You can do so many great day trips from Porto!
During our last trip, we stayed in Portugal for more than a month, and it really gave us the opportunity to explore all the great historical cities, beach towns, and nature areas close to Porto.
Turns out, Northern Portugal has a lot to offer!
So in this blog post, we’ll share all the best places you can visit on day trips from Porto. Hopefully, it’ll give you an idea of what to do if you want to explore a bit further than the second largest city in Portugal. Now let’s get started! Here are the 9 best day trips you can do from Porto!
*DISCLOSURE: Dear Reader, this blog post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I may earn a commission at no extra cost to you. I only recommend tours, hotels, and products which I use myself or find worthy to recommend.*
The 9 best day trips from Porto
1. Braga – A charming medieval city
One of the easiest day trips from Porto that you can do is to go visit Braga. Braga is hands down one of the most charming cities we went to during our trip to Portugal! It’s an old historical city from the Middle Ages, which still has this great medieval feel to it.
There are a lot of great things to do in the city, which includes visiting several beautiful sanctuaries, seeing the oldest cathedral in Portugal, enjoying the great shopping opportunities, and hiking to the top of Monte Picoto for a great view.
Braga really has a lot to offer and you can easily spend several days here – just like we ended up doing.
How to get from Porto to Braga: You can go by yourself with a direct train from Porto to Braga, which takes 1 hour and will set you back €3,25 for one way. You can also plan ahead on busbud.com and book bus tickets starting around €5 for a one-way. If you prefer to visit Braga on a guided tour, then check out this combined Braga and Guimarães tour.
Related blog post: 10 things to do in Braga
2. Bom Jesus do Monte – A UNESCO masterpiece
One of the most unique places you can visit on a day trip from Porto is the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary.
Bom Jesus do Monte is a beautiful sanctuary that’s located on a hillside just outside of Braga. It’s a religious pilgrimage site that dates back to the 14th century when the first chapel was built. Later on, the beautiful church, the iconic staircase, and the lovely gardens were added.
Because of its history, its beauty, and its architectural wonder, Bom Jesus do Monte is today an inscribed UNESCO World Heritage Site, and it’s certainly worth a visit.
How to get from Porto to Bom Jesus do Monte: In order to get to Bom Jesus do Monte, you first have to get to Braga. From Braga you can take the public bus for just €2 per person for a one-way ticket. You can also just book a day tour to Braga because most of these tours are scheduled to also visit the sanctuary.
Related blog post: Full Guide to visiting Bom Jesus do Monte
3. Aveiro – The Venice of Portugal
Another popular city to visit on a day trip from Porto is Aveiro – also known as “Venice of Portugal” because of its canals. However, in my opinion, there is a lot more to Aveiro than just canals.
We actually ended up staying in Aveiro for a couple of nights to explore everything that this little city had to offer. And we were not disappointed. One of the best things to do was undoubtedly to ride the Moliceiro boat through the canal, but then you also have the Ovos Moles to taste, the Aveiro Museum to visit, and the station’s old Azulejos to admire.
One thing is for sure, Aveiro definitely deserves to be on your list of day trips you need to do while in Porto.
How to get from Porto to Aveiro: You can go by yourself with a direct train from Porto to Aveiro, which takes 1 hour and will set you back €3,55 for a one-way ticket. You can also plan ahead on busbud.com and book bus tickets starting around €5 for a one-way. If you prefer to visit Aveiro on a guided tour, then check out this half-day tour to Aveiro with boat ride included.
Related blog post: 16 things to do in Aveiro
4. Guimarães – A historical UNESCO city
Guimarães is known as the “Birthplace of Portugal”.
In Guimarães, an important battle was fought, which apparently played a part in the creation of the Kingdom of Portugal, and it’s also where the first Portuguese King was born. Needless to say, Guimarães is a historical treasure.
Guimarães is such a special place that its medieval city centre has been inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. And apart from being historical, the city is also beautiful and full of activities!
You can visit the medieval Castle of Guimarães and get some great views over the city from the top of the walls, you can also go explore the beautiful Ducal Palace and see how the Duke of Braganza used to live like, or why not just wander around the medieval city centre and enjoy the feeling of another time period? Guimarães definitely has a lot to offer.
How to get to from Porto to Guimarães: You can go by yourself with a direct train from Porto to Guimarães, which takes 1 hour and will set you back €3,25 for a one-way ticket. You can also plan ahead on busbud.com and book bus tickets starting around €5 for one way. If you prefer to visit Guimarães on a guided tour, then check out this combined Braga and Guimarães tour.
Related blog post: 10 Things to do in Guimarães
5. Peneda-Gerês National Park – For beautiful nature
Want to surround yourself with nature in one of Portugal’s most beautiful national parks? Then take a day trip from Porto to Peneda-Gerês!
