Rising in striking colours from the banks of the Douro River, Porto seduces with an alley-woven historic centre, impressive public art, and cutting-edge architecture.
However, it’s the city’s soulfulness that makes it really special, with the charismatic locals, the culture, and the exquisite food and wine.
Our self-guided city trip will introduce you to Portugal’s second city, with the added bonus of a Douro valley trip!
Ribeira cafes in Porto river Douro estuary
Dramatically perched on the steep banks of the Douro River, Portugal’s northern gem is one of the most eclectic destinations in Europe, buzzing with culture, trendy restaurants, bars, artisan shops, and a wealth of cool places to visit and see!
Throughout the city, you’ll find faded belle époque buildings, charming yellow trams, and stunning azulejos (blue and white tiles).
The São Bento train station is especially memorable, with azulejos up to the ceiling depicting key moments in the history of Portugal. Another fine example of a tiled façade is the Igreja da Misericordia.
The colourful tangle of medieval streets of the historic Ribeira, a district classified as a Unesco World Heritage Site, is ideally to be discovered on foot.
Although hilly, it’s a pleasure to find the surprises hidden at the end of those mysterious steps and back alleys.
Don’t forget to visit the bustling Rua das Flores, with its cool shops, boutiques, and trendy cafes.
From the top of Torre dos Clerigos’ 225-step spiral staircase, you can have the best view of all over the city.
On the opposite bank, in Vila Nova de Gaia, huge brand signs allure you to the iconic port lodges. Cross the scenic Ponte de Dom Luís I to get there and enjoy a port while taking in the view.
Rio Douro at the heart of the demarcated port-wine region.
During this tour, you’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy a stunning river cruise, from Porto to Régua. Travel leisurely up the river, through the breath-taking scenery of patterned vineyards and dramatic cliffs of the Douro valley.
The journey back is a scenic train ride.
Offering a compelling synthesis of ancient and contemporary attractions, it is a delight to experience the trendy and charming city of Porto!
Day 1 – Arrival to Porto
Individual arrival to Porto airport
Walls and view to bridge in Porto
Day 2 – Discover Porto
A day to discover Porto. The itinerary includes a visit to S. Bento train station, one of the most beautiful train stations in the world to admire its tile panels, a visit to the Carmo Church and the Carmelitas Descalços Church. On the way, admire the singular architectural style of Nicolau Nasoni’s Clérigos tower and the frontage of Lello bookshop, a 200 year old bookshop, famous to have served as an inspiration to J. K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” books. The Ribeira do Porto area or the Gaia Market, both on the beautiful Douro river margins will welcome you for lunch.
Art deco facade Porto
Day 3 – Porto – Régua
Today will be completely dedicated to one of the most iconic sceneries of northern Portugal. You’ll take a stunning river cruise from Porto to Régua through beautiful & verdant countryside, and a scenic train journey back. Travel leisurely through breath-taking scenery, with patterned vineyards covering the hills, dramatic cliffs overhanging the river, to the heart of the Douro valley. We include an itinerary to visit Régua, should you have time and feel up to. Later in the day, board the train to Porto and enjoy great views of the Douro valley. Arrival in Porto will be at the stunning São Bento train station, entirely covered in beautiful azulejos (blue tiles) and art-deco details.
Train in Douro line – Take the train, and enjoy your holidays in this timeless and magical place!
Day 4 – Free Day
A free day that you can use to explore some of Porto’s iconic sites, like the Stock exchange, the S. Francisco Church, the new and edgy Casa da Música, the world-class museum in Casa de Serralves, or just to wander around the many trendy and cool shops, exhibition spaces, and cafes that Porto has to offer.
Day 5 – Departure
Vila Gale Porto Centro
Vila Gale Porto Centro
Vila Galé Porto Centro (4****) or similar
This 4-star, central Porto hotel is 300 m from Campo 24 Agosto Metro Station. Vila Gale Porto offers a health club with an indoor swimming pool. The Rua de Santa Catarina commercial district is 10 minutes’ walk. The spacious rooms and suites at Vila Gale Porto are air-conditioned and feature a bright décor. All come with a flat-screen cable TV, minibar and a private bathroom, including a hairdryer and free toiletries. Vila Gale’s Health Club features an indoor pool, spa facilities and fitness centre with views over Porto city. WiFi is available in all areas of the hotel. A billiards room is also on site.
You must be adequately insured to join our Portugal Guided Sightseeing holidays and Portugal Self-Guided Sightseeing holidays. We do not insist that you insure with us but we require that you are adequately insured for the nature of your holiday.
BeCool Travel has partnered with WorldNomads.com to keep you travelling safely. WorldNomads.com Travel Insurance is designed for independent and adventurous travellers, with coverage for overseas medical expenses, cancellation, baggage, and other expenses.
Please consult our Travel Insurance page, where you’ll be able to get more detailed info about insurance requirements and an immediate quote for your trip.