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The 33 best things to do in Porto right now

Tinned fish, walking trails and one of the world's most famous bookshops? Sign us up.

Written by
Time Out Porto editors
Cristina Villas-Boas

Portugal isn’t exactly a hidden gem, but whatever you do, make sure you don’t sleep on the Porto. In our opinion, Porto is the best city break in the whole of Europe, so if you’re looking for great food and a ridiculous number of great things to do, you’re in the right place. 

Here you’ll find beautiful bookstores, old-school cinemas and rows and rows of colourfully-packaged tinned fish to grab for your next date night (if you know, you know). Buy souvenirs at ancient markets, people-watch from outdoor bars and try your first francesinha, if you dare. Here are the best things to do in Porto. 

🍴 The best restaurants in Porto
🍻 The best bars in Porto
🏖️ The best beaches in Porto
💗 The best romantic hotels in Porto
🏠 The best Airbnbs in Porto

This article was written by the editorial team at Time Out Porto. At Time Out, all of our travel guides are written by local writers who know their cities inside out. For more about how we curate, see our editorial guidelines. 

Top things to do in Porto

1. Sample local produce at Mercado do Bolhão

What is it? Porto's most iconic market, which first opened in 1839, but moved into its current home in 1914, a beautiful neoclassical style building in Rua Formosa. The market was renovated again in 2022, but workers were careful to retain its original design, including the façade, staircases, and many of the tiles.

Why go? Some of the traders here have been operating at the market for over 50 years, and are always up for a friendly chat. Look out for 72-year-old Maria Alice, who sells fish at the Peixaria do Bolhão stall and is likely to tell you about the time she met Anthony Bourdain.

Don’t miss: It would be rude not to sample some tripe whilst you're in Porto, and Maria Luísa's meat stall is the place. She sells pork, black pudding, sausages and the famous flour-dusted tripe.

  • Things to do
  • Cultural centres
  • Porto

What is it? An incredibly important national institution in Porto, and a veritable conveyor belt of historical and cultural heritage. The museum is designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, and found next to the Casa de Serralves (Serralve's House), a great example of Art Deco architecture.

Why go? The Serralves Park, with its great diversity of harmoniously interconnected spaces, is a reference in the landscape patrimony in Portugal. In addition to the temporary exhibitions, there are many other permanent exhibits that will enrapture art lovers of all shapes and sizes.

Don’t miss: Strolling through the Parque de Serralves after touring the museum, which is home to gardens, woodlands and even a farm. Designed in the 1930s, it is home to one of the Foundation’s major attractions: the Treetop Walk, an elevated path suspended above the ground and nestled among the treetops.

  • Museums
  • History
  • Cedofeita

What is it? One of the most important museums in the country, which reopned in April 2023 after being closed for maintenance for four years. Its grand reopening saw more than 1,300 pieces presented to the public, and it’s home to two gardens on the ground and second floors. 

Why go? The museum has a vast collection of paintings from the 16th to the 20th centuries, spanning ceramics, sculpture, paintings, printmaking, goldsmithing, jewellery, furniture, textiles and glass. Check out works by Henrique Pousão, Silva Porto, António Carneiro, Aurelia de Souza or Amadeo de Souza Cardoso – all iconic Portuguese artists. 

Don’t miss: When you visit the museum, admire the work ‘O Desterrado’ (1872), by the artist who gave the house its name. This is a mandatory stop, and one of ten pieces at the museum classified as national treasures on account of their value.

  • Shopping
  • Flores

What is it? One of Porto’s most recognised and prestigious century-old brands, located on one of its busiest streets.

Why go? The store isn't just a commercial outlet: it tells the story of a brand that has a history spanning more than 130 years. On the ground floor you'll find its classic products, from soaps to lotions and colognes, as well as the shop's gigantic sink, cut from a single block of Estremoz marble. Then head upstairs for a gallery filled with four generations of hand-drawn designs, lithographs, 1940s newspaper clippings, perfume bottles and more.

