under 5) Return ticket: 10,00€ (per adult), 5,00€ (children 5-12), FREE (children under 5), Family ticket: 22,50€ (2 adults and 2 children)

#9 Ponte D. Luis I (Don Luis I Bridge)

  • Visited at 3:30pm
  • Length of time at attraction 10-20 minutes

After coming out of the Cable Cars we walked along the Gaia pier, making our way to cross the famous Don Luis I Bridge.

This Bridge in Porto connects Porto e the neighbour city of Gaia. Made of metal, it measures 395 metres and it’s divided by a top and bottom part (both crossable by foot).

Don Luis I Bridge
This is what the famous Don Luis I Bridge that you can walk across and get really close to its design. You can also get a top view of it from the Porto cable car.

On top of its main purpose of connecting the two cities, you get an amazing view of both cities from the top. This is up there with the main things to photo when you visit Porto. Also, the reason for doing the cable cars first is that you can get the best photos and then get more photos as you walk across it afterwards.

Don Luis I Bridge viewpoint
This is one of the many pictures we took of the Don Luis I Bridge. Its well worth having a trip into Porto to check it out.

Transportation – Tram: Sao Bento

Dinner Stop At Sabores Da Invicta!

It was now 7:30pm and it was time for dinner. We hadn’t had a break for a while, and we were looking forward to a rest before hitting our last stop of the day which was going to be the Rua Santa Catarina shopping centre.

We stopped for a bite to eat at Sabores da Invicta.

This restaurant/bakery focuses on making traditional Portuguese pastries and dishes and many places like this will also have a meal of the day to choose from.

eat at Sabores da Invicta
We found some outside seating to sit and have a bite to eat and it was delicious and the June sunshine obviously helped!

This location is great if you only want to stop for a drink, maybe eat a pastry or have a full meal.

With very affordable prices and attentive staff, this little restaurant is perfect if you’re looking in to indulge in some traditional Portuguese food.

It’s located right in front of the Sao Bento Train Station and next to many other little local shops and restaurants.

When we visited Sabores da Invicta, we had a Prego no Prato (there’s not translation for the dish but it’s basically beef with a fried egg on top, chips (French fries) and a slice of ham and cheese) and a Invicta Burger (which is a regular burger with a fried egg inside).

Some of my favourite Portuguese foods and something you have to try, especially if you travel to Porto since they’re more traditional to the city, are francesinha – now imagine this, beef, cheese, ham sandwiched between two slices of bread, the top slice of bread covered in melted cheese with a special sauce covering it. Hungry yet?

Another one of my favourites is called Bifana – which is like a kebab type of meat (but not kebab meat) that is cooked in a special tomato sauce and put inside a delicious and traditional portuguese bread – describing Portuguese food should be classified as an Olympic sport, am I right?

Location – Praça de Almeida Garrett, 16, 4000-069

Opening Times – Monday to Saturday: 07:00 – 20:00, Sunday: 08:00 – 20:00

#10 Rua Santa Catarina (Porto Shopping Centre)

  • Visited at 9pm
  • Length of time at attraction 1 hour

Now let’s finish day 1 of things to see in Porto with Rua Santa Catarina (Santa Catarina Street) as this is the most important commercial zone in Porto.

Rua Santa Catarina
This is what the shopping street looks like and plenty of shops to choose from and if on a budget its nice just to see what shops another country has.

In this street you can find a shopping centre that has all kinds of shops/stores as well as a food court in the top level. As you make your way to the shopping centre you’ll be greeted by shops on both sides of the street. Then on each side there is a variety of shops and restaurants and cafes. Plus a great place to find some cute souvenirs to take home with you.

Please note: The street of Santa Catarina has many local vendors that walk the path selling their things, don’t be frightened if they approach you, it’s not one of those pickpockets, just people trying to make some money selling little trinkets. You might even come across a lady with her orange cat, who you can pet without really having to give any money.

For shops: You’ll find clothing brands like Zara, United Colours of Benetton, Stradivarius and many more. If you are visiting from the UK, note that Zara is often cheaper in Portugal than it is in the UK. Though if you are from the US it will be more expensive as the US has very low sales tax compared to the EU.

And if amongst your shopping you get a little thirsty or hungry you have a handful of little cafes and restaurants for all tastes.

Like Cafe Majestic – opened on the 17th of December of 1921, this cafe became the meeting spot of infamous people of the 20’s and an inspiration source for many writers and artists.

Location – Rua Santa Catarina

Transportation – Metro: Bolhão, line A, B, C and E.

Things To Do Near Rua Santa Catarina

That is of course, where we recommend you end day 1 on your 2 day Porto itinerary of the top things to do in Porto. That is because if you want to do some shopping, that you are not carrying the shopping around with you all day. Plus, they have some great food options in the food court for ending your day, before heading back to your hotel room.

Day 2 Porto Beaches

The beaches of Portugal are often most associated with the wonderful Algarve. Where you have the famous Praia Da Rocha and Alvor beaches. But up north you do have the amazing silver coast as well as the beaches surrounding Porto.

