April 2, 2023

From wine tasting to historic sights – top things to do in Porto

One must-visit vineyard in Porto, Portugal is the beautiful Quinta Das Escomoeiras, which also serves as a bed & breakfast.
Depending on the type of vacation you’re after, Portugal offers relaxation, historical highlights, and culinary delights. Many travelers choose to stay in Lisbon, as it is the largest city and a central location for visiting other areas. However, a 2.5- to 3-hour drive north will take travelers into the Douro region and wine country, where you will find a bevy of excellent things to do in Porto.

Wine Tasting
Wine lovers should consider staying in the northern city of Porto, Portugal. Be sure to taste the Vinho Verde (or “green wine”), which has a crisp flavor and a distinctive greenish tint. It’s well-known in Portugal, but not widely available in the United States – making it a must-try on any trip to the region. There are a number of local wine tasting tours that pick travelers up at their hotel and take them to wine estates outside of the city – I booked a tour through Viator, and had an excellent experience.

The obvious benefit of booking a tour is having a driver, so that you can enjoy multiple wine tastings. In addition, navigating the winding hills and narrow paths to each estate by car can be intimidating for those not familiar with the area. If you choose to visit estates on your own, it’s wise to map out your route in advance and pre-arrange any reservations. With a packaged tour, all the legwork is done in advance, which I’ve personally found to be a great relief on a vacation.

More Things to Do in Porto

For the remainder of your stay in the city, it’s easy to get around on foot. Many restaurants and shops line the Douro River walk (Zona Ribeirinha), and there are a number of historic attractions to enjoy throughout the city. As the river walk ends, take the funicular up the hill and walk to the Porto Cathedral, which has gorgeous blue and white tile-work throughout the church and sits on a plaza overlooking the city. From there, you can walk across the Ponte D. Luis I bridge to the opposite side of the Douro River for a fantastic view.

Want to plan a trip to Porto, Portugal? Find your perfect hotel here.

Or, explore more Local Travel Ideas here.

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