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Porto is a dazzling coastal city home to renowned wine cellars, leafy parks, a photogenic historic quarter and cozy restaurants serving tasty traditional cuisines. Lined with architectural treasures covered in bright blue “azulejos” tiles, the city’s cobbled streets open up to a spectacular riverfront. In a romantic city like this, it’s easy to spend your entire vacation sipping and sauntering your way through the UNESCO World Heritage city center.
A self-guided tour of the pedestrian-friendly city is possible, but why not pair up with a local expert for a more memorable experience? From wine tasting and cooking classes to live Fado shows and learning about the city’s historical sights, these authentic tours give you a more in-depth look at the city outside of the tourist areas. To experience the city like a local, check out our picks for the top tours in Porto.
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This well-paced three-hour tour is ideal for food and wine lovers, giving visitors an insider’s look into some of Porto’s best local wines and pairing them with tasty regional and seasonal dishes. You’ll walk through Porto with a small group and be guided by a professional sommelier, who will give you an in-depth look at Porto’s enticing food and wine scene, taking you to local and family-run spots where they are passionate about what they do. According to reviews, this intimate tour (limited to only 10 people) gives its guests a more personalized experience when visiting Porto.
The “Wine Venture & Boat Trip in Douro Valley” tour departing from Porto is one not to be missed, offering an exciting full-day excursion to the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Douro region. You will first stop at a hidden viewpoint to take in the scenery, then spend the day amid the picturesque vineyards and learn more about the region’s viticulture, winemaking and wine aging process. After visiting two renowned Douro Valley wineries for wine tasting, you’ll have the chance to go on a private boat ride and enjoy the scenic valley views from the water. For lunch, you’ll be taken to a quaint family winery to enjoy a traditional, home-cooked Portuguese lunch. Limited to only eight people, this intimate tour offers a great way to explore one of the world’s most famous wine regions.
Food is a big part of Portuguese culture, so it only makes sense that you should learn to prepare some of the country’s traditional dishes. You can go full-on and learn how to make a 4-course meal with a local Chef instructor on this highly-rated tour, or choose the “Portuguese Cooking Experience with Catia”, a smaller tour with a maximum of six attendees. On this culinary adventure, you’ll receive a hands-on, immersive class where you will first visit a traditional market, shop for ingredients and meet local vendors, then you will learn how to prepare dishes – and of course, sip local wine.
Fado music is deeply intertwined with Portugal’s rich culture, and attending a live show is considered an absolute must when visiting this beautiful country. There are many Fado shows to choose from, such as this top-rated show, but the small and intimate “Fado na Baixa” experience is the perfect choice for first-time Fado listeners. You will be given an overview of Fado’s importance in Portugal through a multi-media experience in English, then watch a live show in a small auditorium with passionate singers, guitar players and a glass of Port wine.
Interested in Port wine? If you’ve never tasted this sweet nectar, take a tour to learn about its unique history, harvest and production. Cross the Dom Luis I bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia and visit two small producers with 4 fortified wines on this tour, or join the half-day “Port Wine Lodges Tour”. On this tour, you’ll be paired with a wine expert and visit wine lodges to taste various Ports and learn how to identify the differences between Port families.
There’s nothing better than seeing Porto’s architectural treasures than by exploring the city on foot. If you want a snapshot of Porto’s most iconic Old Town sites, this essential walking tour stops by iconic spots like the Clerigos Tower, Lello Bookstore and Porto Cathedral. For a unique look at Porto’s history, this Porto Jewish Heritage Walking Tour is a highly-praised cultural experience. A local guide will walk you through the historic Jewish quarters, hidden synagogues and along the way you will learn about Porto’s role in Jewish history.
You’ll quickly realize on a walk through Porto that one of its biggest highlights is the bright blue “azulejo” tiles that adorn many of its historical sights. While you can certainly buy one as a souvenir, why not make one yourself? You can learn the traditional painting techniques in this workshop and paint two replicas or design your own creation. Or, sign up for the one-hour “Make Your Own Traditional Porto Tile” private workshop, where a local instructor will teach you about this traditional art form in Portugal and give you all the materials and equipment you need to make your own traditional piece of Portuguese art.
Hop on two wheels on this exciting tour and you can cover more ground in three hours than many do in a few days. Catering to all fitness levels, the scenic tour takes you through Porto’s historic quarter and throughout the port area, ticking off top attractions such as Sao Francisco Church and the Ribeira District. The family-friendly tour takes a pedestrianized route to the Porto wine cellars and beaches of Foz.
Looking for something to do in Porto that is truly unique? If you’re the type of traveler that likes to go off-the-beaten-path, consider joining this 4X4 Porto Mountain excursion. Get out of the city for a few hours with a small group and spend time in the tranquil Portuguese countryside, where you’ll travel to local vineyards and sample local wine and cheese. Combining history with adventure, you’ll be given a chance to see ancient Roman mines that date back 2,000 years old and rock formations that are between 250 million and 500 million years old!
Porto’s position in northwest Portugal means you’re near some of the country’s other top cities. If you’re in Porto for an extended period, consider taking a day trip to nearby Guimaraes and Braga. On this day trip excursion, you’ll be able to marvel at some of Portugal’s most treasured sites, including Braganza Palace and the Sanctuary of Bom Jesus. However, choose the “Guimaraes and Braga Small Group Tour” for an intimate experience with a professional guide, who will take you through the historic town’s ancient city squares and offer insight on their importance. Free hotel pick-up and drop-offs in an air-conditioned minivan and lunch are complimentary.