river with boat and buildings on river edge in how many days should i spend in porto

How Many Days in Porto Are Enough? Your 1 to 4+ Day Itinerary

Ah, Porto. The city of wine, culture and stunning architecture – it’s no wonder why this charming destination is on every traveller’s bucket list.

But with so much to see and do, the question remains: how many days in Porto are enough? I’ve got your answer!

As someone who has recently explored this gem of a city, let me share my personal experience with you.

From sipping port wines by the riverfront to wandering through colourful streets lined with azulejo tiles, I’ll take you on a journey through my time in Porto and help answer the age-old question: just how many days do you need in Porto?

My short answer is 2 nights giving you 2 full days. But, I recommend longer, and I will explain why. I will also share the ideal daily itinerary so whether you have only one day in Porto or 4 or more days in Porto I’ll take you through how much time you need for every type of trip and traveller.

Now, let’s take a deeper dive into how many days to spend in Porto!

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How Many Days to Spend in Porto

iron railing and tile in how many days to spend in porto

So, how many days should you spend in Porto? Well, based on my personal experience, I’d say that two nights and two full days is the ideal amount of time to soak up the essence of this incredible city.

Trust me, you won’t be disappointed! Porto has so much to offer, from its charming streets and historical landmarks to its delicious food and, of course, the world-famous port wine.

With two nights, you’ll have enough time to explore the winding alleys of the old town, stroll along the riverfront, and immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere. And with two full days, you can venture out a bit more, maybe take a river cruise or visit one of the nearby port wine cellars. Of course, if you have more time, that’s even better. But if you’re on a tight schedule or simply want a taste of Porto, two nights and two full days will give you a memorable experience, without the feeling of being too rushed.

Now onto the suggested itineraries. For a more detailed itinerary check out my 3 days in Porto article.

1 Day in Porto

iron railings with tall buildings in how long to spend in porto

Alright, let me take you on a whirlwind tour of Porto in just one day!

Start your day with a traditional Portuguese breakfast at the iconic Majestic Café, a charming Art Nouveau gem that has been serving delightful pastries and aromatic coffee since 1921. Trust me, the ambiance alone will transport you back in time.

After fueling up, it’s time for a walking tour to explore the heart of Porto Baixa and Riberia neighbourhoods. This tour makes the best use of your one day. Wander through the narrow streets of the historic center, soaking in the rich architectural heritage and vibrant atmosphere while listening to the stories and interesting facts from a local. The guide will take you to all the nooks and crannies that you’ll never be able to discover on your own. Don’t forget to admire the colourful tiled facades and ornate balconies that add a touch of charm to every corner.

⭐️ RATING: 4.7/5 Star |⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  3 hours

Reviewers say: this is the best walking tour in the city, a knowledgeable local guide brings you to spots you wouldn’t otherwise know about. Check prices and book your dates!

For lunch find a traditional restaurant and have the sandwich that Porto is famous for – the Francesinha! It’s essentially different types of meat layered between 2 slices of bread with melted cheese and spicy gravy.

Work off those calories at your next stop – the impressive Clérigos Tower. Prepare for a bit of a climb, but the panoramic view from the top is absolutely worth it. This baroque bell tower stands at 76 metres tall and offers breathtaking views of Porto’s rooftops, hillsides and Douro River. It’s a perfect spot to snap some envy-inducing photos.

Next up is a visit to Livraria Lello Bookshop, one of the world’s most famous bookstores. The store’s ornate neo-gothic architecture makes it feel like stepping into a Harry Potter novel. Be sure to take your time browsing through their extensive collection of books before leaving! Purchase one and your entrance fee of €5 goes towards your purchase. I have mine sitting on my bookshelf at home and it makes for a great souvenir.

Now, let’s head towards the seafront. Take a leisurely stroll along the Ribeira promenade, feel the gentle sea breeze, and enjoy the picturesque views of the river and of the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge. As you wander along, you’ll notice how these charming facades paint the city with a vibrant palette. You’ll be treated to a close-up view of the enchanting pastel-coloured houses that seem to be stacked together like Lego blocks. Have your camera on hand, as this is one of the most Instagrammable spots in Portugal.

Grab a drink at one of the vibrant beachside cafes. Soak up the relaxing ambiance that will make you want to stay forever.

From there it’s just a short walk across Dom Luís I Bridge over the Douro River which will lead you directly into Vila Nova de Gaia – home to many Port wine cellars as well as beautiful viewpoints overlooking both cities.

