Book flights to Porto and discover Portugal’s northern powerhouse.
Porto is a mish-mash of Medieval and Baroque, of tumbledown 20th Century townhouses and striking modern architecture. It’s a beautiful city to look at, whether you’re wandering through the centuries-old streets of the UNESCO listed Ribeira district or relaxing with a beer by the Duero, admiring the five majestic bridges that span the river.
Clérigos Church: Unrivalled views of the city from the bell tower.
FC Porto Museum by BMG: Museum dedicated to the city’s football club.
Ponte de Dom Luis I: Porto’s best-known bridge, once the longest in the world.
One of the joys of Porto is simply strolling around and discovering the city’s beautiful architecture. The gothic Church of São Francisco with its intricate baroque interiors is a must-visit, as is the city’s cathedral (Sé do Porto): dating back to the early 12th Century, it’s one of Portugal’s most important Romanesque monuments. Remember to hop on the Funicular dos Guindais for a panoramic view of the Douro and Ponte de Dom Luis I.
Hire a car at Porto Airport and explore the Douro Valley. Wine tourism is very popular in the region, with numerous vineyards offering tastings and tours. Designated drivers can pick up a bottle at the cellar door to enjoy back at the hotel. For scenic drives head to the International Douro Nature Park, the Alvão Nature Park or the Archaeological Park of the Côa Valley.
Still looking for inspiration? Check out our top 10 things to do in Porto.
A tasting tour of Porto’s famous dessert wine warehouses is a must. The majority (including household names Sandeman, Cockburn and Taylor’s) are based across the Duoro in Vila Nova de Gaia. Look out for lesser known labels like Cálem, Kopke and Quinta do Noval. Northern Portuguese cuisine is hearty. Look out for dishes like feijoada de javali (wild boar stew) and leitão (suckling pig served with oranges and thin cut potatoes). One of the world’s most impressive sandwiches, the francesinha, was invented in Porto. The sandwich includes various meats and sausages, is covered in melted cheese, smothered in a beer tomato sauce, and topped with a fried egg. Yes, it does come with chips. To sample one, avoid the riverfront restaurants and head inland to Cafe Santiago.
Porto has a mild climate, with warm summers and wet winters. You can expect an average temperature of 20°C if you visit during July (19°C in August and September) and an average of 10°C in January, the city’s coldest month. December and February are the wettest months, while July and August are the driest.
Summer (May to September) is the most popular time to visit Porto. The chance of sunshine is high and there are plenty of festivals including the Mares Vivas music festival and the lively Festa de São João de Porto at Midsummer. The low-season (October to April) is the cheapest time to visit, and you can find great deals on hotels in Porto at this time of year. The weather is still mild, although you’re more likely to experience rain.