A Brief Romantic Guide For Visitors To Porto, Portugal

A Brief Romantic Guide For Visitors To Porto, Portugal

If you are a travel couple looking for a spring getaway from busy city life, avoid touristy destinations like Mallorca (Spain) or Santorini (Greece). Instead, come to the beaches of Porto in Portugal for a romantic short trip. Here are the 5 activities that you can’t miss.

1) Walking by the ocean

a brief romantic guide for visitors to porto, portugal | walking by the ocean

With a long coastline and wooden walkways along the golden sandy beaches, Porto is an ideal destination for swimming and romantic walks by the ocean. Instead of taking the old tram city tour, which may be a little too touristy, take a walk from the city centre to the Lady of Light Lighthouse to enjoy the view of wild nature. Even though Porto is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the city is not a major touristic destination, making it a quieter and more authentic place to visit, compared to other cities like Lisbon.

2) Dining at a restaurant by the beach

Francesinha @ Ar do Rio
Source: Photo by user Filipe Fortes used under CC BY-SA 2.0

Go for lunch of typical Portuguese seafood dishes, or snacks at a fancy restaurant on the beach. Try the famous Portuguese sandwich “Francesinha” (meaning Little Frenchie - a sandwich made with bread, ham, sausage, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese, tomato and beer sauce) at the Praia da Luz Porto restaurant. They offer outdoor tables with excellent views of the ocean during the summer. Be prepared to pay more for the view, in comparison with other similar restaurants downtown. A francesinha dish costs 8.5 EUR (roughly 9 USD). If you are savvy travellers, small local restaurants are also great options for excellent Portuguese dinners.

3) Visit the Parque e Jardim da Fundação Serralves

a brief romantic guide for visitors to porto, portugal | visit the parque e jardim da fundação serralves

You don’t have to have lots of knowledge of art to enjoy the Serralves Modern Art Museum. The well organized collection of creative artwork and videos exhibited in this museum is suitable for all kinds of visitors. An unknown area behind this museum is the Parque e Jardim da Fundação Serralves. There’s a massive mansion that you can rent for personal events here. While walking through the garden, you will feel like you have entered scenes from ‘The Great Gatsby’. The museum and park are free to visit for students and everyone every first Sunday morning of each month. Free tickets are valid before 1.30 PM. The normal admission fee is 10 EUR (about 11 USD) for visiting both the museum and the park.

4) Watch the sunset from several viewpoints (miradouro)

a brief romantic guide for visitors to porto, portugal | watch the sunset from several viewpoints (miradouro)

One of the best viewpoints to get a panoramic view of Porto is at the Dom Luis Bridge. Standing here, you are only few meters above the Douro River in between the two cities of the Porto Metropolitan Area: Porto and Vila Nova De Gaia. From this point you can clearly see the famous old district of Ribeira, small houses lying by the cliff, and the most popular producer of port wine – Gaia. The views changes drastically between daytime and nighttime, which is why sunset is the perfect time to enjoy the sight. Another worth-visiting viewpoint is behind the Porto Cathedral.

5) Take a ferry from Porto to Vila Nova De Gaia

a brief romantic guide for visitors to porto, portugal | take a ferry from porto to vila nova de gaia

Walk to the historic Ribeira District and you will find plenty of ferries or ‘Love Boats’ that connect Porto to Gaia. Landing at Gaia, you can enjoy a tasting tour of sweet port wine at many wine producers. If you would like to experience a longer romance on the water, take a Douro River Cruise around the Douro River. There are several options including mini-cruises and long cruises with wine offered on board.

How to get around Porto

As Porto is a very hilly city, I recommend renting a car or taking public transportation. Public transportation is very affordable and easy to navigate. You can get a disposable transportation card and load money on it instead of getting a day card. Once you are in the central area, including the historic Ribeira Square or Art District, walking is recommended.

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Hi! I am Huong, a Hanoi born and raised explorer at heart, who moved from Vietnam to Finland in 2011 and got bitten by the European travel bug. Since 2015, I have been living out of a suitcase,...Read more

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