End your day with a visit to one of the many Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. Take a tour of their cellars, taste some delicious port wines and learn about the history of this famous drink. Choose a nearby restaurant and enjoy a delicious meal and if the timing is right enjoy a sunset at Jardin do Morro.

One day in Porto might not be enough to see everything, but with this relaxed itinerary, you’ll experience some of the city’s most iconic landmarks and get a taste of its unique charm.

2 Days in Porto

grass with statue and square in how many days to visit porto

Now that you have another day in Porto, add to your 1 day Porto itinerary to include some more of the city’s best highlights.

Let’s start our exploration at the incredible Sao Bento train station. Prepare to be awestruck by the magnificent azulejo tiles that adorn the station’s walls, depicting scenes from Portuguese history. On your way out be sure to admire the

Next up, you’re going to want to discover Porto’s many beautiful churches. The Saint Ildefonso church, known for its distinctive blue and white tiles that cover the entire exterior, can be seen from the Sao Bento Railway station. Visit the dual churches of Carmelitas and Carmo. The blue and white tiles on the exterior side of the Carmo church is the perfect insta-worthy spot!

Continue your church-hopping adventure with a visit to the Porto Cathedral, a stunning Romanesque structure that dates back to the 12th century. The Chapel of Souls is famous for its striking facade adorned with traditional Portuguese tiles depicting scenes from the lives of saints. And the last one, which is a local’s favourite, is Saint Francis Church, a UNESCO World Heritage site that showcases a blend of Gothic and Baroque styles.

For lunch head over to Mercado do Bolhão where you’ll find an array of local produce and food stalls selling everything from fresh seafood to homemade pastries. This bustling market has been around since 1850 and is still very much alive today.

The last worthy site that makes Porto worth visiting is the grand Bolsa Palace. This neoclassical masterpiece will leave you in awe with its opulent rooms, grand staircase, and beautiful Arabian Hall. Join a guided tour is the only way you can see the interior.

Make your way down Rua das Flores, one of the best streets for local shops and restaurants. Attend a Fado performance and sip on Port wine while listening to the melodic music, book your tickets here.

After dinner head to Jardin do Palácio de Cristal for an incredible nighttime view.

3 Days in Porto

river with vineyards in douro valley

If you decided to stay in Porto for 3 days, get ready for an amazing third day in Porto! It means you get to go on a guided tour as I took of the beautiful Douro Valley landscapes and vineyards that produce some of Portugal’s finest wines.

An early start to the day requires you to hop on a small private shuttle that takes you deep into the countryside. Be prepared to be mesmerized by the rolling hills, terraced vineyards, and the meandering Douro River.

The tour has you visit a winery that still practices “stomping of the grapes” where you’ll learn about the winemaking process and traditions. And of course, you’ll get to indulge in some delightful Port wine tastings. Next, you get to enjoy a delicious lunch at a local restaurant. And after lunch, more wine tasting along with olive oil tasting, for a more in-depth learning of Port wine and its varieties.

End your day with a boat cruise along the Douro River. Relax on deck as it sails through the stunning valley, surrounded by terraced vineyards and picturesque villages. This wine tasting tour was truly an unforgettable experience that I highly recommend!

⭐️ RATING: 4.7/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  9.5-10 hours |📍 LOCATION: Porto to Douro Valley | ✅ Book it!

I loved this tour because it checked so many boxes, it was scenic, informative, fun, small and personalized and of great value! Check prices and book your dates!

4 or More Days in Porto

view of white church and tree in coimbra on day trip from porto

If you have the luxury of four in Porto (or more!), you’re in for a treat! There are so many incredible day trip options from the city that allows you to explore even more of northern Portugal’s beautiful towns.

One must-visit destination is Guimarães, often referred to as the “birthplace of Portugal.” This charming city is steeped in history and boasts a well-preserved medieval center. Wander through the cobblestone streets, visit the iconic Guimarães Castle, and immerse yourself in the captivating atmosphere that transports you back in time.

For a spiritual experience, head to Braga, known as the “Rome of Portugal” due to its numerous churches and religious heritage. Visit the impressive Braga Cathedral, explore the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary with its grand staircase and soak in the tranquil ambiance of the gardens and fountains.

⭐️ RATING: 4.6/5 Stars | ⏳ TOUR LENGTH:  9 hours |📍 LOCATION: Porto to Guimaraes and Braga | ✅ Book it!

