Porto Travel Guide

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Updated: November 11, 2019

The 81 best hotels, restaurants, shops, bars, tasting rooms, cafes, wineries, museums, markets, tours, neighborhoods, and things to do in Porto, Portugal.

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There’s so much more to Portugal’s second city than Port wine. On top of its colorful architectural richness and scenic riverfront, it’s bursting with contemporary creativity, with exciting restaurants, hotels, and boutiques opening every week.

Colorful buildings in Porto’s historic Ribeira neighborhood.

Porto Hotels

Yes, there are some well-known international brands here, but to fully appreciate Porto’s charms, it’s better to stay at one of the city’s many independent, mostly Portuguese-owned hotels.

1. Mo House • Ribeira • €

Charming, chic guesthouse. The passion project of a local photographer, and filled with antiques and treasures from all over the world. Views over the Douro River or the colorful houses on the quiet street. • Map • +351 919 169 507

2. Gran Cruz House • Ribeira • €€

Three big selling points: Superb location right by the river. Excellent food from a pioneer of fine dining in Portugal, paired with top wines – it’s owned by Porto Cruz, the largest exporter of Port in the world. And a playful design in the seven bedrooms that’s based on the brand’s famous “lady in black” image. • Map • +351 227 662 270

3. Torel Avantgarde • Cedofeita • €€

High-design hotel based on the 1940s avant-garde movement. The 47 rooms are inspired by figures from the era, including Coco Chanel and Marchel Duchamp. A little bit away from the old city center, but worth it for the flower room, whose walls and ceiling are covered with faux flowers. • Map • +351 220 110 082

4. Pestana Porto – A Brasileira • Baixa/Sé • €€

A modern hotel atop the historic café in the heart of the city. It was here that a Portuguese trader introduced strong Brazilian coffee to his countrymen 100 years ago. The signs still remain prohibiting patrons from spitting the bitter brew onto the floor, but otherwise, everything is contemporary and comfortable. • Map • +351 210 417 160

5. Torel 1884 Apartments & Suites • Baixa/Sé • €€

New hotel in a luxurious building just steps from Praça das Flores. Huge, high-ceilinged, individually designed rooms themed around the Portuguese “discoveries” (colonies). Smart wine bar with shareable plates downstairs. • Map • +351 226 001 783

6. Pestana Vintage Hotel • Ribeira • €€

Solid choice on the bank of the Douro River, right on the historic plaza of Praça da Ribeira. Built out of 18 houses in the UNESCO World Heritage Site that is the old city. Well-regarded steak restaurant and bar with creative cocktails. • Map • +351 223 402 300

7. Le Monumental Palace • Baixa/Sé • €€

New high-luxury hotel on the central Avenida dos Aliados. French ownership is evident in the architectural details and dining concepts. The head chef holds a Michelin star in his native France. Nice Art Deco and Art Nouveau touches. • Map • +351 227 662 410

8. Pestana Palácio do Freixo • Freixo • €€

An actual palace turned luxury hotel. It’s a little ways away from the city center, but worth it for the gorgeous period details. • Map • +351 225 311 000

9. Casa do Conto & Tipografia • Cedofeita • €

Friendly, funky guest house with a literary vibe. Set in a 19th-century bourgeois home, giving a strong residential feeling. Rooms have good natural light, and breakfast can be had in a pretty little garden. • MapMap • +351 222 060 340

10. The Yeatman • Vila Nova de Gaia • €€€

Downside: Outside of the city center, on the opposite bank of the river. Upsides: Fantastic view over the city center, especially from the pool, and proximity to the port wine tasting rooms of Vila Nova de Gaia. Owned by the family behind Taylor’s Port, it has an excellent wine program, and a 2-star-Michelin restaurant. • Map • +351 220 133 100

11. Flores Village • Baixa/Sé • €

Good central location with views over the Ciérigos Tower and the Sé Cathedral. Walking distance from most of the major points of interest and a metro station. Excellent spa. • Map • +351 222 013 478

