Best Day Trips from Porto
Best Day trips from Porto
A city on rise, Porto is definitely becoming a crowd favourite in the Western European region for all the right reasons! Built on the banks of the Douro River, this Portuguese jewel enchants travellers with its enriching history, delicious food & wine and fascinating locals. Known for its world-famous wine, Porto boasts multiple gigantic vineyards crowned over the hills at the edge of Douro River. With a number of wine tasting tours, it definitely lets you indulge in decadence at 10 am in the morning with legit reasons. And Like its wine, Porto’s charms are best savoured slowly with its innumerable historical sights and stunning scenery with River Douro as backdrop. Take a stroll through the narrow, cobbled streets along the oldest district which is the Ribeira District that is filled with ancient houses and several family owned cafes and restaurants, places that are sure to give you the best local experience. Or maybe head to the majestic plazas of the Avenida dos Aliados to get a dose of grandeur that still exists in Porto. This town boasts of a vibrant nightlife for everyone with any preferences. From hip clubs to late night restaurants, there is plenty to go around and most of them are open till sunrise! Porto is a wonderful destination for an exquisite vacation for a week, but after a while, anyone would feel a need for change. The good thing about that is, Porto is a great base for perfect getaways to some of the vacation-worthy nearby towns and villages, and with its great railway connectivity and it also makes it possible to do small day trips from Porto. Therefore, following are some must-see places which you should definitely visit when in Porto:
A distinct and unique city, Braga is a perfect balance of being a historic yet cosmopolitan city. Braga is one of the oldest cities with more than four dozen places of worship including the oldest cathedral in Portugal. It is easy to see why this place has got a reputation of being canonical and traditional, with every Easter Braga seeing a rise in pious tourists visiting its one of the many cathedrals. The continuous ringing of bells here is a constant reminder of its age-old holy roots and unwavering spiritual connection. But, do not even think for a second that this is all Braga has to offer! With Universidad Do Minho situated here, students of Braga bring a certain youthful energy to this sleepy town. With time, the city has gone through a gradual change and turned into being a somewhat hip place with lots of amazing cafes and restaurants and an underground bar scene for the more energetic population here! Braga makes for a fantastic day trip with more than enough attractions to keep you busy for the day. By being connected to Porto Urban Railways, it only takes an hour via train from Porto to Braga.
2. Douro Valley
Home to the Douro River, Douro Valley is one of the most scenic regions in Portugal with a river cascading between lush green and golden slopes. Apart from its breathtaking beauty, the main reason why Douro Valley is such a big hit amongst the travellers is that it’s the main wine producing region of Portugal. The world-famous sweet wine of Portugal is made from multiple vineyards situated here. Every wine lover’s dream, several wineries here offers wine tasting. The terraced vineyards and lush green hills along with the meandering river here provide great respite from the city life. A road trip to Douro is always a good option with such sights guaranteed to lift up your spirits. The most preferred way to reach Douro is by train due to spectacular sights offered on its route. A train ride from Porto to Douro takes 3 and half hours to cover one-way distance.ryside.
On the edge of Ria, stands this small town of Aveiro. Largely hidden, this is quite a pleasant town that is crossed by a series of canals similar to that of Venice! The guides here refer Aveiro as ‘Venice of Portugal’, which can be slightly misleading as it is quieter and much more colourful. While it may not be a neatly preserved town, Aveiro definitely has its own quirky moments. A relaxed city, this region has earned a certain charm through its art nouveau deco buildings and one of the best examples of this is Museu de Arte Nova which boasts a museum as well as a tea house. The best way to explore this small town is through walking or via gondolas and local boats so you can enjoy its beautiful sights and charm. Located just at a short distance of 75 km, Aveiro is easily accessible via train and just takes 1 hour 15 minutes and of course it helps that these trains run almost hourly from there.
A historically significant city, Guimaraes is a well-preserved city. Touted as the birth place of Portuguese, a must-visit place, this town lets tourists explore the country’s past and wonder at the beginning of its culture and architecture. Its illustrious past has been articulately preserved, something that can be reflected in its ancient centre that is coil of entangled lanes and dotted with magnificent plazas. On an adjacent hill stand architectural wonders such as the Guimaraes Castle, the magnificent Duke of Braganza Palace and Sezim Manor, monuments that are bound to astound you. Due to so much history connected with the centre, it is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. For a panoramic view of this historic city, head on to the Penha Mountain and a short hike later, you will be gifted with the most amazing view ever! Student population here also adds to the vitality and hence so many plazas with several cafes and trendy restaurants. So, if you are an enthusiastic about medieval architecture, then Guimaraes is the place for you and with a direct train between Porto and Guimaraes, reaching here is not a hassle and it only takes 1h 10m to reach the destination.