This is one of Europe's oldest tourist destinations. Its wealth of artistic heritage, Port Wine, open-air leisure spaces and cultural life are just some of the reasons to visit this city.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces. But setting out to discover Porto means bumping into surprise after surprise. Whilst maintaining its welcoming and conservative nature, the city is, at the same time, contemporary and creative. This can be seen in its streets, its architectures, its museums, its leisure spaces, its esplanades and its shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive.
Porto’s Historical Centre was designated World Cultural Heritage in 1996 and its natural setting and its meandering streets give it a unique charm.
Port wine is present in the city in a multitude of forms and sensations: you can get to know it and try it, but never ignore it or forget it.
Having witnessed a long history of cultural ebbs, flows and eddies caused by successive waves of occupation, and often surrounded and invaded, but always remaining Invicta (unbowed), the city of Porto is really a living heritage, one that regenerates and reinvents itself, whilst maintaining its core character, grounded in granite and, thus, unshakeable.
Money & Costs
Currency: € (Euro).
Exchange: money can be exchanged in banks, exchange offices and machines.
Tips: Not included in final price. Tips are optional.
VAT Refund: Visitors from countries outside the EU may obtain a refund of VAT (Value Added Tax) on goods purchased in Portugal and carried as personal luggage. Only individuals can have access to this refund.
On buying, you must request a statement at the store, showing in detail the amount paid, the goods purchased and the amount that can be refunded. You may get your refund in cash at major European airports or major European cities centres, or through your credit card or international check, provided that the goods have been previously shown to customs.
Travel With Disabilities
People with physical, auditory and visual disabilities: the resources identified as having facilities or services suitable for people with physical, auditory and visual disabilities are clearly marked in this Tourism Portal. Many public transportation vehicles are now accessible to people with physical disabilities.
Also see here.
The quickest and most efficient way to reach Porto´s city centre from the airport is by metro - line E-Violet (Aeroporto – Trindade). This line operates daily from 06:00 - 01:00 and from here, getting to the city centre takes about 30 minutes. The Andante ticket (which has a price of 0.60€) needed for this journey can be purchased at any of the automatic ticket machines in the Metro station – occasional ticket (Z4). It costs 2€, is valid for 1 hour and 15 minutes and is also rechargeable. Don't forget, one card per person.
To get to the city centre by bus, you can take either line 601, 602 or 3M (12:30am-5:30am). In this case, you can buy a single trip ticket on the bus, costing 2€.
There are four shuttle services available, to and from the Airport. Two of them to and from the agreed hotel, according to a previous booking, the other one to and from the city centre (25min). In all cases, you must make your booking with the respective service operators:
- Airportshuttle (Hotel-to-Hotel) – at www.100rumos.com or by tel. +351 960426692
- GOin (Airport/City Centre/Airport) – online, at www.goin.com.pt or by tel. + 351 220189910
- Private Shuttle – EFUNGPSTOURS (Airport/Hotel/Airport) – by tel. +351 914173671 / +351 220945375. With Porto Card: 15% discount
- Transdev - (Airport/City Centre/Airport) - at www.transdev.pt/aeroportoporto or by tel. +351 253 262 371
Another option is to take a taxi which costs between 20€/25€ or rent a car at the airport.
Entry and Exit Formalities
Passports and Visas: Citizens of the European Union, Andorra, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway and Switzerland need only an identity card to enter Portugal.
In addition to their identity card, minors must also present authorisation from their parents to travel.
For visits of less than 90 days, a passport valid for at least three months after the end of their stay is necessary for visitors from Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Bahamas, Barbados, Bermuda, Bolivia, Brazil, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Costa Rica, Croatia, El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Israel, Japan, Macedonia, Malaysia, Mauritius, Mexico, Monaco, Montenegro, New Zealand, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Saint Kitts and Nevis, San Marino, Serbia, Seychelles, Singapore, South Korea, United States, Uruguay, Vatican, Venezuela and Special Administrative Regions of the People’s Republic of China in Hong Kong and Macao.
Citizens from countries not mentioned above need a visa to enter Portugal, which may be requested at the Portuguese Embassy or Consulate of their country for stays of up to 90 days.
Under the terms of the Convention Implementing the Schengen Agreement, flights between Schengen states are considered to be internal flights and passengers do not need to obtain another visa.
Telephone access code: Portugal + 351, Porto 22.
Telecommunications: telephone connections are accessible from public telephone boxes, to be paid with coins or phone card on sale at the NOS, MEO and Vodafone shops, post offices, stationaries and other locations duly identified. To call abroad from Portugal, dial 00, followed by the country code, city code and number you want.
Local holiday and city's festivity: 24 June (São João).
