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If you are looking for a way to save money while visiting Porto, Portugal, consider getting a Porto Card.
This card allows free admission or discounts to many of the city’s best attractions, wineries, restaurants, and transportation.
Built on the hillsides of the Douro River, Porto is famous for its Port wines, charming riverfront, and UNESCO Heritage Historical Center.
Its port wine tastings, inviting cafes, and unique gastronomy offer much for culinary explorers to enjoy.
The tourism board of Porto invited us to discover and taste Porto with their 3-day Porto Card. With the card in hand, we were ready to walk, eat and drink our way through our 72 hours in Porto.
If you are curious about getting discounts and free admission to many Porto attractions, this Porto Card review has all the information you need.
What Is A Porto Card?
The Porto Card is an official city pass that offers benefits and discounts for over 170 attractions and cultural sites in Porto and the region.
Among others, you have access to:
- Free entry to 9 museums
- Free access to public transport (only for the Porto Card with transport included, tramways not included)
- 10% to 50% discounts to 21 other museums and monuments
- 10% to 40% discounts on Port wine cellars, wineries and wine tasting
- 10% to 15% discounts on local restaurants
- 10% to 15% discounts in various Portuguese, traditional gourmet shops and wine stores
- 10% to 25% discounts on tours and cruises
- Complimentary booket and Porto map
We were pleasantly surprised to discover the many benefits of the Porto Card beyond the traditional cultural attractions.
The discounts for wineries, gourmet stores and restaurants, made 72 hours in Porto a delicious experience.
Types of Porto Cards
The costs for the respective Porto cards vary based on length of time and whether you choose the Walker or Transport option.
The Porto Card Walker is less expensive and prices range from €6 to €15. The Porto Card with Transport costs more and prices range from €13 to €33.
The transport option gives you the Porto’s public transport, Andante card, and includes free and unlimited access to the metro and city buses.
Each Porto Card is valid for one person only and is not transferable. Children under the age of 4 years old do not need to get a Porto Card.
The card’s validity starts from the date written on the back of the card or when you pick it up at the tourism office.
With our 3 day Walking Porto Card we chose to focus on the culinary experiences in this very walkable city.
History of Porto and the Wines With The Porto Card
Porto has been at the center of wine commerce since the 18th century, creating the first demarcated wine region in the world.
To better understand the history of Port and experience Port wine tastings, here are a few amazing places worth visiting with your Porto Card.
Instituto Do Vinho or Wine Institute
Start at the Instituto do Vinho which has a small museum with a detailed exhibition about how Port wines are made. This is a great way to start your discovery of Port wines including Douro Valley wines.
After seeing the exhibit, taste unique Port wines. The Porto Card gives you a 25% discount on wine tastings and anything you purchase in the store.
Address: Rua de Ferreira Borges 27, Porto.
Hours: Open Monday to Friday from 9:00 AM – 12 PM and 2:00 PM – 4:30 PM.
Porto Card discount: 25% off on any Port Tasting (between €2 and €6 per tasting)
Palácio Da Bolsa Y Sala De Provas Vinhos De Portugal
After the visit to the formal Instituto do Vinho, head to the Palácio da Bolsa, one of the most visited monuments in northern Portugal.
The historic Palácio da Bolsa serves multiple functions: it’s a museum, restaurant, tasting room and is also used for wine auctions.
Don’t miss the Arab Room, one of the highlights on the visit. Built with Moorish decor of the 19th century, you’ll enjoy the beautifully stained glass and intricate designs. This room was used as a reception hall by the Nobles of the time. Today, this magnificent room is used for official events and dignitaries visiting the city of Porto.
At the end of your visit, taste the wines from the Douro Valley at the Sala de Provas Vinhos de Portugal. The Porto Card offers you a 25% discount on any wine tasting.
