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How Many Days in Porto: A Comprehensive Travel Guide

If you’re planning a trip to Portugal you’re probably asking yourself “How many days in Porto is enough?”. Well, I’m here to help answer that question for you!

Having spent 6 weeks travelling Portugal solo and spending some time volunteering in a hostel while I was here, I know plenty about this stunning European country.

Tucked right by the winding Douro River in northern Portugal, this coastal city calls you over with its rich history, yummy eats, and infectious vibe. When debating how long to spend in Porto, at a minimum, I would say you’d want to plan to have at least 2 full days to experience the charm of Porto, but you could easily stay longer as there’s a ton to do!

So, whether you’re a history buff, totally into wine, or just want those picture-perfect views that could make postcards jealous, Porto’s got loads of awesome things waiting for you and I’m here to help you plan the perfect Porto itinerary.

How many days in Porto is enough?

You’ll be able to get a pretty good sense of Porto and tick off the main sights with 2 full days in the city. However, if you really want to immerse yourself in Porto’s charm I would recommend extending this to 3 or even 4 days, especially if it’s your first time visiting this city.


Having that extra day or two allows you to spend one of these days taking a day trip to Aveiro, which I would HIGHLY recommend you do!

If you’re on a particularly tight schedule, it is also possible to pack most of Porto’s main sights into 1 day thanks to the city’s compact size but prepare for it to be a long day – it is an excellent way to clock up those steps however!

So what does the perfect solo travel itinerary look like and how should you spend your time in Porto?

The Quick Getaway (1-2 Days)


Porto isn’t shy when it comes to offering up its finest treasures. If you’re on a whirlwind weekend adventure, fear not. Even in a mere 1-2 days, you can experience the heart of Porto.

Begin your first day by strolling through the historic city centre of Porto. Walk through Avenida dos Aliados which is one of the main avenues in Porto with tons of historical buildings. The Ribeira District is also a must as a stunning UNESCO World Heritage Site, where colourful buildings stand as a testament to centuries gone by.

Be sure to head to Cais da Ribeira and walk along the riverfront promenade. It’s pretty touristy but it’s popular for a reason! This lively area was my favourite part of the city and is filled with an array of restaurants and bars.

For incredible panoramic views, muster up the courage to cross the Dom Luís I Bridge (the lower deck level can be crossed on foot if you want to explore both sides of the river).

To get your history fix, don’t miss the main sights such as São Bento Railway Station (one of the most beautiful train stations I’ve ever seen!) and Porto Cathedral.

And of course, a trip to Porto would be incomplete without trying some of its world-famous port wine. Embark on a cellar tour and let the velvety notes of history and tradition dance on your palate but if you haven’t got much time, simply pop into one of the famous cellars and enjoy a glass of Port and skip the guided tour.

Don’t forget to indulge in some traditional Portuguese food too! From the traditional Francesinha, a delicious sandwich oozing with flavour, to the succulent Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, Porto’s culinary repertoire is a delightful array of taste sensations. 

Main attractions to tick off

  • Strolling the historic Ribeira District
  • Dom Luis I Bridge
  • Vila Nova de Gaia for Port wine cellars

Recommended tours

The Long Weekend Escapade (3 Days)


If you have a bit more time – like 3 days – you’ll get to dive deeper into everything Porto has to offer. Don’t miss visiting Rua de Santa Catarina, Porto’s main shopping street with plenty of cafes and restaurants to choose from. To get here get off at the Bolhão or the Trindade metro station.

A short walk away you’ll find Rua das Flores. Located in the heart of Porto, this famous street is known for its charming atmosphere, lined with cafes, boutiques, and historical buildings.

Next take a 10 minute walk to Livraria Lello, the most beautiful bookstore, located near the iconic Clérigos Tower. Head north towards Praça de Almeida Garrett and then take Rua dos Clérigos, continuing until you reach Rua das Carmelitas. Book lovers, prepare to step into a place that has inspired many literary dreams.

