10 BEST Things To Do in Porto.. Whilst You Learn Portuguese!
Porto is an extraordinary historical city located in the North of Portugal. Although smaller than its sister city Lisbon, Porto boasts scenic views, buzzing restaurants and world-famous Port wine. Its fascinating mix of old and new will have you planning your next return! Visit Porto and take a boat trip in the Douro River, discover one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, and complete all of the activities on our best things to do in Porto whilst you learn Portuguese.
Our list of best things to do in Porto includes visits to incredible museums, drinking Port wine, and trips to explore Porto’s coolest neighbourhoods. We have also included a list of FREE things to do in Porto!
Cactus offers outstanding Portuguese language courses in Porto. If you have any questions about any of our courses please call us on +44 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our team of multilingual experts will be happy to answer any questions you may have.
1. Discover Casa da Música
Casa da Música is an incredible concert hall and stunning concrete building. Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, it is an unusual yet impressive design that doesn’t match the surrounding urban landscape. Vibrant concert halls, funky bars and a peculiar restaurant make this building a go-to place to relax. Enjoy one of the many concerts and one of the best things to do in Porto!
2. Drink Port Wine
No visit to Porto would be complete without drinking the world-renowned Port wine. Cross the D. Luís I bridge and discover some of the best Port wine cellars. Take a tour, taste some of the different wines, and also learn about the history of the cellar and Port wine – there is so much to explore! Whilst you are there, you can take incredible photos of Porto postcard – Ribeira.
3. Discover Ribeira Neighbourhood
Ribeira and the surrounding area is an UNESCO’s World Heritage Site. It’s where you can find the narrow medieval streets and alleyways (that J.K. Rowling has taken inspiration from). You can also find the Dom Luís I bridge with its incredible views and interesting houses. The area is extremely scenic as it sits on the river front and has plenty of cafés, restaurants and bars to relax and take in the view.
4. Coffee Time at Foz do Douro
Foz do Douro is located at the west of the city, where the Douro river meets the Atlantic Ocean. You can stroll around in the beautiful tree lined streets and enjoy the breath-taking views of the Atlantic. It is the perfect spot to drink a nice coffee or expresso (as the Portuguese call it) in one of the many cafés that sit just by the water. One of the best places is Bar Praia do Aquário, with it’s deck lounge over the water.
5. Fundação Serralves – Museum of Contemporary Art
Fundação Serralves, or just Serralves as it’s best known, is one of the most famous contemporary art spaces in Portugal. Perhaps even the most notorious one. Not only is it a museum, but a park, a villa, a house of cinema, a café and so much more! By far one of the best things to do in Porto. The events and exhibitions are outstanding and the contemporary museum building was designed by the one and only – Álvaro Siza Vieira, Pritzker Architecture Prize laureate. Other projects designed by Siza Vieira in Porto include Casa de Chá da Boa Nova and São Bento metro station – all worth a visit!
6. Discover Livraria Lello: The World’s Most Beautiful Bookshop!
Livraria Lello is Livraria Mais Bonita do Mundo and rightfully so. Located in the heart of the city centre, it is impossible to miss the queues outside but it’s worth the wait! Some even say it’s where J.K. Rowling got inspiration for the Hogwarts staircase. The bookshop is beautiful and a good place to buy some Portuguese books and start practising your Portuguese reading skills.
7. Night out in Baixa
Baixa is Porto’s downtown – a great place to go for breakfast, lunch, brunch, dinner, a night out… pretty much any occasion! It is probably the best place for a night out in Porto, where places stay open till 6 in the morning. From Plano B to Café Lusitano, there are many options to choose from. Stroll around Cândido dos Reis street and Galeria de Paris street, meet new people and drink some Port wine – by far one of the best things to do in Porto.
Francesinha is one of Porto’s most emblematic dishes and means ‘Little Frenchie’ in Portuguese. It is a sandwich made with bread, ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, steak, and is covered in cheese and a rich sauce. People will argue which restaurant makes the best one but without doubt, one of the best places is the typical Café Santiago. Nowadays, it is also possible to find some great veggie option too!
9. Explore Miguel Bombarda Neighbourhood
Bombarda is the artisan neighbourhood close to Porto’s downtown – just a short 5-minute walk. The area is filled with art galleries, design boutiques, second hand and vintage shops, and really cool restaurants and cafés. A great place to go on a Saturday afternoon. From Bombarda Shopping Centre (CCB) to Ó! Galeria, there are many beautiful places to be explored in this area.
10. Tiles, Tiles, Tiles
Porto is known by it’s beautiful azulejos azuis (blue tiles) that adorn the city’s buildings. From São Bento Railway Station (UNESCO World Heritage Site) to Igreja do Carmo, Capela das Almas to Sé do Porto, there are plenty of places to be discovered (and an instagrammer’s dream!). One of the best things to do in Porto is to walk around and be amazed by the city and its tiles.
Bonus Tip – FREE Things To Do in Porto:
Whilst you are learning Portuguese in Porto, there are plenty of *FREE* things to do, in addition to the ones mentioned above.
Best Free things to do in Porto:
– Some museums are free every Sunday morning and bank holidays, so take note of the ones you don’t want to miss
– Enjoy the free galleries and events on Miguel Bombarda;
– Go for a stroll in Ribeira at sunset and catch a spectacular sunset;
– Take advantage of the free events at Casa da Música, Baixa, Miguel Bombarda and Avenida dos Aliados;
– Go for a stroll in Bolhão Market.
Are you looking to start learning Portuguese in Porto? Are you looking to explore the charming neighbourhoods? Cactus offers a variety of great Portuguese language courses in Porto for adults if you are looking for an immersive language experience.
Cactus 10 best things to do in Porto is a great starting point to explore this Portuguese city and create amazing memories. Going away soon? Why not Download our free Portuguese Language Kit or check our Basic Portuguese Phrases to help you get the most of your time abroad.
How to Book a Portuguese Course in Porto?
Please check our How to Book page for more information on the simple secure and easy online booking process. Check our Portuguese Courses in Porto page to find more information. Don’t forget to take our list of 10 best things to do in Porto with you.
For information on any of our Portuguese courses, please call us on +44 (0) 1273 830 960 or contact us. Our multilingual team will be happy to answer any question you may have.
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