Essential telephone contacts:
- Emergency: 112
- Tourism Police: +351 222 081 833
- Dr. Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport: +351 229 432 400
- Tourism Office: +351 223 326 751
- Banks: Monday to Friday - 08h30/15h00
- Street commerce: : Monday to Friday - 09:00 or 10:00/19:00.Some shops open on Saturday all day
- Shopping Centres: Daily - 10:00/24:00
- Restaurants: Lunch - 12:00/15:00, Dinner 19:00/22:00
- Pharmacies: Monday to Friday - 09:00/19:00> 09:00/13:00 Saturday. Rotas for 24 hour pharmacy service displayed at all pharmacies.
- Most museums in the city are closed on Monday. If you want to visit a museum on this day, make sure it is open.
Complaints Book: all suppliers and service providers are required to hold a Complaints Book and make it available to users when requested. When the complaints book is not immediately made available to the user, he may require the presence of police authority to solve this difficulty.
The claim is made by filling in the complaint (Complaints Book), in which the client describes clearly and completely the facts that motivate it and indicates elements relating to his identification.
After filling in the complaint, the supplier of the goods / services provider is required to submit it to the monitor market authority or regulator in the sector, within five working days and hand the duplicate of the claim to the claimer, keeping the triplicate, which is part of the complaints book and cannot be removed.
The user can also send the duplicate of the complaint to the monitor or the relevant market sector regulator, indicated on the sign posted at the establishment.
The city of Porto, with an area of 42km2, is the second largest city in Portugal. It is located in the north of the country, on the North-western part of the Iberian Peninsula and lies to the right hand side of the river Douro in close proximity to its mouth.
Covered by an ever progressing, accomplished transport network, getting to Porto could never be easier whether it be by plane, bus, car, boat, train or metro. Travelling within the city is made simple should you go by public transport, your own car or a hired one.
Porto has a privileged geographic location, complemented by a modern communications network. It's easy for anyone coming from Galicia, the Algarve, Lisbon, Coimbra or from any other point in the country to arrive comfortably to the city and equally as easy to travel to any of these destinations.
Throughout Porto there are various public and private car parks at your disposal.
Besides national roads (EN, IC, IP), free, the city has access to various highways, subject to toll: A1 Lisbon, linking to the Algarve; A3 Valença (Minho), linking to Galicia; A4 Amarante (Trás-os-Montes), linking to Bragança; A28 (Porto - Cerveira) and A29 (Porto - Aveiro/Cantanhede). Some of these highways are to be paid at the end of the trip with the ticket that must be collected at the beginning of the highway. The ways showing the sign “Via Verde” are for monthly-pass holders only.
Other highways or parts of highway have only electronic tolls. It means that there are no cabins and the passing of vehicles is detected by devices placed at the beginning of those highways.The highways are identified at the beginning with: "Electronic toll only".
- Highways with electronic tolls covering Porto and the northern region:
- A28: Coastal North-highway - between Porto and Vilar de Mouros/Caminha
- A4: Porto/Amarante-highway (between Matosinhos and Águas Santas)
- A41: Circular Regional exterior do Porto (Porto Regional Outer Circular)
- A42: Alfena-Lousada-highway
- Electronic Tolls: payment options for vehicles with foreign licence plates
- This system associates the vehicle’s licence plate with a credit card (MasterCard of Visa). The toll amounts due are automatically debited to the card’s account
- A receipt (valid for 30 days, which should be kept) is issued at the time of subscription
- Licence numbers can be corrected and memberships can be cancelled via Call Centre, or at www.portugaltolls.com
- TOLL CARD
- Prepaid cards
- Activation and direct association with licence number by the customer via cell phone SMS.
- Balances can be checked at www.portugaltolls.com.
- Customers will receive an alert SMS when the balance reaches zero.
- Available at post offices, service areas and at www.portugaltolls.com
- TOLL SERVICE
- 3-day prepaid ticket at a fixed price of 20,00€, with unlimited used during its validity period
- Available for light vehicles
- Can be purchased at www.portugaltolls.com or at “Easytoll” booths
- VIA VERDE
- Lease of temporary “Via Verde Visitors” device
- “Via Verde Device” membership, with debit from bank account
- Via Verde products are valid throughout the nation’s entire road network, and can be purchased at Via Verde outlets and authorized agents, post offices (CTT) and Automóvel Club de Portugal (ACP) outlets.
- Further information on www.viaverde.pt
National and international road passenger transport
You can travel to or from Porto with ease from any point in Portugal or Europe. In doing so, you have a number of road transport services which offer regular city links.
From the international transport terminal you are provided with the following options when travelling to the city centre:
• Casa da Música interface
- Metro: lines A - Blue (Estádio do Dragão - Senhor de Matosinhos), B - Red (Estádio do Dragão - Póvoa de Varzim), C – Green (Campanhã / ISMAI), E – Violet (Estádio do Dragão - Aeroporto) and F – Orange (Fânzeres/Senhora da Hora).
- The Andante ticket needed for this journey can be purchased at any of the automatic ticket machines in the Metro stations, occasional ticket (Z2). It costs 1.80€, is valid for 1 hour, and is rechargeable.