12. Porto A.S. 1829 Hotel • Ribeira • €

Charming hotel with 41 rooms inside a 19th-century building that was once Europe’s oldest stationery shop. Nice Portuguese restaurant inside the former art gallery. Great location between Avenida dos Aliados and Ribeira. • Map • +351 223 402 740

13. Casa Carolina • Cedofeita • €

Pretty, historic, and elegant. Sunny terraces with nice views. Tasty homemade breakfast. • Map • +351 912 053 039

14. Malmerendas Boutique Lodging • Santo Ildefonso • €

Four suites and two studios in a thoughtfully restored 19th-century building. Nice breakfast in a pretty dining room and courtyard garden. The wine bar has a good selection of port and table wines from the north of Portugal. • Map • +351 925 617 444

15. InterContinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas • Baixa/Sé • €€

Intercontinental is the only international luxury brand making a strong showing in Porto. This hotel has a prime location, just steps from the famous São Bento train station. It occupies a historic palace. • Map • +351 220 035 600

Porto Restaurants

Eating and drinking might as well be the national sports of Portugal, especially in the cooler north. In Porto, you can find Michelin-star dining along with equally tasty traditional food in no-frills settings.

16. Minibar • Cedofeita ­• €€€

Trendy, scene-y outpost with seriously good food from Portugal’s biggest celebrity chef, José Avillez. Menu is small, consisting of sharable plates of the chef’s most popular dishes at his other restaurants. • Map • +351 221 129 729

17. Pedro Lemos • Foz • €€€€

Worth a journey out to the posh seaside suburb of Foz. Fits in with the neighborhood with Michelin-star cuisine from the namesake chef. Tasting menus with seasonal ingredients. • Map • +351 220 115 986

18. Adega São Nicolau • Ribeira • €

Homestyle regional classics such as tripas à moda do Porto (tripe), cod with cream, roasted sardines, and seafood rice. No points for presentation, but the flavors are spot-on. Grilled octopus is a standout. • Map • +351 222 008 232

19. Café Santiago • Baixa/Sé • €

The best-known food in Portugal is the Francesinha, a decadent sandwich of pork sausage, ham, roast meat, cheese, a fried egg, and a rich white sauce. Served with fries. Served at this establishment since the 1930s. • Map • +351 222 055 797

20. Puro 4050 • Baixa/Sé • €€

First proper mozzarella bar in Portugal. Carefully chosen ingredients—mozzarella, bocconcini, Italian chicory, and Parma DOP prosciutto—imported from Italy every few weeks. Mix and match cheese, meats, and veggies, or choose from their suggestions. • Map • +351 222 011 852

21. Mito • Cedofeita • €€

International fusion with Portuguese ingredients. No traditional appetizers or main courses, but a menu divided into sections for cold dishes, hot ones, grilled ones, comfort food, and desserts. Of note: 40-day aged rib-eye, and matcha French toast (for dessert) with bacon ice cream. • Map • +351 222 081 059

22. Antiqvvm • Massarelos • €€€€

Great location in the stone arcades of a 19th-century estate within a leafy public park. Chef Vitor Matos has a well-deserved Michelin star. Ingredient-forward plates, like Wagyu beef with truffle, and sea bass with algae and saffron from the Azores. • Map • +351 226 000 445

23. DOP • Baixa/Sé • €€€€

Another Michelin-starred fine-dining spot, this time specializing in what chef Rui Paula calls the food of memories. Dining room and service are informal; food is unfussy. Good vegetarian options. • Map • +351 222 014 313

24. Casa de Chá da Boa Nova • Matosinhos • €€€€

Worth it for the view on its own. Beachside location. Improbably, the menu is influenced by the poetry of Luís Camões (the “Shakespeare” of Portuguese literature). 6, 12, and 21-course tasting menus for omnivores and vegetarians. • Map • +351 229 940 066

25. Mundo • Baixa/Sé • €€

A menu that voyages around the world. (Get it?) Sexy dining room, eye-catching murals, and high-energy vibe. There’s a whole section on the menu dedicated to dishes you can eat with your hands. Lots of Asian flavors, from fried tandoori chicken with sriracha mayo to marinated tuna with nuoc cham, peanut, lychee, and rice leaf. • Map • +351 912 090 029

