“Travel is the only thing you buy that makes you richer.” - Unknown

Spain and Portugal share the Iberian Peninsula and Portugal is smaller than its neighbor. However, there are plenty of great reasons to visit Portugal.

When it comes to visiting Portugal, most people think of Lisbon or the Algarve. However, the north of Portugal is home to plenty of wonderful sights including Azulejo and little cobbled streets.

The air traffic into Portugal’s second city has increased by 15% in the space of a year. This is thanks to a lot of budget airlines which have made traveling to Porto much more accessible.

So how much does it cost to visit this UNESCO World Heritage Site? How much does a trip around the old town cost?

In this article, we'll look at the cost of traveling to Porto, how much you'll spend on accommodation, what you'll need to budget for food, how much it'll cost to see the sights, and how much you'll pay getting around the city.

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About Porto: some history to get to know the city

Before embarking on your adventure, you probably need to get some intel about Porto, how it came to be and what you can expect to see and learn while walking its streets.

Porto was created during the Roman period, on the 8th century B.C. Over the centuries it had various rulers, among others the Suevi, the Goths and the Moors. Its position on the map gives it a unique advantage for trade and commerce which helped the city develop quickly.

Porto became a major trading port and in the 15th century it was one of the greatest ship building centers in Portugal. Afterwards, they also became a big economy due to their wine sales which happened around the 17th century, making Porto a hub of urban and administrative development.

Architecture also became a big thing in 17th century Porto, with the flourishing of the Baroque style, the best exponent of which was the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni (1725-1773 ). Another important change was the urban reform carried out by João de Almada e Melo (1757-1786) and the Neo-classic buildings influenced by the English colony in the city. These buildings are still standing and can be seen all around the city.

Are you ready to roam the streets of Porto? Keep reading to learn more about travel costs in this magical city.

How much will I pay to get to Porto?

Are you dreaming of visiting Porto’s beautiful little streets?

porto
If you want to visit Porto, you first have to get there. (Source: Miguel A Ferreira- Pexels)

Keep in mind that the city on the Douro river is now far more accessible. The arrival of budget airlines has helped tourism in the north of Portugal. Thanks to Ryanair, Vueling, and EasyJet, almost anyone can visit Porto when traveling from different parts of Europe. Of course, the cost of getting to Porto will vary depending on the time of year. You can pay as little as $350 USD for return flights between JFK and Lisbon and then find a budget flight to get directly to Porto for around $50 USD.

This of course depends on the time of the year when you want to visit. If you want to travel during summer, chances are the tickets will be a bit more expensive than usual. On the other hand, you can find very reasonable prices during September, October and November for example.

The reasons these prices climb so much is due to Porto’s proximity to the sea. You should probably try to plan well in advance to pay as little as you can. Keep in mind that if you can also get buses throughout the year across Europe but this does mean that you’ll have to endure several days on buses. Overall, flights are generally cheaper and quicker than any other type of transportation.

How you want to travel and when to go is up to you.

How much will I pay for acommodation?

Accommodation isn’t particularly expensive and you just need to pick the right hotel for the right price. Like any other city, different areas have different amenities and some are more expensive than others.

Porto’s old town is where you’ll probably find the most expensive accommodation. For example, a 2-star hotel could cost you somewhere around $70 USD a night or $20 USD per night for a bed in a youth hostel. You can also find Airbnbs for around $100 USD a night. As you can see, visiting Portugal isn’t necessarily cheap.

Still, we don't want you to be discouraged. There are sometimes some really good deals on accommodation or you could even opt to CouchSurf and you won’t need to pay anything!

So what is CouchSurfing?

CouchSurfing is staying at a stranger’s house for free. Put simply, you don’t pay anything and you can stay at a local’s home.

This is a good way to speak with locals, learn more about the culture, and find out about great places to go.

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June
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5 (8 reviews)
June
$25
/h
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Erika
5
5 (14 reviews)
Erika
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/h
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1st lesson free!
Glaucia rocha
5
5 (7 reviews)
Glaucia rocha
$24
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Juliana
5
5 (6 reviews)
Juliana
$21
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Elisabete
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5 (4 reviews)
Elisabete
$30
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Giulia
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Giulia
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Eman
5
5 (11 reviews)
Eman
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Wilson
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5 (7 reviews)
Wilson
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Budget for eating and drinking in Porto

Eating in Porto might end up being a significant part of your budget. That said, the cost of food in Portugal is a one of the least expensive in Western Europe.

Whether you’re picking up a coffee, a bottle of water, or a 3-course meal, you can get it all on a budget in Porto!

Porto’s a great place to get pasteis de nata and a nice Port for very little. Port wine is from Porto and, unsurprisingly, wine production is thriving in the city, with winemakers offering wine tastings and tours of their cellars.

After you’ve eaten, you can then start visiting the city!

Tourist attractions: how much will they cost?

