Menu
Portugal

2 Days In Porto: Things To Do Alone In Porto Portugal

Porto or Oporto is the second-largest city in Portugal and one of the oldest European centres. Located along the Douro River in Northern Portugal, this charming city is known for its hilly streets, picturesque viewpoints and an historical centre that is declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

If you are planning a solo trip to Porto, then you might be wondering what to do alone in Porto Portugal? Is Porto safe to travel alone? Where can I dine solo? etc.

I spent several weeks in Porto last year on my own and explored many parts of the city. And I have to say, Porto has become one of my favourite cities in the world!

In this post, I put together a solo Porto itinerary where you can spend 2 days in Porto and see all the best attractions and try all the best Porto food while roaming around freely and safely in Porto. Keep reading and find out how you can visit Porto in 2 days on your own.

Want to read this post later? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

Disclosure: This post may contain affiliate links. If you buy something through them, I will receive a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for supporting this website. For more information, please read the disclosure for more info.

What you need to know before spending two days Porto

Before you take a solo trip to Porto, take a look at my travel tips that you may find useful for Porto:

  • Porto is a safe city for solo female travellers.
  • Even though Porto is a hilly town, the best way to see the city is by walking.
  • You don’t have to know any Portuguese in order for you to visit Porto. You can get by speaking English only but it would be nice to learn a few basic phrases like hello (olá) and thank you (obrigada) in Portuguese.
  • Portugal has 3 network providers for cell phones and data. SIM cards do not require registration and topping up your card is easy. But there is free wifi (almost) everywhere in Porto.

How to get to Porto Portugal

Plane

Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (also known as Porto Airport), is an international airport just 11km northwest of Porto. 

To travel to city center, the easiest and cheapest way is to take Metro do Porto. The line E (purple) will take you from the airport to Trindade station where you can transfer to line A, B, D or F for other stops in the city centre.

Get an Andante Azul ticket (€.60) and a Z4 title (€2.00) ticket for a trip to the city centre.

Make sure to validate your Andante ticket when you start your trip and when you change to another line. And keep the Andante Azul ticket and recharge it for future trips.

Bus

Several bus operators have daily departures from Lisbon to Porto. The bus journey takes about 3+ hours and ticket starts from €12.

Many Flixbus depart from Lisbon Oriente station to the city centre in Porto. Check Flixbus website for bus schedule and cost.

And Rede Expresso bus depart from several locations in Lisbon to different parts of Porto. Check Rede Expresso website for bus schedule and cost.

Train

Many Alfa Pendular or AP (fast train) and Intercidades or IC trains depart daily from Lisbon Estação do Oriente station to both São Bento Station and Campanha Station in Porto.

The train ride is takes about 3+ hours (depending on which train you choose) and ticket starts from €25.25 (for second class IC train). Check Comboios de Portugal website for train schedules

As a solo traveller, I always prefer the train option because train rides are more reliable and I can book a train ticket via the CP app. The app is very convenient and easy to use. 

Porto Itinerary: 2 days for things to do alone in Porto Portugal

Porto is a compact and hilly city where you can see everything in the city in two days. But if you can stay longer than two days, definitely stay and explore more of the city and take day trips outside of Porto.

Here is a quick summary of all the Porto attractions on your solo trip to Porto:

Day 1 in PortoDay 2 in Porto
1. Livraria Lello
2. Igreja do Carmo
3. Igreja dos Carmelitas
4. Praça de Lisboa
5. Torre Dos Clérgios 
6. Liberdade Square
7. São Bento Railway Station
8. Church Santo Ildefonso 
9. Rua de Santa Catarina
10. Capela das Almas
11. Rua de Flores
12. Ponte de Dom Luis I 
13. Jardim do Morro
1. Miradouro do Passeio das Fontainhas
2. Sé do Porto 
3. Miradouro da Vitória
4. Palácio da Bolsa 
5. Ribeira do Porto 
6. Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar
7. Cais de Gaia
8. Sandeman
9. Espaço Porto Cruz
10. Caves Cálem
11. Marginal de Gaia

2 day in Porto Itinerary Map

All the attractions in my solo Porto 2-days itinerary are numbered and pinned on the interactive Google Map. All you have to do is to follow the numbered pins and read the description for each attraction.

Day 1 in Porto

Day 1 is all about the best attractions in Porto. I put together the most efficient way to see all the highlights. Follow the red pins on the Google Map for the sequence of the all the day one attractions in my Porto itinerary.

