Looking for things to do in Porto Portugal? Try our tourist scavenger hunt to walk the city while discovering its churches, palaces and public squares!
It will take you from Porto Sao Bento station to Palacio da Bolsa, through Torre dos Clérigos and many other interesting sites. We offer challenges at every step. Each challenge will tell you where you are going next and a bit of local history and advice.
Porto, located on the Douro River in northern Portugal, is the second largest city in the country after Lisbon, with a metropolitan population of about 2.3 million.
You will see
- Porto Sao Bento Train Station
- Liberty Place
- Torre dos Clérigos
- Carmo Church
- Porto University
- Cordoaria Garden
- Sao Joao Novo Palace
- Bolsa Palace
- Sao Francisco Church
- Garden and statue of the child D. Henrique
- Porto Cathedral
- National Theatre de Sao Joao
- Batalha Place
- And muche more!
We visited in the summer of 2019 and tested the Porto Scavenger Hunt then.
- Starting point: in front of the Sao Bento Train Station, at Almeida Garrett Place, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal
- Distance: 3.1 km / 1.93 mi
- Duration: 3 hours
- Methode: walking
- A fully charged smartphone with a data plan (WiFi is not enough)
- Bottled water
- Local map
People lived here as early as 300 BC. During the Roman occupation, it’s name was Portus Cale, and was already an important commercial port. Its period name, Portus Cale is considered the origin of Portugal, the country’s name.
The city remained important during the Suebian and Visigoth periods in the expansion of Christianity.
In 711, the Moors invaded the Iberian Peninsula including Porto, expanding Islam.
By 868, the Vimara Peres Account established the county of Portugal after the reconquest north of the Douro.
In 1387, it was here that John I married Philippa de Lancaster, symbolizing and initiating a strong alliance between Portugal and England. It is the oldest documented alliance by the Treaty of Windsor.
Between the 14th and 15th centuries, Porto contributed greatly in shipbuilding for the age of discovery where Portuguese explorers sailed the west coast of Africa, India, and South America.
In the 18th century, the export of Port wines was already significant. The Marquis de Pombal, prime minister in 1717, established a Portuguese company to manage the quality and quantity of wines from this region. It is the first wine-appellation region in Europe.
In 1809 Napoleonic forces invaded Porto. A large section of the population attempted to flee through the Ponte das Barcas, a pontoon bridge. The bridge crumbled under the weight and many perished. Duke of Wellington’s English army drove out the French from Porto.
A liberal revolution began here in 1820 that led to the adoption of a constitution in 1822. In 1828, new king Miguel I rejected the constitution and provoked a civil war until 1834.
Porto is often called the city of bridges. After the Ponte das Barcas, a first steel bridge for railways opened in 1843, designed by Gustave Eiffel.
The revolt against the monarchy initiated here in 1891. It was not until 1910 that the monarchy was replaced by the first republic.