There’s so much to see and do in Portugal and Porto, in particular. This city is a goldmine for lovers of unusual monuments and activities by the Atlantic Ocean.

people walking in porto
Some things you need to pay to visit whereas some great sights are free. (Source: Magda Ehlers- Pexels)

Once again, unlike cities in the UK, Porto is quite cheap and there are many attractions you can visit for free. Here are some of Porto’s tourist attractions and how much it costs to visit them:

  • Lello Bookstore: €5 ($6 USD)
  • Stock Exchange Building: €8 ($10 USD) (adult) and €4.50 ($5.50 USD) (child)
  • Porto Cathedral: €3 ($3.60 USD)
  • Clérigos Tower: €5 ($6 USD)
  • Casa do Infante: €2.20 ($2.60 USD)
  • Serralves Foundation: €10 ($12 USD)

The Centro Portugues de Fotografia, Church of Santa Clara, Dom Luís I Bridge, and the Palácio de Cristal are all free! You can visit Porto and its attractions very cheaply.

Public transportation in Porto

The Portuense (the locals) have a great public transport system but walking is still often the best way to discover the city.

Basic Public Transport

You can travel around Porto using the city’s public transport. The system might seem quite complicated for those visiting the city, but it works in two ways.

The Andante Card is a card you can buy for €0.60 ($.70 USD) and you can put credit on it with journeys costing €1.20 ($1.40 USD). This also includes trips on the bus or metro. You can also get the tram, which is an enjoyable way to get around the city. A ticket on the tram costs €3 ($3.60 USD) or €4 ($4.90 USD) with entry to the Porto Tram Museum. Finally, if you’ve got money to spare, you can travel around the city by taxi for between €4 ($4.90 USD) and €6 ($7.30 USD), with trips to the airport costing around €20 ($25 USD).

Tourist Transport

Since you’re visiting the city as a tourist, you might want to enjoy the city by traveling around in transportation designed with tourists in mind. There are companies like Yellow Bus and City Sightseeing offering guided tours around the city. This is a good way to enjoy a short stay in the city and still get to see everything with trips starting at €15 ($18 USD). You can also get a boat trip from Porto Tours along the River Douro for around a tenner!

Finally, you can also get the funicular railway between Batalha and Ribeira for a great view of the Douro and the Dom Luís I Bridge. This costs €2.50 ($3 USD) for a 10-minute trip.

The Porto Card

Are you familiar with the Porto Card?

This is a pass you can get when visiting Porto that gets you discounts on public transport.

This costs €6 ($7 USD) for a day, €10 ($12 USD) for two, €13 ($16 USD) for three, and €15 ($18 USD) for four. The Porto Card also offers a 10% discount at certain shops, restaurants, and tourist attractions like:

  • Clérigos Tower
  • The Archaeology Museum
  • The Quinta da Macieirinha romantic museum
  • The Serralves Foundation
  • The Military Museum
  • And many others!

You can get them in Tourism Offices or directly at the airport!

As you’ll have understood, Porto is a town you can quickly fall in love with. What’s even better, is that it’s cheaper than other destinations in Europe like England, for example.

This could be a good time to start learning Portuguese, couldn’t it?

Before you go to the largest city in northern Portugal and enjoy all the heritage sites, Roman ruins, and Portuguese cuisine, you might want to get in touch with a tutor to help you learn the language!

Fortunately for you, there are plenty of talented Portuguese tutors on Superprof!. There are three types of tutorial available, each with its advantages and disadvantages: group tutorials, online tutorials, and face-to-face tutorials.

Group tutorials are great for those on a budget as you can share the cost of the tutor's time with the other students in attendance. However, you will get less one-on-one time with your tutor and receive more generalised tuition. It could be useful if you're going to Porto with a group of friends, though.

Similarly, online tutorials are good if you're on a budget as the tutor doesn't have to travel and can, therefore, charge less per hour. If you both have a webcam and a decent internet connection, you can get Portuguese tutorials from anywhere in the world. Your tutor might even be from Porto.

Finally, face-to-face tutorials are between you and the tutor. This is the most costly type of tutorial but it's also the most cost-effective. With these tutorials, you can get bespoke Portuguese lessons and learn exactly what you need to know.

porto
You need to think about how much it'll cost you to get around the city, too! (Source: Schmid-Magda Ehlers- Pexels)

Budgeting tips for your trip to Porto

After reading a bit about the exciting history of Porto and figuring out how much things cost, you are probably in the next stage of your trip: planning your budget. While there are a lot of different budgeting strategies and some of the tips we give you might not apply to your specific budget/taste, the following list is meant as a guide to help you plan your stay in Porto all while making the most out of the money you want to spend and the experiences you want to have.