1. Livraria Lello

Livraria Lello is the world’s most beautiful bookstore and Porto’s oldest bookstore. The 111-year-old bookstore was the inspiration for the staircases at Hogwarts from the Harry Potter movies. Every bit of the interior is designed well and very detail-oriented.

And many people travel to Porto to get a glimpse of the famous interiors. That’s why it is best to visit the bookstore first thing in the morning during your 2 days in Porto. You have to pay €5 to see Livraria Lello but when you buy something at the bookstore, you can redeem your entrance fee for your purchase.

Address: R. das Carmelitas 144, Porto | Hours: 9:30 am to 7:00 pm | Admission: €5 (can be used for purchase)

2 & 3. Igreja do Carmo & Igreja dos Carmelitas

Next on the agenda is to see two iconic churches standing almost side-by-side.

For €3.5, you can visit Igreja do Carmo (the one on the right) and see the church’s interior, hidden house, the pulpit of our Lord of Passos, the Auditorium, and old catacombs.

But the most impressive part of the church has to be the gorgeous azulejo (blue and white tiles) on the side of the building. The elaborate display of blue and white tiles is spectacular!

Igreja das Carmelitas next door is not as impressive but you should still check out the single-nave church with decorative side chapels.

Address: R. do Carmo, Porto | Hours: 12:00 pm to 6:00 pm (Mondays), 10:00 am to 6:00 pm (Tuesday to Sunday) | Admission: €3.5

4. Praça de Lisboa

Before seeing the next attraction, walk through Praça de Lisboa, which is a quaint little park with a green lawn and a few retail stores and cafes. I think the design of the park is modern and quite unique.

Address: Praça de Lisboa, Porto | Admission: free

5. Torre Dos Clérgios

I hope you brought comfortable shoes because you’ll hike up the 225 steps of Torre Dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower) and take in the panoramic view of the city.

The view from the top of the tower is just as magical during golden hour. If you want to switch it around and see the orange glow during your first day in Porto, you can skip this now and come back to the tower late afternoon.

But if you go early in the day, you will skip the long queue at the entrance. And speaking of queue, get your bell tower ticket ahead of time so you can skip the line altogether.

Besides the view, don’t miss the baroque facade and all the 18th-century paintings and furniture in Igreja dos Clérigos.

Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, Porto | Hours: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm | Admission: €6 for tower and Clérigos Museum and €5 for night pass (7:00 – 9:00 pm)

6. Liberdade Square

On the way to São Bento Station (the next attraction), walk across Liberdade Square, which is in the heart of Porto.

There is a 10-meter bronze statue of Almeida Garrett in the centre of the square, a Neoclassical town hall building with a clocktower, and a McDonald’s with crystal chandeliers and stained glass windows aka the most beautiful McDonald’s in the world!

Address: Praça da Liberdade, Porto | Admission: free

7. São Bento Railway Station

At first, I wasn’t sure if São Bento Railway Station is a functioning railway station, but in fact, it is. You can catch a suburban train to other parts of northern Portugal including Aveiro, Espinho, Braga and Guimarães.

But many people visit the train station to see the beautiful azulejo murals which depict everyday life in different regions of Portugal.

I have to say that the azulejo is pretty mesmerizing because each ornamental tile is different from one another and collectively, they tell a major historical and cultural story. Finding the best azulejo spots in Porto is definitely a must on your Porto itinerary!

Address: Praça de Almeida Garrett, Porto | Admission: free

8. Church Santo Ildefonso

Not to be outdone by the train station but the blue and white tiles at the Church of Saint Ildefonso are quite impressive as well. Take a look at the bright facade which has over 11,000 azulejo tiles!

Make sure to peek inside the church as well. There is a Baroque and Rococo-inspired altarpiece from the 18th century and gorgeous stained glass windows on both sides of the nave.

Address: R. de Santo Ildefonso 11, Porto | Hours: 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm (Mondays), 9:00 am to 12:00 pm and 3:00 pm to 6:30 pm (Tuesday to Sunday) | Admission: free

9. Rua de Santa Catarina

Rua de Santa Catarina is the best pedestrian shopping street in Porto. It has all the popular retailer brands, including Zara, Massimo Dutti, United Colors of Benetton, Pull & Bear, Tezenis, and many more.

And here you can find places to eat as well. The famous Majestic Café is on this pedestrian street and same with several popular cafes like Fábrica de Nata and Nata Lisboa.

Plus, there is a shopping mall, ViaCatarina, where you can buy a prepaid SIM card and go grocery shopping.

