Lisbon and Porto are two of Portugal’s most stunning cities, each with unique charms and attractions. Porto, one of the oldest towns in Europe, is known for its charming medieval center, breathtaking vistas of the Douro River, rich history and culture, fine wine, magnificent scenery, and impressive architecture. A day trip from Lisbon to Porto offers an easy way to discover another side of Portugal.
In this post, I’ll outline the benefits of taking a day trip from Lisbon to Porto, as well as what to expect from the journey and tips for making the most of your time there.
Is a Day Trip From Lisbon to Porto Worth it?
Yes! You can be confident that it will be worthwhile. Northern Portugal’s Porto is a gorgeous city with a lot to offer, including a picturesque medieval district and breathtaking views of the Douro River. Here are several reasons for thinking of visiting Porto for the day:
One of Portugal’s most beautiful train routes runs from Lisbon to Porto. You’ll travel through rolling hills, vineyards, and tiny towns before reaching Porto. When you arrive, you’ll be met by breathtaking views of the Douro River and Ribeira’s vibrant residences.
Porto has a long and illustrious history that goes all the way back to the Roman era. A UNESCO World Heritage Site, its historic center is home to stunning buildings and attractions, including the Porto Cathedral and So Bento Train Station.
Yummy Wine and Food
Portugal is well known for its delectable cuisine and beverages, and Porto is no exception. It is impossible to visit Porto without tasting the city’s world-famous port wine. There are also several regional delicacies to sample, including seafood dishes and the Francesinha sandwich.
In conclusion, taking a day trip from Lisbon to Porto is a fantastic way to see Portugal from a fresh perspective and experience the best of both worlds!
A Day Trip From Lisbon to Porto
Porto, a city in Portugal, is known for its delicious food and wine, including world-famous port wine. Visitors can also enjoy regional delicacies like seafood dishes and the Francesinha sandwich. A day trip from Lisbon to Porto offers a fresh perspective on Portugal.
The train from Lisbon to Porto offers stunning views of the Portuguese countryside. The express train is the fastest option, taking around two hours and forty minutes and costing €31.70 for a single adult. For a one-day trip, the fast train is the preferred option, with longer options available for €25.
Return prices for trains start at a few euros and may be purchased online or at the station. In order to save time and explore the region, it is advised to purchase tickets online, if at all feasible, during the busiest times of the year when tickets may sell out.
Bus travel is another convenient and pleasant alternative for getting from Lisbon to Porto. Depending on the bus you select, the trip might take anywhere from three and a half to over four hours. Rene Expressos is the major bus company that runs this route. Adult tickets cost €20, making it a reasonably priced choice. Additionally, their buses are spotless and well-kept.
I decided to take the bus to get from Lisbon to Porto since it was at a time when I was traveling constantly and I needed to stretch my money as far as possible. Tickets for buses can be reserved online or at the bus station and are good for up to 30 days. Buses operate often, so you won’t have to worry as much about seats filling up as you would with a train.
Rent a car and go by road from Lisbon to Porto if you like. There are several vehicle rental agencies in Lisbon, and the trip takes little over three hours (or longer depending on traffic). However, be aware that driving in Porto might be difficult owing to the congested streets. There are further costly road tolls.
An organized excursion to Porto from Lisbon can be a smart choice for you if you want to eliminate the worry of traveling from point A to point B and back. Most tour operators provide private tours and will pick you up from your lodging.
Some even allow you to customize the schedule, making it a fantastic opportunity for you and some buddies to see the city (plus, you can divide the cost!). An extra bonus is a tour guide who will give you a summary of the history and culture of the place.
Things to Do and See in Porto
To fully enjoy Porto, schedule your day in advance, focusing on attractions, culture, and port wine tasting. Enjoy the vibrant city environment and friendly residents, making it an unforgettable experience.
#1. Stroll Around Ribeira
Pay a visit to the neighborhood of Ribeira first thing in the morning. The Ribeira is one of Porto’s most scenic neighborhoods and the city’s center. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is situated on the banks of the Douro River. It is one of the city’s oldest neighborhoods.
If you haven’t had breakfast yet, you may have a meal in one of the numerous cafés or restaurants while strolling through the vibrant streets and admiring the breathtaking views of the river. As an alternative, you may relax with a cup of coffee or a bottle of Port wine at one of the numerous cafés while admiring the breathtaking views of the Douro River. It’s a terrific spot to return for lunch as well.
#2. Visit Porto Cathedral
The Se Cathedral in Porto, sometimes known as the Porto Cathedral, is an important and well-known landmark in the city. It is located in the highest portion of Porto and is a National Monument. Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque architectural styles are all present in this 12th-century building. The amazing building that we see now is the result of several alterations that it has undergone over the years.
To fully enjoy Porto, schedule your day in advance and choose activities based on your interests and time. Explore Porto’s notable attractions, unique culture, and world-famous port wine. Enjoy the vibrant city environment and encounter friendly residents for unforgettable experiences.