  1. Plan ahead: while doing a spontaneous trip is great, you probably need time and money to spare to make it a reality. This is why our first advice is to plan your trip with sufficient amount of time in order to make the most out of the money that you want to spend. This doesn't mean that you have to create a tight, hour-by-hour itinerary, but you should at least have an idea of how long you’ll be spending in each city or country. This way, it will be easier to start booking, looking at experiences and of course, leave a little room for adventure. Planning your trip means that you will have less unexpected spends, since last-minute flights and accommodation are often far more expensive.
  2. Travel out of season: the school and summer holidays makes prices skyrocket in the travel industry since come families can only travel during this time. To avoid this, our advice is to do some research on the best months to visit Porto and check what the prices look like. Weather could be an issue but in a city like Porto you could probably go in the spring to avoid the hot summer weather or even fall, to get a different feel of the city. This is called the ‘shoulder season’, when hotels and airlines lower their prices to attract customers during this time.
  3. Research your accommodation: depending on your age and comfort requirements, you can find all sorts of accommodation in Porto. Dorm rooms in hostels are a great option if you are into the backpacking vibe and it might even help you make some international friends while you travel. As we previously stated, AirBnB could also be a great option with a wide range of prices and accommodations for you to pick from. Finally, if you are feeling more adventurous and want to save a bit more money, consider Couchsurfing! And, if you are lucky enough to know someone who lives in Porto, you can always ask them to let you crash in their couch and get a free stay.
  4. Be smart when packing your bags: following this tip will help you make sure that you have everything you need on your trip. Some basic items to always have with you (and that will be lifesavers) are a good pair of jeans, a jacket or hoodie to keep you warm and walking shoes (you might want to skip the stilettos this time!). Make sure you check the weather for the days that you will be in Porto. Even though the city tends to have temperate weather, they to get warm summers and rainy winters, so it's best to know in advance!
  5. Book flights in advance: this is no rocket science but something that any savvy traveller should know: the closer you get to the departure date, the more expensive your tickets will be. Make sure to book as early as possible to get the best rates.
  6. Fly smart: you can check flight comparison tables to see which days are cheaper. For example, a flight to Porto might be $200 USD more expensive if you fly on a weekend than if you fly on a Tuesday or Wednesday. Also, even though it's a long flight, flying economy will allow you to save some money that you can later spend on food or accommodation. And, if you can, travel light! Avoid paying for extra luggage if possible.
  7. Enjoy yourself: Live in the moment and enjoy yourself! Trips like this one are meant to be an experience so eat the food, pay for the tickets, meet the people and just make the most out of your stay in Porto.
  8. Speak the local language: speaking Portuguese (or at least knowing some expressions) will help you get around easier. It can also help you save money on things and avoid falling into tourist traps!

That said, we have the perfect way for you to work on your Portuguese skills before your trip to Porto...

porto
Is Portugal expensive to visit?

Learn Portuguese before your trip with Superprof

Are you ready to visit Porto? Do you have your budget planned and your bags ready and packed? Well then, the next logical step could be to learn a little bit of Portuguese before heading to your dream destination.

When traveling, it is always useful to know the local language. Getting around, ordering food, understanding the culture... Speaking a little bit of Portuguese will make your experience way more interesting.

The idea might be daunting, but Superprof is here to help you. We have a network of certified tutors who are ready to share their knowledge with you. The best thing? They are only a couple of clicks away! All you need to do is access our platform, search for the subject you want help with and find the available teachers.

But before you head to our search bar, we encourage you to set some objectives to make sure you connect with the best possible tutor for you. The following questions might help you understand the type of Portuguese teacher you need:

  • Do you have any previous knowledge of Portuguese?
  • Do you want to get to a certain level (A1, B1, etc)?
  • Do you want to get certified or pass a test?
  • Do you want to learn just the basics to travel?
  • How much are you willing to pay for Portuguese classes?
  • How much time will you devote to your classes?

Once you have the answers to these questions, you will have a better idea of the type of tutor that you need. Our tutors have very distinct profiles, from natives who will teach you day do day expressions and a more coloquial language to those who have a more pedagogic approach to languages. It is up to you to decide the type of tutor that you want to work with!

Looking at other students' reviews is a good way to have an idea of the teacher's approach and will definitely help you make the best decision. Also, before booking a set of classes, we encourage you to look at their Superprof profile and evaluate their competencies, teaching experience, diplomas and anything else you might consider relevant.

You could also ask for a first session or class to get to know each other and figure out if you are aligned when it comes to objectives and learning methods. This first session is usually free, since it is an interview of sorts where you both can get to know each other.

Another great possibility for learning Portuguese is distance or online learning. Nowadays, platforms like Zoom allow students and teachers to connect through screens in real time, no matter what corner of the world they happen to be in. You can take advantage of this and connect with a teacher who isn't necessarily close to where you live. You could even connect with a native tutor and learn more than just the language, you can also ask for cultural tips and some ideas for your trip! Best of both worlds.

What are you waiting for? Find your Portuguese tutor and start planning your dream trip to the city of Porto.

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