Address: R. de Santa Catarina, Porto | Admission: free

10. Capela das Almas

As I mentioned already, one of Portugal’s trademarks is azulejo which is the blue and white glazed tiles that decorate many churches in Portugal. And one of the best examples of that is the Capela das Almas (Chapel of Souls).

When you walk up Rua de Santa Catarina, you will see this 18th century chapel where blue and white tiles wrap the entire facade. These tiles tell stories of the lives of various saints including Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine. Don’t try to count because there are over 16,000 tiles!

Even though the exterior is the most impressive part about this church, definitely take a look inside because there are other azulejo tiles too.

Address: R. de Santa Catarina 428, Porto | Hours: 7:30 am to 1:00 pm and 3:00 to 7:00 pm (Monday to Tuesday); 7:30 am to 7:00 pm (Wednesday to Friday); 7:30 am to 1:00 pm and 5:30 to 7:00 pm (Saturdays and Sundays) | Admission: free

11. Rua de Flores

Rua de Flores is another pedestrian friendly street in Porto. The street is filled with restaurants, cafes, museums, and retail shops where they open early and stay open til late.

When you are looking for accommodations in Porto, find one that is close to this street or area. You’ll be in walking distance to everything. And when you are walking back to your hotel at night as a solo traveller, you can feel safe in this area.

Address: R. de Flores, Porto | Admission: free

12. Ponte de Dom Luis I

Next, cross over the Ponte de Dom Luis I, the most famous bridge over Douro River and end your day in Vila Nova de Gaia.

The impressive double-deck metal bridge can take pedestrians across to the river from the top and from the bottom. Plus, the subway train crosses the top while cars can drive across at the bottom.

As one of the best viewpoints in Porto, the views from the top part of the bridge certainly do not disappoint. Make sure to take in the views from both sides of the bridge – they both look drastically different.

Address: Pte. Luiz I, Porto | Admission: free

13. Jardim do Morro

Day one of Porto has finally come to an end. I included a lot of things to do in one day which means you could be very tired by this point. But there’s one more thing to do before finishing the day.

Jardim do Morro is a small picturesque park that is perfect for relaxing and watching the sunset. It gets quite busy around late evening when people gather around to listen to performers and wait for sunset. The sunset is quite spectacular so hopefully, it will be a clear night when you end your first day in Porto.

Address: Jardim do Morro, Vila Nova de Gaia | Admission: free

Day 2 in Porto

Day 2 in Porto is to visit the rest of the highlights in the city. See some of the churches in Porto and visit attractions on the south side of the Douro River, which is called Vila Nova de Gaia. Follow the purple pins on the Google Map for all the activities on your day 2 Porto itinerary.

1. Miradouro do Passeio das Fontainhas

Day 2 in Porto starts off with a beautiful viewpoint that not a lot of people know about. The Miradouro do Passeio das Fontainhas is located on the north side of the Douro River. You can see buildings in Vila Nova de Gaia and Dom Luis I Bridge.

Find the small balcony that hovers over the houses on the hill next to the pedestrian walkway. It is an excellent spot to take an Instagram photo!

Address: Passeio das Fontainhas, Porto | Admission: free

2. Sé do Porto

Sé do Porto is only a few minutes walk from the viewpoint. The Roman Catholic cathedral has a fortress-like interior and Gothic architectural qualities and is one of the oldest churches in Porto.

See Romanesque monuments inside the church and enjoy the panoramic views as the cathedral is perched on the hilltop overlooking Douro River.

Address: Terreiro da Sé, Porto | Hours: 9:00 to 5:30 pm | Admission: free

3. Miradouro da Vitória

There is no shortage of scenic viewpoints in Porto and another one of my favourites is Miradouro da Victória. This viewpoint is hidden in a neighbourhood next to a few cafes. The viewpoint area has a small park that is frequented by locals.

Sit under the trees or on a bench and enjoy the view.

Address: R. de São Bento da Vitória 11, Porto | Hours: 9:00 am to 9:00 pm | Admission: free

4. Palácio da Bolsa

Palácio da Bolsa was built in the 19th century by The Associação Comercial do Porto. Many architects and designers worked on the building over the years and have created a space that is now classified as a National Monument.

For a €10 entrance fee, you can take a 30-minute guided tour inside the Bolsa Palace. If you enjoy architecture as much as I do, you will love the neoclassical building and other architectural features inside the palace.

