Photo: Sean Pavone/Shutterstock

Tips for Spending an Activity-Packed Day in Porto, Portugal's Second City

by Matador Creators Jan 11, 2023

Portugal’s second-largest city, Porto, is a bustling hub of culture, art, history, and beautiful sights. Whether its marveling at the city’s stunning architecture, sampling its delicious cuisine, exploring the iconic bridges, or tasting port wine at a local winery, there are countless things to do in Porto.

@visit Porto is the second largest city in Portgual with tons to keep you busy. If you're planning a visit, @Dianni | Solo Budget Traveler has the perfect day planned out for you 🇵🇹 #portugaltravelguide #portoportugal #porto #thingstodoportugal ♬ original sound – Visit

The Douro River flows through the heart of Porto and provides breathtaking panoramas along its banks as it winds through terraced vineyards and quaint villages before emptying out into the Atlantic Ocean. Taking a cruise downriver on the Douro will give you an unforgettable view of this gorgeous city while also providing insight into its culture and history.

If you’re looking to do some shopping, Rua Santa Catarina is one of Porto’s busiest commercial streets, lined with colorful buildings and boutiques selling everything from handmade crafts to local delicacies. Stop by Loja das Conservas for a tasty lunch or pick up some souvenirs at Galeria de Arte Filipe Alfacinha. After taking your time strolling down this picturesque street, be sure to visit Café Majestic—an iconic Art Nouveau-style café located at the end Rua Santa Catarina that serves classic Portuguese pastries as well as a variety of coffees and teas.

The Livraria Lello Bookstore is one of the most iconic buildings in all of Portugal. Since it first opened its doors in 1906, it has been enchanting visitors with its intricate architecture and impressive collection of books. The store’s winding staircases and uniformed booksellers add to the sense that you’ve stepped back in time as you browse the shelves for rare finds. The bookstore also features special events such as book signings and literary talks.

If you’re an art lover, then you won’t want to miss out on visiting some of Porto’s best art galleries. One of the most well-known galleries is Galeria Quadrado Azul (Blue Square Gallery), which features both Portuguese and international artists. This gallery also hosts events such as lectures and workshops throughout the year—so check their website before your trip so you don’t miss out. If contemporary art isn’t your thing, then make sure to pay a visit to Fundação de Serralves for its modernist villa and sculpture garden.

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