Later dive into the depths of history at the Church of São Francisco, where the Gothic and Baroque blend together. And don’t forget to marvel at the opulence of Palácio da Bolsa, a living testament to Porto’s commercial legacy. If you’re into music then you’ll probably want to swing by Casa da Música as well, a famous concert hall in Porto.

Porto’s surroundings are a nature lover’s paradise; this was one of my favourite things about this city! Head up to the Miradouro da Vitória, a popular viewpoint that offers spectacular views of the city of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank, the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge and the Douro River estuary area.

Go here at sunset for the perfect end to your trip to Porto.

Main attractions to tick off

  • Livraria Lello
  • São Francisco church
  • Palácio da Bolsa
  • Miradouro da Vitória

Recommended tours

Immersion Mode (4+ Days)

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Ready to steep yourself in Porto’s essence for 4+ days? Get ready for an adventure that’ll leave you feeling like a local. Beyond the touristic haunts, sample traditional Portuguese dishes by participating in a food tour.

Feel the soulful vibes of Fado music and get a real taste of local life at Mercado do Bolhão, a lively local market bursting with flavours and colours.

But Porto isn’t an isolated paradise; it’s a gateway to Portugal’s wonders. Take some amazing day trips to make your visit unforgettable.

Head out on a Douro Valley wine tour and soak in the stunning terraced vineyards or dive into history at Guimarães, often called the Birthplace of Portugal, where medieval castles and charming streets paint a vivid picture of the past. And if you’re drawn to the water, Aveiro – the Venice of Portugal – will enchant you with its canals and sweet treats. Don’t miss taking a boat ride through the charming waterways!

Visiting Aveiro was one of my favourite parts of my trip to Porto so if you have extra time, make sure you don’t miss it! If you need further convincing, Costa Nova is just a 10 min drive from Aveiro which is a stunning coastal area known for its striped-coloured houses and beautiful beaches.

Along the beach, you’ll find a variety of beach clubs that provide the perfect location to relax for the afternoon and sip on a few cocktails.

costa nova striped coloured houses aveiro

Main attractions to tick off

  • Mercado do Bolhão
  • Guimarães
  • Day trip to Aveiro
  • Costa Nova

Recommended tours

Porto travel tips

When planning your Porto trip, remember to mix in some planned activities with a bit of spontaneous exploring. The magic of Porto often happens in those unexpected moments, so let your curiosity lead the way!

To fully embrace the Porto way of life, here are a few insider tips, based on my personal experience that can make all the difference:

  • Greet locals with a warm “Olá” and a smile, and don’t hesitate to ask for recommendations – you might uncover hidden gems that won’t make it into guidebooks.
  • Public transportation is a breeze, so hop onto trams and buses to navigate the city like a true Portuense. If you’re staying more than 2 days it could be worth getting a Porto card which is a public transport and sightseeing pass.
  • Like most places, always keep an eye on the weather; Porto’s beauty shifts with the seasons.
  • Don’t forget to bring your camera and check out Porto’s best photo spots. From the miradouros with amazing city views to charming hidden corners, there’s plenty to capture.

Where to stay in Porto

For a taste of Porto’s rich heritage, Ribeira is your go-to and it is where I’d recommend you stay to make the most of your time in Porto. Nestled on the Douro River’s edge, this district boasts an authentic blend of history, culture, and sheer vibrancy.

Ribeira’s proximity to Porto’s major attractions means you’re just a stone’s throw away from wonders like the São Bento Station and Palácio da Bolsa.



When is the best time to visit Porto?


Porto warmly welcomes visitors throughout the year, thanks to Portugal’s inviting climate. Even in winter, when many places turn chilly, Porto remains pleasantly mild, offering a wonderful escape from harsher weather elsewhere.

The city’s holiday spirit adds to the charm, with delightful Christmas markets and festive cheer enhancing your experience.