While I unfortunately have never visited it myself, Glenn has been here! He once drove to the national park on a holiday with some friends and did a small hike to see some great viewpoints over Peneda-Gerês. Apart from viewpoints, you can also find waterfalls, you can swim in the lake, and you can go hiking.
It’s definitely one of the best day trips from Porto for those of you who loves to spend time in nature.
How to get to from Porto to Peneda-Gerês: You either have to rent a car and drive by yourself or go with a tour group. This Peneda-Gerês Tour from Porto looks really fun and includes hiking, waterfalls, swimming, and lunch.
6. Costa Nova & Barra – To enjoy some beach time
Only a short drive away from Aveiro, you’ll find the two coastal towns Costa Nova and Barra – both places are great to visit if you want to enjoy some time at the beach.
Costa Nova is known for its colourful, striped houses, so it’s a popular place to take some pictures. Barra is known for having the tallest lighthouse in all of Portugal! The two coast towns are interlinked with a great board walk that’s about 4 kilometres long – It’s a small beach hike, which we can really recommend!
Costa Nova and Barra are only a stone’s throw away from Aveiro. So you could easily combine the two destinations in one day trip from Porto.
How to get to from Porto to Costa Nova and Barra: You can go by yourself with public transport, which involves taking a train to Aveiro for €3,55 and then a public bus to Costa Nova for €2,6. If you prefer to go with a guide, then join a combined tour from Porto to Aveiro and Costa Nova – you just won’t get to also visit Barra in this one.
Related blog post: My day trip to Costa Nova & Barra
7. Douro Valley – Go on a wine tour
One of the most popular day trips you can do from Porto is visiting the Douro Valley.
As you probably know by now, Porto is famous for its port wine. However, all the vineyards are actually located in the Douro Valley, and that’s why it’s such a popular place to visit. Douro Valley should definitely be on every wine enthusiast’s Wishlist.
Apart from wine tasting, Douro Valley is also popular for its beautiful viewpoints, hiking trails, and of course the Duoro River, which connects Porto to Spain.
How to get to from Porto to Douro Valley: You can go with public transport by taking one of Portugal’s most scenic train lines to Régua, Pinhão or Pocinho. If you prefer to go with a guide, then check out this wine tasting tour to Douro Valley from Porto.
8. Paiva Walkways – Go hiking
One of the day trips from Porto that we never got to do, but is high on my Wishlist is the Paiva Walkways! If you’re into hiking, then this one is just right for you. I honestly can’t wait to go back to Porto and do this hike.
The Paiva Walkways are located Southeast of Porto in the Arouca Municipality, just by the Paiva River. The trail is 8 kilometres long and offers some incredible views along the way.
By the Paiva Walkways, you’ll also find one of the World’s longest pedestrian suspension bridges named the Arouca 516, which is a 516-meter long suspension bridge that connects the two sides over the Paiva River. So make sure to also check this one out while you’re in the area!
How to get to from Porto to the Paiva Walkways: You can only get there by driving yourself or by joining a tour group. If you go by yourself, then make sure to plan ahead since you need to book entrance tickets to the hike. Or else check out this small group tour to Paiva Walkways and Arouca 516.
9. Porto’s coast – Take a surfing lesson
Ever wanted to try surfing? Well you’re in luck because you can easily find surfing lessons around the West Coast of Portugal, just a stone’s throw away from Porto.
While Glenn and I have actually never tried surfing, we’ve always dreamed of doing it. Surfing looks so difficult and hard, yet it looks like so much fun! So, if you’re in Porto right now, looking for something adventurous to do, then check out some of the surf spots near Porto.
How to get to the coast from Porto: Take bus line 500 from São Bento, which drives up the coast towards Matosinhos. If you prefer to go with a surf guide, then check out this surfing lesson tour from Porto.
A fellow blogger’s guide: Surfing in Porto
Our favourite day trip from Porto
We’ve had so many great experiences on our trips from Porto that we find it hard to decide which one we liked best. But if I really think about it, then Braga probably turned out to be one of my favourite places in all of Portugal.
I just love the medieval feel to the city, and during our time here, we also found that there are so many great things to do in the area, so you can easily stay in Braga for days. However, if you’re limited in time, but still want to experience some of these great medieval cities around Porto, then I think you should consider booking the combined Braga and Guimarães tour, which also includes a visit to the incredible Bom Jesus Sanctuary.
But we’re all different people, and we all enjoy different experiences. So give yourself some time to think about what day trips from Porto sounds best to you. Either way, I hope you’ll enjoy your time in beautiful Portugal.
We hope you enjoyed this blog post about all the best day trips you can do from Porto. If you have any questions, then don’t hesitate to leave a comment below and we’ll get back to you. Thanks for reading and happy travels!
Is it your first time in Portugal? Then here’s a good read: 30 Things Portugal is famous for
Are you still exploring Porto? Then check out: 9 unmissable viewpoints in Porto