10 Reasons to visit Porto

May 6, 2024Niry Fidelis
10 Reasons to visit Porto

Wondering whether Porto is worth visiting? Alright Porto….it’s useless to turn around this question. My answer is yes. Of course, I am going to list here all my reasons to visit Porto but I just wanted to tell you right away that it is definitely worth visiting! So if you are doing research to understand if you should book a flight or a hotel in Porto, you can afford to hop into this experience without thinking too much because we are talking about a city that could only please you.

Unfortunately I could only spend a few days in Porto, but I’m going to go back for sure and probably I’ll have to organize myself better so I can plan a nice road trip in Portugal of at least three weeks. Having already visited many attractions in Porto, I could settle for only three days in Porto next time in order to get to know more about the locals and the culture.

Ok, now let me focus on what makes Porto a good holiday destination and why you should plan a trip.

Reasons to visit Porto: Wine

If you’re wondering what makes it worth it to visit Porto, did you know that it is the ideal getaway for any wine lover?

Yes, ok, the most famous wine produced in all of Porto is Port (a sweet red fortified wine), but it also boasts a rich variety of outstanding wines to accompany meals or just for a relaxing moment.

With over 250 indigenous grape varieties, Portugal is one of the world’s most wine-producing nations with a very high, internationally recognized ranking.

Cool, not that I have a huge knowladge about wine, but I love red wine and I also recently took a month long course with Barbara Brandoli, an Italian sommelier and teacher. This helped me learn to recognize its quality so I dare say that it is worth visiting Porto for wine lovers. They must absolutely consider this visit. There are many wine cellers in Porto where you can go simply for a visit or to do a wine tasting activity which, by the way, is often accompanied by the fado music.

Reasons to visit Porto: Food

Since I talked about their wine in my previous point, what I automatically think of listing in second place is their food.

They have unique culinary traditions, you know? I had never realized that before!!! Portugal’s role in world exploration and colonization that started back in 1279 gave the country a major role in food globalization.

Portuguese cuisine really has many influences. I mean Portuguese cuisine isn’t just Mediterranean; it’s a mix of Atlantic, African, Asian, and Brazilian influences. Exactly for this reason, it’s impossible to get back from Portugal and say “I ate badly.”

There are dishes for everyone’s taste here! I would even put Portugal in second place in Europe after Italy.

Remaining on the topic of how tasty the food is in Portugal, I also have to tell you about the delicious desserts here.

I do not have a sweet tooth… eh, but here, maybe because I am pregnant, I found myself eating so many sweets and everything was super good.

During my stay in Porto sweets never disappointed me so I recommend that you try everything. Especially don’t fail to try “Pastel De Nata.” In particular, if you are a sweet lover you cannot miss it.

Pastel de nata or Pastéis de Belém is a Portuguese egg custard tart pastry, sometimes dusted with cinnamon. It is really a little piece of heaven. They’re best if enjoyed warm within a few hours of baking when the pastry is nice and crispy and the custard is delicately smooth and creamy. I ate at least 3 a day! it’s a bit too much, I know, but on the other hand I’m pregnant and my blood sugar levels are still normal so it’s ok.

The history of the Pastel de Nata goes back centuries. The first date back to the early 18th century by Catholic monks of the Jerónimos Monastery. When the monastery was closed in 1834, the recipe was sold to a sugar refinery whose owners opened the bakery, the Fábrica de Pastéis de Belém in Lisbon, in 1837. It is still operated by the original family’s descendants today.

Reasons to visit Porto: Design

Continuing to list the things that amazed me in Porto, next comes “Design.”

It’s probably an aspect that over the years has developed to attract more and more tourists, but it is so well done that it’s definitely worth getting inside their shops, restaurants, pubs, and so on to see.

Actually, I think that those who are interested in opening a tourist attraction in their own country or simply opening any business to serve the public should definitely visit Porto. In this case I suggest you go there during the winter season because with the tourist crowd considerably thinner during that period, you can savour the city at your own pace, truly soaking in Porto’s distinct design, lifestyle, culture, and architecture. 

I have never seen a city with that much timeless elegance and modernity that makes incredible design so accessible to the public.

Reasons to visit Porto: Architecture and history

Porto is known for its Baroque, neoclassical, and modernist architectural styles. You’ll notice the influence of these styles in the buildings and streets of the city. Every corner of the city has its own charm. From its interesting churches to its intricate painted tiles (azulejos), Porto never fails to surprise you.

To this fact, I link also its history. Porto is one of the oldest cities in Europe with more than 2,000 years of history. Lots of stuff, right!? In fact it’s one the prettiest cities I’ve ever visited. You can take so many beatiful photos here in Porto.

To conclude this section I also want to add the fact that Porto’s architecture helped it earn its recognition as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. In fact whether you spend a weekend in Porto, just three days in Porto, a week, or longer, you’ll be sure to find plenty to do and enjoy throughout the city.

Thinking about traveling to this Portuguese city? Keep reading to learn 10 reasons why you should visit Porto, Portugal.   