Don’t miss: Monthly workshops held in the laboratory on the second and top floors, where you can learn how to make the products they sell. Check Claus Porto's website for upcoming classes. 


5. Channel your inner film nerd at Batalha Cinema Centre

What is it? An iconic cinema in Praça da Batalha, which has been showing films since 1908. The Batalha reopened at the end of 2022 after a decade of restorations, and now shows films for literally everyone: from classic to contemporary and the occassional cine-concert.

Why go: The Batalha now features two projection rooms,  a 40-square-metre film room dedicated to installations, a library with tons of film literature and a cracking bar. 

Don't miss: The frescoes by Portuguese painter Júlio Pomar, which were covered up for 80 years due to his opposition to the Estado Novo regime in the 1940s. They were discovered during the restorations, and are a remarkable sight. 


6. Explore the São Roque Gardens

What is it? A 200-year-old house and gardens, restored in 2019 to become a cultural hub dedicated to contemporary art. 

Why go? The reopening of the restored 200-year-old Casa São Roque as an art centre is further proof the eastern part of the city is gaining a new life. Its history dates back to 1759 when it was a mansion and hunting lodge, and during the 19th century the house and its surroundings became the property of the family of António Ramos Pinto, one of the most famous producers and exporters of Port. Now, it's a beautiful grounds with a lookout point, a grotto and a pergola, and an unmissable attraction in Porto. 

Don't miss: There are two guided tours available: one dedicated to the house and the exhibition, the other focusing on the gardens and their spaces.

  • 5 out of 5 stars
  • Restaurants
  • Contemporary Global
  • Bonfim
  • price 4 of 4
  • Recommended

What is it? A Michelin star restaurant of fine dining cuisine with very few seats, an open kitchen and a menu that changes depending on the season. Euskalduna Studio was awarded a Michelin star along with Le Monument on Avenida dos Aliados in November 2022.

Why go? Get that palate ready for a real party. The tasting menu at Euskalduna is sure to become one of the best dining experiences of your life. Want a tip? Try and nab a seat by the counter to get a sneak peek into the kitchen, where the magic happens.

Don’t miss: The dishes are never the same, but everything is a must. Make your reservation, put on your finest clothes and prepare for magic.

  • Shopping
  • Bookshops
  • Galerias

What is it? One of the most famous bookshops in the world, and sits right at the heart of Porto. 

Why go? Whether you like books or not, you’ll find this bookshop pretty magical. The shop has been around since 1906, and remains at its original address at number 144 Rua das Carmelitas. It truly is a magical place, with a huge winding staircase, carved wood and a vast array of treasured books (it even inspired J.K. Rowling to write Harry Potter!). 

Don’t miss: Our big tip is to go at an off-peak time, not just to avoid the queues but to get the bookshop to yourself. This place gets busy. 

  • Attractions
  • Monuments and memorials
  • Baixa

What is it? This tower is Porto’s thing. The monument looks out over the whole of the city, providing the most spectacular views. 

Why go? Looking out over Porto is a real experience. Miles and miles of beautiful buildings, winding streets, the huge river, and even a sunset if you time it right. The tower itself has been around since 1753, and built on an uneven street, for the laughs. It’s not a trip to Porto without seeing it. 

Don’t miss: Load up with a great brunch beforehand and take on those 225 steps. Just do it. You won’t regret it when you see Porto from 75 metres up. 

  • Bars and pubs
  • Café bars
  • Baixa
  • price 1 of 4

What is it? One of the liveliest and best places to grab a glass of wine or a beer in the afternoons, and find yourself not leaving till the early hours. 

Why go? This place is always buzzing with music and laughter, there’s tons of space on the tables and chairs outfront, and the space is a great sun trap until it gets dark. Like many of Porto’s hotspots, Aduela serves up a ton of great snacks, including those all-important cheese and meat boards. And if you don’t get a seat, don’t panic. Simply order a drink and chill on the street. Everyone does it. 

Don’t miss: A glass of moscatel on ice and a prego (a traditional Portuguese sandwich filled with beef and mustard). 

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