Best Ways to Get Around in Porto

April 11, 2024

The city of Porto, also known as the “Cidade Invicta,” is not only an economic and cultural center but also a UNESCO World Heritage Site celebrated for its well-preserved historic center and significant contributions to Portugal’s history and cultural heritage. Widely recognized for its historical and architectural heritage, narrow medieval streets, and iconic landmarks such as the Clérigos Tower, Sé Cathedral, and the Ribeira district.

A woman standing on the platform gazes at a Metro train passing by in Porto, Portugal

Throughout its history, Porto has played a vital role in the tradition of wine, especially with internationally renowned Port Wine. In terms of gastronomy, one can indulge in typical Porto dishes like Francesinha (a meaty sandwich covered with cheese), Bacalhau à Brás (shredded cod), Tripas à Moda do Porto (tripe stew), and explore markets like Mercado do Bolhão. Aside from its rich history and culinary delights, Porto is distinguished by its rugged topography, offering panoramic views over the city and the river. The steep streets and staircases contribute to the city’s unique layout and provide opportunities to explore hidden gems.

Over the years, the city has promoted various means of public transportation, conserving its history while enhancing mobility for those eager to explore this magical place. Recommendations for enjoying Porto include:

• The Famous Tram number 1: Explore Porto’s historic Ribeira, a UNESCO heritage site, and Foz do Douro aboard the famous tram. This 20-minute journey (one way) offers breathtaking views of the Douro River and provides a glimpse into the vibrant life of the city and its colored buildings.

The iconic historic Tram number 1 traverses through Porto's charming historic area, surrounded by colorful buildings.

• Guindais Funicular: Take a ride on the Guindais Funicular, known as “Funicular dos Guindais.” This funicular railway, located near the historic center, covers a distance of 281 meters (90 meters through a tunnel) and offers a delightful 3-minute experience. It connects the upper part of Porto, Batalha, and the lower part of Porto, Ribeira.

The Funicular dos Guindais ascends from Porto's upper level (Batalha) to the lower level (Ribeira), offering stunning views of the cityscape.

• Cable Car in Gaia: Experience the panoramic journey that connects the upper and lower parts of Vila Nova de Gaia. The 6-minute ride takes you from the upper terminal near Jardim do Morro, where you can visit the Serra do Pilar Monastery, down to Cais de Gaia, where you can stroll along the river and visit its famous Port Wine Cellars. Enjoy magnificent views of Porto, the Douro River, and its iconic bridges.

A panoramic view from Gaia showcases the Cable Car, wine cellars, Douro River, and Porto's skyline.

• STCP’s 500th Bus: Embark on a scenic journey from Mercado de Matosinhos to Aliados Avenue (or vice versa) on a double-decker bus, traveling through the Ocean, the charming Foz area, the Douro River and making a stop at one of the city’s most emblematic railway stations, São Bento station.

STCP's Bus 500 cruises along Porto's coastal road, offering passengers views of the Atlantic Ocean.

• Metro do Porto: Discover the city’s extensive Metro do Porto network, providing convenient mobility throughout. The Metro is distributed across six lines, each with its own distinct color and number. Covering eight municipalities, the Metro offers easy access to various attractions. We suggest uncovering the 16th-century history of Campo de Mijavelhas and its water reservoir (Arca de Água de Mijavelhas) near the 24 de Agosto station, which were discovered during the Metro station construction.

The Metro of Porto travels atop the iconic Luis I Bridge, connecting Gaia and Porto.

If you want to know more about these transportation suggestions and other themes or tours, explore our Porto Travel Guide in our APP: app.cooltouroporto.com ; use the filter transportation for faster results. Enjoy!