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1 Day Porto Itinerary: How to Have the Best Porto Holiday

Do you plan to have a quick visit in Porto and need a 1 day Porto itinerary? You are in the right place!

I have visited Porto now a number of times, and although this city deserves more than a few days of exploration, I am confident that this list will have you seeing the BEST of Porto in 1 day.

Stay tuned for historic Porto monuments, cobble stoned streets, a delicious dinner on the Douro River with Port wine and Harry Potter history!

Some of the links in this post are affiliate. If clicked, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.

Vila Nova de Gaia Riverside
Overlooking Beautiful Porto from the Vila Nova de Gaia Riverside

Porto 1 Day Itinerary Snapshot

🟦 = blue tiles

  1. Breakfast:
    • Manteigaria (PastĂ©is de Nata)
  2. Morning:
    • Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls) 🟦
    • Majestic CafĂ©
    • Liberdade Square, McDonald’s Imperial
    • SĂŁo Bento Railway Station 🟦
  3. Lunch:
    • CafĂ© Santiago (Francesinha)
    • Conga (Bifana)
    • BolhĂŁo Market
  4. Afternoon:
    • Livraria Lello (Bookstore)
    • Torre dos ClĂ©rigos (ClĂ©rigos Tower)
    • Igreja do Carmo (Carmo Church) 🟦
    • Miradouro da VitĂłria (Viewpoint)
    • Porto Cathedral (Viewpoint)
  5. Evening:
    • Ribeira do Porto (Riverside)
    • Dom LuĂ­s I Bridge
  6. Sunset & Dinner:
    • Miradouro da Serra do Pilar (Viewpoint)
    • Dinner in Vila Nova de Gaia

One Day in Porto Map

How many days do you need in Porto?

In all honesty, one day in Porto is NOT enough.

However, I understand time constraints or other priorities may only give you one day.

If 1 day is all you have, let’s MAKE IT COUNT. I am sure you will make your way back to Porto again & again.

If you are able to spend more days in this Portuguese city, I strongly recommend extending your trip to anywhere from 3 to 5 days in Porto.

This will give you time to visit the Douro Valley, the vast wine region of Portugal.

How to Get to Porto

Flying to Porto

Flying to Porto Internationally

Porto is fairly easy to get to from most countries. Their airport, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), has international arrivals and departures daily. 

Portugal’s airline, TAP Air Portugal is an affordable airline to fly with. Majority of their flights from North America have a stop in Lisbon.

Flying to Porto Within Europe

Flying within Europe is a different ballgame. It is simpler, cheaper and truly just the best.

Europe has cheap airlines; Ryanair & Easyjet, but they also have TAP and other European airlines flying to and from these locations for GOOD prices.

In exchange, you’ll have to travel light (checked baggage comes with an extra fee).

Compare flights on Skyscanner to find the cheapest flights!

Train or Bus to Porto

There is a high speed train the runs through Portugal. Tickets can be purchased in advance and can start around 10 Euros one way.

The quickest train rides from Lisbon are just under 3 hours, where as their other trains are about 3 hours and 20 minutes.

I like to use Omio for finding transportation.

Omio also offers bus/flight options where you can compare the price and length of each trip.

If travelling within Portugal, trains or buses are a great option. They are safe, reliable and relatively on time. We used coach buses and trains while staying in Portugal and had great success.

If travelling to Portugal from another country, even Spain, I would not recommend this method unless your budget requires it. As an example, it can take about 8-9 hours via train from Madrid to Porto.

Driving to Porto

Driving to Porto may be an option for some, however, I only recommend this if you are coming from other areas in Portugal (ie. Lisbon) OR the neighbouring country, Spain.

Even then, depending on where in Spain you are driving from you will most likely have a long drive ahead of you.

For example, driving from Madrid, Spain to Porto, Portugal will take about 5 and a half hours; including tolls and border crossing. Alternatively, a 1 hour flight from Madrid would most likely cost you ~$100.00 

Driving from Lisbon will take about 3.5 hours (on toll routes, Route A1 or A17) or 6 hours (without tolls).

Take some time & think about it, but I recommend flying or the train!

If you prefer to rent a car for your 1 day in Porto Portugal, check out Rental Cars.

How to Get Around Porto

Porto is VERY easy to get around in.

Porto is walkable, has a great metro system and Uber / Taxi’s are very affordable.

For one day in Porto, I recommend spending as much of it walking as possible.

Walking around Porto

Each time we have visited Porto, we have spent majority of the time walking. We love to visit European cities and walk all day.

You will be able to complete this Porto 1 day itinerary on foot.

Metro / Buses

Porto’s metro has 6 lines.

The major stations that are close to tourist destinations are; SĂŁo Bento (which, in itself, is a tourist destination), Aliados and Trindade (which connects all metro routes).

