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Top 10 Best Free Things To Do in Porto

Updated: Feb 10

Exploring a new city doesn't always have to come with a price tag, and in Porto, Portugal, there is so much to experience for free. Our team at Cafe Passaporte has created a list of the top 10 best free things to do in Porto. From our favorite gardens in the city to the cutest neighborhoods, there's something for everyone!

1. Ponte Dom Luís I / Jardim do Morro

Landscape of Dom Luis I Bridge and the city of Porto

The Dom Luís I Bridge crosses from the city of Porto to the city of Vila Nova de Gaia over the Douro River. It was designed by Téophile Seyrig, who worked under Gustave Eiffel (the architect of the Eiffel Tower) and built from 1881 until 1886. You can cross the bridge on foot and get beautiful views the entire way across. Once you get to the Vila Nova de Gaia side, be sure to check out Jardim do Morro, a park overlooking the river with views of Porto and the bridge. This park is a favorite spot to watch the sunset.

2. Parque da Cidade

Green area with a person laying on the grass at Parque da Cidade

Located a little farther outside the city center, the city park is one of our favorite places to spend a sunny afternoon. The park has wide open grass fields scattered with trees and ponds, all surrounded by a walking path. If your visit to Porto lasts more than a couple of days, be sure to give this park a visit with a picnic or to just enjoy the outdoors. This park is near Foz do Douro, where you can walk alongside the ocean!

3. Ribeira

Ribeira promenade, full of restaurants and bars

Ribeira, is a beautiful neighborhood next to the Douro River in Porto. It's the perfect place to explore for a budget-friendly afternoon. The narrow cobblestone streets and colorful buildings leading to the river walk make for a picturesque journey. If you want to sit and take in the area, the neighborhood is full of local bars and restaurants.

4. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

River view from Jardins do Palacio de Cristal, with a promiment view of Gaia and boats in the river

This garden gives a beautiful view of the Douro River. The garden has tiered layers to explore including paved paths, landscaped gardens, fountains, and grass spaces. You may even see chickens and peacocks roaming the grounds! Jardins do Palácio de Cristal is home to many local events so be sure to check if anything is going on during your visit!

5. Mercado do Bolhão

Stalls of food & crafts at Mercado do Bolhão

Bolhão Market, in the center of the city, is a historic two-story market. The market is full of stalls with cheese, cured meats, flowers, fresh fruits, candy, fish and more. The amount of vendors makes it an exciting place to explore and become acquainted with Portuguese items. Take a stroll through the market to grab a few treats and have a picnic at one of the parks on this list!

6. Capela do Senhor da Pedra

Church set on a beach around a composition of rocks, during sunset time

A little outside the city center, in Vila Nova de Gaia, there is a beautiful beach with a view of a small chapel built on the rocks. You can visit the chapel for free. One of the best times to go is during sunset, where you'll get beautiful views year round. After enjoying the views of the chapel, be sure to check out the beach boardwalk nearby.

7. Praia da Foz

Sunset view of the beach, with waves and rocks

Head to the coast to visit one of my favorite beaches in northern Portugal: Praia da Foz. Even if you’re not in Porto during the summer, the beach is a beautiful place to take a walk, watch surfers, grab a drink, and enjoy a sunset. For a great photo op, check out Pérgola da Foz located along the coast.

8.Rua de Miguel Bombarda

Sunset view of the street of Miguel Bombarda in downtown Porto

Rua de Miguel Bombarda is the perfect place to visit to check out local art. The street has numerous art galleries with everything from prints to pottery. Although you can find galleries all over the city, this street is one of our favorites because you can get a taste of so many different artists in one location. Be sure to pick up a souvenir while you’re here!

If you have the time during your visit, check out the other art museums and galleries around the city!

9. Parque das Virtudes

View of Parque das Virtudes, with trees and different levels

A unique city park, built vertically over-looking the river, Parque de Virtudes is the perfect place for a picnic or to relax and take in the views. The most popular part of the park, located on Passeio das Virtudes, is a popular spot to gather and watch the sunset. Down the street, you'll find a gate that is the entrance to a more secluded and calm section of the park.

10. Stop by Café Passaporte and chat with the team

View of the interior (tables) of Café Passaporte

Porto is a city full of wonderful people, so why not meet some of them? Café Passaporte, located in the Bonfim neighborhood near the Campanhã train station, is home to a team of friendly staff who are always excited to share their newest Porto favorites and suggestions! Even if you don't get a coffee, come say hi! We'd love to meet you!

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