If you're looking for a romantic getaway, look no further than Porto, Portugal. With stunning architecture and beaches that will take your breath away, these are the perfect holidays for couples.
Porto is a coastal city in Portugal, best known for its port Port wine production and its unique city centre. The city was built on a hill overlooking the mouth of the Douro River, which provides a perfect backdrop for beautiful sunsets. Porto Holidays can be the best romantic getaway for couples. With a car rental at Porto Aiport, you can discover the best places in Porto and its surroundings Douro Valley.
The second-largest city in Portugal has 2,000 years of history. The Serra do Pilar Monastery, the Luis I Bridge. (Ponte de D. Luis) and the historic city centre was inscribed on the World Heritage List in 1996 by UNESCO. We recommend you start your visit on the north bank of the River Douro and first climb up to the monastery of the Serra do Pilar, from where you can enjoy the best view of the picturesque centre on the other side. Only then cross the Luis I bridge to lose yourself in the historic city centre. With charming mediaeval streets and the oldest building in the city, Porto Cathedral, this is the perfect destination for a Porto city break.
Enjoy walks through the old UNESCO centre
Ribeira is one of the oldest quarters of Porto and the most visited, being part of the historic centre protected by UNESCO. The houses of different colours rise to the sky with their small iron balconies, so don't forget to look up when you stroll through the streets. Ribeira is full of nice restaurants, bars and handicraft shops, so your Porto holiday will allow you to try Portuguese wines or some delicious francesinhas, a sandwich made with bread, ham, sausage, steak or roast topped with melted cheese, tomatoes and beer sauce.
Have a galão and watch the city awake
One of the things Portuguese people do in the morning stops for a coffee and something sweet at their favourite place before going to work. Since you're on our Porto city break, you're in no hurry, so take your seat at one of the riverside cafes, have a galão (espresso with lots of frothed milk) with pão de milho (typical Portuguese cornbread) or other great Portuguese sweets, and watch the city and river wake up. Be prepared to pay more for this breakfast with a view.
Douro Valley cruise
The best way to explore the Douro Valley is to take a cruise on the river, starting in Porto and ending in the magical heart of the vineyard-covered valley. You can take a cruise of one or more days where you can relax, feel the breeze and enjoy the views of Quintas, the Douro Valley Wineries, The valley is also accessible by car rental from Porto and offers a wide range of experiences to suit all tastes. The roads are very narrow and winding, but the views are simply magnificent, and your car rental gives you the opportunity and flexibility to visit the less touristy vineyards and viewpoints over the Douro River. If you plan your city break to Porto in autumn, you can enjoy the harvest season and take part in the grape harvest.
Wine tasting on the Ribeira
If your city break to Porto is short and your time doesn't allow you to explore Douro Valley, don't miss the wine-tasting opportunities in Porto. The best wine cellars in Porto are located on the north bank of the river and they all offer guided tours and tastings. You can pamper your taste buds with different Port wine varieties, and you will learn more about the history of the cellar. Be sure to pack your Port wine in your checked luggage for your flight so you can enjoy it at home when you return from your holiday in Porto.
Perfect Evening in Casa de Música
A modern building that stands out from the old buildings of Porto. It was conceived on the occasion of the year 2001 when Porto was the Cultural Capital of Europe. With its unique structure designed by Dutchman Rem Koolhaas, the Casa de Música offers a wide range of cultural events and guided tours through the different spaces of the building, explaining how the architecture, functionalities and artistic program are interrelated. It is the first building entirely dedicated to music, but also focuses on the study of Portuguese music and plays a very important role in music education. Enliven your holiday in Porto with a great concert.
Shopping for couples in Porto
In the largely pedestrianised Rua Santa Catarina, you'll find shopping from all the major brands. You can spend a day of your Porto vacation trying new things and having fun shopping for 2. Visit the shopping centre in the central part of the street and have lunch in one of the restaurants built in the style of typically Portuguese houses. Mingle with the locals and enjoy coffee drinking, street performances and the lively city atmosphere.
A walk by the Atlantic Ocean
Take the time to walk along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean. Grab your rental car and drive less than 30 minutes to Matosinhos, the sandy beach closest to Porto. It has a wide promenade that is ideal for a nice romantic walk at sunset. If you want to avoid crowds on your city break to Porto, head to Aguda, 17 km south of Porto city centre. Aguda is a small fishing village where you can walk along the beach to Miramar/Capela do Senhor da Pedra. The chapel of Senhor da Pedra is almost surrounded by the sea, but there are places nearby where you can have a snack or just relax.
Visit the top 8 best Instagram spots in Porto
We know your Porto vacation just isn't the same without the best photos. We have prepared a list of top photo spots for you and your loved ones.
1. the Ponte Dom Luís: the emblematic iron bridge of the city, built by a disciple of the famous Eiffel.
2. The Ribeira shore with the Douro River: Ribeira is the charming part of the city that offers the best background for the sunset.
3. Capela das Almas: The chapel in Rua de Santa Catarina stands out for its beautiful façade with blue and white azulejos (typical Portuguese tiles) with scenes from the lives of various saints.
4. Sao Bento Railway Station: The interior of the main Railways Station in Porto is fascinating with its beautiful azulejos. If you want a picture without the crowds, visit it very early in the morning.
5. Livraria Lello: Incredible bookstore with an amazing interior that is said to have been the inspiration for Harry Potter books.
6. Kitties rock - THE sunset spot: Stunning views of Ponte Dom Luís from the rock. Be sure to wear good shoes for the short climb.
7. Serralves Foundations (Museum & Garden): One of the city's green insider tips, a place to relax your eyes and soul.
8. Capela do Senhor da Pedra: Surrounded by the sea, this chapel was built on the rocks in Miramar Beach in Gaia.
Useful tips for your Porto holidays
- Don't fill your whole day with an itinerary in advance. Be spontaneous and decide what you want to do on the spot.
- You may have a selfie stick or some sort of camera that you can use to take romantic couple selfies. Your living room frames need new photos!
- Porto is more laid back than Lisbon, perhaps because of the Douro River that slowly makes its way through the city. Go with the flow and enjoy!