8 Things NOT to Do in Porto

8 Things NOT to Do in Porto

Porto is filled with activities and things to do. Besides all those amazing sights and things to do in Porto, there are always things NOT to do. Like in every city! After visiting several times, I thought it is time to make this list of things you can easily skip, avoid, and how to make Portuguese friends of a lifetime.

Stay only 1 Day

I have seen it over and over again: people either regretting staying only 1 day or people extending over and over again. 1 day is simple enough although Porto is small.

My recommendation: I would at least stay 2 nights. Do not rush it! Porto is certainly not a city to visit in a rush. Taking your time is part of the experience! You can do on a river cruise, do wine tasting, enjoy the beach, go surfing, do walking tours, … there is a lot to see.

Call Lisbon more beautiful

Lisbon is beautiful, Porto is beautiful. There is no need to start any discussion since both cities are so different and unique. Some tourists argue over this topic that nobody in this world needs to listen to.

I say: enjoy both cities, they are both fantastic! Locals from Porto do not want to hear Lisbon is more beautiful, and vice versa.

Go slow and take your time on a bike tour in Lisbon

Support the wrong football team

This is for the football fans. There are 3 big teams in Portugal:

  • FC Porto
  • Sporting Lisbon
  • Benfica Lisbon

Since you are in Porto, it’s quite obvious you should “support” this team during your stay. Some are more successful than the other, but those are the three big ones summed up. Same as the discussion above, don’t dive into this. Portuguese people love their football and especially their own team.

Very, very smart tip: Portuguese love especially their National team. So if you want to score some sympathy points, let them know how well they play!

Quick note: Portugal has a really good national team anyway. It wouldn’t be even a lie. If you have no idea about football, just quote from this sentence: „Portugal has a great football team!“

Congrats, you probably just made a Portuguese friend!

Put Messi over Cristiano Ronaldo

That brings us to the one and only Cristiano Ronaldo. He is the national hero. Do not get into any discussion here. For years and years, Cristiano and Messi were the top football players on this planet, there is no way around it. Maybe skip this topic if you disagree…. 😉

Stay at a crappy Hostel

Life is too short to stay in bad hostels. Portugal and especially Porto and Lisbon is dotted with awesome hostels. Pick a great one!

Our personal preferences we enjoyed are:

  1. The Passenger Hostel – great for female solo travellers + couples + families
  2. PILOT Design Hostel & Bar – top pick for solo travellers
  3. Porto Wine Hostel – coolest hostel in Porto for backpackers

We wrote a detailed guide on the best hostels in Porto.

Even better: Pick the most beautiful design hostel in the world: The Passenger Hostel. You can stay in this design-led hostel and sleep in an actual monument, the Sao Bento Station. No, I am not kidding

About bad hostels: Low-quality hostels can be really cheap. But, when you start to calculate your costs and the value you get for it, you can directly stay at a better one. Usually, low-cost hostels do not include sheets, towels, cleaning, and breakfast. It’s also usually badly located, meaning you need to walk a long time to the city center or take transportation. That costs either time or money.

The best located hostel in all Porto - you will never ever miss a train!

Eat at any food chain

Talk about food: I consider it almost a crime to eat in a food chain in Portugal. Porto is foodie heaven and there is no reason on earth to skip this and go with fast food. Actually, I never eat in food chains anyway. This might be a very good overall travel tip.

Confession time: on my very first travel on my own, it was to Budapest, I went to McDonald’s simply out of convenience and lack of communication. I am not ashamed of this…well, okay, actually I am. We all do our fair share of travel mistakes.

So take out a pen to take note. Here are our favorite restaurants in Porto:

  • Zenith brunch & cocktails
  • Flow restaurant
  • Miss’opo (dinner)
  • Coraçao alecrim
  • Puente Luis IV
  • Pizza&drinks (daily menu)
  • Galería de Paris
  • Taberna aduela
  • A Sandeira do Porto (tasty sandwiches)
  • Tascö (only dinner)
  • Lkodac Matosinhos
  • Mesa 325
  • Casa do Bu
  • Apartamento Cafe&Snack bar
  • Açaí concept Motosinhos
  • Ciao bella! pizzeria
  • Flow restaurant
  • Restaurante club de vela (in Costa Nova)

Here is my guide to best cheap places to eat in Porto.

Tasty food in Porto, Portugal

Have a coffee in any Coffee Chain

The same goes for coffee chains. I mean, c’mon! There are some fantastic cafés all around Porto. This is one of the hipster things to do in Porto. Here is a list of great cafés in Porto we love:

  • 100 Contos
  • Café candelabro
  • Oficina cafe creativo cc
  • Combi café
  • Negra café

Another confession time: When I started to travel around and I needed WiFi, I instantly went to Starbucks. Honestly, it was never for the incredible coffee, but it was the best option to get WiFi and a coffee. Obviously, I don’t do this anymore.

Eat at the waterfront

This is the most expensive area to have a seat and eat out. It is really beautiful, especially when the sun comes out. However, for me, it is a bit too touristy. I would rather go into the smaller alleys and hop into a smaller restaurant.

Good to know: That is not to say you cannot eat good food here. You actually can. It is only more pricey and there are too many people, well, tourists.

Planning your Porto adventure? Don’t miss our complete Backpacking Porto Travel Guide.

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