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Porto Weekend Travel Guide: What to See, Do, and Eat for the Perfect Long Getaway

Woman at the Porto Cathedral posing in front of traditional Portuguese houses.

I traveled to Porto on a 3-day trip in March and highly recommend this city for a chill yet entertaining experience. Porto was amazing - small, very cute, with beautiful streets and tons of great places to eat. It also has multiple photo spots to capture memories. What's more, Porto is a budget-friendly destination, with high-quality food that is inexpensive. Compared to cities like Barcelona and Madrid, Porto is much more budget-friendly and a great alternative if you're looking to save money.

Where to eat in Porto?

Many of the places we tried we found through Google, walking around, and influencer posts. We visited all of the places on this list and recommend them for different reasons. However, in Porto, you don't need to do much research to find good food. Just like in any other city, avoid places next to tourist sites, and you'll be fine.

  • Big breakfasts are uncommon in Europe, so seeing pancakes on the menu often indicates a touristy spot. But don't let that discourage you; these places aren't necessarily bad and can still be worth a visit.

  • All prices include taxes, and tips are not expected. However, if you want to tip, 10% is enough.

  • Water isn't free; it usually costs 2€. If you order mineral water, be sure to specify whether you want still or sparkling.

  • Ask your hotel concierge or Airbnb host for current restaurant etiquette advice.

I have added links to the restaurant's menus as well as to their Instagram accounts, when they are available. My hope is that you select the spots that fit your trip.

I would immediately add this spot to your list. It has a great menu, a very cool vibe, and a very attentive staff. It was just a great find. You can choose to come for a full dinner or enjoy their wine at their well-stocked wine bar. Their food is local cuisine, Portuguese, and Contemporary. If you go for lunch or an early dinner, you can check out their stunning view of the city in the back.

Reservations: +351917188402 | | website

This is a great place to get a big breakfast and a casual, yet hearty lunch. The place has an excellent, eclectic, cool vibe. The menu is a lifesaver for all Americans looking for their big, hearty breakfasts, as well as anyone else who enjoys pancakes and eggs. The atmosphere is relaxed, with plenty of seating. It is a great place to eat and hang out afterwards. They also have a couple of nice, semi-private lounge areas to recharge.

Reservations: only walk-ins

This is a great brunch spot. They have a menu full of your favorite items such as Benedict eggs, pancakes, acai bowls, and more. Even though the food is contemporary international cuisine, it still attracts many locals, so don't worry if you think you are in a touristy spot. The atmosphere is earthy and contemporary, with great energy. You will find eclectic chairs, hanging plants, plenty of natural light, and a friendly staff.

Menu | Largo de Alberto Pimentel 4, 4050-214 Porto, Portugal | +351 21 886 03 12 |

Reservations: | website

This is a fancy night out spot that is intimate, elegant, yet relaxed. The restaurant is located on the ground floor of the Torel 1884 boutique hotel. The theme is a stylish safari, and the food consists of typical Portuguese specialties.

Reservations: +351 226 090 003 | | website

Reservations: | 222034153 | website

My friend was in need of an amazing hamburger, and we found Honorato. Interestingly, they are only a few feet from the famous Livrai Lello. The food was really good, with a great burger and great fries. The spot was very stylish, which was unexpected for a place known for their burgers. I would advise you visit after going to Livrai Lello.

Best Cafes in Porto to Enjoy a Cup of Coffee

These are great places to take a break and sip some coffee. They may not necessarily have the best coffee, but they are the ones you want to visit for a great vibe and atmosphere.

This is the most famous café in the city. Visit this elegant café to admire its ornate Belle Epoque decor, reflecting Portugal's art nouveau heritage. Relax in its renowned atmosphere and appreciate its stunning 1920s beauty. Due to its popularity, the café can get busy, so it's recommended to visit early, make a reservation, or wait in line.

Reservations: +351 222 003 887 |

The Vincci hotel is a great place for you to stay, but we went there for their cafe's view. You can take a break after walking the Dom Luis bridge and enjoy the beautiful view of the city while using their Wi-Fi.:)

Vincci hotel view of the Porto Dom Luís Bridge or Luís  Bridge

Great casual coffee spot in the middle of the city on the busy street of Rua das Flores. They have indoor and outdoor seating, as well as a great brunch menu.