26. Euskalduna Studio • Baixa/Sé • €€€€

Intimate setting for fine gastronomy, with most guests seated at a counter watching chef Vasco Coelho Santos and his team at work, plus just two more tables. Name comes from Santos’s travels in the Basque region, which inspires his ever-changing, 10-course tasting menus. Beer pairings as well as wine pairings. • Map • +351 935 335 301

27. Casario • Ribeira • €€

Not quite as homemade as the name suggests, this is still a place for pure Portuguese flavors. Chef Miguel Castro e Silva has been a pioneer of fine dining in Portugal, but this is down to earth. Outdoor seating by the river. • Map • +351 227 662 270

28. Almeja • Baixa/Sé • €€

Friendly “casual fine dining” spot in a historic grocery store, run by a young husband and wife. The name means “crave,” that’s the kind of food they create with strictly Portuguese products. A la carte and tasting menus use ingredients from all over the country, such as cabeça de xara (hoghead cheese) from the Alentejo. • Map • +351 222 038 120

29. Cafeína • Foz • €€€

Cosmopolitan ambience, plus Portuguese, French, and Italian flavors. Just a block from the beach, so it makes sense that there’s an emphasis on seafood and fish. • Map • +351 226 108 059

30. O Paparico • Antas • €€€€

Old-world, deeply Portuguese interior—stone walls, linen tablecloths—with cuisine to match. Think veal with wild mushrooms, or duck rice in the “antique” style. Worth the trip to the north part of town. • Map • +351 225 400 548

31. Fava Tonka • Leça da Palmeira • €

Haute vegetarian restaurant with seasonal and organic ingredients. The ambience is sophisticated, not crunchy. The dishes celebrate vegetables as they are, no fake meat in sight. Lots of options for vegans and those who avoid gluten. • Map • +351 915 343 494

32. Tapisco • Baixa/Sé • €€

Second location of the more casual joint from two-star-Michelin chef Henrique Sá Pessoa, of Alma in Lisbon. A mix of Spanish and Portuguese small plates, all meant to be shared. Excellent selection of vermouth. • Map • +351 222 080 783

Porto Shopping

For fashion, Porto is a trend-setting city, with lots of indie designers showing off their creativity, concept shops, and incubation hubs. But at the same time, you can find heritage brands with decades of longevity.

33. Fernandes, Mattos & Ca. • Cedofeita

Traditional store since 1886. Gorgeous original cabinets and staircase. Now there are non-electronic toys, home goods, and playful fashion, all by indie Portuguese designers. • Map • +351 222 005 568

34. Livraria Lello • Cedofeita

The best historic bookshop in Portugal—and the inspiration for Harry Potter’s library. Note that it’s popular and there’s an admission fee (ticket office up the street), so if all you’re after is the perfect Instagram photo, don’t bother. But the ticket price goes toward the purchase of a book, and there are many titles in English. • Map • +351 222 002 037

35. The Feeting Room • Cedofeita

Leading destination for curated women’s, men’s, and home fashion and accessories from up-and-coming local designers. • Map • +351 220 110 463

36. Claus Porto • Baixa/Sé

More than 130 years of history go into the soaps, colognes, hand creams, and scented candles here. The gorgeous vintage packaging makes the products a great gift for friends back home. Classy architecture to boot. • Map • +351 917 215 855

37. A Vida Portuguesa • Cedofeita

Portuguese people come into this shop and swoon over beautifully packaged items they had during their childhoods. Particularly good for household items and souvenirs. • Map • +351 222 022 105

38. Almada 13 • Cedofeto

Eclectic spot for housewares, apparel, accessories, and gifts from a variety of new Portuguese labels. • Map • +351 224 216 002

39. Armazém • Ribeira

Super-happening spot for socializing and antiques. The inventory is more than browse-worthy, with everything from ceramic places to vintage automobiles. • Map • +351 222 011 702

