Like fine wine, Porto ages perfectly with character and charm. From Portuguese Tarts to the picturesque Luis Bridge, quaint narrow cobbled streets to imposing architecture, there's something for everyone in this UNESCO world heritage centre.
Last updated May 2020
Porto has been on our list of destinations for a very long time. Jono and I touched down in Porto at the beginning of December. Though the weather can be hit and miss at this time of the year. We were blessed with most days of sunshine.
Beautiful tree lined, cobbled streets. Epic views to and from the Luis I Bridge. Porto is an enchanting city steeped in history (and wine). It is a city where you can do most of it by foot. Turn around each corner to find magnificent architecture - pick up a Portuguese Tart a long the way.
Take a boat tour down the Douro River or hike up the hills of the old town. Jump on an old tram along the coast to the hisitoric seaside town of Foz.
Read on for some of the best experiences this UNESCO world heritage centre has to offer.
Portuguese Tarts, Muralhas Olival
Porto is a foodie's delight, there is something for everyone. We've had lots of tasty food so I've tried to narrow it down to a few. I know for sure I have missed a lot of great eateries but these ones below have definitely stood out. I've tried to pick foods from different categories from Porto's famous iconic Francesinha to good old Portuguese Tarts.
- Portuguese Tarts
Campo dos Mártires da Pátria 117, 4050-367 Porto, Portugal
We stumbled across this popular bakery at the top of the hill across from the Jardim da Cordoaria park. The place is packed with locals sipping coffee and desserts. The Portuguese Tarts were warm and freshly baked. Reasonably priced.
Confeitaria São Domingos
Largo São Domingos, 4050-545 Porto, Portugal (website)
This little cafe became our favourite spot during our time in Porto. We went there for breakfast (as with many locals) and always got ourselves a couple of desserts and pastries to go with coffee. There was a wide selection cakes including our cherished chocolate orange tart. Buzzing with locals. A lovely place to relax before the day ahead.
R. do Bonjardim 318, 4000-115 Porto, Portugal (website)
This place looked full on the evening we dined here. We were given window seats and ordered a couple of dishes. We came here for the Bifanas, a Portuguese sandwich filled with sautéed strips of pork seasoned with garlic, spices and white wine. It was delicious.
- Vegan 🌱
R. de Mouzinho da Silveira 249, 4050-421 Porto, Portugal (website)
Beautifully displayed Vegan buffet offering breakfast, lunch and dinner. The place was busy and had a great selection of dishes including soup and desserts (you have to pay more). It's all you can eat.
R. de Passos Manuel 226, 4000-382 Porto, Portugal (website)
Francesinha is a Porto institution, and Cafe Santiago is the place to go. We were eager to try this from the beginning. Although it looks great on picture, the dish itself was too heavy. Definitely worthy of a try, but wouldn't go running back for more.
- Portuguese Chicken
Pedro dos Frangos
R. do Bonjardim 223 312, 4000-124 Porto, Portugal (website)
Genuine Roast Portuguese Piri Piri Chicken. You can tell you're in a good place when the restaurant is busy, infact heaving. We were lucky we got a seat before the mass crowd from the Christmas parade. We ordered Portuguese Roast Chicken on a plate of chips (what most people ordered). The chicken was fresh and flavoursome. Not too far off from a Nando's.
Our Must Visit Places
- Luis I Bridge
Epic views from above.
- Douro River
River crossing boats.
- Bairro da Ribeira
Lots of bars and restaurants overlooking the Luis I Bridge.
- São Bento Station
Beautiful tiled walls inside the main building.
- Chapel Almas de Santa Catarina
Ornate tiled walls of the chapel.
- Monumento a Garrett
City hall and iconic landmark.
- Jardim dos Sentimentos
Tranquil gardens overlooking Douro River.
- Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
Landscape gardens with Peacocks.
- Foz do Douro
Historic seafront and beautiful walks.