Your Porto 2 Day Itinerary: Exploring Portugal’s Second City (2024)

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Want the perfect Porto 2 day itinerary? 

Sara Young, of Big Adventures With Little Feet, shares her guide in this post:

For several years I worked for Carnival on cruise ships and we would regularly dock outside of Porto in Matosinhos. Every time we visited, I would head off to explore the beautiful city. 

Last summer my boyfriend and I decided to head to Portugal on a 4 week road trip with our baby and 3-year-old son. During our month, we spent a week in Porto exploring the city and the Douro Valley area – which was incredible fun!

Planning a trip? Use my favorite resources:

The Perfect Porto 2 Day Itinerary: Quick View

I’ve used our experiences from our week in Porto and trying most of the things to do there, to put together a two day itinerary that encompasses the best of the area.

Day 1: Mercado de Foz, Ponte Dom Luis I Bridge, Telerifico de Gaia, Francesinha
Day 2: Douro Valley, Porto to Pinhão train, Wine Tasting, Fado Concert

Your Complete Porto 2 Day Itinerary

As you prepare for visiting Porto, feel free to copy or adapt this Porto 2 day itinerary to best suit your own travel style:

Day 1: Explore Porto City Center

Spend your first day exploring the city center of Porto, taking in some amazing vistas and trying some of the traditional food and drink. 

Begin at SO Coffee Roasters in Mercado da Foz

With a busy day of exploring Porto ahead of you, kickstart your day with a great breakfast. SO Coffee Roasters, which is based in Mercado da Foz, serves some of the best coffee in Porto and also has a delicious breakfast menu.  

What I love about starting the day here is that you can then also explore Mercado da Foz after breakfast and pick up any snacks that you might want for the day, such as fruits or pastries.

Stroll Along the River

riverside walk along Porto

Walking around Porto is great fun, and spending time taking in the atmosphere along the waterfront really helps you to get your bearings.

The main road of Cais da Ribeira is where most people head to. It has a large, open pavement area and is also where you’ll go to take a boat tour under the six bridges.

Tip: Porto has a lot of stairs!  If you’re not comfortable walking up steps, or have a stroller like us, then consider this when planning your day. There is a funicular and gondola that you can make great use of to sidestep some stairs.

Take a Luxury Yacht Cruise Under the Six Bridges

One of the many things that you’ll notice about Porto is that it has a lot of bridges concentrated over a small section of river.

There are in fact six of them, from the historical Maria Pia bridge that was built by Gustave Eiffel to the newest Infante Bridge.  

There is even meant to be a 7th bridge built in the next few years!

Taking a short yacht cruise is a fantastic way to take in both Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite side of the river.  Most will give you an audio tour so that you can get our bearings and learn more about the history of the area.

👉 Click here to book the 2-hour luxury yacht cruise

Cross the Ponte Dom Luis I Bridge

After your boat tour, walk across the Ponte Dom Luis bridge. This is the oldest of the six bridges and is beautiful to look at in and of itself. 

However, for me, the most amazing part is that when you start to walk across toward Vila Nova de Gaia you’ll get stunning views of the river and Porto.

Enjoy lunch in Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova Gaia, across the river from Porto, Portugal

The waterfront at Vila Nova de Gaia has some delicious places to eat lunch.  You will also get to enjoy some fantastic views across the river.

There’s also some good people watching opportunities, as this is the main area for port tasting tours and can stay quite busy.

Join a Port-Tasting Tour

wine tasting should be part of your Porto 2 day itinerary

You can’t really visit Porto without taking at least one port tasting tour

Port is a fortified wine that originated in the Douro Valley in Portugal. It’s typically a sweet, red wine, however there are also white and rosé varieties available.

There are lots of wineries to choose from in the Vila Nova de Gaia part of Porto, and the best recommendation I can make is to try a tour at one of the more popular lodges such as Sandemans.

And then try one of the lesser known, but equally as wonderful ones such as Caves Cálem where they combine a port tasting with Fado music.

Or, visit multiple port houses and cellars in a half-day experience with this top-rated guided tour. 

👉 Click here to book Port Wine Lodges Tour with 7 Tastings

Ride the Teleferico de Gaia

The gondola in Porto is iconic for both its convenience and views. It easily transports you from Vila Nova de Gaia back to central Porto. 

It also has one of the best, panoramic views over Porto, because yes, coming to Porto is in part about enjoying the city’s skyline and architecture!

Eat a Francesinha

The local meal of Porto is a francesinha. This sandwich (of sorts) is a culinary adventure! 

It’s made up of layers of bread stacked with meats, covered in melty cheese, and drenched in a secret spicy sauce. This is a Porto classic every visitor must try. 

You can indulge in my personal favorite at Cafe Santiago, which has several locations throughout the city. 

Or, join a local food tour to try the francesinha alongside even more of Porto’s typical dishes. 

Day 2: Discover the Douro Valley

The next day is all about discovering the stunning Douro Valley, just outside of Porto, which is famous for being the origin of Port and other wines.

Breakfast at Majestic Cafe

Majestic Cafe in Porto Portugal

Majestic Cafe is a time capsule that takes you back to the Belle Epoque. You’ll walk in, and the first thing that hits you is the ambience, oozing with history and style. It’s one of the most beautiful cafes around. 

In addition to the stunning interiors, the cafe also serves great coffee and tasty breakfasts. Try their signature French toast!

Take a Scenic Train Ride From Porto to Pinhão

This three-hour, roundtrip train journey takes you along the edge of the Douro River and into the valley. The scenery is absolutely stunning as you pass the hundreds of lush green vineyards that the Douro Valley is famous for.

You’ll want to take an early train so that you have enough time to spend in Pinhão to take a boat tour and enjoy a visit to a vineyard.

Or, skip the train ride and opt for this day trip that includes transportation to and from Porto.

Enjoy a Boat Ride Along the Douro River

View of Vineyards in Duoro Valley Portugal

After your scenic train ride you can enjoy a relaxing walk to the waterfront in Pinhão where all of the Douro River cruise tours depart from.

There is a wide variety of different cruises depending on how far along the river you’d like to go.

An hour-long tour is what we did, and it’s just long enough to take in the epic views of the valley with enough audio tour information to let you know where the most famous wineries are located. You’ll even be able to treat yourself to a glass of port on board. 

Have Lunch on the Waterfront

The boat tours start and finish at the same part of the waterfront in Pinhão and there are lots of great options for lunch with amazing views of the valley.

My personal favorite was just a little walk away at Cais da Foz as it’s on the bend of the river so has an incredible view not only across the river but down it too.

Join a Wine Tasting Tour 

barrel with 2 red and 2 white wine glasses with cheese and crackers in front of a vineyard

Taking a wine tasting tour in the Douro Valley is a must-do for anyone who is interested in viticulture and/or loves wine. 

There are five incredible vineyards within walking distance of Pinhão that you can easily try as part of this day trip.  

I have to admit, that we didn’t actually manage to visit one when we went to Pinhão as we didn’t realize how busy the vineyards would be and the day that we went, all of the tours were sold out. 

It’s very important that you decide which you want to visit and book in advance.  

Or, take away the planning stress and book a guided day tour. Book this Douro Valley Small-Group Tour with Wine Tasting, Lunch and Optional Cruise which includes roundtrip transportation from Porto. 

Relax with Dinner and a Fado concert

Fado mixes elements of poetry and music and is included on the UNESCO list of Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity.

Although Fado originates in Lisbon, this soulful folk music has found its way into Porto’s popular music venues as well.

I love listening to live music when I travel, whether that’s listening to a steel band in the Caribbean, or concerto’s in Vienna.  

Taking in a Fado concert is a wonderful way to experience the local Portuguese culture, especially when combined with a dinner of locally inspired dishes.

👉 Click to book a Fado Show with Dinner in Porto

Additional Options for Your Porto Itinerary

There are so many fun experiences and destinations to try in and around Porto.

You might want to swap out parts of the above itinerary with some of these other activities depending on your own travel style. Or, add them in if you have more than 2 days in Porto: 

Helpful Tips for Visiting Porto, Portugal

Historical Boats in river near Porto

Based on my experience of visiting Porto, here are some tips to help you make the most of your visit:

  • There are a lot of steps in Porto. If you aren’t able to walk them all then when you use Google Maps to get between places, zoom in on the routes to see if there are stairs involved. If so, there is usually an alternative (slightly longer) step-free route available
  • Vineyards, wineries and tours can sell out early during peak season. Make sure to book in advance so that you don’t miss out (like we did in the Douro Valley!)
  • Porto is very much a walking city with lots to see and do, so don’t forget to wear comfortable shoes and a rain jacket if the weather is looking iffy.

Where to Stay in Porto

Porto has a good variety of accommodation available to choose from. During our month-long road trip, we were camping in Portugal and chose the Orbitur Canidelo Campsite (just outside of Porto). 

🏨 Luxury Recommendation: InterContinental Porto

You can’t go wrong with an InterContinental, and this one is perfectly located in central Porto by Sao Bento train station.  When you want to take your early train to Pinhao, head out to eat at Cafe Santiago, or wander down to the waterfront you won’t have far to walk.  

👉 Check prices and availability for InterContinental Porto 

🏨 Mid-Range Recommendation: Wine and Books Hotel

The Wine and Books Hotel is a Portuguese brand focusing on the cultural heritage of Portugal. As you can tell from its name, this focus includes some local wine. They also have an incredible rooftop terrace with a view over the river.

👉 Check prices and availability for Wine and Books Hotel

🏨 Budget Recommendation: Gallery Hostel

Set in a beautifully converted townhouse, Gallery Hostel combines architecture and culture as it brings travelers together.  It has a strong community feel and warm welcome.

👉 Check prices and availability for Gallery Hostel

FAQ: Porto 2 Day Itinerary

Consider this as you make your plans to visit Porto: 

Is 2 days enough to visit Porto? 

Yes, you can definitely get a great taste for Porto in two days, spending at least one day in the city and the second day exploring further out.

How many days is ideal for Porto? 

Four days is ideal, as it means you can spend two days discovering the city and then two days taking trips to places such as Douro Valley, Pavia Walkways or Aveiro. 

Is Porto a walkable city? 

Yes, it’s a wonderful city to walk around. However, it does have a lot of stairs and steep hills that you’ll need to navigate.

Is Porto a cheap city? 

Like most cities, there are expensive and budget options available in Porto. In general Porto, like the rest of Portugal, is relatively inexpensive.

Final Thoughts: Porto 2 Day Itinerary

Porto is a diverse and beautiful city brimming with local culture. Spending two days exploring the city itself and the Douro Valley is a wonderful way to appreciate what makes Porto special and distinct from the rest of Portugal.

Plus, a visit to Porto offers a great excuse to taste local wines and ports! I’m positive you’ll enjoy your time in Porto as much as we did. 

About the author: Sara Young is the author of Big Adventures With Little Feet, a family travel blog inspiring parents to travel with their kids. She loves having big adventures with her sons, whether that’s hiking, skiing, sailing or surfing. They spend winters in Antigua, where her boyfriend works as a yacht captain, and summers traveling the world to find adventures.