Probably not; there is so much to do here. But, nonetheless, we can guarantee you a wonderful way to spend a day.
- Porto is one of Europe’s most beautiful cities
- You’ll love the fascinating history and beautiful historic centre
- Even 24 hours will provide an incredible opportunity to get a feel for the city and soak up the vibe
Start your day by climbing the 225 steps to the top of Torre dos Clérigos for one of the best views in Porto. Completed in 1743, the history behind the tower’s baroque architecture forms part of the exhibitions you’ll encounter on the six floors on the way to the viewing platform. Here, the main city landmarks are laid out before you and helpfully identified on the landscape reader. 75 metres above street level, this is a panoramic way to start the day.
Torre dos Clérigos stands at the top of the Rua dos Clérigos. Follow it back to São Bento train station, where you might stop and admire the magnificent 100-year-old azulejo tiles depicting scenes from Portugal’s history before continuing your meander to Sé do Porto, Porto’s monumental twelfth-century cathedral. Even if you don’t stop to explore this medieval wonder, make sure you pause to absorb the view from the Sé cathedral terrace. Then resume your wander downhill along narrow, cobbled streets towards the beautiful River Douro. You can hop on Funicular dos Guindais to take a ride down to the quayside.
You will like
- The river taxis inspired by traditional Rabelos that in days gone by transported Port wine from the heart of the Douro Valley to the cellars of Porto
- The incredible views from the Dom Luís bridge
- Dinner at the Yeatman
The funicular will deposit you at the foot of the Dom Luís I bridge – the iconic two-tiered bridge that crosses the Douro to Vila Nova da Gaia – on Ribeira quay.
Ribeira quay is also home to the little wooden boats that serve as river taxis across the Douro to the neighbouring city of Gaia that is home to the majority of the Port caves.
What you need to know
- It’s just €3 to cross the river by river taxi…
- …or cross it on the Dom Luís bridge for free
- The Yeatman claims to have the best views over Porto and the Douro River
Port wine Cellars
You can brave the breeze to cross the bridge and enjoy some wonderful views – or hop on a river taxi and arrive on the opposite quayside in a matter of minutes. Once in Gaia, stop to enjoy a tasty lunch on the terrace of the restaurant in front of Sandeman port cellars. As well as sampling some of the wonderful wines, you can revel in the views across the Douro from this scenic spot.
There are many port warehouses, tours and tasting rooms to explore on this side of the river; take your pick as you walk slowly up the hillside; you can’t go too far wrong in this city.
What to do
- Make time to meander as aimlessly as you can along the hilly backstreets of Miragaia, Ribeira and Massarelos to soak up the laid-back vibe of this fabulous city
- Pick up some leaflets from the tourist office by the cathedral so you can decide which port warehouses to visit in the afternoon
- On your way through Gaia, stop for a snack on the upper terrace at Espaço Porto Cruz
Stunning view over the city lights
At the top of the hillside, you’ll encounter the Yeatman, Porto’s only two-Michelin-starred restaurant housed in one of the most highly regarded hotels in Portugal. You’ll need to book well in advance, but do make the effort – the stunning view over the twinkling city lights over dinner at dusk is only surpassed by the exquisite food.
After dinner, there’s one last chance to view the beautiful cityscape by night from your cab on your way back over the Dom Luís bridge – unless you’re lucky enough to be staying at the Yeatman, of course.