Introduction to Porto Tour

Get acquainted with Porto
From US$87 for 1 person
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Tour Details
Duration
3 hours
Product Type
Tour
Venues
  • Ribeira
  • Porto Cathedral
  • São Bento Station
Photos & Highlights
  • Introductory tour of Porto is great for first-time visitors to get an orientation on the city
  • Led by a local historian or architect
Select a date
Tour Description
Join us on this 3-hour walking tour of Porto for a journey through the city's historic center. In the company of a historian, architect, or local expert, we will take in some of the best-known sites in the charmed cobbled streets of Porto, such as the Cathedral (Sé), São Bento Station, and Ribeira. We’ll also soak up some lesser-spotted ones, too, and our small group allows us to dive off down medieval alleys, all the while discovering more about Porto’s fascinating past. In comparison to its cousin and rival, Lisbon, Porto survived the earthquake of 1755 and therefore retains a unique feel given its medieval streets and architectural heritage. We’ll give an overview of the evolution of this city from its Roman days through the “Age of Discoveries” and the prominence of Porto as a main trading hub, particularly for its wine. 

We’ll begin in a quiet square just behind the Town Hall in the heart of downtown Porto. From the setting of an 18th-century church facade, our guide will introduce themselves and get acquainted with the group to discover our historical interests from this calm setting. We’ll move to admire the central promenade called Aliados Avenue (known as Porto’s Champs Elysees) and the buildings surrounding it such as the Town Hall and its palatial white marble and bell tower. Our guide will discuss the influence of the architects involved in this grandiose creation and the evolution from the neoclassical to the Beaux-Arts. 

It wouldn’t be a Porto introduction without a visit to the celebrated historic station by José Marques da Silva. ‘São Bento’ Station, named after the Benedictine monastery that once occupied its space back in the 16th century, has to be one of the most stylish arrival points in any major city. Our guide will use the striking blue and white tiles to illustrate some of Portugal’s most important historical moments and figures such as Prince Henry the Navigator and King João I. Although we won’t have time to cover all 20,000 of Jorge Colaço’s painted tiles, our guide will aim to impart the crucial periods of Porto’s antiquity. With the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia sprawling out before us, we’ll see the city in a different dimension. We will have a look at the impressive structure which dates back to the 12th and 13th centuries and is celebrated for its dashes of Romanesque and Gothic style. Your guide will dig into the history of this building and offer commentary that goes beyond the small written displays within the cathedral.

We’ll leave better acquainted with Porto and with a deeper understanding of the city’s development from medieval times to the present day. Our guide will ensure we are well-equipped with recommendations for how best to explore the city further. For a comprehensive, personal introduction to Porto's beloved Port wine, try our Porto Wine Tour.
  • You’d like to know more about the city before diving into other venues or museums
  • You’re looking to explore the city on foot and absorb fascinating insights at every turn
  • You're a history buff looking to explore several historical landmarks.
  • Riberia
  • Porto Cathedral 
  • São Bento Station
We understand that some of our valued guests may have mobility concerns, and we want to ensure you have a comfortable and enjoyable experience throughout your tour. If there are any accessibility concerns that your tour guide will need to be aware of, please let our team know at the time of booking.
  • Can we visit the Porto Cathedral interiorly? Yes, if you want to visit the Cathedral interiorly, you can do so by purchasing tickets on your own at the entrance directly.

  • Is this tour walking intensive, and/or wheelchair accessible? We do cover quite a bit of ground on this tour. Although we have designed it to move generally downhill, Porto is known for being hilly, and many of the streets in the old town are cobbled. Some of the shops we visit are small and many will have a step up to access them. Please contact us with any mobility questions; we will be happy to advise if this tour will be appropriate for you or propose modifications where necessary.
Book with confidence — see Context's flexible cancellation policy here.

Where You'll Start
(4.87) 188 Reviews

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Francisco was very knowledgeable and an enthusiastic guide! We thoroughly enjoyed his detailed explanations of the history and culture of the neighborhoods. I highly recommend Context and Francesco!.
Ricardo was terrific! We learned so much about Porto - he's extremely knowledgeable about architecture and history. He really helped us understand the layers of time in Porto and frame what we were seeing. He listened very well and was extremely responsive to what we wanted - from our interests in particular sites to trying to find shady spots for conversations. He was a pleasure to spend time with. Highly recommend!
This is a great introductory walking tour for Porto!