Interested in visiting Porto Portugal? We’re excited to share our experience with you. Porto is full of adventure, culture, and culinary experiences. This breathtakingly beautiful region offers something for everyone, no matter what interests you. Whether you’re an adventurer looking to explore Portugal’s stunning landscapes, a foodie wanting to try the delicious local cuisine, or an art lover looking for some of the country’s best museums, you won’t be disappointed by what Porto has to offer.

After visiting Porto, Portugal as a family, we picked out some of the highlights to help you get started with your planning. Here are our top recommendations for visiting Porto Portugal with kids.

Done for You – 3 Week Portugal Itinerary!

We put together this 3-week Portugal itinerary to guide you on a journey along the most lovely and family-friendly stops in Portugal, including Lisbon, Algarve, and Porto. Get the itinerary here!

Getting to Porto with kids

We flew to Porto from Morocco, which was just a short 2-hour flight from only $60 per person. We used Ryanair, which is a budget airline. Porto has a really nice airport, and it was very easy to get an Uber or taxi from the airport.

Transportation in Porto Portugal

The best way around Porto is by public transportation. While it is walkable, there are also a lot of stairs to climb, so take this into consideration depending on who is in your group. One of the advantages of walking is that you can find all the special secrets Porto has to offer. We spent most of our time during our week stay walking because we loved the restaurants and sites we would find along the way. Porto is a very walkable city but it also has a great transportation infrastructure.

Since there is local transportation everywhere, you can take advantage of the metro, trams, funiculars, buses, commuter trains and ferries to get around. They are very inexpensive and easy to access. We found that most people spoke English and were eager to help so that made accessing public transport fairly easy.

Our top tips for traveling around Porto:

  • We found the best way to travel around Porto was by walking. It was very easy to walk from one end to the other, but a but tiring since there are a lot of hills. We took our time and focused on seeing one area of the city each day since our accommodations were very central.
  • The metro/street car is super inexpensive and very safe for traveling with kids. It takes a little getting used to, but once you get the hang of it it really is super easy to get anywhere.

Is Porto a family friendly destination?

Yes, Porto is very family-friendly, as is most of Portugal. Not only are the locals super friendly, but there are tons of fun things to do with kids in Porto (more on that below).

What to pack for your trip to Porto with kids

Here are some tips for what to pack when visiting Porto, Portugal:

  • Comfortable walking shoes – Comfort is key! Even if you take the metro or other public transportation around Porto, you will be doing some walking to explore Porto.
  • Layered clothing / Light Jackets – It’s best to wear layers when exploring Porto. It can be chilly, especially down by the river, but you’ll want options for when it’s warmer too. A light jacket is perfect for going down the river or on boats.
  • Plenty of water – Bring water on your tours, buying water can add up, and there are not many refill stations.

Where to stay in Porto

We stayed at CC Downtown Palace, which is in the center of Baixa. It’s just a 6-minute walk from Sao Bento Metro Station, 1,500 feet from Sao Bento Train Station, and close to everything else Porto has to offer as well. We loved being near a grocery store, which made it super convenient. The apartment itself was very spacious with a nice full kitchen, laundry facilities in the unit, 5 beds, free wifi, and a secure entrance with building staff.

@mrsblinks Travel burnout is real 😅 I needed to sleep for two days straight after all the “fun” we had in the desert and I don’t feel one bit guilty about it #familytravel #traveltiktok ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

Best Porto neighborhoods for families

Foz do Douro

Foz do Douro is a beautiful coastal neighborhood located where the River Douro meets the Atlantic, making it a great destination for views of the ocean. The famous Felgueiras lighthouse is located here, as well as some of the best schools in Porto. Foz do Douro is just 20 minutes from the city center, and is really popular for its beaches, especially for families.

Baixa 

Baixa, where we stayed, is the center of Porto. We loved this lively neighborhood, packed with cafes, bars, historical landmarks, coffee shops, bookstores, and basically anything else you could want or need. There are plenty of options for lodging in Baixa, from apartment rentals to luxury hotels or more low-cost options.

Miragaia

Miragaia is located to the west of the city center and is known for its brightly colored homes and winding alleyways. It’s a very picturesque part of Porto which serves as the center of Porto’s Jewish and Armenian communities. Some of the guesthouses and hostels here provide themed rooms. Miragaia is full of history and has lots of charming restaurants, and is a great location for families to stay who want a less busy area than the bustling neighborhoods of Ribeira and Baixa.

Bonfim

Bonfim is a community located to the east of Ribeira and Baixa. It has tons of character that has become a place that is popular for the young and creative crowds, but also still home to many elderly locals. There are great transport links in Bonfim with a metro line close to the airport and a close by train station. It’s also connected to the riverbank by a funicular.

