What to do in Porto

Porto is a cosmopolitan city, an eclectic mix of things ancient and modern. A UNESCO world Heritage site with medieval townhouses, gothic palaces and baroque churches adorned with exquisitely handcrafted “azulejo” tiles. A city where the wine and gastronomy culture embrace its inhabitant’s lifestyle and creates lifelong memories for those who visit.

 

 

One of the greatest advantages of Porto is its size which many consider perfect – not too small, not too big. Small enough to be walked about on foot and still have the main attractions and services nearby; yet not so small that all points of interest can be seen in one day. But don’t let its size fool you, it has all the services and amenities that a big city offers.

The city is continuously reinventing itself with new restaurants and hotel openings. It can be stated that their food is delicious with unique and remarkable restaurant interiors, cool atmosphere and an innovative approach that combines the traditional Portuguese with innovative tendencies.

Perhaps the key reason why people keep Porto in their hearts is the authenticity, hospitality and friendliness of its people making it an unforgettable stamp of the city nicknamed “Invicta”.

Charming, colorful, and beautifully authentic; it’s a city made for explorers, weekend visitors, backpackers, and photographers alike.

The famous Douro River, the epicenter of the former port city, is the ultimate backdrop for lazy river cruises, sunset strolls, and long lunches.

From every angle, in every light, Porto is achingly beautiful.  It’s a place to stroll through lazily, map-less, discovering little treasures, pockets of beauty, and slices of authentic Portuguese life on every corner.

 

Take A Sightseeing Cruise Down The Douro River

Jump aboard this six-bridge Porto city sightseeing boat tour by traditional rabello boat and learn about the importance of the river to the city while passing many of its famous bridges and landmarks.

 

Enjoy Port In Porto

Port is, unsurprisingly, Porto’s most popular export. The Douro Valley has a long and esteemed history of Port production dating back to the 17th century. Today, the region is protected as the only true Port wine producer in the world.

Unsurprisingly, that means that the sweet, fortified wine you might have associated with the after-dinner tipple of your grandparents is a very proud favorite on everyone’s wine lists here.

A visit to the famed wine cellars is one of the best things to do in Porto, and the most prestigious and celebrate Houses can be found by crossing the Dom Luis I Bridge to the Vila Nova de Gaia side.

 

Take in the Views From the Miradouro da Vitória

Surrounded by abandoned buildings, Miradouro da Vitória can look a little sketchy at first glance, but don't let the broken windowpanes of the building next door fool you. This is arguably one of the most popular places to take in the sunset in Porto. From here, you have postcard-perfect views of the river Douro and the jumble of medieval terracotta rooftops.

 

Explore the Ribeira, Baixa and Bolhao Districts

The three suburbs of Ribeira, Baixa, and Bolhão make up Porto’s most historic and touristy areas; as a traveller, it’s where you’re likely to spend most of your time too.

This is where the river Douro 6-bridge river cruises depart from (they often sell out, so book your ticket ahead of time), and understandably, tends to also be the busiest part of town.

Above the Ribeira are the Baixa and Sé areas, where you'll find most Porto's best attractions, including Mercado do Bolhão, Majestic Cafe, Rua Santa Catarina, Palácio do Bolsa, and so many more.

 

Visit Bolsa Palace dnd Marvel at the Interiors

The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) was built between 1842 to 1910 and pays homage to the city's rich merchants of yesterday and today.

Built on the ruins of the cloisters of the St Francis Church of Porto next door, the neoclassical building is where the Portuguese stock exchange once operated.

Already beautiful from the outside, the building is absolutely stunning inside too; the intricately designed glass domed Pátio das Nações (Hall of Nations), the grand Escadaria Nobre (noble staircase), and the Salão Árabe (Arab room) to name a few.

 

Visit the São Bento Railway Station

European train stations are in a league of their own when it comes to elegance and grandeur yet one stands above the rest, Porto’s irresistible São Bento.

The São Bento station is so much more than merely a transport hub for Porto's residents; on the walls of the grand entrance, 20,000 azulejo (traditional painted tiles) depict Porto's history in breathtaking beauty.

 

Visit Livraria Lello, Porto's Most Beautiful Library

It's said to be the most beautiful bookstore in the world and having wandered through it ourselves, we can tell you that Livraria Lello definitely lives up to its reputation. 

 

Eat Porto’s Most Famous Dish, Francesinha

By now you’ve probably all heard the saying that calories don’t count when you’re on holidays, and it’s just as well because this next treat is one hell of a calorie-busting, artery-blocking, monster meal: the Francesinha.

Traditionally, Porto’s famous Francesinha was a meal strictly reserved for the meat-eaters. Somewhere between a toasted sandwich and gluttonous meat burger, we’re talking layers of thick steak, sausage and ham,

slathered with gooey melted cheese, doused in a tomato-based sauce, and topped with an egg (in case you hadn’t had enough protein yet!) and served up with some crispy hot chips.

Meat eaters: to try this heart attack on a plate yourself, we recommend Cafe Santiago, Cervejaria Brasão, and O Afonso.

 

Eat All the Pasteis de Nata at Confeitaria do Bolhão

Portugal is the birthplace of one of the best sweet treats you could ever hope to sink your teeth into the small yet mighty Pastel de Nata (Portuguese tart). Impossibly crisp and flakey puff pastry tarts filled with the creamiest of egg custard and dusted with cinnamon, they’re heavenly and utterly addictive.

No place will help you get your pastry on better than the Confeitaria do Bolhão, the beautiful 120-year-old patisserie serving up Porto's best Portuguese tarts.

 

Explore Porto by Tram

Hopelessly touristy, yet wonderfully fun, travelling aboard Porto’s historic (and cute) tram system is a must.

While many travellers associate trams with Lisbon, it was in Porto that the first Portuguese tram network was built in 1895. The trams here are amongst the oldest electric transport systems in Europe, and you can still spot the quaint little yellow tram cars trundling along the 3 remaining routes today.

 

Explore Beyond Porto

Portugal, for a country so small, is magnificent. Wonderful coastline, gorgeous towns, epic natural landscapes, and above all, a world-class food and wine scene.

If visiting Porto for more than three days, we highly suggest breaking free of the city’s undeniable spell and exploring more of Portugal’s incredible scenery.

Want to learn to surf? Do it here in Matosinhos.

Want to go hiking? Take a tour of Peneda-Gerês National Park.

Keen to visit Portugal’s smaller, colorful towns? Braga and the medieval city of Guimarães are incredible.

Porto Experiences
Porto and the North of Portugal

Important Dates

- Symposium submission: 17. October 2022 – 15. December, 2022

Abstract submission: 15. January 2023 – 31. March 2023

- Notification of acceptance for symposia: 28. February, 2023

- Notification of acceptance for abstracts: 15. May, 2023

- Early bird registration: 01. April to 30. June, 2023

- Late registration: from 01. July, 2023 to 05. September, 2023. After that, only onsite registrations will be accepted

Abreu Events

abreu events full service congress organizer