If Lisbon is Portugal’s city of sprawl, colossal avenues and grandeur, Porto, proud and deeply traditional, is the opposite. An endless labyrinth of cobbled side streets and viewpoints that will enchant you from the beginning. Your first job upon arrival is to get lost in the effortless, earthy charm of the Douro river. If that doesn’t do it for you, work your way up towards one of the traditional taverns, or Tascas and get stuck into a plate of tripas à modo do Porto or of course, one of the city’s infamously gargantuan francesinhas.
Jardim do Morro
Located on the other side of the imposing Dom Luis I bridge in the neighbouring city of Vila Nova de Gaia is this spectacular park with views across the Douro onto the breath-taking old centre of Porto. During summer months expect beer festivals and more.
Casa de Serralves
For lovers of art and architecture, the Serralves complex is an absolute must visit. It houses a world class gallery space inside one of the primary examples of art-deco architecture in the country.
Much like Lisbon, Porto gathers much of its charm from being a coastal city. Technically a city in its own right, Matosinhos has the gorgeous beach located just 25 minutes from the centre. It is clean, surrounded by astonishing shops and restaurants and provides everything you could hope for on a sunny Sunday.
Palácio de Cristal
There are many cities of astonishing beauties. Few boast the embarrassing riches of Porto when it comes to viewpoints. Palácio de Cristal is a beautifully curated park ideal for picnics, peacock spotting and that wonderful Porto laze you will come to depend upon.
Explore these unique experiences and amazing tours
Looking for long term stays? Read our guide below.
If you’re looking for short-term stays:
Porto is small. Depending on what your daily routine looks like and your commute, you can easily get through a week without using transport too much.
The wider city centre is connected by a metro network. It is very cheap and very easy to use, with tickets starting at €1.20. Do pay attention when buying your tickets as there is a slightly complex zonal system and different stations may require different tickets. Buses can be used with the same “Andante” (Walker) pass that you use on the metro and are particularly useful when trying to cross the river.
Uber journeys are very useful and it will typically cost around €5-8 for a journey back from a night out.