Is Porto Expensive to Visit?

Polina
Polina

A sommelier and a wine tour guide. I travel all around Portugal collecting the best wineries to visit, best places to stay and eat.

I organize wine tours in the Douro Valley.

From my experience, Porto is definitely less expensive than Lisbon and other Western European cities like London, Paris and Rome.

Well, it depends.  When talking about rentals or prices at top gastronomic restaurants, Porto may be pricey.  However, the city is very diverse and offers its visitors a wide range of price levels for pretty much everything.

You can explore Porto in class or on a budget.  The key to saving money in Porto is acting like a local and knowing a few little tricks.

Porto Card is one of the ways to save on transport, museums and some other venues.

Transport

Transportation is very affordable in Porto.  Both metro and bus are accessible in many areas of Porto including the airport.

Transportation from the airport to the city center is available for approximately 2.50 euros by metro and 13-15 euros by Uber or Bolt.  Shared airport transfers to the city centre are available at 11.99 per person.

Private transfers from the airport are a bit more expensive at 24 euros for up to 4 people, but make a lot of sense when travelling in a group. 

Moving around within the city of Porto by metro or bus will cost you around 1.30 euro per ride including transfers during one hour and 3-5 euros per ride on Uber within the central zone.  When on the metro or bus, tap your card on again when you change a line.

Day trips by train from Porto to Giumaraes, Braga or Aveiro are also affordable under 4 euros one way.

If you travel to the Douro Valley by train, it would be approximately 12 euros one way.  Here is all you need to know about the Douro trip by train and my suggested itineraries will help to make it happen.

Meals

Porto boasts a variety of gastronomic restaurants, including several Michelin-starred establishments offering a range of prices at the higher end of the spectrum.

There are many excellent restaurants in Porto offering gastronomic meals at around 50 euros per person for dinner.

Read my version of the Best Restaurants in Porto for some local recommendations. My recent favourites are Alibi and Cantinho do Avillez.

Mid-range Portuguese restaurants typically offer meals at approximately 30 euros per person.  Check out Popina – excellent wines and snacks.

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, enjoying a beer with petiscos, similar to tapas, often costs less than 15 euros.

For even more affordable options, consider lunch at local Portuguese joints. A lunch combo at a local café/pastry shop including a glass of beer or wine, can be found for as little as 9 euros.  There are so many of this kind.  I can recommend Confeitaria Belo Mundo on rua Santa Catarina.

For the most budget-friendly meals, seek out francesinha and cachorro (local hot dog) establishments around Praça dos Poveiros, chain restaurants like Casa Guedes and local grill houses like Pedro dos Frangos.

Wine

Wine prices vary greatly. A glass of basic Portuguese white (“branco”) or red (“tinto”) costs around 2-3 euros around Porto.  You will get a solid glass of house wine from Vinho Verde or Douro.

Something more interesting goes for 5-6 euros: a glass of Douro DOC or a good Dão.  This is generally the price of wine at Porto wine bars.

Higher-end wines at restaurants may be in the 8-9 euro range and up to 25 euros per glass for something special or imported, but this would be an outlier.

Beer

Beer is very inexpensive in Porto.  Go for a local Super Bock craft beer and you will find prices around 1 euro for a “fino”, a 200 ml glass and around 3 euros for a pint.

Coffee

A cup of coffee at a local café or bakery (‘pasteleria’) typically ranges between 0.70 and 1 euro.

Opting for a ‘meia de leite,’ which is coffee with milk, may cost up to 1.50 euros.

If you prefer a flat white or cappuccino in a fancy café like Combi or Fabrica, expect to pay around 3-4 euros. In fact, in my opinion, here is where we find the best coffee in Porto.

In upscale cafés like Magestic on rua Santa Catarina, a coffee can surpass 5 euros per cup.

Looking to save? Head to a local pasteleria for your coffee fix. Venture about 1 km away from the city center to neighborhoods like Bomfim or Cedofeita for an authentic experience and better deals.

Stays

Porto has many hotels, AirBnbs and hostels making the stays quite affordable.

Prices start from 75 euros for a standard room at AirBnb or an older hotel to 250 euros for 4-star hotel room in the center.

Look for areas like Cedofeita or Bomfim for more affordable places within 15-minute walk to the city centre.   Also, consider staying in Vila Nova de Gaia, across the river from Porto.  

In my opinion, these stays will not only save you money, but offer a chance to see local life and not spend money on transportation.  Find more reasons in my article about other reasons to stay on the Gaia side.

 

Tours

Tours are not particularly cheap in Porto, but you get to see some very reasonable prices and some great deals.

Below, I got the examples of the most reasonably prices for top-rated tours:

City tours: this 1 euro Porto city tour has an unbeatable price point

Food tours – these 3 hour food tour and half-day food tour are inexpensive and have the best reviews

Bar crawl:  Discover this Porto bar crawl with unlimited beer for only 18 euros

Douro Valley wine tours with three wine tastings and lunch is only 99 euros.

For the most cost-effective Douro Tour embark on a self-guided journey by train My guide with suggested itineraries may be helpful to plan your day in the Douro Valley.

Overall budget for visiting Porto

Porto is a relatively inexpensive city to visit. Without entertainment, your budget for visiting Porto could be as low as 70 euros per person in a double room.

If you want to cook at your AirBnb, this amount can be even lower.  

Private Douro Valley Wine Tour

Hotels in Pinhão, Douro Valley

 

Best-rated Douro Valley Hotels

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