We like to focus on one day of Porto dedicated to the city attractions and then the second day focused on the tour bus, beaches and the other attractions away from Porto city centre.

You can do Porto itinerary like us or if you are tired, maybe do the beach day first, city day second.

#1 Breakfast + Cooking Experience At A Manteigaria

  • Visited at 8am
  • Length of time at attraction 20-30 minutes

We recommend you start with breakfast at A Manteigaria. You can arrive from 8am, but if you had a long day yesterday you may prefer to head down at 9am or later.

If you have not heard of A Manteigaria, it is best described as a factory of Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese Custard Tarts).

When you walk in the shop, you’ll be able to see all the confectionery process, from the preparation of the pastry, the adding of the cream to putting and taking them out of the oven.

The Nata can be eaten at the shop (either at the balcony or at a table) or you can take them home with you in a little box for a later snack.

I recommend having a pastéis de nata for your breakfast and then taking some extra natas with you to the beach.

pastéis de nata being made
OMG if you love egg tarts aka pastéis de nata then you will be in food heaven visiting A Manteigaria.

A fun fact about the Manteigaria is that there’s a bell that announces when a new batch comes out of the oven ready to be eaten!

You can read more about eating out in Porto and more Pastéis de Nata  here.

Location – Rua Alexandre Braga, 24, 4000-049

Opening Times – Monday to Saturday: 08:00 – 21:00, Sunday: 08:00 – 20:00

#2 Hop On Hop Off Yellow Bus Tour

  • Visited at 9am
  • Length of time at attraction 2 hours

After you have enjoyed your pastry breakfast thanks to pastéis de nata at A Manteigaria, it’s time to jump on the fun yellow bus.

porto yellow hop on and hop off bus
This is Porto’s yellow hop on and hop off bus. Because of its bright yellow colour its brilliant for spotting from a distance as you are heading around Porto.

Many cities around the world have a hop on hop off bus service and in a nutshell, they come with a tour guide, and they guide you around many of the main city attractions. You can stay on it all day, if you wanted, or just hop on and hop off as much as you like over a 24 hour period. Read all about how we did this with the York bus.

What is wonderful is you can use them as a bus service and have them take you to the top attractions.

For day 2 of your Porto itinerary, we recommend doing the full service, to learn about the history of Porto, then stay on to take you to the beach, have your beach day and then head back into Porto city centre for dinner.

There are a few bus options in Porto, but the Yellow Bus Official Sightseeing Tours is the main open-top bus tour operator in Portugal.

We took the Porto Castles Tour, which takes you on a journey to the seaside. During the tour you get to see the castles, the different beaches, the Sea Life aquarium and much more.

sealife centre porto
This is the sealife centre at Porto which is on the route on the hop on and off bus. We love a sealife centre and it’s a great escape if visiting in July and August and its getting too busy for you.

The characteristics of this tour allow you to hop-off at any time so if you want to spend a few hours at the beach, or perhaps jump out to have a meal at the restaurants near the beach side you can, the next bus will pick you up right where you got off.

This is a great way to get to know the city since you get a guide explaining the history of the buildings and sights, but also just a great way of transportation.

If going with kids, we would recommend Porto Sealife Centre first and then spending the rest of the day with them at the beach.

If you do want to get the most out of the beach, we recommend heading to Praia de Matosinhos or Praia da Bola de Nivea.

A curious fact about the beaches in Porto is if you are looking at them, you’ll see one continuous beach, but in fact they’re often divided by objects that name the beach.

For example, the Matosinhos Beach can also be called Praia da Anemona (Stingray Beach) – because in front of it, it has a big sculpture of a stingray (which to me looks more like a giant red net, but I’ll let you decide for yourself).

Matosinhos Beach Praia da Anemona
The Matosinhos Beach is also a very big beach and in the summer months there is plenty of room for everyone as you can see.

The Praia da Bola de Nivea (Nivea Ball Beach) has that name, yes you guessed it, because it has a big nivea ball on the beach.

Praia da Bola de Nivea
If you look closely at this picture of praia da bola de nivea you can see the nivea ball in the background. Kind of makes this beach look totally different to many that you have visited!

These two beaches are right next to each other, and the ones I’ve gone to more when I was younger (I’m not a very beachy person, cue the boos). Despite the fact I can tell you the beaches in Portugal are fairly clean, both the sand and the water.

If you’ve visited Portugal before, perhaps the Algarve (see the post about praia da rocha Algarve beach here) I must warn you our waters are much colder. Even if the temperature is high on the day the water will most likely still be cold!

Close to the beach you also have shops and even a McDonald’s if you’re looking somewhere to eat. There are also little ice cream stalls if you’re looking to cool down on a hot summer’s day. Or you might even be in luck of coming across local vendors selling chips (fries) and bolas de berlim (which is like a big stuffed donut), don’t be startled by their screaming, they’re just trying to announce their goods!

Now let me run through the yellow bus so you can hop on and off to the beach!