Address: R. de Ferreira Borges, Porto | Hours: 9:00 am to 12:30 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:30 pm | Admission: €10

5. Ribeira do Porto

Take in the energy and feel of Ribeira, the riverside quarter by Douro River. This historic center (the oldest part of the city) has some of the best Porto photo spots. Soak in the atmosphere, the music and indulge in some people watching.

If you want to see Porto from another perspective, take a cruise down Douro River and see both sides of Porto on a leisurely boat tour. The 50-minute tour passes several bridges, and Foz do Douro before it makes its way back to the Ribeira Quay. Not a bad way to see Porto, especially if you are a solo traveller.

Address: Cais da Estiva, Porto | Admission: free

6. Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar was once a monastery sitting high above the Douro River and next to Dom Luis I Bridge.

Today, you can still see the magnificent views from the monastery and you can tour the UNESCO World Heritage Site and see the 36m-tall circular Renaissance church and round cloister.

Address: Largo Aviz, Vila Nova de Gaia | Hours: 10:00 am to 6:30 pm (closed Mondays)| Admission: €10

7. Cais de Gaia

Next, make your way to Cais de Gaia. There is a street just north of Jardim do Morro that will take you all the way down to the pedestrian area of Vila Nova de Gaia.

When you arrive at the riverside, walk along the pedestrian walkway parallel to the Douro River. And make sure to walk around the small streets and see the neighbourhood. There are many Port houses where you can try port wine (that’s actually the next thing on the agenda), art installations, food markets and many cafes.

Address: Av. de Ramos Pinto, Vila Nova de Gaia | Admission: free

8, 9 & 10. Port wine tour

Hopefully, you enjoy trying new things because the next activity has to do with trying different port wines in one of the Port Houses in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Port wine is the city’s best-known export. There are many Port Houses where you can tour the wine cellar and sample their port wines.

I did a port tasting and a tour at Porto Cruz which was awesome. I also tried the port cocktails at Sandeman.

There is also a cellar tour at Cálem which includes port tasting and a Fado show. I think this is the perfect opportunity to combine port tasting while enjoying traditional Portuguese Fado music and performance. The performance starts at 6:00 pm (winter season) and 6:30 pm (summer season).

Address: Largo Miguel Bombarda, Vila Nova de Gaia | Admission: €20 – €23

11. Marginal de Gaia

And finally, finish the day again in Vila Nova de Gaia. But this time, find a spot along Marginal de Gaia in front of Douro River and watch the sunset.

I can’t decide which sunset spots I like better which is why I included both of them in my Porto 2 day itinerary.

Address: Av. de Diogo Leite, Vila Nova de Gaia | Admission: free

If you are spending more than 2 days in Porto

There are many more things to do alone in Porto Portugal other than the attractions mentioned in the above Porto itinerary. Here are a few more things to do if you are spending an extra day in the city (see blue pins on the map):

  1. Serralves – one of the best contemporary art museums in Portugal. See the Museum, the Art Deco Villa, House of Cinema, Treetop Walk, Farm, Tea House and sculptures around the park, including Richard Serra and Anish Kapoor.
  2. Casa da Musica (House of Music) – see the architectural building designed by famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas.
  3. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens) – another fantastic viewpoint.
  4. Jardim dos Sentimentos (Garden of Feelings) – see Douro River and Vila Nova de Gaia from above.

Interested in a tour around Porto? Try one of these tours below:

Porto solo travel: day trips from Porto

If you have even more time on your Portugal itinerary, you might want to take a day trip from Porto and see other parts of northern Portugal as many of the towns and cities are very different from Porto.

Here are a few places you might find interesting. You can visit all of these cities by taking the train on your own or joining an organized tour.

  1. Foz do Douro – take the scenic tram 1 and see the coastal area of Porto.
  2. Matosinhos – enjoy the beaches and waterfront promenade of Matosinhos.
  3. Douro Valley – join a guided tour in Douro Valley and try award-winning wines in picturesque villages.
  4. Espinho – see gorgeous beaches along Costa Verde.
  5. Aveiro – take a Moliceiro boat tour through the canals of “Venice of Portugal” .
  6. Braga – visit one of the oldest cities in Portugal and see the historical centre and Gothic churches.
  7. Guimarães – see the famous Guimarães Castle and other monuments on Serra da Penha mountain.

Take out the hassle of navigating on your own and join one of these tours outside of Porto:

Where to stay in Porto as a solo traveller

If you are following my Porto 2 day itinerary, stay in the central area so it is easier to get around. Choose accommodation in the Old City area or any of the touristy areas.