Campanhã

Campanhã is close to the heart of Porto and is becoming the modern fashion hub of the city. It’s known for its art galleries, theatres and cafes. In Campanhã you are just a short distances from the River Douro and historic center, but are able to find some cheaper properties.

Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, São Nicolau and Vitória

Said to be a neighborhood of tradition, this area is known for it’s cobbled-stone streets, amazing restaurants and colorful houses. In 2013, various civil parishes merged together to form this heart of the city. It can be busy here in the summer months, as it’s a hugely popular spot for Portuguese cuisine and wine.

Other Recommended Places to Stay in Porto Portugal

Crowne Plaza Porto

Crowne Plaza Porto is an IHG Hotel located on the Avenida da Boavista, in the heart of the city’s business and cultural district. This 5-star hotel is only a few miles from Porto’s beautiful beaches, just 2,300 feet from the Botanic Gardens of Porto and 1.2 mi from the lush Serralves Gardens and Museum.

Torel Avantgarde

This 5-star hotel is just a 10-minute walk from the Douro riverside and 2,450 feet from the iconic Clérigos Church. It features an outdoor swimming pool, a fitness center and a garden, as well as panoramic views over the city. Rooms at Torel Avantgarde feature AC, a flat-screen TV, coffee machine, free toiletries, a desk and free wifi. Some rooms also have a terrace. It also has it’s own in-house restaurant and offers continental breakfast each morning.

Heart of Porto

As it’s name states, this apartment is located right in the heart of Porto, and just an 8-minute walk from Ageas Porto Coliseum, 1/2 a mile from Sao Bento Metro Station, a 16-minute walk from Ferreira Borges Market, and 1.5 miles from Campanha Train Station. It comes with 1 bedroom, a full kitchen, and 1 bathroom.

Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa

The Sheraton has spacious hotel rooms decorated with a mix of wood, steel and glass furnishings. The property also has a modern spa if you’re looking for some pampering. Their in-house restaurant, Porto Novo, serves traditional Portuguese cuisine. This hotel is 9 miles from Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport.

Here is a great starting point for finding the perfect place to stay in Porto.

Things to Do in Porto

Douro River Cruise:

Take a cruise down the Douro River and marvel at its stunning scenery. Enjoy a delicious meal on board as you take in views of old factories and wine cellars, past stunning landscapes, and lush nature reserves. You’ll also find some of the best ports in the world.

My best advice: bring your camera. The scenic vineyard landscapes will make some great photos!

Take a Port Wine Tour:

Vila Nova de Gaia is home to more than 20 port wine cellars, all offering tours and tastings. Besides learning about the production process of this famous fortified wine, you’ll also get to sample some of the best vintages. And, if you’re feeling extra adventurous, you can take a cooking class and learn how to cook traditional Portuguese dishes using port wine. Don’t forget to grab a souvenir bottle.

Check out more of the Porto wine region here.

Walk Across the Dom Luis Bridge:

It is truly an experience to cross the Dom Luis Bridge and see the city from a new perspective. From here, you’ll be able to spot all the iconic landmarks, like the Porto Cathedral and the Ribeira district. You may even catch a glimpse of the ocean in the distance. Please keep in mind that the bridge is especially packed during peak hours of the day, so make sure to plan your visit accordingly. Jardim do Morro is the nearest metro station to the bridge.

Enjoy a Spritz on a Rooftop in Gaia:

Gaia’s riverfront is especially popular for its buzzing nightlife and plenty of rooftop bars. When the sun goes down, head to Rooftop Bar Gaia, and enjoy a spritz or two with your partner. You’ll have the best view of the city and the Douro River here.

There is a lot more to do in Porto. You can take a gondola ride in Ribeira, explore the city’s ancient castles and cathedrals, or even take a surf lesson in Vila Nova de Gaia. You must also try a Francesinha. It is a Porto special sandwich made with various types of meat and cheese, topped off with a beer and tomato sauce. Believe me. It’s super TASTY!

Places to See When Visiting Porto Portugal

Rua dad Almas:

It is one of Porto’s oldest streets and has remained unchanged since the Medieval ages. Here, you can find many traditional eateries and shops selling locally crafted souvenirs. Haggling is expected here, so go ahead and bargain for the best deal.

Livraria Lello Bookstore:

It’s the most beautiful bookstore in the world. It’s EPIC! A wide staircase in the middle of the bookstore is bound to take your breath away. Make sure you visit this place in Porto and check out the beautiful stained glass ceiling. The section “Gemma” has the rarest and the most expensive books. Your kids can have a literature moment in the Enchanted Forest section.