40. Say.MyNAME • Cedofeita

A homegrown Portuguese label for sexy, urban-chic women’s wear. Expect lots of graphic, black-and-white statement pieces at this boutique within Galerias Lumière. • Map • +351 923 479 184

41. Fine & Candy • Fonte da Moura

Who said handwritten letters were a dying breed? This snazzy stationery shop makes a strong case for laying out your sentiments the old-fashioned way. • Map • +351 220 131 949

42. Scar.ID • Cedofeita

Fashion-forward products from emerging Portuguese creators. Women’s wear, menswear, jewelry, interiors, and skin care. All with an emphasis on creativity, innovation, and quality design. • Map • +351 222 033 087

43. Hats & C.A.T.S. • Ribeira

Compact, colorful shop selling handmade hats of all origins and styles. • Map • +351 936 968 369

44. Coração Alecrim • Cedofeita

Eco-friendly, indie, and vintage. Women’s wear with drapey shapes and sumptuous fabric. Vibe is homey, rustic, and warm. • Map • +351 938 111 152

Porto Bars

45. Galeria de Paris • Cedofeita

Fantastic decor, with light fixtures made of trumpets, tchotchkes filling the shelves, and a full-size Silverster doll holding a trumpet. Open from early morning (for coffee and food) until 3 am. • Map • +351 222 016 218

46. Meridians & Parallels • Bonfim

Cozy new bar with a cocktail menu that fills three books, with more than 1,000 drinks. Alcohol-free options, and a “clinic department” with remedies to ease the effects of overdoing it. Attracts a convivial, international crowd. • Map • +351 936 261 401

47. Casa do Livro • Cedofeita

A Porto classic. In business for decades as a bookshop, then eventually transformed into a classy, cool, old-school bar and café. Banquettes, amber lights, books on the shelves. Live music or DJs on some nights. • Map • +351 912 958 284

48. Pipa Velha • Cedofeita

One of the oldest bars in the city, an institution since 1981. Full of posters from live events 15 or 20 years ago, and the music continues from time to time today. Multigenerational crowd, with regulars from the ’80s rubbing shoulders with folks young enough to be their kids. • Map • +351 222 082 025

49. Letraria Craft Beer Garden • Santa Catarina

Portugal was late to the game on craft beer. Letraria was one of the first small indie breweries that set out to change that. Indoor and outdoor spaces. Twenty beers on tap—their own, other Portuguese breweries, and international ones. Snacks, sandwiches, and burgers. • Map • +351 223 235 951

50. The Gin House • Cedofeita

No surprises here. The specialty is gin, and there are more than 100 labels of it. Staff knows their stuff. • Map • +351 961 329 538

51. Bonaparte Downtown • Baixa/Sé

Dimmed lights, eclectic decor, tasty cocktails, like the original Bonaparte (which still exists) in the posh suburb of Foz. A good place to start the night. • Map • +351 220 962 852

52. The Royal Cocktail Club • Baixa/Sé

Hipster mixologists with bow ties and beards fuss over classic and creative cocktails. Sophisticated decor, complete with big marble bar, inspired by old-time speakeasies. • Map • +351 222 059 123

53. Big Bad Bank Bar • Baixa/Sé

Not your average hotel bar. Inventive cocktails and cool vibe with locals and visitors. Upholstered armchairs and low tables give it a living room feel. • Map • +351 227 662 342

54. Baixa Bar • Baixa/Sé

Stylish decoration, great DJs playing hits from the ’80s until today, and customers from all generations. Eclectic energy. The dance party lasts until 4 am, and it opens again at 6 am to serve coffee to a different clientele. • Map • +351 222 015 855

55. Guindalense Futebol Clube • Baixa/Sé

Super old-school. No cocktails, no wine list, no gourmet snacks. Caters mostly to local soccer fans of a certain age, but a great place to find an authentic slice of Porto. The terrace has a terrific view over Dom Luís 1 bridge. • Map • +351 222 034 246