Porto’s metro & bus system is open from 6:00 AM until 1:00 AM. Trains arrive every 4-15 minutes.

Trams

This is more of a fun tourist adventure, which I suggest you try at least once. If it helps you get from point A to point B while enjoying your time in a vintage tram, win-win. 

There are three tram lines in Porto. They run from 9:00 – 7:00 PM (depending on the line). 

You can also purchase a package that includes; 24 hour access to Tram services, 1 Ride on the Funicular and 2 Hop on Hop off Tickets.

Sitting on the Porto Tram
Porto Tram

Driving Around Porto

In my opinion, driving in Porto is not necessary, as walking and the metro are simple to use.

I personally think it is best to see this city on foot! I created this itinerary being mindful that you will walk from place to place.

That being said – if you would like to rent a car check out Rental Cars for deals & discounts!

Taxi & Uber 

Taxis and Uber are good options for those times you don’t want to walk or take public transport. 

A taxi costs ~6.00 Euros in/around the city centre.

Uber costs ~5.00 Euros in and around the city centre.

If you are going to and from the airport the cost can be anywhere from 15 Euros – 25 Euros for taxi or Uber.

1 Day Porto Itinerary

Every location listed in this Porto itinerary can be found pinned to the map at the beginning of this blog post or Google Map linked below.

Breakfast at Mantéigaria

Start your full day in Porto with the Portuguese breakfast of champions, Pastéis de Nata at Mantéigaria.

Sure, a pastry is not a healthy breakfast, but you have one day in Porto. You need to have this pastel de nata.

There are two Mantéigaria locations in Porto, you will be visiting the location more north!

Pasteis de Nata in Porto at Manteigaria
Pasteis de Nata at Manteigaria

You can get these Portuguese custard tarts at MANY bakeries and pastry shops. We took a food tour last time we were in Porto and Mantéigaria was HIGHLY recommended as one of the best in the city.

Click here for the Mantéigaria Google Map link.

Capela das Almas

After a delicious breakfast of Portuguese tarts, head over to Capela das Almas, the Chapel of Souls.

Here is where you will get some great Porto Instagram photos, the blue tiles, azulejo tiles, of this church are unique to Portugal and Spain.

Capela das Almas
Capela das Almas

Google Map link for Capela das Almas.

Majestic Café

Majestic CafĂ© is a functional cafĂ©, however, I do not recommend eating here. You are visiting this cafĂ© for it’s history and beauty.

J.K. Rowling spent countless hours in this café writing Harry Potter.

Take a quick look inside, I do not recommend eating here as you can find better and more affordable food elsewhere in Porto.

Majestic Cafe, Porto
Majestic Cafe, Porto

There are a few historic cafés in Porto. Majestic Café and Café Guarany are the most popular. I have been to Café Guarany a few times and love it.

Click here for the Majestic Café Google Maps link.

Liberdade Square & McDonald’s Imperial

Just a short 5 minute walk from Majestic Café is the main square of Porto, Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade).

Along the street, Avenida dos Aliados, is the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world. It was once a historic cafĂ© transformed into a McDonald’s.

The interiors are gorgeous. I do not recommend wasting your one day in Porto eating at McDonald’s, but go and step inside for the beauty.

Porto McDonald's
Sneak Peak at Porto McDonald’s

Click here for the McDonald’s Imperial Google Map link.

SĂŁo Bento Railway Station

One of the most gorgeous railway stations in the world, SĂŁo Bento Station is covered in the azulejo tiles (blue tiles).

This train station is functional, yet a popular tourist destination in Porto.

Hubby & I in Sao Bento Railway Station, Porto
Sao Bento Railway Station

Don’t leave this out of your day in Porto.

Click here for the SĂŁo Bento Railway Station on Google Maps.

Lunch at Café Santiago, Conga or Bolhão Market

I bet you’re hungry after all of the walking you’ve done this morning!

Time to try one of Porto’s most famous dishes, the francesinha or bifana.

A Francesinha is a sandwich with ham, sausage and steak, covered in sauce with melted cheese on top. I have tried them a couple times, I love them.

You can also order the francesinha with a fried egg on top!

Café Santiago or Lado B Café (right next door), are the most popular places for francesinha in Porto.

If this sandwich does not appeal to you, try the other famous Portuguese sandwich, the bifana, a pork sandwich.

The BEST bifana I had was at Conga.

Trust me, I have had many, they were my midnight snack table at my wedding.

Francesinha in Porto
Francesinha at Taberinha do Manel in Vila Nova de Gaia
Porto food tour, bifana at Conga
Bifana at Conga

The above mentioned restaurants are all close to each other. If these sandwiches do not appeal to you, check out the food market, BolhĂŁo Market next door.

