Traveling to Porto Portugal and looking for the best Porto travel itinerary? Check out this epic 3 days in Porto itinerary and see the best things in Porto in 3 days.

BEST 3 Days In Porto Itinerary – Things To See And Do

Last Updated on June 22, 2024 by Soumya

Wondering what to do in Porto, Portugal in 3 days? We have the perfect answer for you.

In this epic three days in Porto itinerary, we tell you all the fantastic things to do in Porto in less than 72 hours. 

Porto is one of the most beautiful places to visit in Portugal. Charming blue tile churches, an atmospheric riverside promenade and historic district, umpteen Port Wine cellars, and lots of good food – a lot to add to your Porto 3-day itinerary.

In this Porto blog, we show you how to plan 3 perfect days in Porto, including the best things to see, the best places to stay, and many travel tips. 

As you scroll down, you’ll also find an interactive map with 3-day Porto walking routes that you can easily save in Google Maps and share with family and friends. 

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Porto 3 Days Itinerary – A Snapshot

  • Day 1: Porto Historic District (includes blue tile churches)
  • Day 2: Ribeira District + Port Wine Tasting
  • Day 3: Day Trip from Porto

If you’re looking for a shorter itinerary, check out our popular Porto One-Day Itinerary.

Best 3 Day Porto Itinerary

Day 1 of 3 Days in Porto: Tour of Porto Historic District

Carmo Church

The Twin Churches of Carmo in Porto
Carmo Church is a beautiful church that needs to be in every Porto itinerary.

Begin the first day of your Porto 3 day itinerary at the majestic Carmo Church, a beautiful example of Portuguese art and architecture.

The facade of the 18th-century Carmo Church is adorned with traditional Portuguese blue and white ceramic tiles or azulejos. These azulejos depict Bible scenes and the formation of the Carmelite Order. 

Besides its ornate façade, which serves as one of the best photo ops in Porto, the inside of the church is equally impressive, with gilded woodwork and intricate carvings. 

Right next to the Carmo Church, you’ll find another beautiful landmark called the Carmelitas Church. The two churches are separated by a very narrow house, an architectural wonder.

Even though Carmelitas Church does not have an equally beautiful facade, it does have a more ornately decorated altar.

📖 Related Read: Looking for more blue tile facades? Check out our post on the 10 Best Places to see Blue Tiles in Porto.

Livraria Lello

Spiral staircase of Livraria Lello in Porto
If you’re a Potterhead, be sure to add Livraria Lello to your 3 days in Porto itinerary.

Bibliophiles and Potterheads will love visiting this beautiful bookstore in Porto that’s said to have inspired J.K. Rowling. 

As soon as you step in, those Hogwarts vibes are unmissable. Look at the red spiral staircase and the unending rows of books – it takes you right into the scenes of Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone.

Even if you’re not a Potter fan, the neo-Gothic façade and the stunning interior with its stained glass will impress you.

Try to get to Livraria Lello early in the morning, especially if you want to take some good photos on the staircase. Otherwise, this (see photo above) is what you’ll get because the store gets really crowded during the day.

Livraria Lello is open 9:00 am – 7:00 pm. There’s a small entry fee (€8), but you can get reimbursed if you buy a book at the store.  

Pro Tip: Love Harry Potter? I am sure you’ll love this Harry Potter-inspired tour of Porto.

Right next to Livraria Lello is my favorite souvenir shop, A Vida Portuguesa (Google Maps). It showcases exquisite traditional Portuguese products and is the best place to grab some unique souvenirs from Portugal

Clerigos Tower and Church

View from the Clerigos Tower in Porto - a unique thing to add to your Porto 3 day itinerary
Not on every Porto itinerary, the views from Clerigos Tower are gorgeous.

Next up on this Porto itinerary is the Clerigos Tower and Church, the ultimate spot in Porto to get those panoramic shots of the city. 

Unlike Lisbon, which has stunning viewpoints, Porto has only a few. Clerigos Tower, the highest point in the city, is one of them.

After you climb the 240 steps of Clerigos, feast on the most epic, 360-degree view of Porto. Clerigos is never too crowded, making the experience even more enjoyable. 

Be sure to step into the Clerigos Church, a stunning baroque masterpiece dating back to the 1700s. 

Pro Tip: Buy your Clerigos Tower tickets at the box office or get them online here.

Church of Saint Ildefonso

Church of Ildefonso in Porto Portugal - don't miss with three days in Porto
Head to Saint Ildefonso Church for some gorgeous pictures.