Location – Cathedral / S.Bento Station

Pricing – 24 hour ticket – 22,00€ (from 17 years old), 11,00€ (children, 4 to 10 years old), 16,50€ (youth, 11 to 16 years old), 55,00€ (family ticket, 2 adults and 2 children). 48 hour ticket – 24,00€ (from 17 years old), 12,00€ (children, 4 to 10 years old), 18,00€ (youth, 11 to 16 years old), 60,00€ (family ticket, 2 adults and 2 children)

Timetable – Everyday: Porto Castles – 9:00 – 17:00 (last departure) – every 60 minutes, Historical Porto – 9:15 – 17:15 (last departure) – every 60 minutes

Churrasqueira Moura For Porto Piri Piri!

You can’t come to Portugal and not have Piri Piri and its perfect for an end to a 2 day itinerary. Just remember if going on the Porto hop on hop off bus to plan it so that you get on the last bus so that you can get back to Porto city centre for your piri piri dinner.

We chose to stop at Churrasqueira Moura to get some Piri Piri Chicken.

This restaurant specialises in typical Portuguese food so both its dishes and decor are very Portuguese looking.

The Piri Piri sauce comes in a squeeze bottle so you can put as little or as much spice as you’d like. Whilst at a lot of places in Portugal where you get piri piri chicken, you never know what level of spice you are going to get, so this has my vote with the bottle option.

at Churrasqueira Moura piri piri chicken
This is what a typical plate looks like when you visit and as you can see you have the bottle if you want to go plain and no piri piri just don’t add any of the sauce.

The prices are also super affordable, you get a very good portion and a delicious plate of food.

Location – Rua do Almada 219, 4000-407

When we visited Churrasqueira Moura, we had piri piri chicken with chips and rice.

Things To Do in Porto Portugal

And that is a great 2 day itinerary for things to do in Porto, Portugal.

Here is a quick list to refer back to later of the top 10 things to do on your city day out in Porto:

Then for day 2 in Porto you can:

  • #1 Breakfast At A Manteigaria
  • #2 Hop On Hop Off Yellow Bus Tour
  • #3 Porto Sealife Centre
  • #4 Porto Beaches
  • #5 Churrasqueira Moura For Dinner

Then remember most of these Porto attractions that we have listed in our things to do in Porto are very budget friendly and great for not overspending on your Portuguese holiday.

Where To Stay In Porto

Porto has some brilliant places to stay especially for being close to all the major attractions. You also have something for every budget with cheap, mid-range and pure city centre comfort.

I have included below three amazing choices all with great reviews and perfect for city break to Porto.

Luxury Porto: InterContinental Porto Hotel is a five-star hotel in the city of Porto. Located in the Historic Centre region, its architecture bleeds right in with surrounding buildings. The rooms are beautifully decorated and will offer all the comfort you’re looking for. The hotel also offers an indoor sauna that you can take advantage of, as well as massages and body treatments – Click here for more details including loads of photos, reviews and more about the facilities.

InterContinental Porto Hotel

City Moderate: The Eurostars Porto Douro Hotel is a four star Hotel in Porto City if you’re looking for a solid mid-range. Located in the Old Town region, makes it perfect for you to explore the historic part of the city while getting a beautiful view of the Douro River right from your window –  Click here for photos, more info and to read the glowing reviews.

The Eurostars Porto Douro Hotel

City Budget: If you’re looking for a more budget friendly hotel then Moov Hotel Porto Centro Hotel will be a great option for you. The hotel offers multiple affordable rooms, and its location makes it easy to explore the Porto city centre, without breaking the bank – You can find out more here about this Porto budget hotel and just check out the photos, it is amazing.

More Porto Visitor Information

  • When is the best time to visit Porto? Porto is amazing outside of July and August when it is not too hot. You can visit around Christmas and enjoy the Christmas markets, or how about in June when the sun is shining, and it has the summer atmosphere. If you’re someone like me who doesn’t enjoy when it’s really warm out, especially when you have to do loads of walking to go from place to place, June might be a great time to visit Porto. Because the weather is nice; every attraction will be opened, the popular spots won’t be as crowded because most people choose to visit in the really warm summer months; you’ll be able to go to little local markets, there’s loads of free entertainment in the streets; flights are more affordable are so are the Hotels. Read more about the Porto weather here.
  • Do you have to book attractions in Porto? Not all attractions will require a pre-book but Porto is very busy and we highly recommend booking any that will let you book ahead.
  • Free things to do in Porto. If there was just one thing, I would recommend for Porto that is also free it would be to visit the chapel of souls. It’s such a beautiful part of Porto to explore and fantastic for photography and framing as a momento when you return home from your holiday.

Pin Porto 2 Day Itinerary For Later!

Well, that’s a wrap, do you have any questions then do ask below and if you want to refer back, to this later for planning your trip to Porto then don’t forget to pin it to your travel board on Pinterest.

things to do in porto portugal list

best things to do in porto
About the author

Run by Sam, Dom, Kyle, Sofia & Jorge it documents our family’s love for eating out, day trips, road trips and great holidays.

We just love a trip, we love to travel, and here we will show you with a little planning, how to have a great adventure and create new memories along the way!

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