Porto Escape: Best Eats and Sights For Families

It’s finally happened; everyone’s schedules have all lined up and there’s enough money to go on a vacation. That means it’s time for a much-needed family trip! But where to? Everyone’s schedules might be open, but your family members have, let’s say, wildly differing tastes. 

View of Porto:Photo by Tj Holowaychuk on Unsplash

The kids want to go somewhere with games and interactive exhibits. The teens want to shop ‘til they drop and go to a place with breathtaking views. The adults want to eat at a renowned restaurant, while the elders want to go to a place with history and culture. 

Where can you find a place like that? Well, our answer to that question is Porto, Portugal. Porto has sandy beaches, also toddler beaches, awe-inspiring architecture, amazing restaurants, and gorgeous scenery galore. It’s a truly enhancing coastal city that’s extremely popular with visitors all around the world.

Today, we’re sharing some of our favorite places to go and things to do on a family trip to Proto. We’re usually skeptical when someone says that a place has “something for everyone”. But Porto is the real deal! You and your family will be delighted to see just how amazing and expansive this city is. To store those shopping purchases while you look around, use a local luggage storage service and be hands-free.

Vincci Porto

Young or elderly. Tech-savvy or old-fashioned. There’s typically one question on everyone’s mind the moment the plane ride ends. Where are we going to stay during this trip? That’s likely going to be the case with your family as well, especially if you had a hard time finding reasonable hotel rates. 

That’s where Vincci Porto comes in. This 4-star hotel offers great prices and amazing amenities for families of all sizes. This hotel has a terrace, a gourmet bar, babysitter services, and breakfast buffets. It’s also located near a few particularly popular Porto landmarks -- landmarks that we’ll discuss very soon.

Gaia Biological Park

We’re willing to bet that most folks are at least somewhat familiar with Greek Mythology. Zeus, Athena, Mount Olympus, the whole nine yards. Well, Gaia is a figure from Greek Mythology. She’s a Titan to be exact. Heck, to be even more exact, she’s essentially the Greek version of Mother Nature. 

The Gaia Biological Park is dedicated to educating visitors about nature, so we can see why they chose the name. Kids will have a blast learning about plants, animals, and all kinds of scientific facts. Bonus points if you’ve got any Greek Mythology buffs in your family.

A Despensa

Did you know that Porto earned the prestigious title of European Capital of Culture back in 2001? Cities that have earned that award have fantastic art galleries, music halls, and restaurants. A Despensa is the sort of restaurant we’re talking about. 

This establishment offers Italian food, Mediterranean dishes, and items from countries abroad. Most of A Despensa’s regulars would probably recommend their pasta in a heartbeat. We’re inclined to agree, and we’re also big fans of this restaurant’s Tiramisu. 

Gelateria Portuense

You’re never too old or too young for ice cream. Something about Vanilla Sundays and Cookie and Cream Cones just melts all your cares away. Gelateria Portuense is one of the most popular ice cream shops in the city. As their name implies, they specialize in serving gelato. 

However, we definitely don’t want to undervalue the other items on offer. Namely, because there are so many other tasty treats on the menu. Chocolate cakes, strawberry cheesecakes, and a boatload of cookies, just to name a few. This establishment even offers gluten-free and sugar-free options for any members of the family with health concerns. 

Douro river:https://unsplash.com/s/photos/douro-river?utm_source=unsplash&utm_medium=referral&utm_content=creditCopyText

Douro River

When you and your family flew into Porto, you probably noticed a gigantic stream snaking through most of the city. Well, we’ve got some news that might raise your eyebrows. That wasn’t a stream -- it’s the Douro River, an enormous river that flows on for hundreds upon hundreds of miles. 

Do you want exact numbers? Okay, the Douro River is 557 miles long and it reaches from Porto in the middle of Spain. If your family is the sea-faring type, all of you will have plenty of room to go rowing or rafting. But if ye be land lovers, you’ll also find plenty of spaces to go hiking or even camping. 

Matosinhos beach:Photo by Alvaro Polo on Unsplash

Matosinhos Beach

A family trip to Porto wouldn’t be complete without a visit to one of the city’s beaches. This entry was admittedly a bit difficult to complete. After all, Porto’s riviera is full of amazing beaches. 

But we ultimately settled on Matosinhos Beach because there isn’t really anywhere else like it. Matosinhos Beach is one of the widest beaches in the city. It’s also located near iconic landmarks like the Igreja do Bom Jesus de Matosinhos. 

Parque das Virtudes

You don’t have to break the bank to make a memorable family trip. Some of the best activities you can do with your family don’t cost a dime. Some might read those words and immediately feel skeptical. Hey, we totally understand. 

But we also urge you to visit Parque das Virtudes. This park has many amazing attractions that are completely free. Hanging gardens and ancient architecture are just two of the park’s biggest draws. The rest, we encourage you to see for yourself.