A Perfect 3 Day Porto Itinerary with a Day Trip to Douro Valley

If you're visiting Porto for the first time, here's a perfect 3-day Porto itinerary to make the most out of your trip.

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A view of the river and bridge in Porto, Portugal

Porto is a charming city located in the northern part of Portugal. It is a popular destination for travelers who are seeking a combination of history, culture, and scenic beauty. With its stunning architecture, scenic river views, and delicious food and wine, Porto has something to offer for every kind of traveler. If you’re visiting Porto for the first time, here’s a perfect 3 day Porto itinerary to make the most out of your trip.

Where to Stay in Porto

Porto has a variety of accommodation options to suit any budget. For a more budget-friendly option, check out Hostel One Ribiera or the Gallery Hostel, both located in the city center. For a luxury stay, book a room at the iconic Yeatman Hotel, located just outside of the city center with stunning views of the Douro River.

Getting to Porto

Porto is well-connected by air, road, and rail, making it easy to reach from within Portugal and beyond. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, located about 11 kilometers from the city center, is the main airport serving Porto. It’s serviced by several major airlines, including TAP Portugal, Ryanair, and easyJet, among others. From the airport, you can take a taxi, metro, or bus to the city center.

If you’re traveling by train, Porto has two main train stations: São Bento and Campanhã. São Bento is located in the city center and is served by trains from Lisbon, Coimbra, and other destinations. Campanhã is located outside the city center and is served by regional and international trains. If you’re coming from Lisbon, the journey takes about three hours and offers scenic views of the Portuguese countryside.

If you’re driving, Porto is easily accessible from Lisbon via the A1 motorway. The journey takes about three hours and passes through beautiful scenery along the way.

Regardless of how you choose to get to Porto for this 3 Day Porto itinerary, it’s important to plan ahead and book your transportation in advance to ensure a smooth and hassle-free journey.

Day 1: Exploring Porto’s Historic Center

On your first day, start by exploring the historic center of Porto, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Start at the Clérigos Tower, which is one of Porto’s most iconic landmarks. The tower offers stunning panoramic views of the city and the surrounding areas. Next, visit the nearby Livraria Lello, which is a beautiful bookshop that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. The bookshop has a stunning staircase and an impressive collection of books.

Afterward, walk down the Rua das Flores, which is a lively pedestrian street with many shops, cafes, and restaurants. Stop for lunch at one of the local restaurants and try the famous francesinha, a traditional Portuguese sandwich filled with meat and covered in cheese and sauce.

In the afternoon, visit the São Bento train station, which is famous for its beautiful azulejo tiles that depict scenes from Portuguese history. Next, head to the Ribeira district, which is located on the banks of the Douro River. Take a leisurely stroll along the riverfront, take in the stunning views of the colorful buildings and boats.

Day 2: A Day Trip to Douro Valley

On your second day of this 3 day Porto itinerary, take a day trip to the Douro Valley, which is a beautiful wine region located just outside Porto. The easiest way to get there is by train from the São Bento train station. The train ride takes approximately 1.5 hours and offers stunning views of the river and the vineyards.

Once you arrive, explore the charming town of Pinhão, which is located in the heart of the Douro Valley. Take a walk along the riverfront, visit the local wine shops and enjoy a delicious lunch at one of the local restaurants.

In the afternoon, take a boat tour along the river, which is the perfect way to explore the region and admire the beautiful landscape. Alternatively, you can visit one of the local wineries for a wine tasting session and learn more about the history of wine production in the region.

Day 3: Discovering Porto’s Best Kept Secrets

On your final day in Porto, discover some of the city’s best-kept secrets. Start by visiting the Palácio da Bolsa, which is a beautiful neoclassical building that used to be the stock exchange. The building is famous for its stunning interior, which includes a beautiful Arab Room.

Next, visit the beautiful gardens of the Crystal Palace, which offer stunning views of the city and the river. The park is perfect for a leisurely stroll and a picnic.

In the afternoon, head to the Foz district, which is located at the mouth of the Douro River. This is the perfect place to relax and unwind after a few days of exploring. Take a walk along the promenade and enjoy the stunning views of the ocean. Finally, end your trip with a delicious dinner at one of the local seafood restaurants.

Conclusion

With this 3 day Porto itinerary, you’ll have a great introduction to one of Portugal’s most beautiful and fascinating cities. So pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to explore all that Porto has to offer!  For more ideas on traveling in Portugal, check out 3 Days in Lisbon: Insider Tips and Must-See Sights for Solo Travelers and 14 Day Portugal Itinerary for Solo Travelers!

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