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One Day In Porto Portugal: Ultimate Itinerary

Porto, also known as Oporto, is the second largest city in Portugal and even though you can easily spend a few days in the city it’s possible to see the best the city has to offer in one day.

One day in Porto Portugal gives you the chance to discover the beauty of the magical bookshop Livraria Lello, explore the vibrant Ribeira neighborhood, and end the day with a Port wine tasting at one of the charming cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia.

I count myself lucky to have been able to spend a whole month in Porto. During this time, I explored the city extensively. That’s how I managed to create this amazing 24-hour Porto itinerary, with all the must-see spots and insider tips so you can have the best day possible.

One Day in Porto Itinerary

Morning: Packed with Culture

Livraria Lello

inside the bookshop Livraria Lello
It can get very crowded in the bookshop

Livraria Lello is considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the whole world. Rumour had it that J.K. Rowling drew inspiration from Livraria Lello to create the magical world of Harry Potter. Turns out this isn’t true, but it’s still a magical spot in Porto.

Brace yourself, though, as this place attracts a lot of tourists. That’s why this Porto one day itinerary starts with this beautiful bookshop in the hope of avoiding the crowds and enjoying a more peaceful experience.

There’s an entry fee, but it’s redeemable against any book purchase. So, in case you fancy a souvenir from Portugal, that’s the perfect place for some shopping. They’ve got special editions of classic novels in various languages, a one-of-a-kind keepsake from your holiday.

🤩 Take a walking tour through Porto to see the major attractions!

Blue Azulejo tiles

Church in Porto
Igreja do Carmo with Azulejo tiles on the side

A visit to Porto wouldn’t be complete without noticing the intricate beauty of Azulejo tiles. These blue and white ceramic tiles can be found decorating the city’s streets, churches, and historical buildings.

For me, the most noticeable examples of Azulejo art were undoubtedly on the facade of the Igreja do Carmo, the Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls) and inside the São Bento Train Station. The tiles narrate religious tales and historical events.

Small tip: When you’re in front of Igreja do Carmo, you have a view of the tiniest house in Porto. In between the Carmo and Carmelitas churches is a hidden house which is only 1.5 meters wide.

🤩 This electric bike tour is a great way to get an overview of the city!

Clérigos Tower

Clerigos Tower next to some colourful houses
Clerigos Tower on the left

Next on our 1 day in Porto itinerary, we head to the towering symbol of Porto – the Torre dos Clérigos. It’s a remarkable example of Baroque architecture, and the best part is that you can climb the steps to get panoramic views of Porto from the top of the tower.

However, if you’re only here for a day, I’d strongly recommend purchasing your tickets online in advance to save precious time. We queued up for quite a bit until we were able to visit the tower.

Tina sitting on the grass, having a drink on her one day in Porto Portugal
It’s a great place to take a small break

Tip: There’s a little park right next to the tower with a cool bar. You can sit at a few tables or on cushions on the floor, have a drink and enjoy the view of the Clérigos Bell Tower.

PORTO sign

Porto sign in front of city hall
Porto sign in front of city hall

Before we dash off to our next stop, there’s a small detour that I highly recommend. On the bustling Praça do Município square, you’ll find the grand Porto City Hall, a magnificent neoclassical building.

But the real reason I recommend this detour are the large, blue, city letters spelling ‘PORTO’ right in front of the town hall. I just love city letters! It’s a popular spot for tourists to snap a picture or two.

There are usually other people taking pictures as well, meaning you won’t have any trouble finding someone to take a picture of you.

So, strike a pose, flash a smile, and immortalize your Porto one-day adventure with this picture. Don’t take too long though, we have plenty more to explore!

Tip: Near the city hall is my favorite place in Porto to get some Pastel de Nata. At Pastelaria Tupi they have this traditional Portuguese dessert also vegan.

🤩 Make the most out of your day with this guided tour!

Porto Cathedral

Porto Cathedral with a statue in front, it's worth a small stop on your one day in Porto itinerary
Porto Cathedral

On the way to the Porto Cathedral, make sure to pop into the São Bento Train Station, a historical landmark that’s more an art gallery than a bustling transport hub. The entry hall, adorned with over 20,000 Azulejo tiles, tells a visual story of Portugal’s past.

After this quick pit-stop, continue your journey to the cathedral, locally known as Sé do Porto. With its imposing façade and twin towers, it’s a striking spectacle in the Porto skyline.

Standing on the cathedral terrace, you can soak in the view of the city rooftops, making it a perfect place to reflect on your culture-packed morning.

Going inside the cathedral and admiring the architecture is one of the great things to do in Porto when it rains.

🤩 This electric bike tour is the best way to explore the city if you don’t want to walk everywhere!

Afternoon: Explore the Riverside

Ribeira Neighbourhood

colourful houses with some chairs and tables in front
Colourful houses at Ribeira

Another one of the best things to do in Porto in a day is to explore the Ribeira district. This neighborhood next to the waterfront is known for its narrow streets and colorful buildings. The charming Ribeira makes Porto one of the best places to visit in Northern Portugal.

