Porto’s cobbled streets and tile-adorned houses lead to different districts and neighborhoods where you can explore different aspects of Porto life and culture. Hop into a Harry Potter wonderland themed bookshop, visit markets along the coast or gorge on custard filled baked goodies in bustling city streets.
Check out the best neighborhoods and streets in Porto for an idea of some of the places you can visit while on your trip in one of the most visited cities in Portugal.
The first place you should visit in Porto is the upbeat district of Ribeira. Sip a cup of coffee in one of the many cafes lining the riverside or stop to enjoy some street dance, singing or a local band that has taken to the banks to entertain the public. Across from the river you can admire the view of one of Porto’s most popular wine cellar neighborhoods, Vila Nova de Gaia. Organize a wine tasting session and take a trip across the bridge to get some perspective and a killer view of Porto.
Rue Santa Catarina
If you enjoy shopping, Rua Santa Catarina will probably be your favorite place in Porto. Browse through the numerous boutiques and visit the famous Café Majestic for a cup of coffee before you continue your spree. The Old Market is also near this area and a great place to stock up on tile design, coasters, cork handbags and more. Souvenirs are better bought here and you will get a good price for them, too.
Have you ever seen a railways station with so many blue tiles? The Sao Bento Railway Station has over 20,000 tiles covering it. Don’t worry about buying a ticket to go anyway, you can enter to admire the beautiful artwork and take a trip of your own as you stand to bask in artistic imagination. Baixa is an area with lots more landmarks like this and the perfect place to spend an afternoon or even a day if you’re feeling particularly touristic. Clérigos Tower is ideal for a panoramic view of the city, too.
Praça da Liberdade
Translated as Liberdade (Freedom) Square, this is one of Porto’s most important squares. Connecting the old town and modern Porto, Praça da Liberdade host the iconic statue of Porto and is looked down upon by the dramatic and rather regal-looking town hall.
Foz do Douro
Fancy getting out of town for the afternoon? Take the old wooden tram to Foz do Douro and spend the day by the seaside, where the Douro river meets the Atlantic Ocean. You can also venture up the North Coast and enjoy a breezy walk. The large sandy beach is a popular point for surfers all year round and makes for the perfect spot for a picnic in the summertime. There is also a park, Parque da Cidade do Porto (Porto City Park), if you prefer to unwind on the green grass by the lake instead.
For more areas and things to see in Porto, check out our must-see sights in Porto blog post to get a better idea of things you can plan for your itinerary.