A city of hidden delights, romantic and stylish Porto is best known as the historic home of port wine and boasts scenic riverscapes, a handsome quayside, traditional shops and elegant cafés, a wonderful mix of architectural styles, as well as lively squares and a buzzing nightlife, and of course, a plethora of impressive port wine lodges.
Porto and the Douro Valley experience warm, dry summers and especially pleasant late spring and autumn temperatures in the low 20’s; perfect for walking and sightseeing. For two weeks mid-June the city takes on a festival atmosphere culminating in the lively Feast of St John on the 23rd June with music, market stalls, food and wine aplenty.
Vintage Tram, Porto
We’re delighted to highlight a few holiday experiences to enhance your visit to Porto. Simply confirm at the time of booking or prior to travelling.
For further details and prices of private excursions and small group escorted tours, to visit some or all of these places of interest, please ask our Personalised Travel Team about pre-bookable experiences and excursions on 0800 008 7288.
We highly recommend…
Take time wandering the city’s streets decorated with stunning glazed ceramic
tilework. Taste a traditional Porto sandwich at Mercado Beira Rio, and
sample the finest port wines at Ferreira Cellars.
Discover Porto’s medieval roots in and around the Sé quarter, visit Vila Nova de Gaia with its famous wine cellars, enjoy a traditional lunch at Chez Lapin, and cruise along the Douro River discovering its many bridges and fantastic landscape.
Explore the attractive, lively town of Aveiro. Set on the edge of a lagoon and famous for its moliceiros traditional boats, used in navigating its picturesque network of canals, Aveiro is also known as the Venice of Portugal.
Experience this stunningly beautiful region on a wine tour of the Douro Valley. Learn about the region’s wine culture and sample the wine on two estate visits, enjoy a tasty lunch and scenic cruise down the river.
A morning visit to Portugal’s religious centre, Fatima, with its Chapel of Apparitions and basilica, followed by an afternoon spent in the riverfront city of Coimbra where academic tradition takes centre stage with Portugal’s oldest university.
See the highlights of Porto; the Sao Bento railway station with its striking interiors, the 75 metre high Torre dos Clerigos belltower, fashionable Aliados Avenue, delightful Crystal Palace Gardens and the famed port wine cellars.
Discover the glorious Douro Valley. See the St Goncalo Monastery in Amarante, the Shrine of Our Lady of Remedies in Lamego, with time to visit one of the region’s most famous estates for wine tasting.
Of particular note is the traditional UNESCO-listed Ribeira neighbourhood, fortress-like Se Cathedral, the magnificent Baroque Church of St Francisco with its gilt interiors and the splendid Neoclassical Palacio da Bolsa, where the fabulous ballroom stucco walls are gilded with 18kg of gold. For a panoramic view climb the Torre dos Clerigos belltower and for Portuguese art there’s Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis, and the Sao Bento railway station is a must for its striking interiors. The city boasts numerous spectacular bridges, there are a number of beautiful parks and gardens for an afternoon stroll, Avenida dos Aliados for shopping and the vibrant 19th century Mercado do Bolhao market. Long-established flea market Feira de Vandoma makes for an interesting Saturday morning and Livraria Lello & Irmao is considered one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores; its art nouveau staircase is fabulous. Across the river is Vila Nova de Gaia with its myriad port wine lodges and warehouses.
Porto boasts excellent fine dining restaurants such as the 2 Michelin star restaurant at The Yeatman hotel as well as more traditional eateries serving generous portions of rustic cuisine. As can be expected, a huge variety of wonderfully fresh fish and shellfish feature highly on the menu, the local delicacy is tripe stew, and popular francesinhas, bread topped with steak, sausage, cheese and a tangy beer flavoured chilli sauce, is served in most places. Wine by the glass and small plates of petiscos, Portuguese tapas, can be enjoyed at one of the many bars. As well as the famous port wine, the surrounding vineyards in the Douro Valley produce full bodied reds and the fresh and delicate white wine, Planalto.
In addition to buses and an efficient metro network there are delightful vintage trams and a funicular to make light work of the steeper hills. The Adante travel card for metro and buses provide good value and can be combined with a Porto Card allowing for free or discounted admission to attractions.
Located 4km west of Porto is the wonderful 18-hectare park, Parque de Serralves. Set amidst its formal, landscaped gardens, swept gravel paths, romantic lake, fountains and whimsical art installations, is the strikingly minimalist building housing the Museu de Arte Contemporanea.
Explore charming Ribeira neighbourhood, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with narrow, cobbled streets, colourful traditional houses, art galleries, ancient churches and lively street life.
One of the city’s leading cultural venues, Casa da Musica concert hall is a stunning 17-sided avant-garde building hosting a wide variety of concerts, from classical to electronic, jazz to fado, major international productions to smaller experimental projects.
There are daily and frequent river cruises in the summer from an hour long cruise for the best views of the city’s famous bridges to evening and dinner cruises and full day or weekend tours.
On the south side of the river lies the town of Vila Nova de Gaia, home to famous port wine lodges and warehouses, including Ramos Pinto, Calem and British-run Taylor’s, many of which offer tastings and guided tours.
Walk across the iconic double-deck Ponte Dom Luis I Bridge into Vila Nova de Gaia, taking in the spectacular view from the top deck.
Classic Collection Holidays offer a fantastic selection of 4 & 5 star hotels in Porto. Click here to find your perfect luxury holiday.
Ask our travel consultants about combining a stay in Porto with a visit to Cascais or Lisbon. See our dedicated Madeira brochure for further multi-centre suggestions.