Address: Rua de Ferreira Borges, Porto, Portugal
Hours: Everyday from 9:00 am to 6:30 pm, except from November to March 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm to 5:30pm. Guided tours duration: 45 mins
Porto Card discount: 50% off on the €10 entrance fees (approx. $11)
AUTHENTIC FOOD QUEST TIP: Palácio da Bolsa can only be visited on a guided tour. It is a national monument with stunning architecture. We highly recommend visiting this historic building and learning about the origins of Port wines and its rich history.
Top Porto Food Stops with A Porto Card
To taste the local flavors, the Porto card offers the opportunity to save so much money on a selection of restaurants.
While there are several options to choose from, the following are popular spots to taste regional specialties when visiting Porto.
Mercearia Mosaico de Sabores
This traditional grocery store has over 500 craft products that showcase the best of Portugal. In addition to local cheeses, sausages, wines, olive oil and cod, it’s also a great place to pick up gifts for your friends back home.
You can also sample petiscos, Portuguese small bites served with local wines and beers.
Address: Mercearia Mosaico de Sabores, Praça Guilherme Gomes Fernandes ,67, Porto
Hours: Monday – Saturday, 10:00 am – 8:00 pm; Sunday, 2:00 pm – 8:00 pm
Porto Card discount: 15% off any purchase
With its beautiful terrace on the Ribeira right next to the Douro River, this French named restaurant serves local Portuguese food.
You’ll find local specialties like bacalhau a lagareiro (cod with potatoes), sardines, octopus and beef medallions cooked with port wine.
Request a waterfront table and enjoy amazing port wines while taking in the magnificent views. If you plan to have dinner, book a reservation in advance.
Address: Chez Lapin, Rua Canastreios 40-42, Porto
Hours: Open Daily 12:30 pm – 11:00 pm
Porto Card discount: 10% off cash payment or 5% off credit card payment
DOP by Rui Paula
If you are looking for a high end restaurant serving modern Portuguese cuisine, look no further than DOP, by Michelin Starred Chef, Rui Paula.
Located in the historic Palace of Arts building, expect to find a contemporary twist on traditional Portuguese dishes with an emphasis on fish and seafood.
While we didn’t eat at DOP, we recommend taking advantage of their “executive” lunch menu, where you can get three courses for €20.
This offer is available only on weekdays and reservations are highly recommended.
Address: DOP, Largo São Domingos 18, 4050-292, Porto
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 12:30 pm – 3:00 pm and 7:30 pm – 11:00 pm, Closed on Sunday, open for dinner only on Monday
Porto Card discount: 10% off only for lunch
Visit the Port Lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia With The Porto Card
Porto is synonymous with Port wines, and learning about the wines and visiting the port lodges is a must do.
The Porto card offers discounts to several Port lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is right across the Douro River from Porto city.
Following are three Port lodges to visit in Porto. The Porto Card offers access to more Port cellars but unfortunately we didn’t have the time to visit others.
Real Companhia Velha – Oldest Port House
Founded by the King of Portugal and the Prime Minister Marques de Pombal in 1756, this historic port house is worth visiting.
It’s a little off the beaten path, but the intimate tours and tastings makes it worth the visit.
With the Porto Card, your tour and tasting is free. Take advantage, save time and visit this historic port wine cellar.
Address: Real Campanhia Velha, 4431-952, R. Azevedo Magalhães 314, Vila Nova de Gaia
Hours: Tours offered Monday – Friday, 10:00 am – 6:00 pm
Porto Card discount: Free tour and tasting with your Porto Card
Cálem – Easily Accessible Port House
You’ll not miss the huge Cálem sign as you make your way across the Douro River. This popular port house offers organized tours for up to 40 people at a time and in different languages.
Despite the massive operation, Cálem has a wonderful small and interactive museum that shows each step of the Port wine making process.
With the Porto Card you get a 20% off discount on certain tours and products. Take your time at the museum and enjoy the port tastings at the end.
Address: Cálem, Av. Diogo Leite 344, Vila Nova de Gaia
Hours: Tours offered daily: 10:00 am – 7:00 pm
Porto Card discount: 20% off discount from November to March on select visits and products
Espaço Porto Cruz – Interactive Port Experience
For great views overlooking the Douro River, and a sampling of different Port wines paired with cheese or charcuterie, relax at Espaco Porto Cruz.
