Best places to visit in Porto: top attractions you don't want to miss

From the magnificent Porto Cathedral to the lavishly-tiled Sao Bento train station, Porto is packed with beautiful sights. Here are the 20 best places to visit in Porto.

Porto, Portugal's second city, is a delightful travel destination. It has attractions that will inspire the whole family, making it the perfect place to bring kids. There are also sights that are ideal for a romantic getaway and even for solo travelers. Enjoy fabulous food, lovely weather at all times of the year, and beautiful architecture everywhere you go.

This list of the best places to visit in Porto will help you plan your trip. Check out famous tourist attractions like the city's Se cathedral or its mighty Dom Luis I bridge, or go sightseeing in the scenic old town. See the wonders of nature on the River Douro or learn more about the local obsession with soccer. Whatever you're into, you'll find something amazing in Porto.

Best places to visit in Porto for history

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1. Palácio da Bolsa

It might look like a royal palace, but the Palácio da Bolsa is actually an old stock exchange. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is lavishly decorated in the neoclassical style, with stunning art and architecture everywhere you turn.

Highlights:

The Arab Room has a remarkable Moorish Revival style of decor. It's still used today to welcome visiting heads of state to Portugal.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:30 PM.

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2. Clérigos Tower

After climbing its 225 steps, from the top of the Clérigos Tower you'll have one of the best views, sweeping over the city. The rest of this beautiful church is also well worth exploring, with its stunning art collection and intricately decorated facade.

Highlights:

The tower is one of the main attractions on the Old City and Monuments Tour. You'll also have the chance to visit the Palácio da Bolsa and the city's cathedral.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM, and Sunday 9:30 PM-10:30 PM.

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3. Luis I Bridge

When the Dom Luis I Bridge was completed in 1886, it was the longest iron arch bridge in the world. It may have lost that title, but it's still a tremendously impressive sight and an undeniable city landmark.

Highlights:

You can take a river cruise under the bridge for a closer look or, if you're feeling daring, even climb up it.

Address:

Ponte Luís I, Porto.

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4. Porto Cathedral

The Porto Cathedral, known locally as the Sé, is one of the oldest and most beautiful buildings in the city. Dating back to the 12th century, it stands at the heart of the old town. Its lavishly decorated chapels are truly stunning.

Highlights:

Don't be surprised if you see a steady trail of backpackers at the cathedral. This is a popular starting point for the Camino de Santiago pilgrimage, adding to its evocative atmosphere.

Address and opening hours:

Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-6:30 PM.

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5. Church of St Francis

Another one of Porto's UNESCO World Heritage Sites, the Church of St Francis is the city's most prominent Gothic monument. The oldest parts date back to the 13th century, and the interior is a true masterpiece of religious art.

Highlights:

There are several chapels to explore inside. Don't miss the chapel of St John the Baptist, which has a beautiful Renaissance tomb embedded in one wall.

Address and opening hours:

Rua do Infante Dom Henrique, 4050-297 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:00 AM-8:00 PM.

Best places to visit in Porto for art

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6. Museu da Misericórdia

The Museu da Misericórdia do Porto, or MMIPO, is the city's premier art gallery. It offers a thrillingly eclectic collection that goes back centuries, with a particular emphasis on the artworks of the 15th, 16th, and 17th centuries.

Highlights:

There's plenty to admire with your MMIPO Admission Ticket. Top of the list is the enormous de Coter painting, Fons Vitae, depicting Christ on the cross.

Address and opening hours:

Rua das Flores 15, 4050-265 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:30 PM.

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7. Central Porto

You might think of Porto as a city frozen in time, thanks to its numerous historic buildings. However, there's plenty of modernity here, too. This is best seen in the city streets, which have been transformed into a canvas by urban artists.

Highlights:

You'll find impressive murals all around Porto, but to learn more about them, take a Half-Day Street Art Tour. Your guide will explain the history behind the movement.

Address and opening hours:

Meet at Praça de Carlos Alberto 89, 4050-158 Porto. Start times vary.

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8. Immersivus Gallery

The Immersivus Gallery is an art gallery with a twist. It offers a full audiovisual experience, taking works by artists like Monet and Klimt and transforming them into a dazzling, immersive display with the help of the latest technology.

Highlights:

Your Immersivus Gallery Entry Ticket will unlock a magical world where art comes to life. Discover what it feels like to be part of a painting.

Address and opening hours:

Furnas da Alfândega do Porto, Rua Nova da Alfândega, 4050-430 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 9:30 AM-6:30 PM. Closed Mondays.

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9. São Bento Station

Even if you're not traveling by rail, it's worth stopping at São Bento Station for a visit. The atrium of this lavishly-decorated station features 20,000 azulejo tiles. It feels more like a royal palace than a humble railway station.

Highlights:

Take your time to look at the tiles closely. Many depict moments in Portuguese history, including famous events like the 1415 Conquest of Ceuta.

Address:

Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto.

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10. Museum of Sacred Art

Despite the name, Porto's Museum of Sacred Art and Archeology doesn't have many archeological exhibits. However, it does boast a stunning collection of religious works, including statues of saints and ornate pieces of jewelry.

Highlights:

While you're admiring the collection, take your time to look around the building known as the Cricket Church. Its simple design makes it stand out in Porto.

Address and opening hours:

Largo do Colégio, 4050-208 Porto. Open Monday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-4:30 PM. Closed Sundays.

