Why choose a cruise to Porto?
With its colourful houses, baroque towers and yellow trams, Porto is a feast for the eyes. It has a fascinating historical district of winding alleyways, shaded plazas and stunning architecture. Yet it also boasts cutting-edge architecture and hip street art. A Porto cruise allows you to discover this fascinating city, where the ancient and modern collide.
Of course, Porto is most well-known for being the birthplace of port wine – and also its iconic bridges that stretch across the Douro and illuminate the skyline at night.
A guide to Porto’s hotspots
Ribeira, the historic district, is easily Porto’s most picturesque neighbourhood. It’s easy to see why these labyrinthian streets, pastel-coloured houses and historic buildings have received a UNESCO designation. One of the most notable landmarks here is the Igreja de São Francisco, a stunning Gothic church with an ornate gilt interior.
No Porto cruise is complete without a boat trip on the Douro. Relax to the sound of the waves lapping against the boat as you pass under the city’s iconic bridges, and watch scenes of local life unfolding along the riverbank.
Porto has so many art galleries and art galleries you won’t be able to cram them into a day. We recommend Museu de Arte Contemporânea de Serralves, a futuristic building with crisp white outlines that contrast strikingly with the blue sky. Make sure to take a stroll through the extensive landscaped gardens, too.
The highlight of many a Porto cruise is doing a port tasting tour. Walk over the Ponte Luís I bridge to the hillside town of Vila Nova de Gaia, where you’ll find a lot of port houses offering tastings, from internationally renowned brands to smaller local producers.
Cruise lines that sail to the port of Porto
The best time to visit Porto
During the summer months of June to September, Porto has a balmy climate and experiences little rain. If it’s sun you’re seeking, visit during the hottest month of July, when temperatures average 20°C, though they often rise.
Porto is also an amazing winter destination, with temperatures between 10°C-15°C from November to January. Get into the festive spirit with Christmas markets, outdoor skating rinks and port and chocolate tastings.
Did you know?
- The grapes used to make Port grow in the Douro Valley an hour or so east of Porto
- Porto is nicknamed ‘Invicta’, which is Latin for ‘never conquered’
- The most popular comfort food in Porto is the ‘Francesinha’, or ‘Frenchie’, a gigantic five-layered sandwich smothered with melted cheese and tomato sauce
- Two of Porto’s bridges were designed by Gustave Eiffel, the man behind Paris’s iconic Eiffel Tower