This multimedia center offers a variety of ways to experience Port wines and the region.
Find a wonderful combination of art and interactive presentations that introduce you to the region. A 360-virtual reality tour of the Douro Valley should not be missed.
The Porto Card gets you 2 for 1 Port based cocktails, which are very popular in Portugal.
Address: Espaço Porto Cruz, Largo Miguel Bombarda 23, Vila Nova de Gaia
Hours: Tuesday – Saturday, 10:00 pm – 11:30 pm, Sunday, 10:00 am – 7:00 pm, Closed on Monday
Porto Card discount: 2 for 1 cocktails
What Else Does the Porto Card Include?
With the Porto Card, we hit a few cultural sites including Casa do Infante Museu, which was used as a custom and mint house.
It is also said to be the birthplace of Prince Henry the Navigator. He’s most famous for his role in building the Portuguese Empire in the 15th century.
While there are other museums with free access, most cultural sites offer 10% to 50% discount with the Porto Card.
Great for music lovers, this music store sells guitars including handmade traditional Portuguese guitars.
Guided walking tours and a sightseeing bus are also available at a discounted price.
One famous stop is at the Livraria Lello, one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal. Besides being one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, it is also where J.K Rowling got inspiration for the Harry Potter series.
If you are a beer enthusiast, you might want to visit the Casa da Cerveja where a 50% off discount is offered on the visit including tastings.
Additional visits and tastings to other wine cellars are also offered at a discount. You can also get discounts for visits to wineries in the Douro Valley.
Keep in mind that the discounts are more significant if you are visiting Porto during the off peak season typically between November and March.
So should you get a Porto Card for your upcoming trip? This Porto card review with pros and cons will help you make an informed decision.
Porto Card Pros
- It can be used at many different kinds of venues including museums, wineries and restaurants, tours and more.
- If you are staying away from the city center and using public transportation for more than one day, the Porto card with transport tickets is the way to go. It’s a better deal than purchasing the Andante card separately.
- You may discover some places to visit that were not on your radar.
- You will save more money with the card if you visit Porto in the off-peak season.
Porto Card Cons
- You should be sure you will use the card enough to make it worthwhile. If you are only in Porto for one day, you may not have enough time to take advantage of the savings.
- If you will not be visiting many of the museums and historical sites, the cost of the card may not add up to enough savings.
Final Verdict: Is the Porto Card Worth It?
The Porto Card is relatively inexpensive and can be used at many kinds of venues including museums, wineries and restaurants, tours and more.
In general, if you are planning to visit several of the museums and historical sites that offer free entries with the card, you will likely save money.
If you combine free visits to the museums with discounted prices at stores, restaurants and wineries, it can be advantageous and you will definitely save a few euros.
From our Porto Card review and all our winery visits, we saved about €16.
The bottom line is you need to do your research. To make the most of the card, we recommend planning your itinerary in advance. Check to see if all the places you want to visit are included in the Porto Card.
That said, 72 hours in Porto with the Porto Card offers plenty of opportunities to taste the best of Porto.
Save on local transport, indulge in Port wines, try local specialties, and learn about the history and culture of this charming city.
Wondering where to buy a Porto Card? You can purchase individual tickets at the tourism office or buy online with the link below.
Where to Stay in Porto
There are many accomodation options in Porto available at different price points. To make the most of your Porto Card during your Porto stay, we recommend the following options below.
You’ll be able to access most activities available with the Porto Card, though the Porto card with transport will give your legs a break.
RELATED: For more options, see our full review of the Best Places to Stay in Porto For Food Lovers
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Disclosure: Our Porto Cards were provided by the Porto Northern Portugal Tourism Board. The opinions expressed in this article are always our own. Full bellies and happy taste buds too.
Claire is a culinary explorer who travels the world in search of the best local foods. She is always looking for her next culinary adventure to bring you the best bites while exploring new places.