For anyone visiting the North of Portugal, it is mandatory visiting the city of Porto. The so-called “Invicta” has years of history and people walking its streets have an unparalleled sympathy, leaving anyone who visits it surrendered to its charms.
So that you don’t miss the most emblematic places on your trip to the capital of the North, we have prepared for you a 2-day itinerary for your Porto sightseeing, with all the monuments and places that deserve a visit. One thing we guarantee: you will leave already wanting to return.
When it comes to weather conditions, the ideal time to visit Porto is usually between April and June. Temperatures are milder without much risk of rain and bad weather. However, if you are looking for the best party time to visit Porto, this will be São João, on June 23rd. São João is the greatest celebration of the year at the Invicta, with a lot of music, a lot of drinking, a great firework display and, of course, the famous São João hammers.
The Bolhão Market is one of the places that best embodies the soul of Porto. Not for the fruits and vegetables that are sold there, but for their sellers. Many of them are born and raised in Porto, so don’t be surprised if you hear someone "shout" the promotions of the day or try to lure you to its stand with a small, but nice, conversation. Just let yourself be involved in the environment and enjoy the shopping experience. You should also appreciate the building's architecture, which dates from 1914.
When spending 2 days sightseeing Porto, there will be many times when you will walk through Avenida dos Aliados. However, set aside a part of your day to enjoy this place and the monuments that surround it. Here you can see the City Hall, the place where occur New Year celebrations in the city.
Often associated with the magical world of Harry Potter, this bookstore has guaranteed its place in any top most beautiful bookstores in the world list. Its façade features art noveau designs and inside, the spiral staircases in red steal all the attention when you enter. If you want to visit this bookstore, get ready for the long queues. But we guarantee it will be worth it.
This ex-libris of the city of Porto is the most emblematic and probably most visited monument in the city. If you dare to climb to the top, you will have an incredible panoramic view, which is certainly worth the effort.
Near Torre dos Clérigos you can also visit Jardim da Cordoaria and Igreja do Carmo.
Known for its tile panel, designed by Jorge Rey Colaço, the São Bento Railway Station is one of the most beautiful in the country, and a mandatory stop when you are in Porto sightseeing.
The Porto Cathedral is the most important religious monument in the city, and another must-see for anyone who visits the Invicta. Inside the church you can admire the imposing altar, in Baroque style, and outside you will find Pelourinho do Porto, also with a Baroque architecture.
The second day of your 2-day itinerary in Porto starts very early in one of the most emblematic cafés in the city. Majestic was the main place for many conversations between scholars and artists. Nowadays, it maintains the original architecture and is a pleasant place to have your breakfast or a mid-afternoon snack. The café is located on Rua de Santa Catarina, so you can take the opportunity to do some shopping before continuing your sightseeing in Porto.
The “protagonist” of many photographs from tourists from all over the world, crossing the D. Luís Bridge should be part of your itinerary in Porto. Enjoy the view of the Douro River and the tapestry of houses on the banks, forming the famous Porto facade. When crossing the bridge, you will be in Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can visit Serra da Pilar and Jardim do Morro, one of the best views you will have over the city.
As you descend from Jardim do Morro, you will be at Cais de Gaia, a tourist place per excellence and with an incredible view of the D. Luís Bridge. Here you can visit some Port wine cellars and try this very traditional drink of the region. When crossing the bridge to the Ribeira area, you will be in Porto again, where you can continue your tour along the Douro bank. Take the opportunity to take a break for lunch or dinner and try the famous Francesinha.
And because Porto is not just about monuments and rivers, our suggestion for ending your 2-day tour in Porto is the Foz area. This is one of the beach areas in the region, perfect for a stroll along the coast in the late afternoon.
In order to facilitate your travel from the center of Porto to Foz, a car rental will be the ideal solution for a more flexible trip. If you rent a car in Porto you can also take the opportunity to visit the city of Matosinhos and the beaches of Vila Nova de Gaia, if you still have some time.