Reservations: +351 223 323 041 | | website

Pasteis de Nata / Gelato

The pastel de nata is a must-try Portuguese delicacy, with a history of over 300 years. This egg tart pastry is believed to have originated in a monastery to the west of Lisbon, and can be found in bakeries all over the city. If you enjoy vanilla-flavored baked goods, then you will certainly enjoy this treat. Personally, I had them every chance I could. Also, Gelato is always a good choice. Walking around with ice cream in Europe is something people do in the summer, and even in the winter.

Manteigaria / IG

Pasteis de Nata is what they do and what they are known for. They have two stores in Porto, and if you visit Lisbon, you can enjoy them at any of their four locations. You can also watch them get made.

Visit the Pasteis de Nata factory in the heart of Porto and Lisbon to savor one of the most iconic Portuguese pastries. You can even watch them being made by hand. As someone who has enjoyed them firsthand, I highly recommend stopping by.

Get your gelato fix in the heart of Porto, where there are tons of ice cream spots. However, some places can be more touristy and expensive. This is a great option with delicious flavors.We had a good experience with them.

Porto ice cream spot Boutique do Gelado

Places to visit in Porto

Let's talk about the places to go in between meals! Just kidding, Porto has some fun spots to visit too. During our short 3-day stay, we focused on exploring the city on foot, discovering places that only took a few minutes to check out. We skipped museums and put together this list for travelers who want to relax, eat, and hit up some tourist spots.

Livrai Lello / IG - Harry Potter Library

If you are a Harry Potter fan, then a visit to Livraria Lello is a must. This bookstore is prominently featured in tourist guides, and for good reason - J.K. Rowling, the renowned author of the Harry Potter series, drew inspiration from it during her time in Porto. Located in the heart of the city, Livraria Lello is extremely popular and requires an entrance fee for admittance. However, if you're not one for crowds, you may want to skip this attraction altogether.

Bookings: Website | Tickets (€5 )

Praça da Ribeira - The Ribeira Square

This is a historical square in Porto, Portugal, designated as a World Heritage site by UNESCO. To reach the square and waterfront, take Rua de São João. There are plenty of cafes by the water where you can sit, enjoy the view, and have a drink.

The Porto Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church situated in the historic center of Porto, Portugal. It is a significant example of Romanesque architecture and considered one of the city's oldest and most important monuments. During our visit, we admired its exterior and took pictures of the city from the nearby plazas.

If you're looking to take some pictures while in town, consider taking a ride on the cable. If not, you could always take the stairs instead. We opted for the cable car since I had read about it in a guide, but I don't necessarily recommend it to everyone as it's a very short ride and the walk is also quite enjoyable.

Av. de Ramos Pinto 331, 4430-233 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Where to Take Traditional Porto Photos

The following places are famous on Instagram and are highly recommended for taking must-have photos of your trip. Basically if you have seen Porto recently on Instagram, you may have come across pictures of these places.

Chapel of Souls - Capela das Almas

The blue tiles that Portugal is known for surround this church, making it the perfect backdrop for photo sessions. The church's interior is also beautiful, take a peek at after you take your wall photos.

Porto São Bento - São Bento railway station / IG

According to Google, this is considered the most beautiful train station in Portugal. It's not hard to see why with the beautiful blue tiles on the walls and the bright yellow ceiling. The station can get busy with both travelers and photographers looking for the perfect shot.

Igreja do Carmo / IG

The Baroque church has a beautifully decorated interior and an even more well-known tiled side facade.

Mural on ‘Steak n Shake’

This cool tile mural was designed by Joana Vasconcelos and on the side of the Steak n Shake restaurant.

Half Rabbit / IG

Bordalo II, one of the most important Portuguese street artists, created the Half Rabbit for "Gaia Todo Um Mundo" in 2017. This is a giant rabbit sculpture made out of recycled materials. The piece was created using found materials and trash gathered around the city.

Porto Mural a cool photo spot,  Half Rabbit.

List of Porto souvenir ideas and where to get them

1 Comment

Aug 30, 2023

Your site is great and I plan on exploring it even more in the future. It is well written, comprehensive in it’s suggestions.It was a great article, thanks for sharing!

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