The best independent guide to Porto
The best independent guide to Porto
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Porto is one of the least expensive cities in western Europe, and when compared to other city break destinations, Porto provides exceptional value for money.
The cost of accommodation in Porto is similar priced as with cities in Spain, Italy and France, but the real value of Porto is discovered when, eating out, catching public transport, or sightseeing.
Generally, a mid-range tourist should expect to spend €92 per day while in Porto. This value does not include accommodation (around €70-150 per room per night), flights or expensive tours.
Porto is a fantastic destination for a three-day city break, (a suggested route would explore Porto for two days and visit Guimarães as a day trip). The suggested spending money for this three-day trip is around €278, and a breakdown of these costs is provided at the end of this article.
If you are a budget traveller, you can get by in Porto for €55 per day (€25 spending money and €30 for a decent hostel), but costs will significantly increase if you want to experience any nightlife…
This article will provide details of typical costs for a Porto holiday and tips to maximise your budget.
Related articles: Introduction to Porto – 3 days in Porto – Where to stay in Porto?
Note: All prices in this article are given in Euros (the currency of Portugal), and the average conversion rate for 2021 was approximately €1 to $0.83 and €1 to £1.15.
The following charts provide an estimated budget per person for your holiday to Porto.
• A taxi transfer from the airport to central Porto, including the luggage surcharge - €12-€15.
• A metro ticket from the airport to central Porto €1.60
• A ride on the historic tram (Linha 1 or to the Foz district) €3.50
• Train from Porto to Guimarães (the best day trip from Porto) - €3.25/€6.50 (single/return)
Related articles: Travel from Porto airport – Porto tram guide
Meals and food
• An evening meal (3 courses) in an upscale restaurant, with a glass of wine or beer €32 - €41
• An evening meal (2 courses) in a tourist restaurant, with a glass of wine or beer €17 - €28.
• An evening meal (2 courses) in a Tasca (a cheap no-frills café-restaurant found throughout Portugal), with a glass of wine or beer €12 - €18
• A lunchtime meal in a Tasca (referred to as a “Prato do Dia”) including a soup and coffee €6-8
• Expected tip in restaurants and cafes when food is purchased - 10% of the total bill
• A decent meal in a shopping centre food court €6-9 (no tip needed)
• A breakfast of a super-strong espresso (€0.65) and a passtry (€1.20)
• A bottle of house wine or an imperial sized beer (20cl); €16 and €3 (in a tourist bar), in €8 and €1.50 (in a Tasca or café), or €4 and €1 (from Pingo Doce supermarket).
Note: Food costs can vary dramatically from visitor to visitors – the above prices are all typical estimates.
Tourist activities and entrance fees
• 1-hour boat cruise along Douro River €15
• Tour of Sandeman Port cellars and tasting of two ports €14
• Tour of Ferreira Port cellars and tasting of two ports €14
• Torre dos Clérigos admission fee €6
• Vila Nova de Gaia Cable Car €6
• A 3-hour free walking tour (€10 suggested tip)
• A 60-minute tuk-tuk tour of Porto for up to three people €55-€70 (plus tip)
• A 72-hour hop-on-hop-off bus ticket €36
• A full-day tour of Braga and Guimarães €60
Insight: Porto is a very walkable city and much of the first day of sightseeing will be almost free.
Note: Medicines tend to be very expensive in Portugal, its best to bring extra from your home country.
Warning: Always have travel insurance, as emergency and hospital cost are very expensive in Portugal.
The average cost of a hotel room in Porto for 2019 (pre-Covid) was €93, which placed Porto at the lower end of a price scale of major tourist cities:
Paris €186 - Sydney €186 - London €163 - Berlin €103 - Rome €117 - Madrid €105 - Lisbon €95 - Bangkok €64.00
Note: These are the average prices over the entire year, prices will be high in the peak months (June-September for Porto)
The cost of accommodation will always increase closer to the date of travel, and it is always best to reserve accommodation as early as possible. It is also recommended to book a place which has no deposit, so that you can easily change your plans.
Our opinion: If you are seriously considering a trip to Porto, book your accommodation now, to secure the lowest price. The flexibility of “no deposit” enables you to continue browsing up until your trip, but provides the security of the initial inexpensive room.
The map below displays the current prices for hotels and accommodation in Porto. If you adjust it to your dates of travel, it will display the latest availability and prices.
A meal in the popular tourist districts or with a waiter outside, will always be much more expensive than in a restaurant down a side street. Always look at a menu before sitting down and try to assess the standard of food that other patrons are eating.
A great way to reduce meal costs is to have your main meal at lunchtime, as many restaurants and cafes offer fixed-price menus, called the Prato do Dia (menu of the day). These Prato do Dia often include a soup, main meal, desert, drink and coffee for around €8.
Accommodation should be booked well in advance, as the best locations sell out, and last-minute deals are very rare. Porto is a year-round holiday and city-break destination, and during the peak season, demand for accommodation outstrips supply.
Unfortunately, a solo visitor will encounter much higher accommodation costs, as most hotels have single rooms, but these are rarely at half the price of a double room.
Always book flights as far in advance as possible, something that is especially true for the low-cost airlines, whose prices increase closer to the departure date.
We suggested a spending money budget of €278 (per person) for a three day stay in Porto. This is for two days in Porto and a day trip (independently taken) to Guimarães.
The following is our suggested cost break down for the trip, and reflects that of a mid-price tourist. The cost will quickly escalate if you wish to enter every tourist attraction, eat at the finest restaurants or party the night away. The cost breakdown is: