Porto holidays

Colourful, creative and culinarily rewarding, Porto is a city that’s easy to love. It’s smaller and less frantic than its big sister Lisbon, and arguably exudes a more ‘authentic’ Portuguese feel. Spot the intricate azulejo tiles everywhere from stations to churches, sample its famous Port wine and eat your way around a city of flavourful capers, waiting to be explored within its maze-like streets. 

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Wine and dine in Portugal’s oldest city  

Imbibe Porto’s picture-perfect terracotta rooftops and street art, feast your way around its restaurants, or head below and brave its catacombs. All this and more are a short metro journey from the airport and straight into the heart of this incredible city. 

Porto is a city that gives back. Climbing the 75-metre-high Torre dos Clerigos will reward you with citywide views. Take in its glistening harbour below, before heading off for a breakfast of kings. Try the ridiculously addictive pasteis de natas at the famous Café Majestic, where you can feast alongside frolicking cherubs and gilded carvings before wandering down Rua de Belomonte. Here, you’ll find anything from book emporiums to old school cinemas. Don’t miss the world-famous Livraria Lello bookstore with its fairytale interior, before heading to any number of galleries. Finally, toast your new favourite city in the Vila Nova de Gaia neighbourhood’s old port lodges. Book your flights to Porto today.

Carefully selected Porto city breaks

Best hotels in Porto for all types of traveller

We have a selection of the best hotels in Porto to recommend. Housed within the 16th Century palace is the luxurious PortoBay Flores. Set on the pedestrianised Rua das Flores, it’s close to all the attractions. For affordable luxury, try Mercure Porto Centro. Offering a pool and terrace, it sits close to the old town, the Torre dos Clerigos and the port cellars. The fresh, bright PortoBay Teatro is in the heart of Porto’s historical centre at Ribera, near the theatre district. 

Built in the style of the surrounding16th Century buildings, Pestana Vintage Porto Hotel blends right in the heart of historic Ribeira Square. Meanwhile, the contemporary Pestana Douro Riverside Urban Resort is located on the bank of the Douro River and has its own infinity pool. It’s 2.5 miles from the centre of Porto. 



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Porto holiday FAQs

  1. Visit Porto's iconic market, Mercado do Bolhao. on Rua Formosa. Although renovated in 2023, what’s not changed is its friendly traders – many who’ve have been here for decades. Nibble on the samples on offer from sardines to flour-dusted tripe. 
  2. Fundacao de Serralves is a bit of an institution, as the museum boasts many of Porto’s historical and cultural treasures. It’s next to Serralve's House, which also makes a great Instagram snap, thanks to its Art Deco architecture. Roam its park where you’ll find serene gardens and woodlands. Don’t miss its Treetop Walk.
  3.  Come hungry to Café de Santiago for some of the best francesinha in town. This place is legendary for serving this traditional, gut-busting sarnie made of wood-fired bread, smoked cured pork sausage, roast meat and ham, cheese and a fried egg. Oh, it’s also drenched in rich beer. Elasticated trousers are recommended.  
  4. No visit to Porto should bypass port tasting. To trace the drink back to its 17th-century origins, visit the Vila Nova de Gaia neighbourhood, where you’ll find port lodges opening their doors for tours among barrel-lined cellars. One of the city’s favourites is British-run Taylor’s which has been here since 1692 – its tours give you the chance to sample refined, vintage port in its Library Room.                                 
  5. Bibliophiles will love Livraria Lello, one of the world’s most famous bookshops. The neo-Gothic building’s interiors are reminiscent of a fairy tale – with a winding ruby staircase and intricate carved wood staircase railings. While you’ll want to peruse the tomes on the shelves, remember to look up. The stained-glass ceiling is one for the books!
  6. Visit the Soares dos Reis Museum, a national treasure, which reopened in 2023 after four years of closure. It was the country’s first public museum (opening in 1833 under a different name) and has two incredible gardens and art from the 16 to 20th Centuries, including ceramics, paintings, glass and jewellery – many from iconic Porto artists.
  7. Get lost in the Ribeira district – the heart of historic Porto. The entire area is a UNESCO World Heritage site for good reason. Stroll among its winding streets and old buildings to discover a hidden alleyways dotted with cafes. Located right on the riverfront is River Douro – the perfect spot to take a cruise and watch the city’s magic unfold.
  8. At 60 metres-above-ground level, the pedestrian walkway that tops the iconic Luis I (or Ponte Dom) bridge isn’t for the faint-hearted. Designed by one of Gustave Eiffel’s students (Teophile Seyrig), it stems across the Douro River. When it was finished in 1886, it had the longest span of any metal bridge. Scuttle up to the walkway and you’re rewarded with views of the 18th Century skyline, including Porto Cathedral and Torre dos Clerigos. 
  • A visit to the old town will bring you face-to-face with the dazzling Gothic Rococo church of Sao Francisco. Its sumptuous interiors reflect the extreme wealth of its bygone patrons (its gilded Baroque fixtures are thought to contain some 400kg of gold), meanwhile the catacombs below add an austere contrast. Beware – in a discrete corner of the crypt, you can also peer into a window and spot piles of ancient human bones. 
  • Turning to a lighter mood, film lovers will enjoy the incredible retro independent cinema, Batalha Centro de Cinema. Some incredible frescos painted by Julio Pomar were uncovered during a refurbishment in 2022 – and they’re really worth seeing. 
  • Meander along Rua de Santa Catarina, a busy shopping area. Here you’ll also find wonderful Café Majestic, as well as the beautiful, blue-tiled facade of the Capela das Almas church. Just off the square, Praca da Batalha, you’ll find another tiled gem: the Church of Santo Ildefonso.
  • Finally, ditch the crowds for laidback Foz do Douro. Join the locals around these stylish and affluent parts, gazing at the big Atlantic waves that crash along its pristine beach. Stop offat  the eclectic restaurants and boutiques before making the three-mile journey back to Porto by car or via a scenic e-bike journey. 


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