17 INCREDIBLE Tours in Porto [January 2020]

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Porto has become one of those European cities caught between being a mainstream travel destination and a retro spot for those who want to avoid tourist traps. There are few places left in the world that can boast such a balance.

One of the city’s greatest assets is undoubtedly its historic and cultural activities. Tours in Porto, Portugal, are enticing and eye-catching, with its red roofs and ancient Roman-style architecture on display.

Come with us as we walk you through the best tours this historic city has to offer, making the most of the triperios’s local knowledge.

#1 – Essential Porto Walking Tour

See the city’s main landmarks from the ground up

Essential Porto Walking Tour

  • $$
  • 3 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Porto sightseeing including Nasoni Tower, Serra do Pilar, and the Clerics Church

The locals of this majestic city come from a festive and patriotic lineage. They pride themselves on their heritage. Thus, how better to get to know a city like Porto then through the eyes of those who live here.

This walking tour is perfect for a ground-up viewing of the city. You’ll get to visit many of the essential attractions across the city, but be prepared to get more than what you bargained for. In Porto, every corner has a story and every street, a past.

 

#2 – Porto Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

Explore the beautiful streets and river of Porto

Porto Hop-on Hop-off Bus Tour

  • $$
  • 5 hours
  • Audio guided tour in 20 languages
  • Visit a port wine cellar and go on an included cruise

The district of Porto is vast, with both the urban city and nature-filled outskirts to see. Old monuments and modern galleries fill its streets, and for some, it’s the birthplace of all Portugal.

With so much to see, you’re going to need a quick way to get around the city. The hop-on-hop-off buses are some of the best options you could make use of.

You’ll also get to cruise the waters of the River Douro. If you want to cover the city in a short time, this is your best opportunity to do so.

 

Ready to book? Here are our favorite areas to stay in Porto!

#3 – Torre dos Clerigos

One of the tallest landmarks in Porto

Torre dos Clerigos

  • $
  • 2 hours
  • Skip-the-line ticket available
  • Climb its 225 steps to the top

How better to see this amazing city, then from the top of its iconic bell tower. Offering a 360-degree view of the whole area, Torre dos Clerigos is one of Porto’s main attractions.

Its 225 steps will feel slightly grueling at times, but once you ascend its ramparts and come out into the open, it’ll all feel worth it.

As you’ll hopefully be wanting to do more citywide exploring, it’ll pay to plan from a good vantage point. You’ll be spotting all your itinerary’s attractions in no time, with help from your tour guide.

 

#4 – World of Discoveries

Tour the Lives of Portugal’s famous explorers

World of Discoveries

  • $$
  • 4-5 hours
  • Ticket valid for the whole day
  • Experience 20 different thematic installations and their relevant explorers

At the World of Discoveries, you get to walk in the shoes of famous Portuguese explorers such as Ferdinand Magellan, Vasco de Gama, and Bartolomeu Dias. These and other famous men explored uncharted territories and foreign seas, all in the name of their homeland.

Travel with them within across the various thematic exhibits, designed to encapsulate the trials and tribulations they faced in far off lands. This tour will guide you through their lives and adventures.

Portugal has a rich history of exploration and discovery and has produced some of the world’s best explorers. Come learn firsthand where these men traveled and stories they told.

 

#5 – The Unique Live Fado Performance

Discover Porto’s traditional fado production

The Unique Live Fado Performance

  • $$
  • 1-1.5 hours
  • Audio guide w/ headphones
  • Enjoy a live performance based on the history of fado

In these parts of the world, you can expect great food, great wine, and most importantly, great festivities. As the Spanish have their flamenco dance, so do the Portuguese have the fado – a unique form of singing that can be found on the UNESCO Intangible Cultural Heritage list.

This a tour of culture, as the performers guide you through their Portuguese history, showcasing the country’s major events, through dance. You’ll never have experienced anything like it.

 

Need a hotel near Porto? Read our guide to our favorite hotels near Porto!

