Portugal is open and ready for travelers once again, and there’s no better place to celebrate than in one of its favorite cities to the north, Porto. The city is brimming with history, culture, and is home to arguably one of the greatest sandwiches on earth. Come explore all the best things to see and do in one perfect day in Porto.
Check into the Torel Palace
Ready to live out your royal fantasies? Then the Torel Palace is for you. The hotel, housed in a one-time family mansion, has been transformed into a five-star accommodation, with 24 charming rooms and suites, a delicious restaurant, a spa, and a hidden oasis swimming pool in the back.
Dating back to 1861, Torel Palace Porto has been meticulously renovated to bridge the divide between new and old, perfectly blending modern amenities with old-world charm. The hotel also comes with a stunning library housing more than 1,000 books to discover, and each room is named after a Portuguese literary great to inspire guests to pick up a page turner and learn more about this wonderful country. Book a room starting at $160/night.
Grab breakfast at O Diplomata
Make sure you have enough energy for a day of exploring Porto by first stopping into O Diplomata, a coffee shop and cafe that has all the fixings for an ideal breakfast. At the shop, you’ll find coffees, juices, smoothies, and plenty of eggs. However, the real star of the show here is its pancakes. At the restaurant, you can choose from a pre-selected pancake menu or make your own from a list of batters, dozens of toppings, and even ice creams you can add on top for a morning sugar rush. Snag a stack starting at just $2.
Seek out a 360-degree view at Clérigos Tower
Clerigos Tower is a must-see sight in Porto. Though really, it’s hard to miss as the highest tower in the city. The tower, attached to the Clérigos Church since 1763, is an awe-inspiring building filled with historical artifacts as well as free organ concerts every day at noon inside the massive church.
Ready to make your way to the top? All you need to do is climb the 225 steps through a few narrow passages, past the bells, and finally make your way to the outdoor viewing area where you can see a 360-degree view of the city below. Then, once you catch your breath, walk back down, just make sure to take your time. Tickets to enter the tower cost just about $6.
Dig into a francesinha at Cafe Santiago
It’s lunchtime in Porto, which means it’s time to eat one thing and one thing only: Fracesinha. And in Porto, Café Santiago is the prime place to try it.
The restaurant, which opened its doors in 1959, has a hardcore following thanks to its perfect francesinhas sandwich made with several meats including sausage and beef, thick sliced bread, sliced cheese, an egg on top, and smothered in a secret sauce to finish it off. Seriously, they won’t tell you what’s in it—it’s a family recipe that is kept behind a locked vault, so you’ll just have to trust us that it’s delicious. And, if by some miracle you’re still hungry, you can order a side of fries to sop up the rest of the sauce, too. Grab a sandwich for about $10.
Dive deep into vino at the World of Wine
While visiting Porto you’ll likely get to taste a few great varietals. But, during your stay you can take that tasting and turn it into an educational experience at the World of Wine. The new cultural destination, located in the heart of Vila Nova de Guia’s historic Port warehouse district, features a collection of six immersive museum experiences, including the Wine Experience, a sensory-driven exhibit that takes visitors through a hand-on exploration of regions, climates, grape varieties, and production, and Planet Cork, an exhibit allowing visitors to discover everything they could ever know about cork and the sustainable and innovative industry around it.
The world of Wine is also home to nine restaurants, bars, cafes, retail outlets, and a wine school, all spread across 592,000 square-feet. Come pay a visit for about $19.
Get a taste of the best at Euskalduna
End the day in Porto with a tasting menu you’ll never forget at Euskalduna. The intimate restaurant puts all its focus on the kitchen. The prime seats are those surrounding the chef’s counter, where guests can watch the masters at work as they piece together a meal made of 10 “moments” and a few surprises along the way, too. The menu incorporates flavors from around the globe, but its ingredients are sourced right here in Portugal. Want to make this meal even more special? Pair it with a wine for the perfect complement to your tasting menu. Make sure to make reservations ahead of time. Take a bite for $130/per person.