Reviewers say: an informative trip with great sights from the guide and both cities have so much to offer. Check prices and book your dates!

Another gem to consider is Coimbra, home to one of Europe’s oldest universities. I spent the day in Coimbra exploring its highlights like the historic campus, marvelling at the stunning Joanina Library, and soaking up the vibrant student atmosphere. Don’t miss the opportunity to visit the beautiful Coimbra Cathedral, wander the historic old town and take a leisurely stroll along the Mondego River.

If you’re looking for a coastal retreat, venture to Aveiro, often called the “Venice of Portugal.” Cruise along the canals on a traditional moliceiro boat, admire the colorful Art Nouveau buildings, and indulge in the local specialty, the delectable ovos moles.

Vila do Conde is another coastal town worth exploring that I visited. Enjoy the scenic beaches, visit the imposing Vila do Conde Castle, and explore the narrow streets of the historic center. Don’t forget to try the local cuisine, especially the mouthwatering seafood dishes.

With four or more days, you can mix and match these destinations based on your preferences and pace.

Where to Stay in Porto

FAQ About How Many Days to Visit Porto

house in laundry hanging in porto how many days

How many days should I spend in Porto?

The ideal duration for a visit to Porto depends on your interests and schedule, but typically, 2 to 3 days is a good amount of time to explore the city and experience its main attractions.

Can I see Porto in a day?

While it’s possible to see some highlights of Porto in a day, it is recommended to spend at least 2 to 3 days to fully appreciate the city’s rich cultural heritage, visit the historic sites, enjoy Port wine tastings, and immerse yourself in the local ambiance.

What can I do in Porto in 2 days?

In 2 days, you can explore Porto’s historic center, visit iconic landmarks like the Dom Luís I Bridge and Clérigos Tower, take a boat tour on the Douro River, explore the Ribeira District, visit Port wine cellars for tastings, and savor the local cuisine.

Is 3 days enough to visit Porto?

Yes, with 3 days, you can have a more relaxed itinerary and delve deeper into Porto’s attractions. You can add visits to additional museums, take a day trip to nearby towns like Guimarães or Braga, and spend more time exploring the local neighbourhoods and experiencing the vibrant culture.

What if I have more than 3 days in Porto?

If you have more than 3 days, you can further explore Porto’s surroundings. You can take day trips to the Douro Valley, known for its vineyards and scenic landscapes, or visit the coastal towns of Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can enjoy beautiful beaches and more Port wine cellars.

Can I visit Porto as a day trip from Lisbon?

Yes, it is possible to visit Porto as a day trip from Lisbon, but it is highly recommended to spend at least one night to fully experience the city. The journey from Lisbon to Porto takes around 2.5 to 3 hours by train, and you can explore the main attractions within a day before returning.

Should I plan more time for Porto if I’m a wine enthusiast?

If you are a wine enthusiast, it’s worth considering planning additional time in Porto. The city’s connection to Port wine production and the nearby Douro Valley make it an ideal destination for wine lovers. You can spend extra days exploring the vineyards, participating in wine tastings, and learning about the wine-making process.

Portugal Travel Guides and Resources

When planning your trip to Portugal, incorporating Lisbon into your itinerary is a fantastic choice!

This capital city also makes for an ideal 2-3 days. Be sure to check out my itinerary for all the best things to do, including neighbourhoods, in Lisbon.

The 4 day itinerary includes carving out time for day trips to Sintra to see the two most incredible palaces – Sintra and Cascais, two nearby gems. Sintra, with its fairytale-like palaces and enchanting gardens, of the awe-inspiring Pena Palace and the romantic Quinta da Regaleira.

As for Cascais, this charming coastal town offers beautiful beaches, picturesque streets, and a relaxing atmosphere. Enjoy a leisurely stroll along the promenade or indulge in fresh seafood at one of the local restaurants.

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As a Holidaymaker

So you can see that you can enjoy Porto no matter how many days you might have. However, Porto is a charming and vibrant city that deserves at least two to three days, and four days if you want to explore beyond it.

I fell in love with Porto, and actually prefer it over Lisbon. From the colourful streets of Ribeira to the majestic Douro River, there’s so much to see and do in this Portuguese gem. Whether you’re a foodie, history buff or simply looking for a relaxing getaway, Porto has something for everyone.

So take your time, savour every sip of Port wine and immerse yourself in the city’s beautiful culture. Trust me, you won’t regret it!

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