Exploring Porto with Your Family

Gardens Palácio Cristal/ Puppets Museum/ SEA LIFE/ Water Pav./ Tuktuk
Photo:  Município do PortoCC BY-NC-SA - Some Rights Reserved


Visiting Porto with your family is more appealing and beneficial with the official tourist card Porto Card providing tourism offers and discounts
at museums and monuments, restaurants, shops, sightseeing tours, as well as free, unlimited access to public transportation, in the options with transport included.


Thinking of you and your family we organized this plan for a two-day visit:

Day 1: An adventure on foot around the city´s origin

Meet us at the Tourism Office - Centre! It will be a pleasure to welcome you here! On buying your Porto Card you get access to exclusive oPORTOnities and events! For the youngest ones we have a lot of charming products that they can keep as a souvenir of the visit to our city.

Leaving the Tourism Office and duly prepared for the adventure, start a walk along the city centre streets, down the Avenida dos Aliados, passing by the Bolhão Market and Rua Santa Catarina, the major commercial street, where you will find the famous Café Majestic.

At the end of Rua de Santa Catarina, heading down Rua 31 de Janeiro, you will find the São Bento Railway Station, famous for its approximate 20.000 tiles that illustrate episodes of the Portuguese history, transports, traditions and customs.

Going up the Rua dos Clérigos, pay attention to the Church and Tower of Clérigos (50% discount/Porto Card)! Here you have a first challenge: to climb the 240 steps of the Tower to get to the top. The prize – a breath-taking view! The children will love it! (Those of you who don´t dare to climb, can visit the Portuguese Centre for Photography (10% discount on publications/Porto Card) located just next to the Tower. It is a former Prison where Camilo Castelo Branco wrote his most famous novel: “Amor de Perdição” (Doomed Love). Nearby, you can’t miss the Lello Bookshop, one of the most beautiful in the world- with an almost magical atmosphere that inspired the writer of Harry Potter to produce her works!

And then? What about a lunch break to get more energy? Stay around the city centre and look into the excellent restaurants that have discounts for Porto Card holders (try the francesinha…the new dish Gold Cod…and other Porto´s typical dishes!)

Full of energy again? Let´s use it for strolling through the streets and picturesque backstreets of the historical centre, the zone classified as World Heritage, a lively place where the past with its old buildings and its narrow alleys harmoniously meets current daily routines. Smells, sounds and many colours: smell of homemade food, fado music that is heard while passing by! In all houses there is a window-mounted drying rack that gives a final touch to this webbing dabbed with joyful colours! You will all love it! To visit: the Cathedral, with its Cloisters, and also the Treasure of the Cathedral! (35% discount/Porto Card Cloisters + Treasure)

We now leave the area of the Cathedral and head towards Ribeira, through hidden streets and stairs, at a slow pace in order to travel in time and breathe the history! This is what our Porto feels like…

Ribeira, the city´s best known area for tourists! Have you seen the river yet?... What about the Rabelo boats? The kids will shortly be asking to go on a boat tour along the river (20% discount/Porto Card)! It is an excellent idea for all! A 50-minute panoramic circuit on a boat whose origin is linked with the Vikings’ vessels (a detail that the young ones will love to find out about) and that will take you to see the 6 bridges that unite the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, where the Port Wine cellars are located (we´ll leave this visit for tomorrow).

We get off the boat and walk just a bit to visit the Casa do Infante (free/Porto Card), were supposedly Prince Henry, the Navigator, the impeller of the Discoveries to whom Portugal owes a lot of its history, was born! Through the miniature model of the city you will be able to see what Porto was like in the Middle Ages.

To finish off today´s adventure, don´t miss out on the visit to the Monument Church of S. Francisco de Assis (25% discount/Porto Card). It´s not any random church – its interiors, in astonishing gilded woodcarvings, is one of the most important works of the city´s Baroque. And in the Catacombs there are skeletons and skulls giving shivers…

Or explore the adventures of Portuguese navigators and enjoy a visit to the World of Discoveries (30% discount/Porto Card), an Interactive Museum and Theme Park for the entire family, recreating the history of Portuguese Discoveries.

You can have dinner at Ribeira, at one of the many traditional restaurants overlooking the river with Porto Card discount included.

Day 2: by sightseeing bus through Contemporary Architecture, Beaches and Port Wine

Yesterday was a walking day! Today is the day to relax your muscles… we will go on a tour aboard a hop on hop off sightseeing bus (20/25% discount/Porto Card) and set off to explore the city! First stop: Casa da Música (50% discount on guided tours with Porto Card), an avant-gard building, totally dedicated to music, that is well worth visiting.

We get back to the bus to go to the Serralves Foundation and to visit the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art (50% discount/Porto Card) (Álvaro Siza Vieira´s) and the Serralves Villa (50% discount/Porto Card), a unique exemplar of Art deco. You must take you time here, as the kids will love the Serralves Park (50% discount/Porto Card) and they will want to take photos next to the gardener´s spade that is over 7 meters high.

What about having lunch at Serralves? Or you can get back to the bus and enjoy lunch at one of the seaside terraces…It’s up to you!

After lunch and back in the sightseeing bus, you can quickly reach the SEA LIFE (35% discount/Porto Card) to visit the Aquarium, where the kids feel like a fish in the water! You will have a hard time taking them out of there, though!

Finally, a short walk along the beaches! Sounds good? Then you can get back in the sightseeing bus and get off on the other side of the river, in Vila Nova de Gaia, crossing the Luis I Bridge brimming with history, a good exemplar of the iron architecture. To complete the day with a spark you still have to visit the Port Wine Cellars (discount/Porto Card)  (with their famous nectar, guided tours and tastings) and the Espaço Porto Cruz (discount/Porto Card, 1 extra tasting upon 1 consumption) – a place for the whole family with 7 commented Port Wine tastings paired with 3 chocolates/cheese. For the youngest ones: tasting of 3 juices with chocolates. They will love it!

For dinner we suggest once more a vast range of traditional restaurants with Porto Card discount. For example, the restaurant deCastro Gaia (10% discount), in the Espaço Porto Cruz, or the restaurant Barão de Fladgate (10% discount)! Plenty of good dinner suggestions!

​Leisure and culture for families

We know that two days are not enough to visit everything that the city has to offer to your family. For this reason and for we know that you´ll want to come back we give you further suggestions that will delight the children, as well as adults.




Museums with activities for families

Museums with family ticket

  • Transports and Communications Museum (with activities for family/ (50% discount/Porto Card)
  • Soares dos Reis National Museum (Suggestions of visits for families (50% discount/Porto Card)

Other museums that may interest families










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Published 14-08-2015