Last Updated on February 13, 2024 by Soumya
Looking for the best one day in Porto itinerary? You’re at the right place.
Our perfect travel itinerary will allow you to see the best sights in Porto in a day.
From visiting magnificent blue-tiled churches to strolling through the charming Ribeira district and tasting Port Wine, this 1 day Porto itinerary will ensure you experience the best of the City of the Bridges.
Crafted with lots of love, research, and personal experience, this Porto one day itinerary will give you rich insights into the history and culture of Portugal’s second-largest city.
Planning a longer trip? You’ll love our Porto itinerary for 3 days.
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- Perfect 1-Day Porto Itinerary
- Begin your Porto Trip at the Twin Churches of Carmo
- Head to Livraria Lello
- See the Clerigos Tower
- Appreciate the Tiles of Sao Bento Station
- Visit the Chapel of Souls
- Eat and Shop on Rua Santa Catarina
- Get Clicked at the Church of Saint Ildefonso
- See the Porto Cathedral
- Visit Porto Ribeira
- Stroll through Dom Luis Bridge
- Enjoy a Port Wine Tour
- Ride the Cable Car and Enjoy a Sunset over the Douro
- Porto One Day Itinerary Map
- More than 1 Day in Porto Portugal?
- Where to Stay for One Day in Porto?
- Porto One Day Itinerary FAQ
- Loved this Porto One Day Itinerary? Pin it for later!
Perfect 1-Day Porto Itinerary
Begin your Porto Trip at the Twin Churches of Carmo
Begin your day in Porto by visiting the stunning Twin Churches of Carmo and Carmelitas.
These two churches are architectural wonders, standing side-by-side and separated by a narrow, almost hidden house.
Igreja do Carmo, or the Carmo Church is the most famous church to visit in Porto.
It is adorned with an impressive azulejos (traditional Portuguese blue and white glazed tiles) facade depicting scenes from the founding of the Carmelite Order.
The church has become an Instagram sensation lately because of its blue and white tiled facade.
Built-in the 16th – 17th centuries, the churches have beautiful baroque interiors with exquisitely detailed altars.
✦ Pro Tip: Looking for a Porto guided tour instead? Check out this excellent 3-hour Porto Highlights Guided Tour.
Head to Livraria Lello
Potterheads and bibliophiles will enjoy a visit to Livraria Lello, the Porto bookstore that’s believed to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s vision of Hogwarts.
Located just 5 minutes from the Carmo Churches, Livraria Lello is one of the world’s oldest and most stunning bookstores.
Dating to the early 20th century, Livraria Lello bookstore has a stunning neo-Gothic façade with a breathtaking interior.
The highlight is the spiral staircase, which seems straight out of a Harry Potter book.
Further, exquisite wood carvings and stained glass adorn the store’s interiors.
It’s easy to see why J.K. Rowling got inspired by the beautiful Livraria Lello. While living in Porto, she wrote the first three chapters of The Philosopher’s Stone and frequented this bookshop.
But Livraria Lello is not just for architecture enthusiasts and Potterheads (though I am both, it was a perfect addition to my one-day Porto itinerary). It is also a great place to buy a book or two.
If you decide to buy a book here, you can redeem it against the cost of the entrance voucher of €8.
✦ Pro Tip: Do you love Harry Potter? I am sure you’ll love this Harry Potter-inspired tour of Porto.
See the Clerigos Tower
A few minutes away from Livraria Lello is another iconic Porto landmark, the Clerigos Tower.
Built in the 18th century, Clerigos Tower is the tallest bell tower in Portugal. You can get some stunning views of Porto from the top.
The tower is associated with a beautiful Baroque church called the Clerigos Church.
The Clerigos complex is a Portuguese National Monument and a must-visit Porto attraction.
✦ Pro Tip: Book your entrance tickets to Clerigos Tower here.
Appreciate the Tiles of Sao Bento Station
A short walk from the Clerigos Tower is Porto’s historic train station, Sao Bento.
The historic Sao Bento train station is famous for its magnificent entrance hall, adorned with twenty thousand azulejo tiles.