#6 – Porto Wine Tour

Frequent the oldest wine cellars in the city

Porto Wine Tour

  • $$
  • 3 hours
  • Live guided tour
  • Taste the best wines in Porto, Portugal’s wine capital

Portuguese wine is undisputed as one of the worlds best. In Porto, there are wine cellars dating back to the country’s founding. Where there was the Portuguese, there was good wine. So, why not explore some of the best wineries in the city that started it all?

The tour starts in the late afternoon at 4pm, where you’ll be shown the history of wine-making in Porto as well as where Port wine all started. Tasting port wine in Porto is a must!

 

#7 – Sea Life Marine World

Marvel at Portugal’s marine life

Sea Life Marine World

  • $$
  • 4-5 hours
  • English instructor
  • Discover over 3,000 native and international sea creatures

Off the coast of Portugal, you’ll find seas brimming with marine life. Rays, cowfish, triggerfish, pipefish and sea turtles are but a handful of its vast array. If you can’t go exploring Portugal’s seas, Porto’s Sea Life is probably your next best bet.

With over 3,000 native and non-native marine life on the show, you’ll get to see those Portugal fish you’ve heard so much about. Allow your instructor to show you just how diverse the waters are here.

By making the most of this fish haven, you’ll be experiencing one of Portugal’s greatest pride and joys – its oceans.

 

#8 – Serra da Estrela

Explore the highest point in Portugal

Serra da Estrela

  • $$$
  • 9 hours
  • Live guided tour
  • See the famous Cantaro Magro and the traditional mountain cheese

At the highest mountains in Portugal, you’ll have the chance to get back to nature. Throughout November and December, you can expect a winter wonderland of snow and sledging.

Even if you’re not there during the winter months, the mountains make for awesome hiking and an amazing picnic location. If you enjoy the outdoors and like unique locations, then the Serra de Estrela should be on your things to do in Porto list.

 

Planning a trip? See our list of the best things to see in Porto!

#9 – Guided Historical Tuk Tuk Porto Tour

A unique historical tour of the city center

Guided Historical Tuk Tuk Porto Tour

  • $$$
  • 2-4 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Visit all the main historical sites of Porto at sunset

It’s not often you’ll get to drive through a city in a Tuk Tuk outside of Thailand. But, if you’re wanting to see Porto in a unique fashion, you can do no better than a Tuk Tuk Tours of the city’s historic center.

You can choose if you want to go at sunrise, midday, sunset or during the late evening. Either way, prepare to see the city that was 3-times selected as the best European destination, from a unique perspective.

You’ll see all the historical sites from the window of your Tuk Tuk, and marvel at the grandeur on offer.

 

#10 – Guimaraes Half-day Tour

A tour of the birthplace of the nation

Guimaraes Half-day Tour

  • $$$
  • 4 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Pick-up and drop off included

This half-day trip from Porto is perfect for those who love a little castle exploration. The Guimaraes is one of many castles in Portugal, but very treasured amongst the local triperios.

Why? Because local legend states that this was the birthplace of the entire nation! Well preserved and incredibly stately, it really is befitting of its title.

Along the way, you’ll also get to visit the famous St. Miguel Church and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganca.

 

Excited to visit Porto? Get excited to take an amazing day trip too!

#11 – Douro Valley Tour

Experience the best of the Douro area and its Winelands

Douro Valley Tour

  • $$$
  • 9 hours
  • Skip-the-line
  • Spend a half-day experiencing Portugal’s famous Douro Valley

This day trip from Porto is perfect for those looking to experience Portugal’s natural side. Much of the landscape is filled with wine farms and rolling Mediterranean hills. The view from Peso da Régua is especially photogenic.

Douro Valley was the original home to Port wine, and at a time, was the only place in the world to be manufacturing it. Paired with your traditional Portuguese meal, you really couldn’t ask for a more traditional day out.

 

#12 – Street Art Tour

A fun way to see the urban artwork of the city streets

Street Art Tour

  • $$
  • 3 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Discover the most interesting work the streets have to offer

Not many people know about Porto’s urban art scene, yet it’s one of the biggest in Europe. With local artists such as Vhils, Lara Luís, Miguel Januário, and Chei Krew all on display, it’s unsurprising that the city’s streets are decorated with a wide variety of murals.

