Things to do in Porto

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    Porto: Historic city in Portugal's wine region

    Photo courtesy of Mapics/iStock

Get Your Bearings in Porto

By Biju Sukumaran
Travel Expert

Stay
Eat
See & Do
Party
Shop

Where to Stay

Lodgings in Porto include a number of 3-star hotels and hostels, like Oporto Fado Hostel, located in central Porto, offering dorm-style and private rooms.  Other hostels like Gallery Hostel Porto offer free breakfast and walking tours. The White Box House, on Rua de Santa Catarina, is located in a traditional Porto house, as is Alma Porto Hostel on Rua do Bonfirm.

Caution:

Porto does have a camping site, but it's far from the city center.

What to Eat

Most of the good restaurants are located near the Porto de Leixões. Local dishes include bacalhau, a salted codfish dish, and francesinha, a layered pork and toast dish with cheese in a spicy sauce. Porto is also famous in Portugal for its tripe dishes. The city is filled with bakeries spread throughout the city, serving coffee and inexpensive baked goods.

Caution:

There is only one completely vegetarian restaurant in Porto.

Things to See

Porto is known for its port wine, and there are many wine tours available in Vila Nova de Gaia, most of which include a guide and wine tastings.  The area is also the main starting destination for river cruises offering great views of the landscape. Take in a game at the Dragão Stadium; the local club, FC Porto has won numerous league championships. 

Hot Tips:

Most port wine tours have English-speaking guides.

Places to Party

There are many late night clubs catering to all ages playing everything from hip-hop to techno. Most of the dance clubs start very late and only close at 6 or 7 am.  Other nightlife options include groupings of pubs at Cais de Gaia and the Ribeira region. These vary from Irish pubs to restaurant/bars.

Caution:

Many of the bars in Porto have a minimum amount you must spend.

Where to Shop

Porto has many large shopping malls, in addition to stores selling food and handcrafted items around Mercado do Bolhão. The Centro Comercial Bombarda on Rua de Miguel is a mall filled with art and fashion stores, while the nearby streets house galleries featuring jewelry and cosmetics.

Caution:

The shops are very crowded on weekends.

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