2 day Porto itinerary

2 day Porto itinerary

Portugal deserves your attention for months! But if you are like us and just have limited time for your next vacation, check out this 2 day Porto itinerary.

I spent about a month in Lisbon (thank you January-Term college courses!) over a decade ago and LOVED Lisbon!!! Going back for a vacation I knew I wanted to experience Porto.

Porto and Lisbon are the two largest cities in Portugal. Porto is Lisbon’s smaller sister, but offers almost all the same history and cultural experiences. Actually, I would say the conversation of “Do you prefer Porto or Lisbon” conjures 50/50 responses. I know several people that say they preferred Porto to Lisbon. AND I know several others that prefer Lisbon to Porto.

To sum it up, you need to experience both Lisbon and Porto to form your own opinion ūüôā

Let’s talk about a 2 day Porto itinerary to get your started on your Portugal trip!

Check out some other Europe and Portugal posts:

2 day Porto itinerary


Before we dive into the itinerary, let’s talk a little about accommodation. We stayed at the One Shot Aliados Goldsmith Hotel right in Porto. The hotel is situated really close to the S√£o Bento train station, which makes it super convenient if you’re traveling by train.

BTW, the S√£o Bento train station is worth a stop on your itinerary!

Noteworthy things about this hotel were the helpful staff, wonderful rooftop breakfast! great location, comfortable and clean rooms with Juliet balconies and large french doors (I always try to find accommodation with this), and the approachable price.

While we really enjoyed the hotel, I may not recommend it right now because of the ongoing construction in Porto — our beautiful french doors opened right up to the large pit of construction…. While it didn’t disturb our sleep or make us feel unsafe, it may not be the quintessential Porto feel you’re looking for.

Day 1: Morning

For the sake of this itinerary, let’s say that you arrived in Porto the night before. As you wake up, enjoy your hotel breakfast or making your muesli at your Airbnb.

To start your time in Porto, I recommend doing a walking tour. There are plenty of “free” walking tours, where you don’t actually have to pay much to be there, but they encourage a tip to your guide at the end.

We usually do a walking tour when we’re in a new city, because it’s a great way to get acquainted with the place and to identify what you might want to see more of.

I usually book through Viator.

After your walking tour, you’ll probably want to grab some lunch and maybe take a little nap.

Day 1: Afternoon & Evening

On the walking tour you probably saw Carmelitas Church and Carmo Church right next door (with a tiny house in-between), the bookstore that J.K. Rowling got inspired and wrote much of Harry Potter, Torre dos Clérigos, and Ponte de Dom Luis I (designed by the same person that designed the Eiffel Tower!).

For the afternoon, I recommend walking over the bridge to the Vila Nova de Gaia neighborhood to experience all the port houses. If you climb the top of the bridge, you can meander through the town in the Gaia neighborhood to get down to the water. Once at the water, you will notice many port houses.

This is where port wine was born! I highly recommend doing a port house tour and/or tasting.

We didn’t have the time to do a tour, which I regret a bit. So we opted for a tasting at a small port house we found.

There are so many you can choose from! Some of the most famous include Sandeman, Kopke, Ferreira, and Calem. I recommend deciding in advance and booking a tour. Although you can just walk around and show up.

Most of them are open for tours and tastings during the afternoon, but many close early evening.

Before continuing to dinner, make sure to enjoy sunset in the Gaia neighborhood!!

Enjoy your walk back over the river (maybe on the lower side of the bridge) and find a quaint spot to grab dinner.

Day 2 of 2 day Porto itinerary: Morning

On day 2 of your 2 day Porto itinerary, take some time to explore and do something you found intriguing from the walking tour.

For example, it might be getting a tour of Carmelitas Church and Carmo Church and seeing the catacombs! Or you might want to climb the 200 stairs to the top of the Clérigos Tower for the best views of Porto!

You also might just prefer to slowly sip a cafe while you people watch. You may also get lucky enough to witness beautiful street performances (ie. lots of amazing singers and musicians).

Day 2: Afternoon & Evening

For your final evening in Porto, you MUST attend a Fado show. Fado is one of our favorite things about Portugal (you’ve probably heard me say this many times if you’ve been following me). But seriously, it’s a must!! Listening to Fado (and often the explanations that come along with it) build an understanding of Portugal’s past and present.

In Porto, I booked us a Fado and port show through Viator.

From the moment we walked down in a little ancient basement with candles and dim lighting all around we were hooked! The performance we attended came with a glass of port to sip on as you absorbed the music.

I plan to do a post on Fado very soon!

If you have more than 2 days to spend in Porto, you definitely should! But if you’re like us and you want to squeeze in a Portugal trip around spring break, you might not have a ton of time.

Hopefully, this 2 day Porto itinerary gets you started.


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