Portugal is one of those underrated countries in Europe that is finally starting to get on peoples’ radars. When I was planning my Europe trip, visiting Portugal wasn’t very high on my list but I had heard such great things that I decided to give it a shot. After doing some Pinterest research (you already know Pinterest is my #1 planning tool!) we stumbled upon photos of Porto and decided last minute to spend a day there.
We flew from Barcelona to Porto early in the morning, and then got a cheap flight to Lisbon the next morning. Because we were traveling on a budget, we decided to use Couchsurfing to find a place to stay. Thanks to our awesome host, we ended up getting tons of awesome recommendations for what to fill our one day in the city with! Here is my guide on how to see Porto in a day:
Livraria Lello & Irmão is often thought to be “the world’s most beautiful bookstore” and it certainly did not disappoint! The bookstore was built in the late 1800’s and was frequented by J.K. Rowling while she was teaching English in the city. For €3, you can visit the bookstore and if you purchase a book, you can get the €3 back.
Church towers are one of the best ways to get an awesome view of the city, and they’re usually very cheap! This tower offers a 360 panoramic view of the city and is just €3 to enter. There are 225 steps to get to the top and this tower is especially fun because there are openings all along the way, so you can see the view from different perspectives. If you’re up for a little workout, I highly recommend adding this to the list!
Praça da Ribeira
Rebeira Square, or Praça da Ribeira is a historical square along the Douro River and a popular tourist spot. This is a great place to walk around, shop, or grab a bite to eat outside. From here you can walk around the neighboring alleyways and see the colorful buildings in the Rebeira district, or choose to cross the bridge and see the next spot on the list:
Dom Luis Bridge
To see the most popular view of the city, you can cross the Douro River by walking along the Dom Luis Bridge. On the other side of the bridge you can a cable car above the city or visit one of Porto’s famous wine cellars. I recommend seeing this view at night, when the city lights reflect off the water to make for a beautiful photo!
Cálem Wine Cellar
You can’t make a trip to Porto without trying some Port wine! There are many places to choose from, but I was recommended to visit Cálem, which you’ll find right on the other side of the Dom Luis Bridge. For only €6, you can take a tour of the wine cellar and taste two of their wines at the end. This was some of the best tasting wine I’ve ever had and you certainly don’t have to be a wine connoisseur to enjoy this tour!
Aduela Taberna Bar
You may not expect it, but Porto has an amazing nightlife scene! One of the coolest bars I visited was Aduela, a laid back bar with great beer and wine selections. This place will be packed starting at happy hour through the rest of the night, and is in a cool local part of town. This is a great place to end a busy day, relax, and maybe even make some friends!
Have you been to Porto, Portugal? If so, what were your favorites sights? Let me know in the comments below!