Porto Tasting Rooms and Wine Bars

56. Espaço Porto Cruz • Vila Nova de Gaia

Multi-level, multi-concept space from the makers of Porto Cruz. Wine shop, educational spaces, tasting room, restaurant, and dramatic rooftop bar, aptly called Terrace Lounge 360°. • Map • +351 220 925 340

57. Prova Wine Food & Pleasure • Ribeira

Sommelier-run spot with an emphasis on inventive pairings, though you can also just taste wines. Sometimes there’s a live jazz band. • Map • +351 916 499 121

58. Capela Incomum • Cedofeita

The name means “uncommon chapel.” In fact, it occupies a 16th-century chapel. Quiet vibe makes it good for couples or small groups. Nice selection of well-known and obscure wines, particularly from the Douro and Minho regions. • Map • +351 222 011 849

59. Ferreira Cellars • Vila Nova de Gaia

One of the most visually impressive wine caves in Gaia, the Port-producing section of the city. Established in 1751 in an old convent. Guided tours include 2 glasses of wine. • Map • +351 223 746 106

60. Sandeman Cellars • Vila Nova de Gaia

Another one with a long history. A variety of tours and tastings, ranging from an introduction to Port with entry-level wines, to a “Hundred Years Old Tawnies” tour with a tasting of 10, 20, 30, and 40-year-old wines. • Map

61. Caves Churchill • Vila Nova de Gaia

This Port tasting room distinguishes itself with great views over the river. A variety of options for different interests and budgets. • Map • +351 223 703 641

62. Caves Taylor’s • Vila Nova de Gaia

One of the most popular tours and tastings, from one of the world’s oldest Port makers. A modern museum circuit explains the history of Port, with audio tours in 12 languages. • Map • +351 223 742 800

63. À Bolina Bar • Ribeira

Relaxed bar and terrace above the Douro River. Not a tourist trap. Unique for pairing the wines with snacks from the northeaster Tras-os-Monts region of Portugal, like alheira sausage and cured meats. • Map +351 223 224 695

64. Arco das Verdades • Riberia

Smart tasting room for sampling table wines from Portugal’s north, with views of the river and the wine caves on the other side. • Map • +351 220 172 663

65. Bartolomeu • Baixe/Sé

Wine comes first at this sophisticated bistro. Small plates are designed to pair with the wine. One of the city’s best selections of wines by the glass. • Map • +351 226 090 003

Porto Things to Do

66. Fundação de Serralves • Boavista

Contemporary art museum with more than 4,300 works housed in a building by a prestigious Portuguese architect. Regular presentations of music, dance, and performance art; a cinema; and a historic park with gardens based on 19th-century Victorian design. • Map • +351 226 156 500

67. Presidential Train • Baixa/Sé

A big splurge, but worth it if you’re into food, wine, and history. A full-day trip on a beautifully restored train that was built in 1890 for king Dom Luís 1, from São Bento station, deep into the Douro Valley and back. Each weekend it runs, one of the country’s top chefs (most with Michelin stars) is on board preparing an elaborate 4-course (or bigger) menu. • Map

68. Praia de Espinho • Espinho

This beach about 12 miles south of the city is both pretty and easily accessible by train. Freezing water but surfable waves, surf schools, and boards and wetsuits available for rent. Lots of cafés and restaurants, many specializing in simply grilled fresh fish. • Map

69. Clérigos Tower • Baixa/Sé

Nearly 250 feet high, it’s a landmark on the city skyline. Part of an 18th-century building that now contains a church and a museum with religious art from the 13th to the 20th centuries. Guided tours available, including climbing the tower to get a bird’s-eye view over the city. • Map

70. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal • Cedofeito

Nineteenth-century gardens that are alternately lush and wild, or manicured and refined. Peacocks everywhere. River views. The palace itself is an architectural curiosity. • Map

71. Palácio da Bolsa • Ribeira

Magnificent architecture in a 19th-century palace that once possibly the world’s most gorgeous stock exchange. Guided tours take about 45 minutes and are done in English, Portuguese, Spanish, and French. • Map • +351 223 399 000

