Is Porto a walkable city?

  • Yes! But..
  • The best way to explore Porto’s Historical Centre is to do our Half Day Tour and discover the narrow streets and alleyways to explore later, where not even the sidecars can go through.
  • Most of the Historical Centre is located inside a 4km / 2 mile radius. Starting from the river it expands up two different hills. There you will find most of the iconic neighborhoods of Porto, like Ribeira, Sé, Vitória and Clérigos on top of the hill.
  • From the Historical Centre to the beach, it’s about 6 km / 3.5 Miles. Following the road along the river, you can walk all the way to the beach that starts at the mouth of the river Douro.
  • The Port wine neighborhood is also at a walkable distance. From Ribeira you just need to cross the D.Luis I bridge you have about 2km / 1 mile long of riverfront, with all the Port cellars.
Porto is a walkable city but.. there’s always a but, there are quite a few climbs to be done.
In this post we’ll try to give you an idea of where to walk and how much walking you need to do.
From the airport to the city centre it’s about 20 km / 16 miles, so walking is out of the question! Uber, taxi and Metro are all available and its a quick ride to the city.
Porto stretches for 42 square km, around 30 square miles.
But the oldest part of the city, it’s birthplace, the Historical Centre, starts by the river in Ribeira neighborhood and expands up the hills.
Using Ribeira as a starting point, the Historical Centre is inside a +/- 4 km / 2 mile radius.
There are two main hills, Sé and Vitória. In them and between them, lots of narrow little streets and alleyways.
The hills of Porto
Sé is where some the oldest archaeological records of settlements in the city were found, some dating as far as 3000B.C. Also the start of the oldest wall that defended the then small village. And also the Sé Cathedral, the seat of power in the early days of the foundation of Portugal and Porto, more than 900 years ago.
Vitória is the hill opposite from Sé and it was the natural expansion grounds after Sé. There, on the foothill, you can find Miragaia neighborhood. Going up, Vitória neighborhood with a beautiful viewpoint, and on top Clérigos with the famous tower and Lello bookstore.
You can see know that there are amazing places to explore inside these neighborhoods but… it’s all up and down the beautiful hills!
Our sidecars tours cover all of this and give you a amazing overview of Porto.
Walking to the Port wine neighborhood in Gaia
The port wine cellars are also at walkable distance from Porto, around 2 km / 1 mile. Crossing the D.Luis I bridge, from Ribeira to Gaia, you will find a long row of riverfront old warehouses.
They used to be aging cellars and bottleling lines and know have became brand museums and tasting rooms where you can learn and taste all of Port’s history.
Walking from Porto’s Historical centre to the beach
From Ribeira neighborhood, if you follow the river Douro, it’s about 5 km / 3 miles to reach the mouth os the river and turning north, you have about 4km / 2.5 miles of coastline with some of the best beaches in Porto.
Among then, Englishman beach former meeting place of the 1800’s british community living in Porto and the most famous, Helm man beach.
All of this we explore on our sidecar tours. From the mouth of the river Douro all the way to Gaia, through the Historical Centre.
If you would like to find out more, contact John your private guide or book a tour here.
We hope to see you soon in Porto!