Sao Bento Train Station:

A 20th-century masterpiece, this station is truly a sight to behold. It’s decorated with 20,000 beautiful azulejo tiles that depict Portugal’s history and culture. Make sure you take a few pictures before taking your train to the next destination.

Pro Tip: Take the train to visit nearby cities and towns like Braga, Viana do Castelo, or Guimaraes.

Chapel of Souls:

The churches in Porto are well known for their ornate Gothic exteriors and interiors. The Chapel of Souls is no exception. It’s adorned with baroque-style frescoes and decorated with religious depictions. You’ll be amazed by its intricate details and remarkable architecture. To experience the ethereal atmosphere, attend a mass here on a Sunday.

Monastery of Serra do Pilar:

The Monastery of Serra do Pilar in Porto, Portugal is truly a little piece of heaven on earth. Perched atop a hill overlooking the city of Porto, the Monastery of Serra do Pilar provides breathtaking views and a peaceful atmosphere that’s hard to find in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. This iconic 16th-century monastery was built by the first Duke of Bragança, and it serves as a reminder of the rich history and culture of Portugal.

Church of St. Ildefonso:

Built in the 15th century, this magnificent church stands majestically on the banks of the Douro River. Not only is the Church of St. Ildefonso aesthetically pleasing, it also has a long and rich history that is well worth exploring. With its grandiose architecture, intricate carvings and stained glass windows, the Church of St. Ildefonso is a breathtaking experience that will not soon be forgotten.

Caias da da Ribeira:

Caias da Ribeira offers visitors a breathtaking view of the Douro River and the beautiful cityscape of Porto. This historic spot has been a popular destination for centuries, and it’s easy to see why. Here, you’ll find cobblestone streets, baroque architecture, ancient ruins, and spectacular views of the Douro Valley.

Don Luis Bridge:

The Don Luis Bridge is a stunning sight to behold. Spanning the Douro River, it connects the city of Porto on the north bank with Vila Nova de Gaia on the south bank. Its spectacular arch design is both beautiful and practical, providing a perfect link between the two sides of the city. The Don Luis Bridge is an iconic part of the Porto skyline and a must-see for any traveler visiting the area.

Gaia Cable Cars:

If you’re looking for an unforgettable experience in Portugal, then the Gaia Cable Cars are a must-see! They offer a unique way to explore the picturesque cityscape from above. With stunning views of the city, the Douro River, and the Atlantic Ocean, the Gaia Cable Cars provide an unforgettable experience that you won’t soon forget. Whether you’re a thrill seeker or just looking for a fun way to sightsee, the Gaia Cable Cars are the perfect way to get a bird’s eye view of this beautiful Portuguese city.

Fado Show:

Witness the soulful Greek-Portuguese music genre, Fado, in a traditional tavern. This style of music is generally melancholic and expresses the deep emotions of the Portuguese people. It’s a beautiful experience to listen to this melodious music while savoring traditional Portuguese dishes like grilled sardines.

Fanciest McDonald’s in the World:

My kids squealed with delight at the sight of it. The world’s fanciest McDonald’s outlet is located in Porto’s downtown area. Crystal chandeliers and stained ceilings – this outlet has it all. Plus, the menu here features some delicious Portuguese-style dishes. The pastries, in particular, are a must-try!

@mrsblinks the number one thing on their travel bucket list was visiting one of the fanciest McDonald’s in the world✨✨ should we make this a series? #traveltiktok #portoportugal #familytravel ♬ Fake ID X Walking On A Dream Carter Walsh Remix – CarterWalsh

Where to Eat in Porto Portugal

Breakfast:

Noshi Coffee

If you want to start your day with something special, then head over to Noshi Coffee. This quaint cafe in Porto is the perfect spot for a delicious breakfast. Enjoy a cup of freshly brewed coffee along with some toast and scrambled eggs. For gluten-free eaters, they have plenty of options too.

The Breakfast Club

We loved the breakfast here, which is actually served all day. Located in the heart of the city, this café offers a variety of delicious breakfast dishes, including pastries, omelets, pancakes, and more.

Manteigaria

Manteigaria is located in a former butter shop (Manteigaria means butter) on the corner of Luís de Camões square. Here you can get pastéis de nata all day long. If you hear a bell ring in the street, run! This means fresh tarts are coming out of the oven.

Nicolau Porto

Nicolau has delicious pancakes, salads, bowls, and vegetarian and vegan options. They serve brunch every day in a beautiful setting.

Brunch:

Oreo and pumpkin pancakes, Nutella and strawberry pancakes! I want to go back now!!!

