How to Spend 48 hours in Porto

If you only have 48-hours to explore Porto as I did, due to splitting my time between here and Lisbon, don’t worry; Porto is smaller so you will be able to see and do a lot. I recommend a few nights to experience the city, but if you only have 48-hours, be sure to add these to your itinerary.

Visit Ribeira District
one of the city's oldest neighborhoods

Porto’s riverside quarter known as Ribeira spreads alongside the Douro river and is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods. It was once a center of intense commercial and manufacturing activity during the Middle Ages and has since become a designated World Heritage site by UNESCO. 

With countless restaurants, shops, and street musicians, this area of Porto has incredible energy different from other parts of the city. Walk through Ribeira Square and continue your stroll along the river enjoying Ribeira’s colorful Portuguese architecture, and watching fishing boats pass on the water.

In the distance, you will spot Luís I Bridge, a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the Douro River between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, the hub of the port wine industry. Don’t be alarmed if you see children making the 65-foot jump from the bridge, it’s been a tradition dating back many generations although you’ll now find them asking for money from passing tourists before making the jump.

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port wine tasting
Port wine is exclusive to the Douro Valley near Porto.

Porto Cálem
 site | reviews 

Port wine is a fortified wine that is exclusive to Douro Valley in the northern province of Portugal, so if you’re visiting Porto, you should definitely try a glass. Once you’ve made your way across the Luís I Bridge, you’ll find several cellars offering tours and tastings

I recommend Cálem, they are the most affordable and include an interactive museum with their guided cellar tour and premium quality wine tasting. They also offer a package called Tour & Taste that includes everything above, plus a live music Fado Show. If you’re not familiar with Fado, traditional Portuguese music, check out my Lisbon post.


  • Cálem Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum & Wine Tasting. TICKETS
  • Cálem Cellar with Chocolate, Cheese, and Wine Tasting. TICKETS
  • Cálem Cellar Tour, Fado Show & Wine Tasting. TICKETS
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what to see in porto

Portugal is known for its beautiful azulejo tiles that date as far back as the 13th century when the Moors invaded the land that now belongs to Spain and Portugal.

Not only were the azulejo which stems from Arabic roots, meaning small polished stone, used as an ornamental art form but they also served in a functional capacity to keep the temperature in homes controlled. They were commonly found on the interior and exterior of churches, palaces, and schools, and nowadays can also be found on restaurants, bars, ordinary houses, and even railway stations such as the Porto San Bento train station (don’t miss this one!) 

Igreja do Carmo is an architecturally beautiful church that has an exterior wall entirely adorned with Azulejo tiles.

Livraria Lello bookstore opened in 1906 and was voted one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. It is said that J.K. Rowling frequented this bookstore while living in Porto as an ESL teacher back in the ’90s, and it’s this bookstore that gave her the inspiration for Hogwarts magical library in the movie Harry Potter.

Torre dos Clérigos: Clérigos Church is a Baroque church that was constructed in the 1700s. The tall bell tower, Torre dos Clérigos is one of its most characteristic symbols and can be seen from various points in the city. For a small fee, you can visit the museum and observation deck. Purchase an entrance ticket here.

food and nightlife

Porto has a variety of dining options ranging from wine and tapas bars, meat and seafood, to budget-friendly vegetarian restaurants.

DaTerra vegetarian restaurant is a great lunch spot offering an all-you-can-eat buffet, including dessert. Pricing is extremely affordable ranging from 6€-10€ depending on the time of day.

Zenith brunch and cocktail bar is the perfect combination of healthy and tasty, with vegan and vegetarian options available. Their menu includes specialty coffee, eggs benedict, acai/smoothie bowls, and pancakes, many of which are Instagram-worthy, especially the Oreo stack.

Ostras & Coisas is a local Seafood and Mediterranean restaurant perfect for a date night. The menu consists of starters such as seafood ravioli, tartar, and seafood cream soup; however, I recommend ordering a bottle of wine and choosing a variety of clams, shrimp, and, mussels to share. Everything is brought out on a seafood platter with lemon wedges and is fresh and delicious. Once you’re done here, head over to Capela Incomum to end the night. 

Capela Incomum: The name of this wine bar means “uncommon chapel”, and it is indeed peculiar since it’s located in a 16th-century chapel. The altar remains, but that is the venue’s only link to its religious past. Due to its small space, it’s the perfect place to get cozy with your date, order a drink, and head outside to enjoy it under the night sky.

Aduela Taberna-Bar offers both food and drinks and is a cool spot to enjoy with friends. It’s an oddly shaped yellow building that divides the streets R. Das Oliveiras and R. de Sá de Noronha, so it’s easy to spot. The interior is small so most people order their drinks and head outdoors. If you’re unable to find a table don’t worry most people just stand in small groups surrounding the bar. 

where to stay

in porto, portugal

Room Type: Airbnb – Private Room in Apartment
Guests: 1
Price: $24/night
(photos below courtesy of Aibnb)

If you’re a solo traveler looking to stay with a local who offers great tips and recommendations, then this is the apartment for you. Nuno, the fantastic superhost of this Airbnb rents a bedroom in his updated vintage-inspired apartment which is centrally located so everything is walkable. He’s open to sharing the best that his city has to offer and is fantastic at making you feel at home. I highly recommend a stay here, I know I’ll be back.

Click here to see the latest prices and check availability.

Gallery Hostel
Room Type: Hostel
Private Room, Private Suite, Apartment 4 – 6 Bed Dorms, 6 Bed Female Dorm
Price: 22€ – 64€+/night
(photos below courtesy of Gallery Hostel)

If you’re a solo traveler who prefers being around other travelers, then Gallery Hostel is a great option. When planning trips, I do extensive research on the best accommodations in each city, and this family-run hostel made it to the top of the list for shared accommodations in Porto. 

Gallery Hostel is thefusion of a Hostel with an art gallery that includes unique art exhibitions that change bi-monthly. They take great pride in offering community aid and being an eco-hostel who is efficient with their use of energy and water by minimizing waste and implementing reuse or recycling initiatives when possible. If you’re looking for accommodations with a communal feel, this one is for you. 

Click here to see the latest prices and check availability.

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