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How To Plan a Day Trip To Porto from Lisbon [2024]

Planning a day trip to Porto from Lisbon? Read on to find tips and all the info you need to make the most of your time and have a fantastic time in Porto!

Porto is a coastal city located 195 miles (314 km) north of Lisbon and it’s the second city in the country. Here you’ll find amazing wineries where you’ll get to taste the famous Porto wine, great food, and postcard-picture views that will certainly stay in your memory long after your trip. 

I absolutely adore Porto, it’s my favorite destination in Portugal, and I strongly believe that it should be on everyone’s Portugal itinerary. You should try and stay for 2 or 3 days in Porto, there’s plenty to do, but I understand that sometimes it’s just not possible.

White and light-colored buildings with terracota roofs scattered in the image, with the river at the bottom and 4 ships by the boardwalk next to the river, inserted in a post about the perfect day trip to Porto from Lisbon

In that case, why not take a day trip from Lisbon? The cities are not super close so it does take some planning, but it’s possible to make it happen. Check out how to plan the perfect day trip to Porto from Lisbon.

Day Trip from Lisbon to Porto – Possible?

Yes, it’s possible to take a day trip Lisbon to Porto. The two cities are less than 200 miles away, and the drive takes a little over 3 hours (or the train ride less than 3 hours).

However, I only recommend this option if you really don’t have any extra time and a day trip is your only chance of visiting Porto. Otherwise, I suggest spending at least 2 to 3 days in this beautiful city! 

Best Day Tours from Lisbon to Porto

While the day trip from Lisbon to Porto is doable, the distance between them is not that small and you’ll spend quite a few hours on the road, so you may want to consider joining a tour to make the most of your time when you get there. Here are the best day tours from Lisbon to Porto.

➤ The Porto Highlights Day Trip is perfect to get a glimpse of everything Porto has to offer. You’ll get to see the azulejos and cathedrals, stroll along the river, taste local cuisine and learn about the city from your guide. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ You can otherwise choose this Day Trip to Porto, Óbidos, and Nazaré. You’ll visit the main landmarks in the three locations, each of them boasting very different kinds of charm and interesting sites, from the fishing village of Nazaré, the medieval buildings of Óbidos, and the spectacular city of Porto. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ This Porto Full Day Trip is a private tour which will you visit the city’s downtown, most of its most iconic landmarks including Lello Bookshop, Porto Cathedral, and the Sao Bento station, and be advised on where to find the best food and wine. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ If you choose the Private Tour with Douro Cruise, you’ll embark on a full-day trip to discover Porto’s landmarks, including the cathedral, Sao Bento Station, and Clerigos Tower. You’ll also glide on the Douro river in a traditional boat and enjoy some wine tasting. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

How To Get from Lisbon to Porto

If you’ll be planning your Lisbon day trip to Porto on your own, you’ll need to figure out how to get there.

I’ve written a full post about how to get from Lisbon to Porto, but I’m leaving you some quick info down below.

Image of a red train in a station in Italy, with a grey and red train behind it, and a platform with few people. Taking the train is the best way to make the day trip to Porto from Lisbon

▶️ Taking the train is by far the most convenient option, and while it takes about 3 hours to get to Porto, some high-speed trains like the Alfa Pendular take you there in as little as 2 hours and 35 minutes. 

You can take the train at either Lisboa Santa Apolonia station or Lisboa Oriente station. The first train leaves at 6.30 AM, and the last one departs at 10.09 PM, with around 35 other trains making the journey to Porto during the day, so you have a full schedule to choose from. 

You’ll catch the return train from Porto to Lisbon at Campanha station

➤ You can buy your train ticket from Lisbon to Porto here

▶️ Your second choice is taking a bus, although I would only suggest this option if you’re on a budget, as the journey is cheaper but quite lengthier. If this is your preferred transportation, consider spending at least one night in Porto, otherwise you’ll have very little time to explore the city. 

The average travel time of the bus journey is 3.5 hours, although it depends on traffic. 

➤ You can buy your bus ticket from Lisbon to Porto here

Day Trip to Porto Itinerary

Visit Sao Bento Station

This one day trip from Lisbon to Porto starts at Sao Bento Train Station, which was inaugurated in the early 20th century and offers much more than arriving and departing trains. 

Interior of Sao Bento Station, with its walls covered in blue and white azulejos with images telling the history of Portugal

In fact, all the magic is in its main hall, where you’ll find a whopping 20 thousand azulejo tiles depicting the history of Portugal. It’s an impressive work of art, and one of the most beautiful azulejo works in Port, so make sure to study it carefully and get some photos. 

It’s also a fun way to learn about the past of the country and its main battles and events.  

Go WOW at Livraria Lello 

Image of Livraria Lello in Porto

Livraria Lello is considered one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world, and rightly so. You’ll see why as soon as you step inside, but to give you a few hints it features an astounding staircase (very photogenic and IG-friendly!), a colored stained glass ceiling, and it is said to have inspired J. K. Rowling when she was writing the Harry Potter books…do you need any more incentive to visit? 

Inside the bookstore you’ll also find different thematic areas and thousands of books you’ll want to take home with you. 