These glazed ceramic tiles depict significant Portuguese historic moments, including battles and countryside scenes, showcasing the nation’s legacy in stunning blue and white.
Sao Bento station is not just a transit point but a destination in itself. It is almost like being in a museum depicting Portugal’s rich history and culture.
However, since you’re in Porto only for a day, you must have this beautiful train station on your Porto itinerary.
📖 Related Read: Visiting Porto? Read our guide on the Best Things to do in Porto Portugal.
Visit the Chapel of Souls
From the Sao Bento, we continue north to the stunning Chapel of Souls, also known as Capela das Almas.
Located at the busy junction of Rua de Santa Catarina (Porto’s main shopping street) and Rua de Fernando Thomas, the Chapel of Souls is an iconic Porto landmark with the most gorgeous facade.
The church’s exterior is decorated with nearly 16,000 blue and white azulejo tiles depicting the lives and deaths of St. Francis of Assisi and St. Catherine.
These beautiful tiles make Capela das Almas the most photographed monument in Porto.
Even though the church was built in the 18th century, the tiles were added in 1929. Before that, the church had a plain white facade – unimaginable, right?
✦ Pro Tip: Looking for more blue tiles? Check out our guide on the Best Azulejo Facades in Porto.
Eat and Shop on Rua Santa Catarina
As you walk on Rua Santa Catarina towards our next destination, feel free to eat and shop along the way.
After all, Rua Santa Catarina is Porto’s main shopping street and the best place to stock on Portugal souvenirs and eat some delicious Porto food.
If you want to eat some Pastel de Nata, there’s a Fabrica di Nata store on this street. You can actually watch the tarts being prepared live at this store and eat them later. They have a nice seating area where you can enjoy your Portuguese tart with a hot cuppa.
There’s also a Manteigaria store round the corner. It is one of my favorite places to have Pastel de Nata.
On this street, you’ll also find Cafe Majestic, a beautiful Art Nouveau cafe believed to have inspired J.K. Rowling. It is expensive to eat here, given its popularity.
✦ Pro Tip: Want to eat more local food and immerse yourself in Porto’s gastronomic scene? Book this highly recommended 3-hour food tour in Porto.
Get Clicked at the Church of Saint Ildefonso
Next up on our list of best things to see in Porto in one day is the beautiful Church of Saint Ildefonso.
Located on Batalha Square on the top of a flight of stairs, the Church of Saint Ildefonso features a granite baroque facade and stunning azulejo tiles.
Over 11,000 tiles depicting the life of Saint Ildefonso and biblical stories adorn the church’s facade, making it one of the prettiest churches to see in Porto in 24 hours.
See the Porto Cathedral
The Porto Cathedral, also known as Se do Porto, is another magnificent church on this one-day Porto itinerary.
Dating to the 12th century, the Porto Cathedral is a beautiful mix of Romanesque and Gothic architectural styles with an exquisite rose window.
If you step inside, take a moment to marvel at elaborate gilded wood carvings and beautiful cloisters adorned with azulejos.
The Porto Cathedral is where pilgrims often begin the Portuguese Camino de Santiago.
You can enter the cathedral for free, but you must pay a small fee to visit the cloisters, which is absolutely worth it.
✦ Trivia: Did you know that the Lisbon Cathedral is also called Se de Lisboa? However, Se do Porto is more majestic than its Lisbon counterpart.
Visit Porto Ribeira
From the Porto Cathedral, head to the picturesque Ribeira District of Porto.
This historic quarter, with its narrow cobbled streets and a charming riverside promenade, is part of the Porto UNESCO World Heritage site.
The promenade is always full of activity, with street performers and vendors trying to grab your attention.
At one end of the Ribeira, notice the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge, a double-decker bridge symbolizing Porto.
I recommend doing the 6 Bridges River Cruise to see the other bridges that span River Douro. It is a fun tour to join – short, sweet, and value for money.
The Ribeira is also home to many traditional restaurants and cafes where you can dig into a francesinha or enjoy a sweet treat.
Stroll through Dom Luis Bridge
Take a walk on Dom Luis I Bridge, a true engineering marvel built by a student of Gustave Eiffel.