The Church of Saint Ildefonso is another beautiful Porto church you can add to your Porto itinerary. 

This extravagant beauty is adorned with over 11,000 blue-and-white tiles, which will make your photos look lovely. The tiles depict the life and times of Saint Ildefonso.

Saint Ildefonso Church is a hidden gem in Porto because tourists usually flock to the more popular Carmo Church and the Chapel of Souls.

So, if you’re looking for a calmer place in Porto to get some great pictures with an azulejo background, visit the Church of Saint Ildefonso.

📖 Read Next: 9 Best Offbeat Places to Visit in Porto

Chapel of Souls

Author at Chapel of Souls in Porto, a must-have in your Porto itinerary
You cannot miss adding this beautiful chapel to your Porto 3 days itinerary.

One of the best things to do in Porto is to visit the iconic Chapel of Souls

Have you ever wondered which Porto church is that, covered all over with blue tiles? Well, the Chapel of Souls is the one you’re looking for.

One of the best places to take pictures in Porto is the facade of the Chapel of Souls, which is covered all over by Portuguese blue and white tiles that tell tales of various saints, including Saint Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine. Can you believe there are over 16,000 azulejo tiles here?

It is located on the bustling Santa Catarina Street, Porto’s favorite shopping street. So, get reading for some shopping adventures here.

Shopping on Santa Catarina Street

Santa Catarina Street is a bustling hive of activity and one of Porto’s prime shopping destinations. 

Here, you can find a mix of local boutiques and international retailers such as Zara, Benetton, and FNAC. 

Cafe Majestic, the historic coffee shop where J.K. Rowling spent many hours, is also located on Rua Santa Catarina. You’ll also find the best francesinhas at Bufete Fase and delicious croissants at Cafe Aquarela.

Don’t miss Mercado do Bolhao, Porto’s traditional market, just around the corner from Chapel of Souls. In this vibrant market, you can immerse yourself in the local culture and grab some fresh produce. 

Day 2 of 3 Days in Porto: Ribeira & Villa Nova de Gaia

Porto Cathedral

Cloisters of the Porto Cathedral
The majestic Porto Cathedral deserves a place in your 3 days Porto itinerary.
Image courtesy: photooiasson from Getty Images via Canva Pro

Begin your second day in Porto at the majestic Porto Cathedral or Se do Porto.

Porto Cathedral is an architectural masterpiece and one of the city’s oldest monuments. It displays a mix of Romanesque, Gothic, and Baroque designs. 

Inside, you’ll find exquisite azulejos adorning the cloisters, beautifully detailed altars, and other works of art that have been cherished for centuries.

Bolsa Palace

Arab Room of the Bolsa Palace
Can’t miss this, can you? When in Porto, be sure to check out the majestic Bolsa Palace.

About 10 minutes southwest of the Porto Cathedral is the beautiful Bolsa Palace, another historic landmark in Porto. 

Bolsa Palace, or Palacio da Bolsa, was built by the Porto Commercial Association in the 19th century. Its name translates to The Stock Exchange Palace.

Travelers often skip the Bolsa Palace because the exterior is not that impressive. But step inside and get ready to be wowed. 

Marvel at the Hall of Nations covered by a stunning glass dome lined with the coats-of-arms of several countries. On the floor is a beautifully colored mosaic that tourists often miss. 

Step into the glittering Arabian Hall that’s said to have been inspired by Alhambra in Spain.

Pro Tip: Only guided tours are allowed at the Bolsa Palace – sign up for one here.

Casa do Infante

Originally a customs house, this historic building turned into Casa do Infante or the House of the Prince when Prince Henry The Navigator was born here in 1394. 

Today, it is a small museum with three floors of exhibits that also feature Roman floor mosaics that once decorated the place.

You can visit the museum for free with your Porto Card

Ribeira District

The happening Ribeira District in Porto
The happening Ribeira District is an absolute must-have in every Porto 3 days itinerary.

Head to the most happening neighborhood of Porto – The Ribeira. 

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Porto Ribeira sits on River Douro, filled with narrow winding alleyways, colorful buildings, and quaint cafes and restaurants.

The Ribeira Square is a historical square that has been around since medieval times and has always been the hub of all economic activity. Even today, you can find various vendors and souvenir stalls here. 

Cais da Ribeira is the picturesque riverfront promenade where you can sit back, relax, and soak in the chilled vibe. Listen to the music of street musicians and indulge in good food. 