You are sure to find something at BolhĂŁo Market for lunch.

TIP: If you have extra time in Porto, I strongly recommend this food tour. We did a food tour around Porto and had a great visit in BolhĂŁo Market.

Livraria Lello

The most beautiful bookstore in the world, Livraria Lello.

This is your first stop after lunch. Livraria Lello’s staircase is what inspired the Hogwarts staircase in Harry Potter.

This is more of a tourist destination than a bookstore now. However, books are still for purchase inside.

To enter, you must reserve and purchase a ticket on their website here.

Livraria Lello, Porto
Livraria Lello, check out that line!

Google Maps link for Livraria Lello here.

Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower)

If you’ve looked up at all during your time in Porto, you’ve definitely seen ClĂ©rigos Tower.

ClĂ©rigos Tower is one of Porto’s landmarks and is a very tall bell tower, located next to it’s church, ClĂ©rigos Church.

The church is free to enter, however, to climb up the tower there is an entrance fee.

I think it is well worth climbing up, the views of Porto from the top are fabulous!

Purchase your skip the line tickets here!

Important to purchase ahead, so you are not wasting your day in Porto.

Clerigos Tower
Clérigos Tower

Click here for the Torre dos Clérigos Google Map link.

Igreja do Carmo (Carmo Church)

Wanting some more blue tile photo backdrops?

Check out Igreja do Carmo, Carmo Church.

Igreja do Carmo, Porto
Igreja do Carmo

This will be a quick walk by stop on your Porto itinerary! No need to spend much time here.

Google Maps link here.

Miradouro da VitĂłria

As we start to make our way down to the Douro River, you will be rewarded with STUNNING viewpoints overlooking Porto.

The first one is Miradouro da VitĂłria, which overlooks Porto, the Douro River and Vila Nova de Gaia.

You have to walk through a gated fence that says private property, as long as you follow the Google Map link here you should be able to find it.

I have also linked it on the Porto map above.

Views from Miradouro da Vitoria in Porto
Miradouro da VitĂłria

SĂ© do Porto (Porto Cathedral)

The next viewpoint on your way down to Douro River is at the Porto Cathedral.

If you are visiting Porto for more than a day, or it is a rainy day in Porto, I recommend heading inside the Porto Cathedral.

Since you only have one full day here, just admire the building from the outside and check out the views.

Terreiro da SĂ© viewpoint from Porto Cathedral
Views from Terreiro da SĂ©

Click here for the Google Maps link.

Ribeira do Porto (Porto Riverside)

My FAVOURITE place in all of Porto, Ribeira Quarter. Being along the Douro River in Porto is one of the most beautiful places in the entire city, if not country.

Restaurants, bars, and ice cream parlours line the river. This is the perfect place to people watch and enjoy a drink.

Wine Quay Bar Views
Views from Wine Quay Bar, Ribeira Quarter

Dom LuĂ­s I Bridge

The famous bridge that connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia across the Douro River is Dom LuĂ­s I Bridge.

This is a multi level pedestrian bridge AND tram crossing bridge.

Cross over the bridge at the top to walk by the tram and have gorgeous views of Porto, or cross over on the lower level for quick access to Vila Nova de Gaia.

Dom Luis I Bridge Viewpoint
Dom LuĂ­s I Bridge Viewpoint

Miradouro da Serra do Pilar (Viewpoint)

If you are crossing over Dom LuĂ­s I Bridge at the top, you have quick access to Pilar Monastery in Vila Nova de Gaia and the beautiful viewpoint, Miradouro Serra do Pilar.

In my opinion, the views from Vila Nova de Gaia are far superior to Porto’s as you actually get to see Porto from here.

Many people pack some drinks and snacks and sit on the grass here to watch the beautiful sunset over Porto.

There are a few viewpoints that look very similar here, Miradouro da Ribeira is just slightly below Miradouro Serra do Pilar, photographed below.

Miradouro da Ribeira, views of Porto, a must for your 1 day porto itinerary
Miradouro da Ribeira, Vila Nova de Gaia

Click here for the Google Map link for Miradouro Serra do Pilar.

Dinner in Vila Nova de Gaia

There are a ton of delicious restaurants in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Vila Nova de Gaia is the city that houses all of the Port Wine from the Douro Valley.

Get ready for a delicious meal and some Port wine to go with!

Taberinha do Manel and TempĂŞro D’Maria were our favourites.

Tempero D'Maria dinner
Delicious dinner at Tempero D’Maria in Vila Nova de Gaia

Good night Porto!

Make your Portugal Trip longer with this 2 weeks in Portugal itinerary!

Where to stay in Porto 

Since you are here for a 1 day Porto itinerary, you most likely do NOT need a place to stay overnight.