- Bus lines 501, 502 and 201 are also available and taxis.
Porto is served by international trains, Alfa Pendular (high-speed train), intercity, inter-regional, regional and urban trains, connecting the city to several destinations inside and outside the country.
The Campanhã train station is the busiest in the city and the S. Bento railway station is the most central one.
CP´s urban trains allow you to travel to nearby towns, such as Vila Nova de Gaia, Espinho, Guimarães, Braga, Viana do Castelo and Aveiro. Train tickets must be purchased before your journey, from sales points or automatic ticket machines.
For further information check the CP – Comboios de Portugal’s website
The Leixões Port is located a few kilometers from Porto and receives cruise vessels from various parts of the world.
For further information, check the APDL – Administração dos Portos do Douro e Leixões’s website.
To get to the city centre, you have an excellent metro connection through Line A (Blue) - Senhor de Matosinhos- Estádio do Dragão.
The Andante ticket needed for this journey can be purchased at any of the automatic ticket machines in the Metro stations, occasional ticket (Z3). Valid for 1 hour and rechargeable.
To get to the city centre by bus, you can use lines 500 and 507.
Porto also has a few marinas for those who enjoy sailing: the Freixo Marina, in the Freixo area, and the Porto Atlântico Marina, in Leixões, outside the city.
Rio Douro Crossing – Lordelo do Ouro/Afurada
Crossing the river Douro between Cais do Ouro (near the Arrábida bridge), in Porto, and Afurada, in Vila Nova de Gaia. Tickets can be purchased on the boat.
Running daily between 6am - 1am, the Porto metro service has 6 lines that connect the outskirts of the city to the centre:
- Line A (Blue) - Estádio do Dragão - Senhor de Matosinhos
- Line B (Red) - Estádio do Dragão - Póvoa de Varzim
- Line C (Green) - Estádio do Dragão - ISMAI
- Line D (Yellow) - Hospital São João – Santo Ovídio
- Line E (Violet) - Estádio do Dragão - Aeroporto
- Line F (Orange) – Senhora da Hora - Fânzeres
The Andante travel pass can be bought at the Andante shops, Andante sale points, STCP service points and train station ticket offices.
The Andante occasional ticket, from Z2 to Z12, depends on the number of zones included in your journey, is valid for an hour and is rechargeable.
There are also Andante Tour tickets, 1 day – 7€ - and 3 days – 15€. This ticket allows you unlimited travel on bus and metro.
For further information check Metro do Porto.
STCP buses operate:
- Daytime service: 5am - 12:30am (Some lines only run until 9pm)
- Night service (Lines 1M to 13M): 12am - 5am
Some buses are already equipped with access platforms for people with reduced mobility.
Tickets can be purchased from Payshop offices, train station ticket offices, post offices, Andante shops, automatic ticket machines and at the STCP or Andante service points.
It is also possible to get a Single Trip Ticket (Título Agente Único) in the bus (bought for that trip only) - 2€.
There are 3 lines operating:
- 1 – Infante/Passeio Alegre
- 18 – Massarelos/Carmo
- 22 – Batalha/Carmo
Timetables can be found at each stop.
Single trip tickets can be bought in the tram at a cost of 3€.
Connects the Batalha area to the Ribeira area.
- Nov to Mar - 8am - 8pm (Sun to Thu) and 8am - 10pm (Fri and Sat)
- Apr to Oct - 8am - 10pm (Sun to Thu) and 8am - 12am (Fri and Sat)
Funi Adult and Funi Junior travel tickets can be purchased for 2,50€ and 1,25€, respectively.
Available 24 hours a day from clearly signposted taxi ranks throughout the city or by phone.
Every taxi has a meter indicating the cost of your journey which is to be paid at the end of the trip. The receipt is compulsory.
Tariff charges are posted on the window of the rear door, on the left side of the taxi.
You can rent a car at the airport or at various places throughout the city.
Typical rental requirements: full driver's licence, Identification card/Passport and credit card.
Further information here.
The cycle lanes in Porto are mainly located by the riverside and seaside, but there are also lanes located in other parts of the city. Porto is a hilly city in some areas, nevertheless it is possible for you to ride through the city in a safe way. For the moment there are six cycle lanes available:
- Asprela: Although some parts of the lane are set on the road, these are used by velocipedes only.
- Prelada: Urban lane connecting the city surroundings to the city centre.
- Seaside/Riverside: Lane serving leisure activities, beginning at the western entrance of the City Park (by the Transparent Building) and finishing at the Largo António Calem.
- Pasteleira Park: Lane serving leisure activities. It is part of the Pasteleira Urban Park.
- Foz da Ribeira da Granja: Lane beginning at the eastern entrance of the City Park (Av. do Parque) and finishing at the Largo António Calém.
- Avenida da Boavista: Lane serving leisure activities, whose first part is located between Praça de Gonçalves Zarco and Avenida do Parque.