With the help of your local guide, you’ll soon be familiarizing yourself with the local street scene and its talented creators.

 

#13 – Porto Bridge Cruise and Tour

The best way to see the only city in Europe to have 6 bridges

Porto Bridge Cruise and Tour

  • $$
  • 1 hour
  • Audio exposition and information
  • Sail the boats originally used for transporting Port wine

The Douro River is Porto’s primary natural landmark, dominating the city and integral to transportation for both locals and businesses. Porto is the only city in Europe to boast 6 bridges, and on this tour, you’ll get to sail them all.

As you board your Douro Port transport boat, you’ll be able to appreciate the opportunity you’re getting. Sail upstream to Freixo and downstream to the mouth of the river as you learn the history of the 6 Bridges.

 

#14 – 4×4 Mountain Tour

The best way to journey the outskirts of the city

4x4 Mountain Tour

  • $$
  • 3 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • See Roman excavations old villages from a by-gone era

Deep in Porto Mountains Park, just outside the city limits, you’ll find Porto’s Roman legacy. Much of this area was once under the rule of the great empire of Rome, thus, it stands to reason there will be some remnants of that lost civilization.

A 2,000-year-old Roman mine awaits you and your adventurers as the 4×4 vehicles cut across the mountains. The natural landscape is eye-opening already, but add a touch of history and you’ll have yourself a memorable trip.

 

#15 – FC Porto Museum and Stadium Tour

An explosive tour into the history of the city’s main soccer team

FC Porto Museum and Stadium Tour

  • $
  • 1-2 hours
  • Skip-the-line ticket
  • Walk the Dragão Stadium, visit its museum and learn about its legacy

As is often the case across Europe, soccer takes center stage in the hearts of most of the locals. Porto is no different.

FC Porto is the pride and joy of the locals, with the Dragão Stadium their home away from home. As one of the most successful clubs in Portugal, you can expect a big history and a bigger trophy cabinet. Why not take some time to explore the stadium’s legacy?

 

#16 – Porto Architecture Tour

An amazing tour of the city’s diverse designs

Porto Architecture Tour

  • $$
  • 4 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Take a look into some of Portugal’s most iconic designs and structures

Portugal has produced some of the world’s most famous artists and curators. Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura are but two, to name a few. If you find yourself walking through the city, you’ll see their hand in every street and quaint building.

This walking tour is the perfect opportunity for placing you right in the middle of Porto’s creative spheres, showing off some of its traditional and more modern designs.

 

#17 – Harry Potter Tour

Discover Porto’s hand in inspiring the famous series

Harry Potter Tour

  • $$
  • Up to 8 hours
  • Live tour guide
  • Visit the cafe where the books were written, and the bookshop that inspired J.K. Rowling

This is one of the most unique Porto tours you can find throughout the city. Many people don’t know the fact that Harry Potter was created in a small cafe in Porto.

Today, that small cafe has become one of the city’s main tourist spots. This walking tour will take you past many similar spots integral to inspiring the famous wizarding world. As you walk through these sites, you’ll see how this famous author became so inspired. You may even find yourself being inspired too!

 

Final Thoughts

When it comes to a holiday destination that balances popular attractions with sites off the beaten track, you’ll struggle to do better than Porto, Portugal. Tours come in all shapes and sizes, from sport to urban art.

With some of the best tours found throughout the city shown above, you’ll be set to meet all your bucket list goals. The home of Port wine is as you’d expect it to be – fun, festive, and filled with stories to tell.

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About the Author Aaron Hovanesian

Born in Los Angeles, Aaron Hovanesian is one of the original staff writers for Hotel Jules. Having backpacked the world as a young man, Aaron now prefers to travel the world in luxury, proudly staying in the world's most amazing hotels and properties. When Aaron is not traveling he lives in Western Colorado he can be found brewing his own beer (probably an IPA) or spending time with his two amazing golden retrievers.