Best places to visit in Porto for families

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11. World of Discoveries

This fun, interactive museum celebrates Portugal's golden era, the Age of Exploration. You'll follow in the footsteps of great explorers like Vasco da Gama and Ferdinand Magellan as you take indoor boat rides to different parts of the world.

Highlights:

Educational and entertaining, this makes a great day out for the family. Pick up World of Discoveries Entry Ticket and learn how the Portuguese explorers visited new continents.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de Miragaia 106, 4050-387 Porto. Open Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM. Closed Mondays.

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12. SEA LIFE Porto

SEA LIFE Porto is the city's aquarium, and it's an absolute must for kids who love nature. It features Portugal's very first underwater tunnel, and there are intimidating sharks to give you a scare.

Highlights:

Check the schedule before you visit. There are feeding demonstrations throughout the day, so plan for a closer look at your favorite sea creatures.

Address and opening hours:

Via do Castelo do Quiejo do, 4100-379 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-6:00 PM.

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13. River Douro

As the name suggests, Porto is a port city. The River Douro has been its lifeblood for centuries, and a river cruise is the perfect way to see it. If you're traveling in summer, there's no better way to cool off.

Highlights:

Hop aboard this Private Charming Sailboat Tour on the Douro River. There's a glass of port wine for the grown-ups, while kids will love the fun of a boat trip.

Address and opening hours:

Meet at Rua da Praia, 4400-554 Vila Nova de Gaia. Start times vary.

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14. Pink Palace

The Pink Palace isn't exactly subtle. This museum has attractions like a big pink ball pit and lots of great photo opportunities. There's also an educational element, as the parents can learn about how rosé wine is made.

Highlights:

With your Pink Palace Entry Ticket at WOW, you'll also get a rosé wine tasting session. There are non-alcoholic alternatives so the kids can join in the fun.

Address and opening hours:

Rua do Choupelo 39, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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15. Peneda-Gerês Park

A short journey from Porto, the Peneda-Gerês Park feels like another world. This natural paradise has a clear blue lake for swimming and kayaking, great hiking trails, and a lovely sandy beach. If you're looking for nature, this is the place to find it.

Highlights:

Make a day of it with a Peneda-Gerês Park Kayaking and Waterfall Hike. This is one of the most enjoyable activities during the hot Portuguese summer.

Address and opening hours:

Peneda-Gerês National Park, 4845-999 Portugal. Open Tuesday-Saturday, 9:00 AM-7:00 PM. Closed Sunday-Monday.

Best places to visit in Porto for culture

Livraria Lello
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16. Livraria Lello

Porto's Lello Bookstore has been named the most beautiful bookstore in the world. This spellbinding, historic bookstore is a favorite with former Porto resident JK Rowling. It's said that its remarkable architecture and unique atmosphere inspired her Harry Potter series.

Highlights:

Take a Walking City Tour and Lello Bookstore Visit to learn more about this iconic literary location. This is a great way to discover some of the main sights in the old town, too.

Address and opening hours:

Rua das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 9:30 AM-7:30 PM.

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17. Dragão Stadium

FC Porto is the most successful soccer club in Portuguese history. The locals are rightly proud of their team, and its stadium contains a fascinating museum that tells the story of FC Porto. See memorabilia from famous stars as you pass through the museum.

Highlights:

There's a large collection of trophies on display on this Museum and Stadium Tour. Even if you're not a soccer fan, you're sure to be impressed.

Address and opening hours:

Via Futebol Clube do Porto, 4350-415 Porto. Opening times vary according to match schedules.

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18. Cálem caves

Porto is known all around the world for its wine. You can find out more about this unique drink in Cálem, where you can enjoy a cellar tour, a tasting session, and even a fado show. It's a true wine lover's paradise.

Highlights:

There's a small wine museum in Cálem where you can learn all about the history of the Douro region. You'll leave as a true expert in port wine.

Address and opening hours:

Avenida de Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

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19. The Spiritus show

Many visitors see the Clérigos Church as just an architectural sight. However, it's also home to the nightly Spiritus Multimedia Show. In this immersive experience, light, music, and architecture come together to create a unique, remarkable presentation.

Highlights:

You might want to explore the Clérigos Church by day, then come with your Spiritus Multimedia Show Admission Ticket. The transformation is remarkable.

Address and opening hours:

Rua de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto. Start times vary.

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20. The Cork Museum

Cork has a unique, remarkable role in Portuguese life. It's not just for sealing bottles – this natural substance is also used to make bags, accessories, and even clothes. Find out more at Porto's very own Cork Museum.

Highlights:

With your Planet Cork Museum Entry Ticket, you'll find an immersive, interactive exhibit. You can even make your very own personalized cork stopper.

Address and opening hours:

Rua do Choupelo 39, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto. Open Monday-Sunday, 10:00 AM-7:00 PM.

FAQs

How many days should I spend in Porto?

Porto is a small city. You can easily spend a single weekend here and see many of the sights, but if you want to add day trips to your itinerary, it's best to extend that to a week.

What is the best time of year to visit Porto?

Winter can be a bit wet and cold in Porto, but the weather is lovely from spring to fall. Summer is hot, and the city is hilly, so be prepared to sweat.

How do I get around Porto?

Porto has a good public transport network, with buses and a metro. You can also easily get around the old town on foot.

What are the best neighborhoods to visit in Porto?

Start in the old town, which is where you'll find many of the most interesting buildings. Baixa is the best neighborhood for restaurants and bars.

What are the best places to go shopping in Porto?

The main shopping street is Rua de Santa Caterina. Start here and make your way to the smaller nearby streets, which also have great boutiques.