When summer arrives (I had the pleasure of visiting in July), Porto takes on an entirely new energy. Festivals, outdoor events, and al fresco dining opportunities abound, creating a lively, infectious atmosphere. Embrace the sunny days by heading to Porto’s beaches, where you can bask in the warmth and revel in the relaxed coastal vibe.

Among these beaches, Praia de Matosinhos steals the show as the largest and most popular, a mere 8km away from the city centre. While the water might be a tad chilly even during the summer months, the inviting surroundings make up for it.

If the idea of visiting during the peak of summer doesn’t quite tickle your fancy, consider planning your trip for spring or autumn. In spring, Porto blossoms with life, offering mild temperatures and vibrant landscapes that are just perfect for leisurely strolls along the Douro River.

The city exudes picturesque beauty, and it’s a time when everything seems to come alive.

As autumn graces Porto with its presence, this iconic wine region becomes a hub of activity with grape harvests, creating an ideal backdrop for wine enthusiasts to indulge their passion.

Ultimately, the optimal time for your Porto adventure depends on your preferences. Whether you’re drawn to the summer festivities, the blooming charm of spring, the captivating colours of autumn, or the quieter delights of winter, Porto has something wonderful to offer year-round.

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How many days in Porto is enough – FAQ

Is Porto worth visiting?

100%! In fact, I wrote a whole blog post on why Porto is worth visiting!

If you’re wondering whether Porto is worth visiting, let me assure you: this city is a gem waiting to be uncovered. With its captivating blend of history, culture, and stunning landscapes, experiencing what Porto has to offer is a must-do.

Nestled along the meandering Douro River, Porto boasts an authentic aura that sets it apart. Whether you’re a history buff, a food lover eager to sample traditional Portuguese flavours, or an architecture enthusiast marvelling at structures like the São Bento Station, Porto has something for everyone.

So, is Porto worth visiting? Without a doubt. The blend of old-world charm and vibrant modernity, the warmth of its people, and the sheer beauty of its surroundings make it a destination that will leave you with priceless travel memories.

Which is better, Lisbon or Porto?


Oh, the age-old Lisbon vs. Porto debate! Honestly, if you asked me which city I lean towards, I probably wouldn’t be able to choose.

They each offer their own unique charm and I thoroughly enjoyed my time travelling in both cities, particularly Lisbon, which is a fantastic city for solo travellers.

Lisbon, being the capital and all, brings that cosmopolitan pizzazz to the table. Picture this: a tapestry of neighbourhoods, each with its own unique flavour, trendy cafes and historical landmarks like the majestic Jerónimos Monastery and the iconic Belém Tower.

But hey, let’s not forget about Porto – a city that oozes charm! Wander its cobbled narrow streets, gaze upon the architectural wonder that is the Dom Luís I Bridge, and make a pilgrimage to the famous Port wine cellars in the enchanting Vila Nova de Gaia.

Plus, Porto’s compact size makes it easy to explore when you’re short on time. If you’re really keen, it is possible to do a day trip to Porto from Lisbon but I would highly recommend extending your trip and actually staying in this amazing city for a night or two.

Whether you’re drawn to the vibrant buzz of Lisbon or the cozy appeal of Porto, both cities serve up a delightful platter of history, food that dances on your taste buds, and hospitality that’s as warm as a Portuguese sunset.

In the grand scheme of things, it boils down to the kind of adventure you’re after. And here’s the secret: you really can’t go wrong with either. It’s a win-win!

Conclusion: How many days do you need in Porto?

Well, you’ve probably figured out by now there’s no one-size-fits-all answer. When debating how many days to spend in Porto, your ideal duration hinges on your travel style and the pace at which you wish to explore. Generally speaking, however, 2 full days in Porto is enough to tick off all the main sights.

Whether you’ve spent a weekend, a week, or somewhere in between, Porto will leave you wanting to come back for more! It’s such a great place with so much to offer, so pack your bags and start planning out your Portugal itinerary ASAP!