Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

A Weekend In Portugal: 3 Days In Porto


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Kriste Suggs



Welcome to Portugal, a vibrant and enchanting country located in the westernmost part of Europe. Known for its rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality, Portugal is a destination that offers something for everyone. And if you’re seeking a memorable weekend getaway, look no further than the city of Porto.


Located along the banks of the Douro River, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city and a UNESCO World Heritage site. Renowned for its charming old town, vibrant culture, and delicious port wine, Porto is the perfect destination for a 3-day adventure.


Upon arriving in Porto, you’ll be greeted by a city that effortlessly blends tradition and modernity. Cobblestone streets, colorful houses, and intricate azulejo tiles are a testament to Porto’s rich history, while contemporary art galleries, trendy cafes, and stylish boutiques showcase its thriving creative scene.


During your weekend in Porto, you’ll have the opportunity to explore the city’s historic center, take a leisurely cruise along the Douro River, indulge in exquisite port wine tastings, and savor the flavors of traditional Portuguese cuisine. Whether you’re a history buff, a foodie, or just looking for a relaxing getaway, Porto has something to offer you.


In this 3-day itinerary, we will guide you through the best sights and experiences Porto has to offer. From wandering through the ancient alleyways of Ribeira to tasting the world-famous port wine in Vila Nova de Gaia, get ready to fall in love with Porto’s charm and character.


So, grab your hat and camera, and let’s embark on a weekend adventure through the magical city of Porto. Get ready to create unforgettable memories and discover the true essence of Portugal.


Day 1: Arrival and Exploring the Historic Center

Welcome to Porto! After arriving at Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, take a moment to soak in the refreshing sea breeze that greets you as you step outside. From there, hop on the metro or hail a taxi to make your way to the heart of the city.


As you arrive in the historic center of Porto, you’ll be greeted by a labyrinth of narrow, winding streets that lead you to the mesmerizing Ribeira district. This UNESCO World Heritage site is the perfect place to start your exploration of the city.


Begin your journey by crossing the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge, which spans the Douro River and offers breathtaking views of Porto’s colorful skyline. As you make your way across, take a moment to appreciate the architectural masterpiece while capturing some memorable photos.


Once you’ve crossed the bridge, you’ll find yourself in the heart of Ribeira. This charming neighborhood is a treasure trove of medieval buildings, bustling cafes, and lively street performers. Spend some time wandering through its maze-like streets, immersing yourself in the vibrant atmosphere.


Make sure to visit Porto Cathedral, a stunning Romanesque structure that dates back to the 12th century. Take a stroll through its beautifully manicured gardens and climb the bell tower for panoramic views of the city. You’ll be rewarded with an incredible vantage point that showcases the intricate rooftops and the mighty Douro River.


Afterwards, head to the iconic Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. This architectural gem with its grand staircase, stained glass windows, and ornate details is a haven for book lovers and Harry Potter enthusiasts alike. Take your time browsing through its vast collection or simply find a cozy spot to relax and soak in the atmosphere.


No visit to Porto is complete without trying some authentic Portuguese cuisine. Head to a local restaurant in Ribeira and indulge in a hearty meal of bacalhau (salted cod), francesinha (a delicious sandwich with layers of meat and cheese), or caldo verde (traditional kale soup). Pair your meal with a glass of the famous Vinho Verde wine, and savor the flavors of Portugal.


As the sun begins to set, find a spot along the riverside and witness the transformation of Porto’s skyline. The golden hues cast upon the colorful buildings create a magical and romantic ambiance. Take a leisurely stroll along the river’s edge and embrace the charm of Porto at dusk.


After a day filled with exploration and culinary delights, it’s time to rest and recharge for the adventures that await you on Day 2. Head back to your hotel and get a good night’s sleep, knowing that there are plenty more unforgettable experiences to come in the beautiful city of Porto.


Day 2: Exploring the Douro River and Port Wine Tasting

Wake up refreshed and ready for another exciting day in Porto. Today, we’ll embark on an adventure along the picturesque Douro River, immersing ourselves in its beauty and indulging in the world-renowned port wine.


Start your day with a visit to Vila Nova de Gaia, located on the south bank of the Douro River. This charming neighborhood is home to the famous port wine cellars, where the age-old tradition of producing port wine lives on. Take a walk along the riverfront and explore the numerous cellars that line the streets.


Choose a renowned port wine producer, such as Sandeman, Taylor’s, or Graham’s, and opt for a guided tour of their cellar. Learn about the history and production process of this iconic Portuguese wine while marveling at the vast oak barrels and bottles aging gracefully in the cellars.


After the tour, it’s time to savor the flavors of the exquisite port wine. Indulge in a tasting session led by knowledgeable sommeliers who will guide you through the different varieties and vintages of port, from the rich and velvety Tawny to the fruity and vibrant Ruby. Raise a glass and toast to the rich heritage of port wine while enjoying panoramic views of Porto across the river.


Once you’ve explored the cellars and satisfied your taste buds, it’s time to hop on a boat and cruise along the Douro River. Enjoy the scenic views as the boat gently glides through the waters, passing vineyards, terraced hillsides, and charming riverside villages that grace the riverbanks.


As you cruise along, you’ll have the opportunity to witness the impressive bridges that span the river, including the Dom Luís I Bridge, the Arrábida Bridge, and the Maria Pia Bridge. Each bridge tells a story and adds to the beauty of the Douro River landscape.