Porto 6-Bridges Cruise

Six bridges cruise in Porto
Get on a Porto 6 Bridges Cruise and experience a different part of the city.

Sign up for the Porto 6-Bridges Cruise for an opportunity to see Porto’s beautiful skyline and stunning architecture from the Douro River

On the 6-Bridges Cruise, you’ll see all six bridges that span the Douro River. Each bridge has its own story and distinct style, as your tour guide will tell you. 

Getting on a cruise allows you to appreciate these engineering marvels up close. It is also an excellent opportunity to capture some great pictures of the Ribeira District.

Dom Luis I Bridge

Dom Luis I Bridge Porto
What a gorgeous bridge that is! Be sure to walk at least once on the Dom Luis Bridge when spending 3 days in Porto.

After seeing all six bridges, take the opportunity to walk across the most iconic Porto bridge –  Dom Luis I Bridge. 

Dom Luis I Bridge spans the two sides of the Douro River, connecting Ribeira District with Villa Nova de Gaia. 

A student of Gustave Eiffel designed the two-tiered metal arched Dom Luis I Bridge that facilitates transportation and offers breathtaking views of Porto and the river below. 

You can stroll along its upper deck to experience Porto’s skyline and witness an unforgettable sunset over the Ribeira District.

Enjoy Port Wine

Port Wine Tasting in Porto
Port Wine Tasting – A must-have on your Porto itinerary.
Image courtesy: SvetlanaSF from Getty Images via Canva Pro

Walk on the Dom Luis Bridge and get to the Villa Nova de Gaia neighborhood, where all the wine cellars are located. 

Caves Calem, Caves Burmester, Cockburn’s Port Lodge, and Caves Ferreira are some of the most popular wine cellars.

Sign up for this half-day Port wine lodges tour that includes 7 Port wine tastings and visits to multiple wine lodges with a wine expert guide. Or combine wine tasting with gastronomy on this 3-hour food and wine tasting tour.

Ride the Porto Cable Car

View of Porto Ribeira from the Cable Car - add this to your Porto 3 days itinerary.
Don’t miss some beautiful views from the Porto Cable Car.

End your second day in Porto with a pleasant cable car ride over Porto. You can even enjoy a stunning sunset from up there.

Located in Villa Nova de Gaia, the Gaia Cable Car is a beautiful way to end your walking tour by swaying over the city and enjoying gorgeous views of the Ribeira, the Dom Luis Bridge, and the gabled roofs of the houses and wine cellars on the Gaia side.

Day 3 in Porto: Take a Day Trip

Porto is also a base for many exciting day trips in Northern Portugal

Be it to the age-old wine region of Douro Valley, the historical sites of Braga and Guimaraes, or the canal town of Aveiro, there are lots of fantastic day trip destinations to choose from. 

Author in Douro Valley Portugal
Douro Valley is one of the best day trips to do if you’re in Porto for 3 days.

Day trip to Douro Valley from Porto

A UNESCO World Heritage Site, Douro Valley is just an hour’s drive from Porto. It is renowned for its picturesque landscapes, rolling hills, vineyards, and quintas (wine estates). 

Spend a day in this scenic paradise, take a river cruise, visit local wineries, and enjoy some delicious Port wine. 

Pro Tip: Book this highly recommended Douro Valley Guided Tour or read our Porto to Douro Valley Train Guide if you want to plan a DIY tour.

Day trip to Aveiro from Porto

Known as the “Venice of Portugal,” Aveiro is a charming town with colorful houses, winding canals, and traditional Moliceiro boats. 

Take a ride on a beautifully painted Moliceiro boat, explore the Art Nouveau architecture that adorns this beautiful town, learn all about salt production, and visit the nearby fishing village of Costa Nova.

✦📖 Pro Tip: Book this half-day Aveiro tour from Porto, including a cruise.

Day trip to Guimaraes and Braga from Porto

Travel to the medieval era with a day trip to Guimaraes and Braga

Visit the Castle of Guimaraes and explore the charming streets of this ancient town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and also known as the birthplace of Portugal.

Known as the “Rome of Portugal,” Braga is filled with historical and religious sites. 

Visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary, stroll through the charming streets, and try local delicacies like the Abade de Priscos egg pudding (a delicious pudding made with bacon and eggs). 

Pro Tip: Book this full-day Braga and Guimaraes tour from Portugal.