It is a double-decker bridge, and the top level has a walkway for pedestrians from where you can get spectacular city views.
Enjoy a Port Wine Tour
As you cross over to the other side of Dom Luis I Bridge and get to Vila Nova de Gaia, find yourself an excellent port wine cellar and treat yourself to some good, old Port.
Even if you’re in Porto only for a day, you must taste Port Wine before leaving.
Vila Nova de Gaia, or the other side of the Porto Ribeira, is where all port wine cellars are located.
If you look at our interactive map below, I have it all marked out.
✦ Pro Tip: Be sure to book your Port Wine Tasting and Calem Cellar Tour beforehand because it sells out FAST.
Ride the Cable Car and Enjoy a Sunset over the Douro
End the day in Porto with a cable car ride and wrap up by enjoying the sunset at River Douro.
Porto’s Cable Car is open till about 8:00 pm in high season (late April to late September), Monday to Sunday.
Porto One Day Itinerary Map
More than 1 Day in Porto Portugal?
Having more than one day in Porto is great because you can see so much more of this beautiful city.
You can read our 3-day Porto itinerary or check out these epic ideas of what to do in Porto for more than one day.
- Visit Douro Valley on a day trip. Take the scenic train to Douro Valley from Porto, or book a lovely guided tour.
- Check out exciting new museums and exhibitions in Porto, such as the Immersivus Gallery, World of Discoveries, and the Porto Tram Museum.
- Plan for another day trip from Porto. Head to the canal city of Aveiro or the oldest university in Coimbra.
Where to Stay for One Day in Porto?
If you’re spending only one night in Porto, stay in the historic center to maximize your time in the city.
You can literally walk to every place from here. You can get a Porto Walker Card to save a few $$ but honestly, I don’t think it is worth it if you are in Porto for one day only.
- Mo House, a cute place with stunning river views, is one of my favorite places to stay in Porto. It has got beautifully decorated rooms and impeccable reviews. Check Mo House reviews here.
- Ribeira do Porto is another excellent place to stay in Porto. Located in the beautiful Ribeira district overlooking the river, this hotel is known for its charming views and proximity to all points of interest.
- If you’re willing to splurge on your Porto one day trip, check out Wine & Books Porto Hotel, which boasts gorgeous rooms, views of the city and Clerigos Tower, an indoor swimming pool, and even a hammam.
Porto One Day Itinerary FAQ
Is one day enough for Porto, Portugal?
Yes, one day in Porto, Portugal, is enough to see the highlights of the city, such as the beautiful blue-tiled churches, the iconic Livraria Lello, the Porto Ribeira, and the Dom Luis Bridge, and do a short river cruise and wine tour.
Can you do Porto in 1 day?
Yes, you can do Porto in 1 day and see the best attractions, such as the Carmo Church, Chapel of Souls, Dom Luis Bridge, and the Ribeira District. However, 2 – 3 days in Porto is ideal for getting the authentic feel of the city.
Is it worth going to Porto for a day?
Yes, going to Porto for a day is absolutely worth it. One day in Porto allows you to see the beautiful churches of Porto, stroll through the atmospheric Ribeira District, and taste Port Wine in the city of its production.
Is 1 night enough in Porto?
Yes, 1 night in Porto is enough to see the city’s highlights, including the Dom Luis Bridge, the azulejo-covered churches, an iconic bookshop that inspired J.K. Rowling, and take a Port Wine Tasting Tour.
Is Porto a walkable city?
Yes, Porto is mostly a walkable city, even though it is hilly. Be sure to pack a good pair of walking shoes to traverse the ups and downs of Porto. You can always take the tram if you need to rest your legs.
What to do in Porto in 4 hours?
If you have only 4 hours in Porto and love architecture, I recommend heading to the historic center and checking out the beautiful churches of Carmo and Saint Ildefonso, the Chapel of Souls, and the Porto Cathedral.
If you have only 4 hours in Porto and want to immerse yourself in local culture, head to the Ribeira District, enjoy a walk on the promenade, cruise on River Douro, and join a Port Wine Tasting Tour on the banks.