Garden Porto

The Garden Porto is a beautiful brunch spot near the riverside. It has Instagram-worthy décor and serves yummy food. The Eggs Benedict and the Avocado Toast – drool-worthy!

Zenith

Zenith Brunch & Cocktails is another great spot for brunch. The decor is modern and chic, and the nachos are delicious. You can also get a Brunch Gift Card here, which makes a great gift for food lovers.

Negra Cafe Baxia

Negra Cafe serves delicious toasts, served on boards, homemade cakes, dip brew coffee and much more. Kids love it because it has a play area for them!

Lunch:

Taberna

A must-try place for lunch, dinner, or even just an afternoon snack. They are known for reinventing traditional delicacies.

Empanada Malvon

If you’re looking for the tastiest empanadas in Portugal, look no further than Empanada Malvon. Their signature dish is the mouth-watering Empanada Malvon, filled with savory ingredients like chorizo, onions, peppers, and garlic.

A Dispensa

A Dispensa serves traditional Italian food like pizza and pasta, and is actually the #1 rated Italian restaurant in Porto.

Casa Portuguesa

We particularly loved the Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau. The fried ball of codfish is TO DIE FOR! It’s all things cheesy here.

Amorino Gelato

Amorino Gelato is a great spot for a sweet treat. The gelato is so smooth and creamy, and the flavors are unique. We particularly liked the rose flavor.

Dinner:

Honest Greens

For nights when you want to eat light and clean, Honest Greens is a great option. The salads here are so fresh and delicious. They have all versions, from keto to vegan.

Maid Habitos

Maid Habitos is a must-visit restaurant Porto. Located in a restored 19th-century building in the heart of the city, this family-run eatery has earned a reputation for serving up some of the finest traditional Portuguese cuisine in the region.

WOW (World of Wine)

Whether you’re a wine aficionado or just looking to explore the culture and history of Porto, there’s something for everyone here. During this tour you can explore the wineries, sample the varietals, and take in the breathtaking views of Porto that have captivated wine lovers for centuries.

Nogueras

Nogueras restaurant in Porto, Portugal is truly a hidden gem. Located just off the main tourist path, this restaurant offers an authentic Portuguese dining experience. Whether you’re looking for an intimate dinner for two or a lively group outing, Nogueras is the perfect spot for a delicious meal.

Okra

Okra restaurant in Porto, Portugal is a must-visit for food lovers! With its vibrant and cozy atmosphere, Okra offers delicious traditional Portuguese cuisine with a modern twist.

Lado B Cafe

Lado B Cafe is a must-visit for all coffee and cake lovers visiting Portugal. Located in the heart of the city of Porto, Lado B Cafe offers an impressive selection of both traditional and modern Portuguese cakes and pastries, accompanied by a range of coffees, teas and hot chocolate drinks.

O Comercial

O Comercial is an iconic restaurant in the city of Porto, Portugal. Located in the city’s historic center, it is a popular destination for both locals and visitors alike.

Mito

If you’re looking for a truly unique dining experience in Portugal, then Mito is the place for you. Located in the beautiful city of Porto, Mito is a restaurant like no other. With its mouth-watering dishes, crafted with local ingredients, and its warm and inviting atmosphere, Mito is definitely worth seeking out.

Petisqueira Voltaria

Petisqueira Voltaria in Porto, Portugal is the perfect place to take a step back in time and experience classic Portuguese cuisine. Founded in 1951, this old-fashioned eatery has been serving up delicious dishes like the traditional bacalhau à bras and the famous francesinha sandwich for decades.

More Restaurants

For something local, try the traditional bacalhau (codfish) and caldo verde (traditional soup). The seafood rice is simply scrumptious.

Other amazing dining spots are Maid Habitos, Melhor Restaurant, and the Casa de Pasto da Palmeira. From some spritz on the rooftop, head to Cruz.

Things to Know about Visiting Porto Portugal

Porto will mesmerize you. It did us. Its stunning architecture, vibrant culture, and soulful music will leave you wanting more. The best way to explore the city is to take a leisurely stroll through its streets, admire its stunning buildings and take in the sights. I hope you enjoy your time in Porto as much as we did!

Overall, Porto is an amazingly family friendy place to visit, so much so we’ve even considered moving there! Be prepared with comfy walking shoes and ready to try amazing Portuguese cuisine! If you’re planning on visiting Porto Portugal, we hope you found this travel guide helpful and would love to hear about your trip! Check out more of our travels and more travel tips here.

@mrsblinks Should we move here?!? #portoportugal #familytravel #tiktoktravel #levelupbootcamp #tiktokpartner ♬ Pieces (Solo Piano Version) – Danilo Stankovic

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