There’s nothing quite like strolling along the waterfront promenade, Cais da Ribeira, lined with lively cafes, traditional boats bobbing in the water, and street performers adding to the vibrant atmosphere.

A day in Porto certainly wouldn’t be complete without strolling through this historic center of Porto, which is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Boat Tour

View of a river and the city of Porto in the background

As you walk around the waterfront you’ll immediately see many tour boats. This is also our next activity on this Porto 1 day itinerary.

These boat tours in Porto offer a unique perspective of the city, allowing you to take in the picturesque landscape of the banks of the Douro River.

On a Douro River cruise, you’ll be able to see the six bridges that connect Porto on the west side of the river and Vila Nova de Gaia on the east side of the River Douro.

From the boat, you’ll also get spectacular views of the iconic Ribeira district in Porto and the wine cellars of Gaia.

Top Pick
Douro River at sunset with houses on the shoreline; view of one of the boat tours in Porto


Private tour in the Douro (1 to 4 people)

✅ Private boat for you

✅ Welcome drink and almonds

✅ Professional skipper

Ponte Dom Luís I

3 day Porto itinerary
Best views of Ribeira and the bridge

The most famous and most picturesque bridge in Porto is the double-decker bridge Dom Luís I. The upper deck is for trams and the lower deck is for cars, pedestrians can walk on both decks.

I highly recommend crossing on the upper deck of the bridge, it’s more relaxed since there are no cars and you get a great view of the beautiful city.

The last two activities of this one-day Porto itinerary are on the east side of the Douro River, in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Evening: Enjoy the Sunset & Port Wine

Sunset in Vila Nove da Gaia

sunset over a river and a city
Enjoy the sunset

One of the best places to watch the sunset is at the Jardim do Morro park in Vila Nova de Gaia.

This garden offers an incredible panorama of Porto, making it one of the most sought-after spots for sunset. During the summer months, it becomes it becomes very busy around sunset.

If you want to secure the best viewing spot, I recommend getting there early. But don’t worry in case you don’t have time to show up earlier, you’ll always have a good view, just maybe not a good seating position.

Port Wine Tasting

Two glasses of Port Wine
Don’t miss out on a Port tasting in Porto

There’s no denying that a visit to Porto is incomplete without indulging in a Port wine tasting experience. After all, this sweet, fortified wine, which got its name from the city itself, is a treasured part of Porto’s heritage and culture.

In case this visit to the port wine cellars and the port wine tasting is one of the highlights of your trip, you can come back one day and explore the Douro Valley, in which the wine is produced.

Remember, the legal drinking age in Portugal is 18 years, so this activity is meant for those who are of age. But, even if you’re underage or prefer not to indulge in the wine, the cellars’ historical charm and the picturesque views of Porto from Gaia are worth the visit.

Is 1 Day in Porto Enough?

Two boats on a canal next to a palm tree in Aveiro Portugal
Aveiro is Portugal’s Venice

Is one day in Porto enough? Well, in my opinion, a single day is enough time to cover the main attractions within Porto itself. You’ll get a glimpse of the city’s charm, its rich history, and the vibrant culture, all while savoring the unique taste of Port wine.

With one day, I mean spend a full day in Porto. If you want to do a day trip from Lisbon to Porto, you won’t have time for everything on this itinerary since the journey time is about 6 hours return.

However, it’s important to keep in mind that you’d be missing out on the fantastic day trips from Porto, given the constraints of time.

Unfortunately, a quick swim in the ocean also might not make it onto your one-day itinerary as reaching the beaches near Porto require a bit of time to get there.

So, if you want a more comprehensive experience of the city, its breathtaking coastline, and the opportunity for a day trip, I’d recommend planning for three days in Porto.

Overall, it’s worth adding a day in Porto to your itinerary for Portugal, or to your itinerary for Portugal and Spain if you have 2 weeks.

FAQ about One Day in Porto Portugal

Can you do Porto in 1 day?

Yes, you can see the main sights of Porto in one full day.

Is Porto a walkable city?

Yes, Porto is a very walkable city. All the main attractions are within a short walk from each other.

Is it worth going Porto for a day?

You can see the best attractions in Porto in one full day. So, Porto is worth visiting for a day if you’re prepared to have a very long day ahead of you.

Final Thoughts: Porto in One Day

To wrap it all up, there are a lot of things to do in Porto for a day, but it’s doable to see the top sights in one day.

You can browse in a magical bookshop, stroll through the beautiful city center, taste the unique Port wine, see a breathtaking sunset at Jardim do Morro, and many other things.

A day trip to Porto will give you a taste of what this beautiful city has to offer. Still, I encourage you to consider a longer stay so you also have time to explore the beautiful surrounding area of Porto.

Read more on what to do in the North of Portugal:

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What to See in Porto in One Day

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