Porto City Breaks
A Porto City Break Guide
With relatively mild weather for a good chunk of the year, a city break to Porto can be ideal if you love to enjoying wandering around historic streets of a UNESCO World Heritage Site in the sunshine. Known for its cool lifestyle, culture and art, Porto has become a very popular place for people to move to and being located on the banks of the Douro River makes the city beautifully picturesque too. So if you've done Lisbon, been to Madrid and tried Athens, then Porto should be at the top of your hitlist. Here's our guide.
Getting to, from and around Porto
There are non-stop flights between the UK and Oporto airport (Gatwick, Luton, Stansted, Heathrow and Manchester), which take around 2 hrs 20 minutes depending on your departure point. Airlines include Ryanair, British Airways, TAP Portugal, easyJet and Wizzair and may sometimes change depending on the day of the week.
It's fairly easy to get from Porto airport into the city, by either Metro or taxi. The Metro journey will take you straight from the airport through to Trindade on Line E (the purple line). From there, you can connect onto the other lines to get to closer to your accommodation. The journey will take around 30 minutes and will cost just €2 per person each way. Alternatively, you can jump in a taxi from the airport, which takes approx. 20 minutes (depending on your destination) and can cost in the region of about €25.
Once in the city, it is a wonderful place to explore by foot, however, the tram is available with journeys starting from €1.20 depending on where you are travelling from and to. If you head south of the river, you may need to take the bus. Another great way to explore is via an organised tour or hop-on hop-off bus tour.
Things to do in Porto
There are so many fantastic and exciting activities to see and do in Porto that it's tough to know where to start. If you're visiting for the first time and aren't staying for long, a bus tour can be a great option to begin with, helping familarise yourself with the city. Check out the Yellow Bus Sightseeing Tours. There are two main ones, the Historical Porto tour and the Porto Castles tour, plus you can take advantage of exclusive discounts with your ticket!
The Ponte de Dom Luis I is an iconic part of the city. Taking five years to construct and completed in 1886, the bridge was designated a cultural heritage site in 1982 and provides beautiful views of the city.
Douro Wine Tour
Porto is famous for its Port wine, so if you have the time, a trip into the vineyards can be a fun day trip option. A range of experiences are available, several offering both a wine tour, plus traditional lunch and a river cruise, adding to the excitement of your time in the region.
Where to stay in Porto
You'll no doubt want to stay central in the city, so that you've got easy access to the restaurants, bars and attractions, so areas like Ribeira, Baixa and Cedofeita can be perfect. Baixa is the "downtown" area with plenty going on, especially in terms of nightlife. If you want the bars with live music, stay here. If you want peace and quiet, head out a little. Cedofeita is a fun and lively area, and very trendy too. You've got a range of more relaxed attractions in the neighbourhood, making this area perfect for a more chilled stay in the city.