Opening Hours: Daily from 9.30 AM to 7 PM

Check Out the Azulejos

Azulejos are part of Porto’s identity. These blue and white ceramic tiles cover most city buildings, creating murals and telling stories through their images. They convey such a distinctive look to Porto that they have become world-renowned. There are even azulejo factories where you can buy and personalize your own to take back home.

But the best way to appreciate them, in my opinion, is going on an azulejo hunt in Porto. There are so many, and all of them are so beautiful! Make sure to stop at Igreja do Carmo, the closest place to see azulejos near Livraria Lello.

Climb the Clerigos Tower 

Torre dos Clerigos is the tallest bell tower in Portugal, built by the Clerigos Church in the first half of the 1700s. The tower houses 49 bells and 200 steps that you can climb to get to the top and enjoy the unparalleled views of the old town and the Duoro River. 

You can also visit the adjoining museum, located in the House of the Brotherhood, to learn about the clerics’ lives and explore the areas that were reserved for their private use back in the day. 

➤ The Torre Dos Clerigos Entrance Ticket allows you to climb to the top of the tower, as well as visit the museum. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Opening Hours: Daily from 9 AM to 7 PM
Entrance Fee: 6 euros. Free for children aged 10 or younger. 

Eat a Francesinha for lunch

A woman smiling broadly with a large plate of Francesinha and fries in front of her

Francesinha is a typical meal that was born in the very city of Porto. This sandwich is nothing like the ones you’re used to eating: it’s a very substantial, hearty dish that will keep you going for the rest of the day. 

The Francesinha is made of bread, meat, cured ham, a special tomato and beer sauce, topped with a fried egg, as well as surrounded by plenty of fries to dip in the sauce. 

The most renowned place to enjoy it is Francesinha Café and  Francesinhas Da Baixa, although you can find this dish in most restaurants and it will surely be delicious.  

Explore Cais da Ribeira

Cais da Riberia is the most fun, vibrant district in Porto that you’ll be exploring today. Located by the river, it offers magnificent views of it and the Dom Luis I Bridge, as well as a promenade where you can take a stroll. Be sure to also check out the pastel-colored houses of the district, opposite the river: an equally stunning view! 

There’s also Ribeira Square, where you’ll find tourists and locals mingling, and several eateries and shops for a snack or souvenirs. 

Take Pictures at Dom Luis I Bridge

After you’re done exploring Cais da Ribeira, head to the iconic bridge, a double-deck arch-shaped impressive structure where you’ll certainly want to take several pictures. It’s one of the symbols of Porto, after all! 

People crossing the Dom Luis I Bridge, with the city of Porto in the background

From here you’ll get to see the traffic on the river and get ready for the next adventure of your one day in Porto: river cruising! 

Go on a River Cruise

Douro River is one of the main attractions in Porto, so going on a river cruise is one of the most popular activities enjoyed by tourists. All day trips to Porto from Lisbon ought to include it! 

Image of a boat cruising the Douro River in Porto, with Dom Luis I bridge in the background

You’ll be gliding on the river, following the footsteps of former wine merchants who sailed up and down the river with their goods, and passing under six different bridges with incredible history as well! 

You can find yourself a boat to hire once you’re there, or book your cruise beforehand, which is what I suggest, especially since you have limited time in the city! Below you’ll find the most fun cruises to choose from. 

➤ The River Douro 6 Bridges Cruise takes you on a 50-minute sail in which you’ll learn all about the architecture of the bridges, and enjoy wonderful views of Foz do Douro. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

➤ With the Bridges Cruise with Optional Wine Cellar Tour you’ll glide along the river and, if you choose, you’ll also get to tour a Port wine cellar and enjoy a wine-tasting experience. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Head to Vila Nova da Gaia for some wine tasting

Vila Nova da Gaia is located across the river from Porto. All you have to do to get there is cross the Dom Luis I Bridge, and you’ll be in the land of Port wineries. 

All the day trips from Lisbon to Porto (or anywhere to Porto, really) have to include a wine tasting of Port: you’re in the place in the world to try it! 

You can scout wineries in the city (Espaco Porto Cruz and Graham’s Port Lodge are good places to start) or join a tour to explore a cellar and do some wine tasting.  

➤The Cellar Tour, Interactive Museum, & Wine Tasting experience gives you a full tour of Cálem Cellar, as well as a visit to the museum where you’ll learn everything about Port wine, and try the different varieties. ➥ BOOK IT HERE

Day Trip to Porto FAQ

Can you do a day trip from Lisbon to Porto?

Yes! It’s completely possible to take a day trip from Lisbon to Porto, as the cities are less than 200 miles apart, and you can make the journey in 3 hours. 

Is Porto worth visiting from Lisbon?

Porto is a beautiful city, and it’s definitely worth the day trip from Lisbon.

How long is the train trip from Lisbon to Porto?

The train journey from Lisbon to Porto takes around 3 hours, although there are also high-speed trains that take you there in a little over 2.5 hours. 

  • Virginia Bello

    Virginia is a writer originally from Montevideo, Uruguay. She left her career as a TV Producer to gain more freedom and never looked back. She's been traveling the world full-time ever since! Virginia has traveled extensively through Latin America, Europe and Asia. You can currently find her gallivanting through Southeast Asia.