October is a wonderful time of year to visit Porto in Portugal. Here are some of my suggestions of unique things to do in Porto Portugal during fall / autumn but are perfectly suitable all year round.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – Explore Porto´s incredible architecture and history!
Porto is known for its history and beautiful architecture, and October is a great time to explore some of the city’s historic buildings. Be sure to check out the Clérigos Tower, the Porto Cathedral, and the Palacio da Bolsa.
Visitors can climb the tower to the top and enjoy panoramic views of Porto and the surrounding areas. Its tower, with 75 meters height, is the tallest one in Portugal. The tower’s staircase has 240 steps that lead to a balcony with a panoramic view of the city and the Douro River. Clérigos Tower is without a doubt the most recognized monument in Porto. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone traveling to the city.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – Lello bookstore Porto Portugal
The magnificent Lello Bookstore in Porto is an iconic destination boasting stunning architecture and interior design. Founded in 1906, it houses an extensive collection of books in various languages and attracts book lovers and architecture enthusiasts from all over the world. The intricate woodwork, stained glass ceilings, and red staircase leading to the second floor make it a must-visit cultural landmark.
Top tip: to avoid long queues, book your tickets in advance and try to book the final time slot available (which is 7 pm) to enjoy the beautiful atmosphere with fewer people around. The money spent on your entry ticket can be used towards the purchase of a book.
Visit the historic Majestic Café Porto
The Majestic Café is a beautiful and historic café located in the heart of Porto. It first opened its doors in 1921 and has been a popular destination for locals and tourists alike ever since. The café’s stunning Art Nouveau interior features intricate woodwork, stained glass windows, and a magnificent marble staircase. The atmosphere is elegant and refined, making it the perfect place to enjoy a cup of coffee or a delicious meal.
In addition to its delicious food (you simply have to try their rabanadas!) and breathtaking interior, the Majestic Café has a rich history. Over the years, it has hosted countless famous visitors, including writers, artists, and politicians. It’s also been the setting for several movies and TV shows.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – Pastel de Nata
Pastel de nata is a typical Portuguese dessert, and has gained popularity in many other countries in recent years. This delicious cake is made with a crispy flaky pastry and a creamy filling of custard, sugar, eggs and vanilla. It is often served hot with a pinch of cinnamon powder on top and is perfect with a cup of coffee or tea. If you have the opportunity to try an authentic pastel de nata, don’t miss it, because you will absolutely love it!
Indulge in Porto´s incredible cuisine
Porto is famous for its delicious food, and October is the perfect time to enjoy some of the local specialties. Some must-try dishes include the Francesinha sandwich, pastel de bacalhau (codfish cake), bifana sandwich (pork strip sandwich – we tried one at Conga because it had the most reviews but there are sevaral other places around Porto too) and ofcourse the notorious port wine, the most famous probably being Graham´s Port. We also loved the Ferreira tawny and ruby port wines from Ferreira.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – Pastel de Bacalhau
Head to Casa Portuguesa do Pastel de Bacalhau in Gaia Riverside for a little tray with a glass of port and pastel de bacalhau (video below). We had such a fun time here! An unique experience that awakens the senses in a fusion of the sound of the keys of a fabulous 19th-century Portuguese pipe organ with the unique flavour of a codfish cake with PDO Serra Cheese filling and a glass of port wine.
Experience the Best Brunch in Porto’s Many Delightful Cafés
Some our favourite spots for brunch in Porto are Zenith Brunch & Coctails (see the map below) plus they have another location in Norteshopping shopping centre in the north of Porto in Matosinhos. We also really like Do Norte Café by Hungry Biker and Floresta Café by Hungry Biker.
Take a stroll along the Ribeira Waterfront Porto
The Ribeira is one of the most charming neighborhoods in Porto, with its colorful buildings, narrow streets, restaurants, and stunning views of the river. Take a leisurely stroll along the waterfront, day or night, and enjoy the lively atmosphere of this vibrant area.
Visit Clérigos Church Porto
The Clérigos Church, also known as the Tower of the Clérigos, is a beautiful Baroque-style church located in the heart of Porto and was constructed in the 18th century. Today it is one of the most iconic landmarks in the city.
One of the interesting features of the Clérigos Church is the Spiritus that can be found inside. The spiritus is a type of Portuguese brandy that is aged in oak barrels for many years and is stored in the church’s basement, which has the perfect temperature and humidity for aging the brandy.
Visitors to the Clérigos Church can take a tour of the basement and learn about the process of making spiritus and can also sample the brandy and purchase bottles to take with them home as a souvenir. The spiritus from the Clérigos Church is highly sought after and is considered to be one of the best in Portugal.
