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Porto's Beaches picture in Porto
Ângela Antunes / Flickr

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  • Beaches Type
  • Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
4.1
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    5.0
  • Facilities
    3.5
  • Atmosphere
    4.0

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Porto's location along Portugal's northwestern coast grants the city access to some prime beachfront. If you find yourself experiencing a sunny day, visiting Portugal's northwest coast is a great way to pass the time. In Foz, located east of the city center along Avenida do Brasil, you'll find a handful of small beaches, like Praia do Molhe and Praia de Gondarém. Though picturesque, the terrain just offshore is a little rocky, so swimming isn't advised. But you can still bring a towel to lie on the sand, soak up the sun and dip your feet in the cool Atlantic for a little refreshment. Speaking of refreshment, this area of Porto is also packed with plenty of beachfront bars, restaurants and cafes — it's quite a popular place to enjoy the outdoors both day and night.

Meanwhile in the town just south of the Porto city center, Vila Nova de Gaia, you'll happen upon beaches with soft white sand and conditions more suitable for swimming. The beaches of Vila Nova de Gaia are known for their impeccable water quality, environmental awareness and safety — awarded and recognized with blue flags — making them some of the most impressive in Portugal. Madalena, Lavadores, Salgueiros and Miramar are some examples of beaches you can travel to from Porto. Both active types and those looking for a little R&R will find a day at one of these beaches enjoyable: The shorelines here feature amenities like volleyball nets, bike paths and shaded cabanas.

The best way to get to the beaches of Foz and Vila Nova de Gaia is by bus or by taxi. To reach Foz, you can pick up the No. 200 bus along Rua do Campo Alegre in central Porto; take it in the direction of Castelo do Queijo and get off at the Igreja Carmelitas stop. You can also pick up the 1M bus on Rua do Campo Alegre toward Matosinhos and get off at the Praia da Luz stop; or get the No. 500 bus along Rua do Ouro toward Matosinhos and get off at Praia da Luz. To reach the Vila Nova de Gaia beaches from central Porto, pick up the 902 bus on Rua do Campo Alegre toward Lavadores and take it to the end of the line, or hop on 906 at the São Bento metro stop in the direction of Madalena and get off at the Cerro stop. If you want to save some money, pack a cooler with a picnic to quell your hunger and thirst while you're at the beach. But if you're looking to explore some of the local eateries, you'll have no problem finding somewhere to dine right off the beach in both Foz and Vila Nova de Gaia.

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Hotels Nearby

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ibis Porto Gaia

ibis Porto Gaia ...

  • 1.7 Miles Away
  • 2.0-star Hotel Class
Golden Tulip Porto Gaia Hotel and Spa

Golden Tulip Porto Gaia Hotel and Spa ...

  • 0.1 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
Novotel Porto Gaia

Novotel Porto Gaia ...

  • 1.7 Miles Away
  • 4.0-star Hotel Class
See all hotels in Porto »

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#1 Dom Luis I Bridge This iconic arching iron bridge straddles the Douro River, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Though Porto is known for having quite a few bridges, the Dom Luís I ... Read more » Enrique Aznar De Pedro / EyeEm / Getty Images

#2 Se do Porto (Porto Cathedral) Perched on a hilltop standing watch over the city, the Porto Cathedral (known as the Sé) was originally built between the 12th and 13th centuries, and features a variety of ... Read more » karnizz / Shutterstock

#3 Jardins do Palacio de Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens) The Crystal Palace Gardens boast green shrubbery, winding walkways, bright flora and bubbling fountains. Bring your camera along because you'll find plenty of photo opportunities here: Everything from the ... Read more » Anastasia Petrova / Shutterstock

#4 Avenida dos Aliados (Avenue of the Allies) Porto's main thoroughfare, Avenida dos Aliados, features a smattering of cafes, hotels, banks and boutiques all housed in architecturally impressive buildings. Located in the heart of Porto, just southeast ... Read more » A wandering minstrel / Flickr

#5 Port Wine Tastings & Tours A visit to Porto wouldn't be complete without a stop to sample the city's most notable export — port wine. You'll find dozens of wine cellars scattered throughout ... Read more » Anastasia Petrova / Shutterstock

#6 Estacao de Sao Bento (Sao Bento Railway Station) Built on the former site of a Benedictine monastery, the São Bento Railway Station was inaugurated in 1916; today, trains pass through here carrying travelers between Porto and many of ... Read more » Yellow.Cat / Flickr

#7 Mercado do Bolhao (Bolhao Market) Scents of sweet fruit, freshly baked bread and aromatic cheeses greet visitors as soon as they enter the Mercado do Bolhão. This open-air market is reminiscent of many you'll ... Read more » Sunny Ripert / Flickr

