What to do in Porto in 72 Hours - Things to do in Porto, Portugal

Updated: Jun 21, 2020

3 days in Porto. A vibrant Portuguese city on North bank of Douro River !!

Porto is an ideal place for short vacations. The city offers a perfect combination of culture, architecture, history and traditional Portuguese Cuisine. We had 3 amazing days in Porto.

Porto

We were in Guimarães for an Erasmus exchange. After attending the Erasmus in Guimarães We took the train to Porto Sao Bento (Porto Central Train Station). The train costs 3.60 from Guimarães to Porto.

Church of Saint Ildefonso, Porto

Our First Day in Porto:

We booked an apartment in city center via Booking.com. After dropping our bags, We went straight to the Santa Catarina Street the main pedestrian walkway in old center. It has all the well known International and local brands. We always like to explore the fashion streets to get the feel of the city. The city center also has a Via Catarina shopping mall which has a traditional architecture and unique interior.

The best way to explore Porto is by walk. There are so many hidden gems which can be missed out or remained unexplored if you don’t like to walk. Porto is slightly hilly and all the monument and tourist attractions are closely located and reachable by a walk.

Every street and corner has its own beauty, view and feel. There are amazing houses with beautiful tiles on the walls, arts and crafts shops and local café on every corner of the streets.

Our next stop was Porto Cathedral called Sé do Porto. It's just few miles away from Central Train Station, Sao Bento. It's a Roman Catholic and one of the oldest monuments of the city. It has a free entrance.


The first most famous thing about the Cathedral, is its square where criminals were used to hang in old times. And the second most important is its view to Douro River. If you want to enjoy the panoramic view of the city- you must go to the tower. The entrance price is 3.

Porto Cathedral, Se Do Porto
Porto Cathedral

Terreiro da Se is a spot to get the perfect view of the Douro River and Nova de Gaia. It is just next to the Porto Cathedral.


We started climbing down the stairs and it took us to the fascinating narrow streets with alluring houses on my both sides. That's how we reached Famous Ribeira Square.

Douro River in Porto, Portugal
View of Douro River from Terreiro da Se in Porto, Portugal

Cais de Ribeira is an alluring medieval district with the fascinating riverfront. It has traditional floating boats and colorful ancient houses. It's one of the most photogenic places and also declared as a World Heritage site of UNESCO.

Stairs in Porto, Portugal
Going to Cais de Ribeira via stairs from Terreiro da Se, Porto

There are lot of cafés, Bar and restaurants serving traditional Portuguese food and drinks. We would highly suggest trying Francesinha Sandwich, Codfish cakes, Ice cream and sweet Pastel de Nata. The city is very famous for its sea food. If you are sea food lovers it’s a heaven for you.

It's one of the romantic places to enjoy your date dinner with the beautiful view of the river. At night, all the restaurants, bars and café are fully packed with tourists.

We would highly suggest enjoying the long lasting images of Porto and it’s skylines from Cais de Gaia. Cais de Gaia is just across the river from Cais de Ribeira. You can cross the bridge to reach to Cais de Gaia or you can take the Ferry that is only for crossing the river.


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Douro River Ferry in Porto, Portugal
Ferry Ride in Douro River, Porto

We would highly suggest taking the ferry and experiencing it. It's 3 for one way. There are lot of cafés, restaurant, Stalls of food and traditional bags and local brands on the other side of Douro River. We would suggest Bar Restaurant Micha for your evening drinks and coffee.

There's also a Teleferico de Gaia which you can take near the bridge. It costs 6 for one way. Be careful with the timings, it closes at 8 PM. We must say it's the best way to enjoy the view of the city and river.

View of Porto from Cais de Gaia, Portugal
View of Porto from Cais de Gaia, Portugal

Porto has one of the most beautiful and romantic Ferris Wheel of Europe with an amazing view of the Porto city and river. The ticket is for 4. We would highly suggest taking it at night so you can enjoy the view of the city and skylines with beautiful lights.

Porto Bridge Night View in Porto, Portugal
The spectacular Porto bridge view at Night from Porto Sky Wheel

After experiencing the mesmerizing view of the Porto and its alluring sky line we head back to the Porto and crossed the Douro River from the ground deck of the famous Porto Bridge on foot and I must say it will give you goosebumps.

Second day in Porto:

At night when we were walking back to our apartment, we saw a cozy café crowded with people on the corner of my street. At that moment, we already made our mind to have a breakfast there in the morning.

In the next morning, I saw myself in the mirror. Oh Man !! I seriously need a haircut. First of all, I searched for Hair saloons in Porto. As I was living in the heart of city center, luckily I found a hair saloon right in front of my apartment.

After hair cut, we started walking to the same street café called “Buondi Café”. The café was fully crowded with people. The café has also a sitting space outdoor. We had ordered bread filled jam called “Berliner” in Germany with Orange juice and sat on the table placed outside of the café on the footpath. We enjoyed my breakfast with view of the road next to me.

Buondi Cafe in in Porto, Portugal
Breakfast at Buondi cafe in Porto, Portugal

Our next stop was Town Hall Porto called Camara Municipal do Porto. It's one of the famous buildings with amazing architecture and perfect for photography. We took a short break and sat on the stairs and enjoy the hassle and bustle on the roads. There's also a big town square and it has all the big hotels like Intercontinental nearby.

Camara Municipal do Porto, Portugal. Amazing Town Square in Porto

We started walking towards the Igreja da Santissima Trindade. The church is behind the City hall of Porto. There's a beautiful square near the church with wonderful collection of flowers.


The entry of the church is free. The main Chapel has a large panel of Painting representing Baptism of Christ.

Santissima Trindade in Porto, Portugal
Inside the chapel of Igreja da Santissima Trindade in Porto Portugal

After exploring the Igreja da Santissima Trindade we came back to the town square of Porto and lost in the wanderlust of time and history.

After I finished with my Travel Photography and experience the feel of Porto city we started walking towards Igreja dos Clérigos that is located just few miles away from town square.

Tram in Porto, Portugal
Famous Porto Tram

It is a baroque church which has Torre dos Clrigos. The most famous bell tower of Porto that’s 75.6 meters high with 240 steps to climb. The entry for the church is free.

The ticket to the tower is for 5 including the Museu dos Clerigos. The Panoramic view from the top of the tower was so amazing and breathtaking. On the one side, you can see all the historical architecture and building and on the other side the view of the Douro River.

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Igreja dos Clérigos in Porto, Portugal
Inside the Igreja dos Clérigos in Porto, Portugal

We would recommend to explore the Church and exhibition first before climbing the Tower.

Museu dos Clerigos in Porto, Portugal