If you do, I have listed some of the best hotels in Porto for all budget types!

High End / Luxury Porto Hotels

Torel Palace Porto

  • In HEART of Porto, 5 minute walk from SĂŁo Bento Railway Station
  • FREE Breakfast included and swimming pool

Click here for prices & booking Torel Palace Porto.

Maison Albar Hotels Le Monumental Palace

  • Located in the HEART of Porto
  • A 7 minute walk to ClĂ©rigos Tower
  • 2 restaurants, Spa and Swimming Pool onsite

Click here for booking & pricing information!

PortoBay Flores

  • Located in the HEART of Porto
  • Restaurant, spa and swimming pool onsite

Click here for prices & booking PortoBay Flores!

Mid-Range Porto Hotels

Eurostars Aliados

  • Located in the centre of Porto; 7 minute walk to ClĂ©rigos Tower
  • Right next to Aliados Metro Station
  • Spa onsite

Check out prices & booking here for Eurostars Aliados.

B The Guest Downtown

  • Located in the centre of Porto
  • Breakfast included – can be served in your room

Check out B The Guest Downtown prices & booking here.

Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira

  • Located in the Ribeira district (my favourite district)
  • Overlooks the Douro River
  • 5 minute walk from SĂŁo Bento Railway Station

Visit Hotel Carris Porto Ribeira, look at booking info here!

Budget Hotels Porto / Hostels in Porto

Lusitana Hotel

  • Located in the centre of Porto
  • Terraces for perfect ambience
  • Private bathrooms

Check out Lusitana booking & prices here.

The Poets Inn

  • Located in the centre of Porto; steps away from ClĂ©rigos Tower
  • Breakfast included
  • Shared bathrooms & Private bathroom room choices

For The Poets Inn booking information & prices, click here.

SUPERNOVA – Hostel & Cafe

  • Located in Porto’s historic district; 1 minute walk from Trindade Metro
  • Shared or Private bathrooms

For SUPERNOVA booking information click here.

Porto Airbnb & Vacation Rentals

Airbnb or VRBO is a great choice for accommodation in European cities. I love feeling like I am at home and living like a local.

This is usually my preference, do what makes you feel comfortable and happiest!

Check out Porto Vacation Rentals here.

Top Day Tours in Porto

If you can find more than one day in Porto, check out these Porto tour options.

1. Douro Valley Wine Tasting, Boat Cruise & Lunch

We went on this tour in 2018 and again in 2023 and still talk about it today. 

I send everyone I know on this tour. It was one of the most special experiences. We were picked up in a small air conditioned van by our tour guide who brought us from Porto to the Douro Valley.

Douro Valley, Portugal
Douro Valley, Portugal

The tour took us to family owned/run vineyards, tried glass after glass of Port wine and had the best Portuguese food overlooking the vineyards.

We visited an olive oil museum and ate a literal bowl of olive oil with bread (it was so good, I can’t even explain).

Our group had to physically stop ourselves. A 1 hour Douro River boat cruise is included in this tour, which, obviously is just a breathtaking experience.

We are still friends with the people we met in our group to this day!

If you do ANYTHING in Porto, carve out one full day for this tour. I promise, you will not regret it. I plan to do this tour each time I am back in Porto.

Douro Valley
Douro Valley

2. Porto Douro River Cruise

If a wine tour isn’t your thing, check out this Douro River Cruise in Porto. This 1 hour boat cruise will sail along the Douro River passing Porto & Vila Nova de Gaia.

You will travel under 6 bridges.

Admire the beauty and architecture of the cities around you while you sail in comfort!

The cruise is quite affordable and a great way to relax on the river.

3. Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting

A wine tour, a Fado music show & a wine tasting, can it get BETTER for $40? No.

Click here to book this Fado tour.

4. Porto Walkers

This company offers FREE walking tours in Porto. I love free walking tours in Europe, it is one of my favourite ways to see and learn about the city.

If this interests you, I highly recommend checking out Porto Walkers.

They have two free walking tours; The Classical Tour & The Lifestyle Tour.

Each tour lasts for about 2.5-3 hours. Some may find this lengthy, but you are free to go as you please! However, do not forget to tip the guide!

Porto Walkers is FREE, but does require reservations ahead of time. Head here to make your reservation.

Pin the 1 Day Porto Itinerary for Later!

Need help with personal travel planning?

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Final Thoughts to End Your One Day in Porto

Porto is magical. It is one of those European cities that will forever be in your heart. I know it is in mine.

One day in Porto may not be enough, but don’t let that stop you from visiting. Once you get a taste of this amazing city, you will 100% be back; again and again.

Let this Porto itinerary guide you through the best of Porto for one day, and come back for more.

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