#3. Take in The Beauty of Sao Bento Train Station
A must-see destination in Porto is So Bento Train Station, which is renowned for its exquisite tile panels representing Portuguese history. It was constructed in the early 20th century and has an elaborate front with a large clock. The station’s architecture, which also acts as a center for rail travel, may be admired by visitors, who can also take in the fine intricacies of the tiles. The station is a fantastic location for breathtaking shots and appreciating the distinctive architecture.
#4. Browse Lello Bookstore
One of the most stunning bookshops in the world, Lello Bookstore is a must-see attraction in Porto. Book fans won’t want to miss it, for sure! The 1906-opened bookshop is renowned for its magnificent Art Nouveau building, which has beautiful woodwork and a sweeping central staircase. In addition to perusing the wide collection of books, many tourists stop at Lello to see the lovely setting.
It’s advisable to go early in the morning or out of season to avoid large lines.
#5. Climb Clerigos Tower
The Clérigos Tower is among Porto’s most recognizable sights. The 76-meter-high tower’s breathtaking 360-degree views of the city and its surroundings are available. The Clérigos Church, which was constructed in the 18th century in the Baroque style, has a tower. You must ascend 200 stairs to reach the tower’s summit, but the effort is unquestionably worthwhile. The Douro River and the red roofs of Porto’s historic district are visible from the observation deck of the tower.
For everyone visiting Porto, the Clérigos Tower is a must-see site and a great place to take pictures. It’s a great place to snap breath-taking pictures and appreciate the splendor of the city.
#6. Visit Casa Da Musica
With its exquisite tile panels illustrating Portuguese history, Porto’s ancient So Bento Train Station is a must-see destination. The station is a focal point for rail traffic and features distinctive architecture and a sizable clock. For fans of modern architecture, Casa da Msica, a contemporary performance venue in the Boavista area, is a must-see.
It is the home of the Porto National Orchestra and organizes several performances and events. Rem Koolhaas, a Dutch architect, designed it. The inside is similarly magnificent, with both a large music hall and more intimate areas. Whether you’re a fan of music or architecture, a trip to Casa da Msica is bound to wow and inspire you.
#7. Enjoy the Art at Serralves Museum
The Serralves Museum, a modern art gallery situated in a stunning Art Deco structure surrounded by gardens, is a must-see for art enthusiasts. A broad variety of paintings by Portuguese and foreign artists are on display at the museum. The structure itself is a piece of art with a modernist style that contrasts with the park’s unspoiled beauty.
The museum also often holds exhibitions and activities, making it a lively and interesting place to visit. During your visit to Porto, don’t miss the chance to visit the Serralves Museum and immerse yourself in the realm of modern art.
#8. Drink Port Wine at One of the Cellars
With multiple port wine cellars situated in the Vila Nova de Gaia area, Porto’s rich wine culture is a must-see attraction. Port wine, a sweet fortified wine stored in oak barrels, is available for sampling and excursions at these cellars, which include Graham’s Port Lodge, Porto Augusto’s, and Taylor’s Port.
It is a wonderful opportunity for tourists to enjoy Porto’s distinctive and delectable beverage since they can discover the region’s history, and the art of winemaking, and taste some of the best wines.
Stores in Porto
There are many places to buy in the lovely and ancient city of Porto. The major retail area, Rua de Santa Catarina, features both domestic and foreign goods. There are gourmet culinary items, apparel, accessories, and mementos available. Fresh produce, meats, cheeses, and other regional delicacies are available at Mercado do Bolho, one of the city’s oldest indoor marketplaces.
Finding antiques, used products, and vintage stuff is easy at the Saturday flea market known as Feira do Vandoma. In Porto, these retail areas provide a distinctive experience.
What Are the Tips for Visiting Porto in One Day?
Following are some suggestions for making the most of your day trip from Lisbon to Porto:
- Think Ahead: List the attractions you wish to see and order them according to your interests. To make the most of your time in the city, leave as early as possible. Arrange to return to Lisbon in the late afternoon. To avoid going overboard, don’t forget to account for travel time.
- Porto has many hills and cobblestone streets, so it’s important to wear comfortable shoes.
- Download offline maps: It might be challenging to find your way around Porto, so it’s a good idea to download an offline map of the region from Google Maps in advance.
- Take stops and relax. There are several cafés and parks in Porto where you may stop and rest your feet.
- Sunscreen is a must-pack item, and water is necessary year-round. Bring water and don’t forget it while traveling in the summer, when it may become quite hot.
When is the Best Time to Visit Porto?
Porto is a beautiful destination with a lively environment and moderate weather, making it ideal for vacations in the spring or fall. Summer is the busiest season, with high temperatures and many visitors. Winter offers holiday celebrations, cheaper pricing, and fewer crowds. Porto’s rich history, beautiful architecture, and lively culture make it a fascinating place to visit. Warming up in port wine cellars on chilly days is a great option.