#8 Beaches Porto's location along Portugal's northwestern coast grants the city access to some prime beachfront. If you find yourself experiencing a sunny day, visiting Portugal's northwest coast is ... Read more » Ângela Antunes / Flickr

#9 Igreja de Sao Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) Everyone knows the old adage, "don't judge a book by its cover" — the notion couldn't be truer in the case of the Igreja de São Francisco. This church ... Read more » Martin Lehmann / Shutterstock

#10 Livraria Lello & Irmao (Lello Bookstore) A bookstore may not seem like one of the most necessary things to see in a new city, but when it's consistently named one of the world's most ... Read more » Ângela Antunes / Flickr

#11 Palacio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) One of the most-visited sites in Porto, the Palácio da Bolsa is renowned for its exquisite neoclassical facade and ornate gilded Arabian Hall. This massive building — located in the historic ... Read more » Hugo Cadavez / Flickr

#12 Fundacao de Serralves (Serralves Foundation Complex) The Fundação de Serralves comprises a park, a villa and a contemporary art museum all set on nearly 45 acres of land in western Porto. Billed as a cultural institution ... Read more » Visual Cortex / Shutterstock

#13 Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis (National Museum Soares dos Reis) Founded in 1833, the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis was Portugal's first public art museum. Art lovers will appreciate the expansive collection housed here, as well as the ... Read more » Angelo Romano / Flickr

#14 Dragao Stadium While Portugal may not be as well-known for having avid soccer fans as Spain or England, the Portuguese still love their futebol. Porto's home team, F.C. Porto, is ... Read more » Edgar Jiménez / Flickr

Dom Luís I Bridge picture in Porto
Porto Cathedral picture in Porto
Crystal Palace Gardens picture in Porto
Avenida dos Aliados picture in Porto
Port Wine picture in Porto
São Bento Railway Station picture in Porto
Bolhão Market picture in Porto
Porto's Beaches picture in Porto
Church of St. Francis picture in Porto
Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore) picture in Porto
Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) picture in Porto
Serralves Foundation picture in Porto
 National Museum Soares dos Reis picture in Porto
Dragão Stadium picture in Porto
Dom Luís I Bridge picture in Porto
Porto Cathedral picture in Porto
Crystal Palace Gardens picture in Porto
Avenida dos Aliados picture in Porto
Port Wine picture in Porto
São Bento Railway Station picture in Porto
Bolhão Market picture in Porto
Porto's Beaches picture in Porto
Church of St. Francis picture in Porto
Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore) picture in Porto
Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) picture in Porto
Serralves Foundation picture in Porto
 National Museum Soares dos Reis picture in Porto
Dragão Stadium picture in Porto

The exquisite bridge is the handiwork of Gustave Eiffel's best student, Théophile Seyrig, and connects Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Pedestrians can walk on both the top and bottom levels of the bridge. Enrique Aznar De Pedro / EyeEm / Getty Images

Built between the 12th and 13th centuries, the Sé do Porto, or Porto Cathedral, is characterized by twin towers and its outward stone facade. Inside, you can see an elaborate stained-glass window and the silver altar. The terrace in front of the church also offers great views of the city. karnizz / Shutterstock

The Jardins do Palácio de Cristal feature flowers, fountains and fauna, and make for a nice stroll. You'll find plenty of photo opportunities, whether you're snapping pics of the garden or the Douro River. Anastasia Petrova / Shutterstock

Porto's main thoroughfare, Avenida dos Aliados, is lined with cafes, shops and banks. Standing tall at the tip of the avenue is city hall, characterized by its regal granite and marble elements. A wandering minstrel / Flickr

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The detailed azulejos tiles in the São Bento Railway Station are the reason many travelers visit this top site in Porto. Bring your camera along to snap a photo for yourself. Yellow.Cat / Flickr

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Escape for the day to the beach to enjoy the surf, sand and sun. Plenty of beaches lie west and southwest of Porto in Foz do Douro and Vila Nova de Gaia. Spend some time playing water sports or splashing around in the Atlantic Ocean. Ângela Antunes / Flickr

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Livraria Lello & Irmão is known for its intricate exterior and ruby red staircase. Plus, you'll find plenty of nonfiction and fiction books at this store — some are even available in English. Ângela Antunes / Flickr

The Stock Exchange Palace was once Porto's financial hub. Today, it's worth a visit to admire its architectural prowess. You'll likely be wowed by the striking golden Arab Hall. Hugo Cadavez / Flickr

The Serralves complex comprises a villa, a park and a contemporary art museum, all three of which sit on nearly 45 acres of land. Its art deco architecture is some of the most notable in Portugal, according to experts, and visitors describe the gardens and art within the museum as beautiful. Visual Cortex / Shutterstock

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Visit Dragão Stadium, home of the F.C. Porto club, to catch a futebol (soccer) game. The stadium also offers tours and has an on-site museum that highlight's the club's history. Edgar Jiménez / Flickr

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