You may have seen my many posts from Porto on instagram and the destination has easily become one of my favourite places to visit in Europe. From its beautiful tile-coated buildings to amazing seafood and hilltop wineries, if you are in search of a budget friendly city break then this should definitely make the cut.
Clerigos City Centre Studio 2
I can’t recommend this apartment enough. It’s round the corner from both the Clerigos Tower and the famous Levello Library and only a 14minute walk down to the river as well as plenty of restaurants within a 10minute radius, it really is the perfect base location during your stay in Porto.
Check if the Clergies Studio is available for your stay – https://www.airbnb.co.uk/rooms/19097761
Pancakes at O’Dimplomata
This Pancake cafe is definitely a pricier option at about 12EUR a meal (if you go all out like we did) but I say start as you mean to go on! You need to get there when they open at 10am or expects a long wait for a table any time after 10.30am. I’ve gone for the Oreo dough pancakes with vanilla ice bream, strawberries and Portuguese biscuits. They also have loads of non-dairy options for coffee perfect for any oat milk lovers like me.
Walk up the Clerigos Tower
Entry is 5EUR and bring water because that’s a mistake you wouldn’t want to make. It’s truly a beautiful building and you must visit whilst in Porto with the best views across the city. It’s super cramped and windy at the top though so don’t expect to get photos of you and the view but well worth the steps up!
Lunch at Cervejaria Brasão
Stuck on where to try the famous dish of Porto – francesinha (meat filled sandwich coated in cheese and a tomato sauce topped with egg) well look no further than Cervejaria Brasão. Although the dish may look super heavy, both me a dan were surprised at how easy it was to eat and un-oily. We did however share one between us which is what I recommend. With their signature beer created solely for this fabulous dish and fantastic sangria options, I cannot recommend this place enough.
Walk down to the Ribeira Square for a drink by the River
The iconic Ribeira Square makes for the prettiest postcard from Porto. This is an absolute tourist hotspot with the riverfront lined with restaurants and bars overlooking the Duoro river and Luis 1 Bridge.
Dinner at Ostra se Coisas
So I was recommended this restaurant for the Mozambique prawns and I will say that the food was definitely one of the best meals we had whilst we were there. However, the service leaves more room for improvement. Disclaimer: we had to pick up our airbnb keys which were left behind the bar with one of the waiters who was basically extremely rude and more or less threw them at the woman who was getting them for us. That left a bad taste already and when we came back for dinner I felt that nobody really gave us the attention of the other tables and made us feel like an inconvenience. Our female waitress for the night was delightful and the only real saviour for a poorly serviced meal, so just keep that in mind when you go.
Breakfast at Zenniths
Who would’ve thought the Portuguese brunch game would be this good. We got here for about 11.30 and had to queue for around 15minutes which is well worth it. The Zennith eggs are a must order and the orange juice is the most refreshing around. Plus never say no to an iced coffee!
Visit the famous Livraria Lello
Don’t even bother trying to get a pic for the gram here because it is literally heaving with people from open to close. The library that inspired the famous Harry Potter books, you can find signed copies upstairs and endless books in all languages. I would say you could lose yourself in it all but there’s really just too many people. Your ticket costs 5EUR and if you buy a book the ticket price goes towards the purchase.
Pick up some Pasteis de Nata from Manteigaria
Watch them make these gorgeous nata’s right in front of your eyes and why not pick up a glass of Port to really enjoy the experience! 1EUR for one pasteis de nata.
Coffee at the Vogue Cafe
Live that champagne life-style on Prosecco budget and treat yourself to a little iced coffee (or tea like I went for) within the beautiful vogue cafe. The outside is just as chic as inside plus the terrace is perfect for soaking up that Porto sun.
Admire the Sao Bento train station
It’s pretty, it’s free and it’s iconic – words you don’t naturally associate with a train station. There will be crowds unless you’re visiting at 8am but it’s very easy to see why this 20th century train station attracts an audience. We went in the middle of the day and it was busy but not over-crowded and it really is an impressive structure.
Bus to Matsinhos and visit the beach for a little sunbathe
Lunch in Matosinhos
If you love seafood, you must visit this small unassuming seaside town under 30 minutes by bus from Porto centre. Pick any of the restaurants along the street and enjoy seafood in the sun. You’ll be tasting the salt on your lips until the evening!
Walk amongst contemporary art at Serralves Gallery
This contemporary art museum was so much more than the instagram spot I went there for. Get a ticket for the exhibition and the park which is 12EUR and if you get lucky you may get to see a boujee helicopter designed by Joana Vasconcelos as well as these breathtaking grounds.
Dinner at Bebe Se Mal
After digging on trip advisor for a good local seafood restaurant, I am so glad that we found Bebe Se Mal. This tiny restaurant is family run and not only serves great seafood but 7.50EUR litre decanters of wine! Get there when they open or join the waiting list for a table because it’s a restaurant you must experience whilst in Porto.
Breakfast at Majestic Cafe
JK Rowling was also known to have written parts of the Harry Potter books in this gorgeous cafe so start the day with inspiration at one of the top ten most beautiful cafe’s in the world.
Browse shops on Rua de Santa Catarina
Visit the Chapel of Souls
I’m sure you’re familiar with this tiled exterior. The Chapel of Souls was built in the 18th century and easily one of the most beautiful churches in Porto. Located in Bolhao and covered in blue tiles depicting moments in the life of Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine.
Snack at Casa Guedes
If you try one thing in Porto other than their signature dish it has to be the sandwiches at Casa Guedes. W O W. Pork is the real winner with the soft cheese, all I wish is that I could have some more right now.
Visit the A Pérola do Bolhão
As you know Porto is a beautiful city and it’s fair to expect that their grocery stores are just as architecturally pleasing so pop in for some bits and bobs or just for a photo. Why not?
Take a tour of Taylor’s Port Cellars
For 15EUR take a audio tour of the famous port wine cellars at Taylor’s to learn how it’s harvested, aged and produced. After you finish the tour sit in their beautiful garden (with the resident peacock) and try two of their ports (included in ticket price) and soak in the sun.
Drink at Rooftop bar in the Yeatman Hotel
This hotel is right next to Taylor’s wineries so why not have a cocktail or three whilst looking over Porto.
Dinner by the river at Bacalhau
We thought we would end the trip with a dinner by the river and Bacalhau came highly recommended. Get there early because even though you can enjoy a bottle of rose by the river as you wait, the restaurant shuts around 11pm so you can’t wait all evening for a riverside seat. They do fabulous seafood options like the rest of Porto but also great meat options if you didn’t fancy fish.
I hope this comes in useful if you’re looking to travel to porto!
It’s honestly such a beautiful city and everything looks like a picture perfect postcard so I’m going to leave you with two of my favourite photos from the trip:
I have put a little map below so you can see just how close everything is: