7 Best Places to Celebrate Valentine’s Day in Porto

Written By Becky Gillespie

Porto is an idyllic destination for Valentine’s Day, truly one of those cities that makes your jaw drop at the first sight of its most beautiful views. The city’s historic charm effortlessly flows through its streets just like the majestic Douro River carving through the center.

Couples stroll along the riverbanks, absorbing the vibrant energy of the Ribeira District. The iconic Dom Luís I Bridge offers breathtaking views, especially at sunset, making it a perfect spot for an unforgettable Valentine’s moment.

Porto is also known for its exquisite cuisine and the range of flavors available in the city continues to grow. Many restaurants offer special themed menus for Valentine’s Day and many of them feature Porto’s eponymous drink, giving that special Portuguese touch to the evening.

Having a meal on the banks of Douro with the Dom Luís I Bridge in sight, the world passing by your table, street performers showcasing their talents, and boats cruising down the channel makes for an unforgettable romantic evening.   

Explore Porto’s rich history with your partner in hand. Walk down the quaint streets of the UNESCO-listed historic center and discover hidden gems on the outskirts of the city such as the Serralves Museum.

While the chances of it being cold and rainy in Porto on Valentine’s Day tend to be high, the beauty of the city is well worth the potential chill in the air. In  Porto, the range of potential activities you can enjoy on Valentine’s Day is truly endless.   

Let’s dive into our 7 best places to celebrate Valentine’s Day in Porto!

1. Have a picnic in the City Park (Parque da Cidade)

Location: Estrada Interior da Circunvalação, 4100-083, Porto, Portugal

Parque da Cidade do Porto is the largest urban park in Portugal, stretching across 205 acres of lush greenery all the way to the picturesque coastline. There are over 74 species of trees and over 6 miles of meandering trails. The park’s design was originally a vision from the 1960s by architect Robert Auzelle and brought to life in the 1990s by Sidónio Pardal.

If your partner enjoys nature and doing something active, this is a great place to start your Valentine’s Day. Grab some pastéis de nata from Manteigaria (Rua dos Clérigos 37) and a nice picnic lunch from the supermarket and head on over to the City Park to go for a long walk along the trails with your partner to find the perfect spot to enjoy your Valentine’s Day lunch.

Finish your City Park adventure at Matasinhos Beach if you really want to go for a long hike. The park ends just south of where this beach begins. 

City Park in Porto, Photo by Ryi Aquir, Flickr

2. Dinner on the Vila Nova de Gaia side of the Douro River

Cross over the iconic Dom Luís I Bridge from the Ribeira side of Porto to the Vila Nova de Gaia side and start your evening with drinks, most famously the city’s eponymous drink that is everywhere on the Vila Nova de Gaia side – port. Many bars and restaurants along the river here serve port from the local port houses including Taylor’s, Cockburn’s, Sandeman, and Cálem.

You can also go on tours of these houses and try a port tasting if you’d prefer to start your Valentine’s Day with a deep dive into the history of the drink that helped put Porto on the map. 

The view of the Douro River, illuminated by the city lights from the Ribeira side, creates quite a romantic ambiance and promises to be a highlight for any couple hoping to enjoy Porto’s most beautiful views. As for restaurants with some of the most beautiful views on the Gaia side of the river, try Dourum (Av. de Diogo Leite 454) or Taberninha do Manel (Av. de Diogo Leite 308).

Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Photo by Jobove-Reus, Flickr

3. Climb the Arrábida Bridge’s arch

Location: Via de Cintura Interna, 4400-492, Porto, Portugal

Climbing the Arrábida Bridge’s arch with Porto Bridge Climb offers a unique opportunity to explore an iconic 20th-century monument in Porto. This Valentine’s Day, take on the challenge of ascending 65 meters above the Douro River. The guided tour, equipped with safety harnesses and handrails, ensures that everyone can experience this memorable climb.

Reaching the summit reveals breathtaking views of Porto and Gaia, showcasing a relaxing spot that has opened to the public for the first time in 53 years. At the base, an exhibition detailing the bridge’s construction and the other five bridges connecting Porto and Gaia invites visitors to learn more about the history of this amazing city. Climbing the bridge together will undoubtedly create a memorable bonding moment for you and your partner.

Please wear sneakers or closed shoes. Flip-flops and high heels are obviously prohibited. Additionally, skirts and dresses are not suitable due to the harness. With the option of Italian and German-speaking guides available upon request, the Porto Bridge Climb is accessible to a diverse group of adventurers. This Valentine’s Day, conquer the Arrábida arch together!

Ponte da Arrábida no Porto, Photo by Armando Brenlha, Unsplash

4. 6 Bridges Port Wine River Cruise with 4 Tastings

Location: Rua da Praia 430, 4400-554, Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

Embark on a romantic journey this Valentine’s Day with a six bridges cruise in Porto. That’s right – 6 bridges! Glide along the Douro River and marvel at Porto’s stunning landscapes and historic bridges. Each bridge has its own story, adding another layer to the history of the city. If you’d like to bring the romance up a level, depending on how close you already are, you can make a game of your cruise and decide to kiss under each bridge!

Enhance the experience with an exclusive wine tasting session. Sample Porto’s celebrated port wine. The combination of a unique cruise passing under 6 bridges and exquisite port wine tasting offers a nice blend of adventure and luxury. This is truly a one-of-a-kind Valentine’s Day experience.

Cruising under the bridge in Porto, Photo by Diogo Oliveira, Unsplash

5. Helicopter Ride in Porto

Location: R. das Gáveas 51, 1200-206, Lisboa, Portugal

Get your wallet ready because this isn’t going to be a cheap Valentine’s Day, but it’s certainly going to be memorable! Experience the thrill of a helicopter flight this Valentine’s Day, soaring over Porto’s impressive landscape. As you hover above, take in panoramic views of the city and the winding Douro River. This unique perspective reveals Porto’s historic heart, its iconic monuments, and its main attractions, all from an extraordinary vantage point.

Glide over the renowned port wine cellars on the Vila Nova de Gaia side. The helicopter tour offers an unparalleled view of the city’s famous bridges arching gracefully over the Douro. Witness the charming blend of old and new, the historic and the modern, down below.

The experience extends to the picturesque coastline. Marvel at the beauty of Foz, the picturesque beaches of Miramar, and the Senhor da Pedra chapel. This 20-minute helicopter tour, accommodating up to three passengers, is an intimate and breathtaking way to celebrate your Valentine’s Day.

Get ready for a helicopter tour, Photo by Greg Wilson, Unsplash

6. Take a trip to the Douro Valley for a wine tour with lunch, tastings, and river cruise

It doesn’t get more romantic than taking a Douro River Cruise in the Douro Valley for Valentine’s Day. The romantic views of terraced vineyards and classic Portuguese architecture climbing the hills create the perfect backdrop for February 14 magic.

Your guided tour of this region includes a wine tour and lunch followed by a short cruise through the Douro Valley. The gentle breeze and sweeping views of the slopes, as you cruise along, create a memorable setting for romance in a place in Portugal where time continues to stand still. This magical experience, combined with the enchanting setting, ensures a romantic and delicious Valentine’s Day.

Cruising in the Douro Valley, Photo by kaysgeog, Flickr

7. A Day in the Douro Valley

A full private tour for Valentine’s Day in the Douro Valley, a UNESCO World Heritage site and the world’s oldest demarcated wine region, promises a day filled with love in the air – whether it’s with the land, your partner, or both. This journey begins in the picturesque city of Amarante, where couples can explore its historic center.

The tour then unfolds into the majestic Douro Valley, known as the ‘stairs of the giants’ due to its terraced vineyards. Here, you’ll have the opportunity to absorb the valley’s serenity and beauty. The patchwork of vineyards, traditional farms, and quaint villages draped along the rolling hills offers a truly romantic ambiance and feels like stepping straight into a postcard.

The day reaches its picturesque peak in Pinhão, home to one of Portugal’s most beautiful train stations. After admiring its unique azulejos (tiles), couples can enjoy a relaxing cruise offering panoramic views of the Douro’s unique landscapes.

The experience is crowned with visits to two renowned wine estates, complete with tastings of the celebrated port wine. If you truly want to make an entire day of it, the Douro Valley offers one of the most romantic settings that Portugal has to offer for Valentine’s Day.

The Douro Valley, Photo by Rach Sam, Unsplash

Final Thoughts

When it comes to Valentine’s Day, Porto truly has it all—from its alluring bridges to its delicious local port wine, its sprawling parks, and beautiful beaches. Every corner, from the serene Douro River to the vibrant local cafes, resonates with love, making Porto an unforgettable destination for those seeking a truly special Valentine’s Day.

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