72. Estação de São Bento • Baixa/Sé

Beautiful Beaux-Arts railway station decorated with more than 20,000 blue-and-white azulejos (Portuguese tiles), placed by artist Jorge Colaço from 1905 to 1916. These tell the story of Portugal’s past, including royalty, transportation, and wars. • Map

73. World of Discoveries • Ribeira

Interactive museum and theme park depicting the Portuguese “discoveries,” the exploration and subsequent colonizing of lands all over the world. Guides act as if they’ve time-traveled from the 16th century. Family friendly. • Map • +351 220 439 770

74. Casa da Música • Boavista

Rem Koolhaas building designed to mark the year 2001, when Porto was chosen as a European Capital of Culture. Frequent concerts and other musical performances in a variety of genres, but worth visiting for the architecture as well. Guided tours available. • Map • +351 220 120 220

75. Mosteiro de Serra do Pilar • Vila Nova de Gaia

The monks here certainly had great views. On the south bank of the Douro River, it overlooks the red roofs of the Port caves, the water, 2 bridges, and the city center. The circular church is worth a visit in its own right. • Map

76. Sé do Porto • Baixa/Sé

Also known as the Portugal Cathedral, one of the city’s most prominent monuments and examples of Romanesque architecture. So centrally located that you’re going to walk by it at some point—might as well go in. • Map

77. Dom Luís 1 Bridge • Ribeira

The one in all the photographs. It’s open to pedestrians and only about 560 feet long, so walking across it is a great way to get to Vila Nova de Gaia to sample some Port. • Map

Neighborhoods

78. Ribeira

Porto’s most charming historic neighborhood, and one that has been designated a World Heritage Site. Colorful buildings, great views, and fairly flat terrain. Adjacent to Baixa/Sé, Cedofeita, and the Douro River.
Best stuff: Mo House hotel • Gran Cruz House hotel • Pestana Vintage HotelPorto A.S. 1829 HotelAdega São Nicolau (traditional food) • Casario (modern Portuguese food) • Armazém (antiques) • Hats & C.A.T.S (hat shop) • ProvaArco das Verdades (wine bars) • Palácio de Bolsa (former stock exchange)

79. Baixa/Sé

The most happening section of the city center. A number of the city’s best hotels and restaurants are here, along with traditional architecture and colors. North of and uphill from Ribeira.
Best Stuff: Pestana Porto – A Brasileira hotel • Torel 1884 Apartments & SuitesLe Monumental Palace hotel • Flores Village hotel • InterContinental Porto – Palácio das Cardosas hotel • Claus Porto (souvenir soap) • Café Santiago (francesinha sandwiches) • Puro 4050 restaurant • DOP (Michelin-star dining) • Almeja (casual fine dining), Bonaparte DowntownBaixa Bar (bars) • Estação de São Bento (train station)
Baixa/Sé is just north of Ribeira. Walking distance (5–10 minutes).

80. Cedofeita

Calmer and quieter than the very center, this up-and-coming trendy neighborhood is full of concept shops, art galleries, and interesting bars. West of Baixa/Sé and not too hilly.
Best Stuff: Torel Avantgarde hotel • Casa do Conto & Tipografia hotel • Casa Carolina hotel • Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (pretty park) • Old-school shopping spots like Fernandes Mattos and Livraria Lello • New concept shops like the Feeting Room and Scar.ID • Cool bars like Galeria de Paris and Casa do Livro
Cedofeita is northwest of Ribeira. Walking distance (15–20 minutes).

81. Vila Nova de Gaia

The neighborhood on the south side of the Douro (technically its own city) is interesting for its Port caves and tasting rooms, and its views back over Porto itself. Beyond that, it’s residential and heavier on businesses that are useful for locals.
Best Stuff: The Yeatman hotel and its 2-star restaurant • Espaço Porto Cruz and Caves Taylor’s (Port houses) • Mosteiro de Serra do Pilar (onetime monastery with a great view)
Vila Nova de Gaia is across the bridge from Ribeira. Walking distance (10–15 minutes.)

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