Porto is still one of the very best places in the whole of Europe for a family holiday. From visits to historical and symbolic places, through delicious gastronomic events throughout the year, to a simple dinner for two or with your family in one of the finest restaurants in town. Porto is about everyone and for everyone.
In 2021 we decided to make a list of the 10 best things to do in Porto; we promise that each of them will be an enjoyable treat. A very easy way to not miss any of these activities is to plan your own itinerary where you can switch between them; start with a brisk visit to a park, then go somewhere nice for lunch and end up with a cultural event in the city centre. That way, you’ll have more time to spend on all the attractions of Porto and you’ll feel that you’re getting to know this wonderful city much better!
Located on the right bank of the Douro River, Ribeira do Porto is one of the liveliest parts of the city, in any season; whether it’s summer or winter, night or day, you will find a great place with music, good food and lots of entertainment by the river. Choose one of the typically Porto restaurants and enjoy a range of Portuguese snacks – cod fish cakes, octopus salad, and different cheeses and cured sausages are just some of them.
Ribeira do Porto, Cais da Ribeira
Whether you like antiques or not, you’re sure to love this store. Here, the soul is life, the story of people, what used to be and still is; each object has a tale to tell, a place and a space in time. While you’re gazing at all the objects that are hanging on the walls, balancing in the ceiling or meticulously spread around the store, you can have a coffee or enjoy a light snack.
Rua de Miragaia 93, 4050-430 Porto
This is something you have to do whenever you come to Porto: try a francesinha, usually prepared by chefs with expertise in this dish. Yes, it really is just a kind of sandwich, but it’s not ‘just a sandwich’. To understand what we’re trying to explain, you’ll have to try it; it is a delicious mixture of bread and cheese, ham, garlic sausage [linguiça], sirloin steak, topped with egg and melted cheese and all drizzled with a spicy sauce that is the chef’s real secret!
The city’s Football team is Futebol Clube do Porto, whose official stadium is the magnificent Estádio do Dragão, located in the Antas area. It is worth the detour to have a guided tour if you are a lover of sport, football and history, as you will find memories ranging from the founding of the team to right up to the present day.
Via Futebol Clube do Porto, 4350-415 Porto
Vila Nova de Gaia is the twin of Porto, since it sits on the left bank of the Douro River. In the past it used to be where the port wine was stored and aged in the barrels that came down from the Douro region. Nowadays, at Taylor’s, these wine cellars have become visitor centres where you can learn about the history of port, and also try all the different styles.
Rua do Choupelo 250, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia
These days, nothing beats a selfie when it comes to celebrating the finest moment of our day. On the Douro River Taxi you can take a photo right in the middle of the river, while crossing from Porto to Gaia, or vice versa, in a fast and most beautiful way! We recommend a photo at sunset. The trip takes just 3 minutes.
Douro River Taxi Tickets: https://dourorivertaxi.com/en/home-en
This is one of those beaches that stays in our memory forever. The huge expanse of sand that covers the bathing area is endless and the chapel built on the rocks is something unique to behold. We recommend a brisk walk on this beach, perfect for getting to know it with your family!
It is not every day that we get the chance to dine in a restaurant with 2 Michelin stars, and this is our luxury proposal for this itinerary. Sit back and marvel at Chef Ricardo Costa’s culinary skill, and gaze in wonder at the perfect view over Porto and the Douro river. Book in good time to be sure of an outstanding dinner.
First opened in July 2021, the World of Wine deserves a special place in our tour: 6 museums, 9 restaurants and bars, a wine school, open squares where cultural entertainment never ends. All this in the same place. Sign up for one of the chocolate or wine workshops, visit all the shops where typical products are sold and enjoy a wonderful view over the Douro River.
Rua do Choupelo, Vila Nova de Gaia
The Galerias de Paris in downtown Porto is one place that you shouldn’t miss, especially in the early evening, when restaurants and cafés liven up the bars and shows both indoors and out. Plenty of entertainment, good music and lots of smiles are part of this unique, dancing and happy street.