Get tickets for the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Tram & Funicular
Explore the City with Ease: Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Tram & Funicular Ticket
For a hassle-free and reasonably priced way to see the city on your own terms, consider the Hop-On Hop-Off Bus, Tram & Funicular Ticket. With designated stops, iconic trams, and a funicular railway at your fingertips, delve into the heart of the city, admire its historic center and stunning architecture, visit the Port wine cellars, and so much more.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – The Spiritus Light Show
The Spiritus Multimedia Light Show at the Clérigos Church is a stunning display of artistry and technology, bringing together the historic beauty of the church and the modern innovation of light projection. The show illuminates the interior of the church with a mesmerizing display of colors and patterns, highlighting the intricate details of the architecture in a unique and breathtaking way. It’s a truly unforgettable sight that captures the essence of Porto’s rich cultural heritage and creativity.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – Tram 18
The Porto Tram 18 is a beloved tourist attraction in Porto, providing scenic views of the city’s historic district, Douro River, and Atlantic Ocean. It has been operating since 1929 and is an iconic part of Porto’s cultural heritage. The tram runs year-round, with a frequency of approximately 30 minutes during the day and up to 15 minutes during rush hour.
Visit São Bento Train Station
Explore the Historic São Bento Train Station of Porto The São Bento Train Station, situated in the heart of Porto, has been a beloved landmark since its establishment in 1916. The station has gained immense popularity among visitors as a result of its impressive architecture and historical importance. The station’s most notable feature is its intricate tile work, featuring over 20,000 tiles that showcase various aspects of Portuguese culture and history. In addition to being a popular tourist attraction, the station serves as a transportation hub, with both regional and long-distance trains connecting Porto to destinations throughout Portugal.
Take a ride in the Gaia Cable Car
The Porto Gaia cable car connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia, offering stunning views of the Douro River, Ribeira neighborhood, and port wine cellars. The ride is accessible from two stations and is a must-try for anyone visiting Porto as it provides a distinct and memorable experience of the city.
Unique things to do in Porto Portugal – The River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise
The Douro 6 Bridges River Cruise in Porto offers a scenic boat ride along the Douro River, showcasing breathtaking views of the city’s six historic bridges, including the Ponte de Dom Luis I and Ponte da Arrabida. The hour-long tour also allows for sightseeing of the Ribeira district and colorful houses along the riverbank, offering a relaxing way to learn about Porto’s rich history. Open year-round, the cruise is a popular activity for tourists and locals alike.
Visit the World of Discoveries
World of Discoveries Porto is an interactive museum located in Porto that takes visitors on a journey through the history of Portuguese exploration. Visitors can explore exhibits showcasing the history of Portuguese exploration, step aboard a replica of a 16th-century Portuguese carrack, and enjoy a thrilling 4D cinema experience. This museum is a must-visit attraction for anyone interested in history, adventure, and discovery.
Rent a Vintage Car
Renting a vintage car is a unique way to explore the beautiful city of Porto with its charming streets and historic architecture. Several companies offer a selection of cars to suit your style and budget. Familiarize yourself with local driving laws and regulations and drive defensively to make the most of your experience.
Book a Fado Show
Portugal is known for its soulful and melancholic music genre, fado. This music style originated in Lisbon, but it has now spread throughout Portugal, including Porto. A fado show in Porto is a must-see for anyone visiting the city. The performers sing about love, loss, and life, accompanied by the haunting melodies of Portuguese guitar. The intimate atmosphere of the shows creates a unique experience that will leave you feeling both moved and enchanted. Porto has many fado houses where you can enjoy this beautiful musical tradition, and it’s a great way to immerse yourself in Portuguese culture. We went to A Casa do Fado which we loved (my favourite was the Portuguese guitar)! Our entry ticket included a free glass of port.
Take a Tuk Tuk ride
Explore Porto in a unique and fun way by taking a tuk tuk ride. These three-wheeled vehicles are perfect for navigating the narrow streets and steep hills of the city. During your ride, you’ll see iconic landmarks like the Dom Luis I Bridge and the Port Wine Cellars. You can customize your itinerary and relax while your driver takes care of the navigating and traffic.
Visit the Douro Valley
October is the perfect time to explore the Douro Valley, with its breathtaking vineyards and picturesque scenery. Take a river cruise, visit some of the local wineries, or simply enjoy the stunning views.
Guimarães is a Portuguese city located in the north of the country, in the Minho region, 1 hour from Porto. It is known as the birthplace of Portugal, as it was here that D. Afonso Henriques, the first king of Portugal, was born and began the fight for the country’s independence. Furthermore, Guimarães is a historically and culturally rich city, with several monuments, museums and events that attract tourists from all over the world. Among the most visited tourist attractions are Guimarães Castle, Praça de Santiago and the Church of Nossa Senhora da Oliveira.
So as you can see, October is a great time to visit Porto, with plenty of things to see and do. Whether you’re interested in history, culture, or just want to relax and enjoy the local cuisine, Porto has something for everyone!
Top things to do in Porto Portugal in October
I hope you liked my blog post on the top things to do in Porto Portugal in October and would love to hear from you if you have any more suggestions to ad.
Also, I recently wrote a blog post of top things to do in Annecy France in case you are planning or dreaming of a trip to the French Alps. To get their we did a road trip from Madrid to Annecy and slept half way in Montpellier. Honestly the beauty of this part of France blew us away!