Reasons to visit Porto: Beautiful Neighborhoods

Porto City and its surrounding areas are each so unique, with differing features and charms that set each Porto neighborhood apart. Seven of which are highly recommended for visitors: Ribeira, Baixa, Cedofeita, Bonfim, Foz, Marquês, and Boavista. But you know what? If you are staying only three days in Porto, you likely won’t have time to visit all of these neighborhoods. So in this case you guys better figure out beforehand where you want to go and what you want to do in Porto, especially if you are a structured traveler who likes organized travel with clear “things to do.”

That’s not how it is for me. I like to go and explore by myself, so I never care about planning ahead of time.

The best way to get to Porto’s various neighborhoods is on foot. We often did so and it really was a great experience. The city is quite compact, and some of these neighborhoods are a walkable distance. Foz for example is about 5 KM so if you think you might get tired of walking, know that the city has an extensive public transportation system. So you can hop on buses or trams to make things easier. Ah, in this case consider taking a historical tram.

One of the many reasons why I decided to visit Porto was this historical tram. Pictures of this are everywhere on the internet.

From what I understood, this historical wooden electrified transport system that’s been operating since 1895 is even now one of the best ways to move around the city. Mmm… it is not like this anymore. This was a blow to my heart.

It has been slowly abandoned by the locals, who prefer to use faster means of transport in their daily lives.

Now there is only one operating tram, which is only used for tourists. At least this is what was happening this January 2024.

This tourist route tram, line 18, is a circular tram line that starts by the riverside, then goes all the way up to the area around the city centre.

Being one of the most popular activities in Porto, you will probably have to wait in line for a long time to hop on it. Especially during the high season time.

But taking a ride on a tram in Porto remains anyways a good idea, so arm yourself with patience and do it!

Reasons to visit Porto: Day trips from Porto.

Whether you’re looking for historic towns or sweeping valleys with nature or fantastic local wine tasting activities, Porto is definitely a great gateway.

Since this was my first time to Porto and we stayed only three days in Porto, we could not try any of these. Honestly I just wanted to enjoy the city as much as I could so didn’t want to take any risk by going for some day trips and possibly leaving out some interesting things to do in the city. Maybe it will be for next time!

Anyway if you’re short on time and you want to take a look at all the activities in Porto that provide a taste of the region before your departure, here below you can find some links:

If indeed you are spending a week in Porto or staying more than three days in Porto then you can check out the best excursions from Porto for 2024 on Get your guide website.

Reasons to visit Porto: Beach life and sunset

10 reasons to visit Porto

One of the best ways to end a day in Porto is enjoying the sunset by the beach side. I realized this only when I went to Foz Do Douro.

I can say that thanks to its geographical position, Porto has several special places where you can witness stunning sunsets and along the shore there are so many children’s parks, restaurants, cafes, bars, local shops, street vendors, and so on to entertain you. And, the most interesting thing about this point is that there are wonderful sunsets around the year, aside from when it’s cloudy, obviously.

That said, if you are looking for a sunset spot in Porto, something like a beach or park with a good view of the sunset to have a glass of wine or a cup of tea or just to take some pictures, take a quick look at this website.

Reasons to visit Porto: Affordability

Still have any doubt if Porto is worth visiting? This point helps a lot!

If you have only a little money to spend in your pocket, you should absolutely know that Porto is worth visiting.Compared to other cities in Europe, you’ll find Porto to be affordable. You can find decenthotels from €30 a night and restaurants where you can find meals for € 10 and glasses of wine for € 2!

Plus it’s easy to get around by tram or bus for very reasonable prices.
In addition, there are plenty of free things to do in Porto so, once again if you’re a budget traveller wondering whether Porto is worth visiting, it’s definitely a yes!

Reasons to visit Porto: Pubs and Night Life

If you’re a social traveller wondering if Porto is worth visiting, then the answer is yes!
There are so many pubs with fantastic craft beers and tasteful wines often accompanied by music and dance. Especially on weekends. Sometimes they also play the Fado Music which is a typical Portuguese music that means ‘fate.’ It has a melancholy twist but still, as a tourist you can consider this show as a great opportunity.

In my case I often went to places which were off the beaten path and are frequented only by locals, and I must say that I was always impressed to see how much, compared to Italians, the Portuguese way of having fun was different. The place where we went the most often was CastelRock Pub which was right next to our hotel.

Reasons to visit Porto: Weather

By now, I hope you have a better picture on whether Porto is worth visiting. If not, here is a last idea to make the desicion: the weather! Porto has a moderate climate that’s enjoyable year round. Even during winter the temperatures hardly goes close to zero.

We went there in January and it was moderately chilly, but there was always some sun and this made it a great city to go around in for our entire three days in Porto. 

We did all we wanted without problems. Well, it was a bit cooler and windy close to Foz Do douro area, but still manageble. In case something goes wrong with the weather, since the climate is extremely changing all around the world, know that Porto is home to several indoor attractions.

For our trip to Porto in January, in case of bad weather, we knew that there was an infinite number of enticing museums, mesmerising wine tasting activities, churches, shops and boutiques, and so on. There are plenty, believe me, so don’t worry even if you have the odd rainy day! Keep a plan B handy.

Ten reasons to visit Porto: conclusion

Is Porto worth visiting? With all the reasons listed above, I mean an abundance of attractions, great food, plenty of wine, design, architecture, history, affordability, good weather, interesting night life, and cool beach life, Porto is definitely worth visiting.

Even during the winter season. It will give you a unique and unexpected experience that will leave you positive memories.

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