Here are a few suggestions to consider:

  • The Passenger Hostel ($) – Choose a dorm bed or private room at this hostel at São Bento Station.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Casa dos Loios by Shiadu ($$) – The quaint hotel has clean and eclectic guest rooms. When you are tired from walking the hills of Porto, sit and enjoy the interior courtyard space.
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Casa da Companhia ($$$) – The new 5-star hotel has luxurious rooms and an amazing breakfast buffet
    • Check prices & reviews: Agoda
  • Oak Valley Flats ($$$) – Cozy up in the two-levelled designer loft apartment.
    • Check prices & reviews: Airbnb

What to eat in Porto Portugal

Porto has all the traditional Portuguese cuisine along with its own regional food. And eating in Porto will not break the bank. From local coffee shops to restaurants, everything in Porto is very affordable.

Food in Porto is all about meat, seafood, sangria and sandwiches! Yup, there are a lot of delicious sandwiches. Here are some of the best Porto food that you must try:

  • Francesinha – Porto’s most unusual dish; it is a combination of ham, sausage, steak, covered with melted cheese, bread and beer sauce.
  • Pernil com Queijo – Roast pork shoulder and Portuguese Serra da Estrela cheese on a rustic bun.
  • Bifana – a sandwich with marinated pork in a bread roll.
  • Cachorrinhos – hot dogs with spicy sauce and cheese.
  • Alheira – Portuguese smoked bread sausage.
  • Port – Portuguese dessert wine.
  • Portuguese Sangria – a summer drink in Portugal made with Portuguese dry red wine and a carbonated juice and brandy.

Are you ready to spend 2 days in Porto?

I hope so! I packed so many things to do in 2 days so hopefully, you won’t get burnt out! Ha! But seriously, there is so much to see in Porto. But it is possible to spend two days in Porto and see all of these attractions mentioned above.

If you are travelling around the country, check out my 2 week Portugal itinerary. You can see the best Portuguese cities by train in just two weeks.

And if I haven’t emphasized this already, Porto is safe for solo female travellers. I am living proof. I didn’t have any issues walking around during the day or at night. I felt safe and at ease 100% of the time.

Did I miss anything else in my solo travel Porto guide? Is there anything else you want to know about Porto? Let me know in the comments.

Thank you for reading my Porto Portugal post

You might also like these other posts on solo travel in Portugal:

Lisbon posts
Porto posts
Algarve posts

Like this blog post? Pin it on your Pinterest board!

About Author

Hi, my name is Queenie, and I've been a solo traveller for 18+ years and currently based in Hong Kong. Follow me on my adventures through Instagram and my blog!

8 Comments

  • rhiydwi
    June 9, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    Love this guide! So thorough and detailed – I’ve heard there’s a great digital nomad crowd emerging in Porto and have my eye on it for that reason. Also because I love Tarte de Amêndoa and would happily spend a good few months eating nothing but them!

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 10, 2018 at 5:27 am

      Thanks so much! Porto is pretty great and has reliable wifi for doing some serious work. And yes, there is so much sweets in the city – I don’t think I even tried a quarter of it!

      Reply
  • leahshoup
    June 10, 2018 at 12:51 am

    Porto is definitely one of my favorite cities, I think it has such a special charm. I hadn’t thought about it as a solo traveler destination before, but it really does make a great one 🙂

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 10, 2018 at 5:29 am

      Yes, it was easy to get around, lots of places to browse around and language is not an issue. I already want to go back!

      Reply
  • Chandi
    June 10, 2018 at 5:04 am

    A great write-up on a lovely city. I have not been there since the 80s, when I was on my first budget backpacking trip. Back then, before the internet I did not have access to informative blog posts like this. In fact I did not even carry a guide book. Just showing up with no prior info had its cool side, but on the flip side I did not have a good grip on what to see and where to eat and all that. 😉

    Reply
    • queenie mak
      June 10, 2018 at 5:32 am

      Oh wow! So very adventurous of you to just go and figure it out. I used to travel with a big guide book but I really like to be spontaenous these days. Either way, Porto is a great city! Maybe its time to go back? 🙂

      Reply
  • SecretMoona
    June 10, 2018 at 6:35 pm

    A lovely guide for a lovely city. I am travelling there in September so I will park this post for reference, specially for the restaurants.

    Reply
  • Kid T
    June 25, 2021 at 5:28 am

    Hi, just wondering if you might have found a Chinatown or other good authentic asian restaurants in Porto.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.