5 Exciting Day Trips from Porto, Portugal

By Soren Rivero

Porto is a city that encapsulates many things: stunning scenery, historical significance, vibrant culture, and various architectural styles. While there’s plenty to see and experience in this beloved city, Porto also grants visitors the ability to take multiple day trips to some of Portugal’s other fascinating towns and regions.

Here are 5 day trips from Porto that will make your vacation in Portugal all the more exciting and memorable!

Read to start exploring? View our trips to Porto.


The greatly cherished and historical birthplace of Portugal, Guimarães, is just under 35 miles north of Porto. Guimarães’ honorary historic center (deemed a UNESCO World Heritage Site), takes visitors back to the medieval era with its well-preserved architecture, cobblestone streets, and other-worldly atmosphere. While in Guimarães, be sure to take a visit to the imposing Guimarães Castle. This fascinating display of medieval-era architecture is not only a sight for sore eyes, but a symbol for the nation’s foundation.

You can get another glimpse at Portugal’s incredible architecture by visiting the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza as well. Aside from admiring the medieval vibe of Guimarães, feel free to explore the lively squares and charming alleyways, and taste traditional Portuguese cuisine at local taverns. Definitely worth the hour-ish drive if you’re looking to take an enriching day trip from Porto.

Douro Valley Wine Region

Take an invigorating quest to explore the scenic Douro Valley, Portugal’s renowned wine and vineyard region. The Douro Valley spans a small portion of the massive Douro River, which begins near central Spain, stretching all the way to northern Portugal. There’s a few ways to get to the Douro Valley Wine Region from Porto – the most common being an approximately 2h30m train ride (about $10 per person). If you’re traveling in a small group or by yourself, taking a scenic drive is also an excellent option!

The Douro Valley Wine Region promises incredible views at every turn. Wine lovers will especially love this region, as it's the most iconic wine producing and vineyard region in Portugal; some say the entire Iberian Peninsula. Other notable things to do in Douro Valley include taking a cruise along the Douro River, admiring the wine estates, hiking, and savoring the bold flavors of traditional Portuguese cuisine.


Portugal isn’t all railways and cobblestone streets, and the glistening city of Aveiro is there to prove that. Aveiro is a city made of a network of waterways, giving it the name of “the Venice of Portugal.” The drive from Porto takes about one hour, and along the way, you’ll encounter many quaint small towns, luscious greenery, and a few castles. Arriving in Aveiro is an experience in itself. The colorful moliceiro boats floating atop the tranquil canals evoke a sensation of being transported to another realm, all without having to leave Portugal.

Things to do in Aveiro include exploring the historic center (adorned with Art Nouveau buildings), touring the bustling fish market, taking a moliceiro boat ride, and indulging in ovos moles – a local pastry made from sweetened egg yolks. Whether you arrive by train or by car, you absolutely cannot miss out on seeing the azulejos located in the city’s train stations. All in all, Aveiro is a great option for taking a leisurely day trip from Porto.


No other city in Portugal is steeped in history and religious significance quite as deeply as Braga. It takes just under an hour to get to Braga from Porto, making it one of the easiest day trips to take in Porto! Take yourself on a solo tour through some of the many ancient landmarks housed within the city limits. For starters, visit the Bom Jesus do Monte Sanctuary to gaze at the intricate Baroque architecture as well as climb the 560+ step stairway.

Visitors also love to stroll through Old Town’s narrow streets to admire the plethora of ornate churches and grand plazas. Keep an eye out for Sé de Braga, one of Portugal’s oldest churches and a showcase of different architectural styles from various eras.

Peneda-Gerês National Park

Nature lovers will surely appreciate this last day trip from Porto. Located approximately 60 miles north of Porto, the Peneda-Gerês National Park comprises rugged landscapes, enchanting wilderness, and dozens of opportunities to get active in nature. Outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy hiking through winding trails located all throughout the park. If you want to add more excitement to your time in this park, jump into the Cascata do Arado natural swimming hole, have a picnic, or go birdwatching.

Outside the park is the spa town Gerês, and just north of the park is the 19th-century Sanctuary of Santuario de Nossa Senhora da Peneda overlooking a staircase in the village of Peneda. Spend a day here, or consider booking a stay in a nearby small town to enjoy more time in the park to really immerse yourself in Portugal’s natural side!


You may also like to read about:

Porto Travel Guide

The Top Things to do in Porto

Free Activities in Porto

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