Porto Holidays & City Breaks

Porto Holidays & City Breaks

Deals from £140 per person

Experience the beauty of the Portuguese coastline with Porto holidays. Situated on the Douro River, Porto combines vibrant city life with relaxation on some of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches. With its peaceful riverbanks, impressive architecture and elegant eateries, Porto Portugal is a city of delights. And as the iconic home of Port wine, there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy a tipple or two during your getaway. 

Although popular with tourists, Porto is certainly not as crowded as other European cities. Whether you want to unwind on idyllic sandy beaches, soak up some culture or dance the night away, Porto is the perfect place for families, couples and groups of friends alike.

Food and drink

Porto is adorned with restaurants to relax and sample exquisite cuisine. One of the city’s most well-loved local dishes is francesinha, a ham and steak sandwich topped with mouth-watering melted cheese. This dish was created in the 1950s and quickly became a favourite weekend lunch among locals. Other popular food includes bacalhau (dried salt-cod) and Polvo com Molho Verde (boiled octopus).

And of course, a trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a spot of wine tasting. Port wine is a red wine produced in the Douro Valley and traditionally enjoyed with dessert due to its sweet flavour. Wine tours are a popular attraction in Porto, allowing tourists to sample the delicious beverage for themselves and find out how it’s produced. 

Must-see attractions

Porto is steeped in fascinating history. Wander through Ribeira, Porto Old Town, and discover all sorts of architectural treasures. As a UNESCO World Heritage Site and historical centre, Ribeira boasts many extraordinary landmarks.

Head over to the Church of São Francisco, the most famous Gothic monument across the city, and witness the awe-inspiring Baroque design. Or take a look at the fascinating statue of King Pedro IV located in Liberdade Square. For something extra special, visit A Pérola do Bolhão, a historic grocery shop which was built in the early 1900s. This is an excellent place to purchase wines, cheeses and olives.

Nightlife

Porto holidays promise exciting nights out with plenty to see and do. The Ribeira District is one of the liveliest spots across the city, complete with traditional restaurants and buzzing bars. Whether you fancy a few drinks by the river or want to sample Porto’s party atmosphere, there’s something for everyone.

With its colourful architecture and stunning waterfront location, Ribeira is the perfect dinner spot. Choose a table facing the river at one of the many restaurants and enjoy picturesque views of the Dom Luís I Bridge, an iconic arch bridge that spans the River Douro. Popular bars in Ribeira include Breyner 85, which hosts live music events, and Hotfive Blues & Jazz Blues Club, where you can enjoy delicious Portuguese wine.

Shopping

Fancy a spot of shopping during your holiday? In that case, Santa Catarina Street is the place to visit. This stretch of pedestrian walkway features Catarina Shopping Centre and Bolhão Market, which are great places for a few hours of retail therapy.

Here you’ll find international stores such as Zara and H&M, as well as a range of restaurants where you can stop for a break. If you continue walking along Santa Catarina Street, you’ll also come across the Chapel of Souls, an 18th-century shrine. Stop and take in the beautiful blue Portuguese tiles on this unique building.

Another must-visit shopping location is Boavista Avenue, the longest avenue in Porto. Here you can explore a number of prestige brand shops, such as Versace, Dolce & Gabbana and Hugo Boss.

Map of Porto

world_map
6°C to 24°C

Porto has a Mediterranean climate with mild, rainy winters and dry, hot summers.

2.5 hours
The nearest airport to Porto is Porto Airport (OPO), which is around 12 miles north of the centre.

Porto is best for

History buffs: A World Heritage city, Porto is a goldmine for any history fan. The old town comprises a network of charming alleyways and beautiful buildings. Climb the 18th-century Clérigos Tower, explore the Church of São Francisco and wonder at the beauty of the city’s cathedral.  

Architecture lovers: Although there are plenty of historical buildings in Porto, the city has a firm footing in contemporary architecture. Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, and Casa da Música by Rem Koolhaas are both cutting-edge, boldly minimal structures. The city’s architecture school has iconic alums, including Pritzker Prize winner Eduardo Souto de Moura.  

Foodies: Portugal is known for its mouth-watering dishes, and you can expect nothing less in Porto. Local delicacies include Serra da Estrela, a mountain cheese, Francesinha, a baked cheese and steak sandwich, and Sandes de pernil, a pork loin sandwich.  

 

Fast facts for Porto

Language: Portuguese is Porto’s official language.

Currency: The Euro (EUR) is Porto’s official currency.

Local time: Porto shares the same time zone as the UK/GMT.

Fly to: You’ll fly to Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), which is 13km from Porto’s city centre.

Flight time from UK: 2.5 hours.

Tourist information: Further tourist information for Porto can be found at Porto's tourism website.

Visa / health: Before you travel, check the latest advice from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office.

 

Getting around Porto

By metro: You’ll find six metro lines in Porto, each identified by a colour and letter. The metro network runs daily from 6am to 1am, and there are 81 stations across the region. Useful lines include the violet Line E, which connects the city centre with the airport, and the red Line B, which covers a staggering 33.6km.

By foot: Porto’s city centre is small and can easily be explored on foot. In fact, the historic narrow lanes in the Ribeira district make accessing public transport tricky.  

By tram: Número Uno is a charming tram that runs along the city’s waterfront, connecting the Ribeira district with Passeio Alegre. Initially introduced in the 19th century, this journey feels like a heartwarming step back in time. A return ticket costs €6.

By cable car: A journey on the Teleférico de Gaia will only take five minutes but offers unique views across Porto. The aerial cable car costs €9 for a return ticket and travels from the Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia. This is an excellent way to tackle the city’s hills in style.

Events in Porto

By metro: You’ll find six metro lines in Porto, each identified by a colour and letter. The metro network runs daily from 6am to 1am and there are 81 stations across the region. Useful lines include the violet Line E, which connects the city centre with the airport, and the red Line B, which covers a staggering 33.6km.  

By foot: Porto’s city centre is small and can easily be explored on foot. In fact, the historic narrow lanes in the Ribeira district make accessing public transport tricky.   

By tram: Número Uno is a charming tram that runs along the city’s waterfront, connecting the Ribeira district with Passeio Alegre. Initially introduced in the 19th century, this journey feels like a heartwarming step back in time. A return ticket costs €6.   

By cable car: A journey on the Teleférico de Gaia will only take five minutes but offers unique views across Porto.The aerial cable car costs €9 for a return ticket and travels from the Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia. This is an excellent way to tackle the city’s hills in style. 

Porto weather

Temperature: With an oceanic climate, Porto tends to be cooler than Lisbon and the Algarve. However, the city still enjoys lovely warm summers. The hottest month is August, with an average of 20˚C, whilst January is the coldest, averaging at 10˚C.

Best time to visit: Porto enjoys a glorious summer and spring, with its peak from June to the end of September. Although the autumn and winter seasons tend to be mild, they can be very wet and therefore less popular with tourists. This is an excellent time to visit if you want sightseeing without the crowds.

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