After the boat tour, make your way back to the historic center of Porto. Take a leisurely stroll through the elegant Avenida dos Aliados, the city’s main boulevard, and admire the grandeur of the Belle Époque architecture.


As evening approaches, immerse yourself in Porto’s vibrant dining scene. Choose from the abundance of local restaurants and savor traditional Portuguese dishes paired with local wines. After dinner, take a leisurely walk along the riverside promenade and feel the city come alive as the lights reflect on the waters of the Douro River.


As you wind down from a day filled with exploration and enjoyment, take a moment to reflect on the beauty and cultural richness of Porto. And with one more day left in this enchanting city, get a good night’s sleep, as there’s still more to discover in the final day of your weekend in Porto.


Day 3: Discovering Porto’s Cultural and Culinary Delights

On your final day in Porto, get ready to immerse yourself in the city’s cultural and culinary delights. Today, we’ll explore Porto’s vibrant art scene, visit iconic landmarks, and indulge in the mouthwatering flavors of Portuguese cuisine.


Start your morning with a visit to the Fundação de Serralves, a contemporary art museum set amidst beautiful gardens and parklands. Explore the impressive collection of modern and contemporary art, wander through the outdoor sculptures, and take in the serene surroundings. Don’t forget to snap some photos of the striking architecture that blends harmoniously with the natural landscape.


From there, make your way to the iconic Lello Bookstore, often referred to as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world. Admire the stunning Neo-Gothic facade before stepping inside to be captivated by the exquisite interior. Lose yourself in the rows of bookshelves and let your imagination roam freely in this literary haven.


As you stroll through the historic center, stop by São Bento Train Station, known for its mesmerizing azulejo tile panels that depict scenes from Portuguese history. Marvel at the intricate blue and white tiles that line the station’s walls and take a moment to appreciate this architectural gem.


For lunch, venture into the bustling Bolhão Market, a food lover’s paradise. Explore the stalls filled with fresh produce, local meats and cheeses, and traditional culinary delights. Sample some mouthwatering snacks like the famous bifana (pork sandwich) or try some regional specialties like Francesinha, a decadent sandwich layered with meat, melted cheese, and a rich tomato sauce.


After lunch, head to the Clerigos Tower, an iconic symbol of Porto. Climb the 240 steps to the top for a panoramic view of the city’s rooftops and the sparkling Douro River. From this vantage point, you’ll gain a new perspective of Porto’s beauty and understand why it holds a special place in the hearts of locals and visitors alike.


As the day winds down, make your way to the Ribeira district once again, but this time, treat yourself to a relaxing riverfront dinner. Choose a cozy restaurant with outdoor seating and enjoy a meal while savoring the picturesque view of the Douro River. Indulge in traditional Portuguese dishes, such as grilled sardines, octopus rice, or hearty caldeirada (fish stew), accompanied by a glass of Vinho Verde or a refreshing Port tonic.


End your evening with a leisurely stroll along the riverbank, taking in the romantic ambiance and the twinkling lights reflected on the water. Absorb the energy and charm of Porto one last time, cherishing the memories you’ve made during your weekend getaway.


As you bid farewell to Porto, you’ll carry with you the vibrant spirit of the city and a newfound appreciation for its cultural heritage, gastronomic delights, and unforgettable experiences. Until we meet again, Porto.



As your weekend adventure in Porto comes to a close, you can’t help but feel a bittersweet mix of nostalgia and gratitude. You’ve explored the historic center, embarked on a journey along the Douro River, and indulged in the flavors of authentic Portuguese cuisine. Porto has left an indelible mark on your heart, and you’ll carry its charm and beauty with you long after you’ve left.


Porto’s rich history, stunning landscapes, and warm hospitality create an irresistible allure that draws visitors from around the world. From the winding streets of Ribeira to the vineyard-dotted hillsides of Vila Nova de Gaia, the city offers a mesmerizing blend of ancient traditions and modern wonders.


During your weekend getaway, you experienced the vibrant art scene at the Fundação de Serralves, marveled at the architectural wonders of the Lello Bookstore and São Bento Train Station, and savored the flavors of traditional Portuguese dishes at bustling markets and riverside restaurants.


You explored the cellars of renowned port wine producers, learning about the history and craftsmanship behind this iconic Portuguese wine. And you gracefully cruised along the Douro River, captivated by the picturesque landscapes and majestic bridges that connect the city.


But perhaps what made your weekend in Porto truly special was the warmth and friendliness of the locals. Their genuine hospitality and willingness to share their love for their city made you feel welcome, adding an extra layer of charm to your experience.


As you reflect on your time in Porto, you can’t help but feel grateful for the memories created and the experiences shared. The vibrant colors, the sweet aroma of pastéis de nata, the echoes of Fado music floating through the air — all of these elements have intertwined to create a tapestry of beauty and culture.


Porto is a city that invites exploration, delights the senses, and leaves a lasting impression. Whether you’re strolling through its historic streets, sipping a glass of port wine, or marveling at its architectural wonders, the city’s vibrant energy and timeless charm will continue to enchant visitors for generations to come.


So, as you bid farewell to Porto, know that you leave with a piece of its magic in your heart. The memories you’ve made and the experiences you’ve had will forever be a part of your journey. Until we meet again, Porto, obrigado for an unforgettable weekend.