Things to do in Porto: A Local's Guide

Posted by: Soraia Costa

Post Date 04-May-2021 12:24:02


Porto is a wonderful city that is also influenced by the future in terms of local cuisine as well as its architecture and culture. If you are looking for an authentic introduction to Porto's gastronomical scene, using history, architecture, and culture as background, then look no further because we've got you covered. And the best thing? It can be private and tailormade - just for you!

For the first-time visitors of this city, we can take you not only to off the beaten paths but also to hit several highlights of this historic city. There can be included plenty of must-sees for a first-time visit, the taste of traditional Portuguese dishes, regional wines, local pastries, and, of course, Port wines. In total, you will experience well-balanced and fantastic wine and food tours. It is the perfect experience for those who want to encounter Porto like a local. 

Travel slow, and unveil some of the things you can do in this fantastic city, and taste the real Porto.

See all the available Porto and Douro tours 



Learn All About the City Historic Center

We can arrange a  private certified Guide who will show you the highlights of the city of Porto, starting in the historic center in which the first stop will be the Clérigos Tower, designed and decorated by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, located near Lello Bookstore, considered by Lonely Planet one of the three most beautiful bookstores in the world.


Across Aliados Avenue, you will find São Bento Railway Station, where you can observe its twenty thousand painted tiles, depicting historical landmarks.


Continue to Santa Catarina street where is located the Majestic Café. This is considered the most stunning of all cafés in the nation and one of the most attractive in the world. It continues to live up to its name with a wonderful Belle Epoque atmosphere in its main room and attractive winter garden, it is simply stunning. 


Enjoy also the most beautiful views over the Douro River from Porto Cathedral. Originally built in the 12th century, Porto Cathedral still has the original merlons and twin towers, although the towers are now topped by 18th-century additions. It has undergone various alterations over the centuries, then, you will visit the Stock Exchange Palace of Porto "Palácio da Bolsa", the building with the most different architectural styles in Porto. Last but not least, you should visit the Church of Saint Francis that is the most prominent Gothic monument in Porto, is also noted for its outstanding Baroque inner decoration. Decorated with exuberant gilt woodwork or gold leaf “Talha dourada”.


IMG_1890 copy

Unveil all the Fantastic Port Cellars

Real Companhia Velha played an important role in the regulation, production, and trade of Port Wine, so we can say, conclusively, that the Company's history is the history of Port Wine. Founded in 1756 by a Royal Charter of King José I, King of Portugal, under the auspices of his Prime Minister the Marquis of Pombal, the Real Companhia Velha, also known as Royal Oporto Wine Company, is the oldest Port Wine company of Portugal. The centennial basements of Real Companhia Velha, located in Vila Nova de Gaia facing Porto carefully store a wide selection of Port Tawny wines - aged in oak barrels - as well as Vintage Port, keeping this way the prestige and reputation that this company enjoys for over 250 years. 


For many, Taylor's is Porto's most illustrious wine-producing house, and drinking its wines is the most sublime experience. Created in 1692, this is one of the oldest houses still maintaining its family character and dedicating itself exclusively to the production of Port wines, especially, to its best styles. A visit to Taylor's cellars is an absorbing and enriching experience that provides a unique journey into the fascinating world of Port wine.


The Cockburn’s cellars are the most extensive in the historic quarter of Vila Nova de Gaia, facing the twin city of Porto across the Douro River. The sturdy granite walls of the Cockburn’s lodge house 6,518 seasoned oak barrels of maturing Port since 1815. At the Cockburn’s lodge, you will experience a comprehensive visitor center that provides an authentic experience of a fully working Port Cellar. A highlight of the visit to Cockburn’s is the possibility to view the coopers at work, wielding mallets with which they disassemble barrels stave by stave for maintenance and then reassemble them, a unique scene which has changed little over the centuries.




The Porto Gastronomy and the Delicious Portuguese Wine

In the amazing Decastro Gaia Restaurant, you will discover a place for tasting, where wines are matched with Portuguese snacks under the guidance of renowned Chef Miguel Castro Silva. The gastronomy embraces the concept of innovation, diversification, and modernity of the Porto Cruz project, challenging visitors to taste new experiences that test the palate in an informal yet stylish ambiance. Enjoy a Sunset Cocktail with Port Wine on the rooftop with 360º views over the Cellars and the river.


Another great option is the cozy and incredible restaurant Traça, midway between the riverfront and the city's main avenue. Housed in a 17th-century building with beautiful azulejos covering the interior. The menu consists of traditional Portuguese food in which some are mixed with delicious contemporary techniques. The dishes all are paired with the amazing Portuguese wine.


Why book now your 2021 tour? Because by booking all your tours with us you will have flexibility in the future, plus all the COVID-19 Health & Safety Guidelines. Through these unique times, we are available to plan, reschedule, and move your trip around your needs, as always. If your new dates may no longer work with your initial travel plan, a dedicated consultant will be available to tailor and reschedule your time in Portugal according to your needs and preferences, and to assure you that you will have the best and most memorable experiences.



Topics:   Porto travel tips safe travel porto tours

Soraia Costa

Written by: Soraia Costa

Soraia has a Bachelor Degree in Communication and she is natural from Azores (the Portuguese islands) which she knows from end to end, as well, as mainland Portugal. She loves to travel and know all about the culture and food of each country. She also loves to cook new recipes, some of the most renowned chefs in the world. In her articles, she shares the knowledge of her travels about heritage, culture, wine, gastronomy, and must-see places.

Blog Notifications

Receive our blog articles by email with wine, food & travel advices!

Vacations in Portugal 2017

Most Popular


Recent Posts