Last Updated on July 11, 2023
When it comes down to discussing tourist destinations, Porto is one of the most popular places to visit in right now, and since it’s less hours from Lisbon on the train, why not add a stop in Porto to your trip to Portugal? And while Porto may not be as popular as Lisbon just yet, don’t think you’ll get away from tourists – Porto is still a touristy spot! However, if you want to do something ‘off the beaten path’ or are looking for some unusual things to do in Porto, this list is for you. If you enjoy tours or you’re looking to socialize with other people on your trip, I recommend to checking out Airbnb Experiences, which always have fun off-the-beaten-path things to do, and you can meet some other travelers at the same time.In this article, I am sharing a few of the less talked about things to do while visiting Porto – once you’ve seen the main tourist attractions, check out these cool things:
Six off-the-beaten path experiences in Porto
Book a film show at an independent theater
Independent films and watching them around in Porto is quite the tradition. If you wish to experience something similar, the best way to go about with it is by visiting Cinema Trindale. It does offer some of the most amazing set of choices and that too at an amazing price as well. You don’t need to worry about the language barrier because there are subtitles for the movies you watch.
Visit Casa da Musica
Apart from the breathtaking beauty of the white and glass in the swerving walls of Casa, the Casa da Musica is one of those offbeat spots to visit in Porto which offers an immaculate experience. The building itself is a must-see for architecture lovers, while the performances inside will wow not just lovers of classical music. The orchestral shows in there are nothing short of amazing and are one of the best things to do while in Porto. If you miss out on getting tickets to a concert, the cafe in the basement is worth a visit too. It is also an amazing spot to witness the skaters swerve through the slopes.
Visit the Cat cafe
Cafes are everywhere to be found around Porto but the one that stands out is the cat cafe. It is not just one of a kind but quite a fun place to hang around in. It is called O Porto dos Gatos (The Port Of Cats) and is one of the only cat cafes in all of in Europe. The interior of the place is quite serene and has cats everywhere you turn. The cafe serves 100% vegan food which is fantastic for vegans – but also non-vegans will love the food here – the cakes and brownies are to die for!
Something you shouldn’t miss while you are in Porto is exploring Ribeira, which is one of Porto’s liveliest neighborhoods and UNESCO World Heritage site. It is known for its architectural grandeur and the beauty it bestows. The name of this place translates to Riverside which is literally where it is located, hence the name. It is one of the most beautiful and charming areas of Porto, so take an afternoon and go for a wander around Ribeira. Use this excellent guide to Ribeira as your starting point to explore the neighborhood.
Create your own Portuguese tile art
Irrespective of whether or not you are good at art, you can take an art class in Porto teaching you how to create your very own azulejo – the famous Portuguese tile art that you’ll admire on the buildings throughout Portugal. There are several local artists who offer amazing tile art classes that you can take. You don’t need to have any kind of prior experience, and the equipment is provided. There’s no better souvenir than your own painted Portuguese tile!
Some of the best rated tile art classes in Porto include:
- Paint Tiles and have a Tea (US$38; 2 hours)
- The art of azulejos (US$42; 2 hours)
- Paint a tile with the Portuguese tradition ($US50; 2 hours)
- Make a Portuguese tile with an artist (US$60; 2 hours)
Visit the Tram Museum
The Tram Museum in Porto is one of a kind and makes you travel back in time. Not only do you learn about the history of each train, but you can also find out why each one has a different surname. This museum is often named as a kids’ favorite.
If you want to venture beyond Porto, I recommend taking a trip to Douro Valley. It takes only about an hour and a half to get there and the beauty of the Douro River is worth this road trip. If you have time for a day trip to the Douro Valley while you’re in Porto, don’t miss this breathtakingly beautiful part of Portugal.