Interactive Map for Porto 3 Day Itinerary

3 days in Porto itinerary map
Click on the map above to access directions and walking routes for Day 1 and Day 2 of this 3-day Porto itinerary.

Where to stay for 3 nights in Porto?

The best place to stay for three days in Porto is in the old town or the pretty Ribeira District. Here are some of my favorite hotels in Porto.

Mo House: One of my favorite places, Mo House is an excellent hotel with beautifully decorated rooms and great views over the river. They are one of the highest-reviewed hotels in Porto.

Ribeira do Porto: With stunning views of the river and beyond and a great location, Ribeira do Porto is one of the best places to stay in Porto.

Wine & Books Porto Hotel: If you’re willing to splurge on your Porto trip, check out the super-luxurious Wine & Books Porto Hotel. The rooms are delightful, the views gorgeous, and the facilities are high-class.

Scenes in Porto
Getting lost in the hidden alleys of Porto is one of my favorite things to do.

Practical Information for seeing Porto in 3 days

Best time to visit Porto

The best time to visit Porto is spring (March to May) or fall (September to November) when the weather is pleasantly warm and the tourist crowds are thinner. Summer is also a great time if you can bear the crowds.

During these seasons, you can enjoy all the outdoor activities and attend fun events. 

Easter in March/April is a fun time in Porto, with musical concerts, dances, and plays lined up. Rabelo boat races happen in June, while the Porto Wine Fest is scheduled in July. Find a complete list of Porto festivals by month here.

How to get to Porto?

You can get to Porto by air. Several international airlines connect Porto’s Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (OPO) to major cities worldwide. Book an airport transfer here.

If you’re traveling by train, the Campanha Railway Station is the primary hub for trains from different parts of Portugal and Spain. Buses like Rede Expressos also connect Porto with other parts of Portugal. 

Plan your train and bus trip to Porto on the OMIO website here.

How to get around Porto?

The best way to get around Porto is by walking.

We have designed this 3-day Porto itinerary so that you can quickly walk to all the attractions on days 1 and 2.

For Day 3, either take the train or book a guided tour from Porto.

If you ever need to rest your legs, hop on the tram or bus. Purchase an Andante Card or a Porto Card with Transport for hassle-free travel across buses, trams, and metro.

3 Day Porto Itinerary FAQ

Is 3 days in Porto enough?

Yes, 3 days in Porto is enough to see the best attractions in the old town, the Ribeira District, and the Villa Nova de Gaia neighborhood and make a day trip to Douro Valley, Aveiro, or Braga.

Is Porto worth seeing?

Yes, Porto is absolutely worth seeing. Porto’s old town, located on the majestic Rio Douro, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The iconic Dom Luis I Bridge, a picturesque riverfront called the Ribeira, and wonderful azulejo-covered churches make Porto one of the prettiest cities in Europe.

What is Porto Portugal famous for?

Porto Portugal is famous for four main things: Port Wine, Dom Luis I Bridge, blue tile churches, and Livraria Lello, the renowned bookstore with a Harry Potter connection. Porto has also given the world the Francesinha sandwich, an absolute treat for meat lovers.

Is 3 days in Porto enough?

Yes, 3 days in Porto is enough to see the city’s major highlights and even explore some hidden gems. You will also have time to do a day trip to one of the nearby towns, such as Braga, Aveiro, or the Douro Valley. 

What is there to do in Porto for 3 days?

There are many wonderful things to do in Porto in 3 days, such as visiting the old town and seeing the beautiful blue and white tile churches of Porto, strolling down the atmospheric Ribeira district, going on Douro River cruise, tasting Port Wine and enjoying a day out in the Douro Valley, Portugal’s wine region.

Is Porto a walkable city?

Porto is a hilly city, but unlike Lisbon, it is smaller and more compact. That is what makes Porto quite walkable despite being steep. Make sure you get a good pair of walking shoes with you. Feel free to use Porto’s buses and trams if you get tired.

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Traveling to Porto Portugal and looking for the best Porto travel itinerary? Check out this epic 3 days in Porto itinerary and see the best things in Porto in 3 days.

Soumya is an acclaimed travel writer who has traveled to 30+ countries and lived in 8 while pursuing her passion for history and culture. Her writings have been published in BBC Travel, Architectural Digest, National Herald, and many more. She loves exploring world heritage sites and has a deep affinity for everything ancient, especially the lost civilizations of Mesoamerica!

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