Porto for backpackers

Those who travel to various destinations, with “their home on their backs”, as we say, normally have a hard-earned budget and have little margin for big spending. Porto is a backpacker-friendly city because it is an economical and a very interesting destination.

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA

Associação de Turismo do Porto CC BY-NC-SA


At the moment, the city has more than 15 connections to European cities operated by low cost airlines and is a destination where there is plenty of affordable accommodation, where you can eat and drink without spending a lot and visit the city's main cultural institutions for free.

Why go

  • Accommodation is economical
  • You can have lunch or dinner and a drink without spending too much money
  • There are many museums with free entry

Free entry

Casa da Música usually has free shows at weekends, during the day. Find out more at the ticket office. Also, in the summer, the first building built in Portugal dedicated exclusively to music offers various shows with free entry.

In the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, the most important in Porto and one of the best in the country, entry is free on Sundays before 1:00pm, and there are other museums with free entry.

In the Portuguese Centre for Photography, in the former Prison, in the heart of the city centre, entry is always free. The Soares dos Reis National Museum, next to the Hospital of Santo António, is the countrys first public museum and entry is free on Sundays and public holidays before 2:00pm. In this museum, do not miss the collection of sculptures and paintings from the 19th century and the first half of the 20th century.

Finally, the Port Wine Museum, where you can learn about the history of the nectar produced in the Douro Wine Region, has free admission on Saturdays from 10am to 12:30pm and 2pm to 5:30pm, and on Sundays from 2pm to 5:30pm.

You will like

  • The informal and welcoming spirit with which the new accommodation welcomes visitors
  • The simultaneous openings at the Rua Miguel Bombarda

Every two months, there are simultaneous openings in Rua Miguel Bombarda and adjacent arteries. The event, which brings a lot of people to the so-called block of the arts, is an opportunity to see paintings, installations, sculptures and other arts for free in the many art galleries in the neighbourhood.

Among the best in the world

In the last five years, Porto has seen an increase from one to 26 hostels. In addition to being affordable and having an informal spirit which goes with the profile of many of the visitors who come to the city, this accommodation has a care for design and organises walks, parties, theme nights and other activities.

There are thematic projects, depicting the cinema - the city hosts Fantasporto, an international festival of fantastic film that takes place in February / March or specialised projects where people visit Porto to practise surfing and other water sports, plus some smaller and other larger projects, most of which are central.

What you need to know

  • The Andante Tour was created with those who visit Porto in mind: the Andante Tour 1 is valid for 24 consecutive hours after the first validation; the Andante Tour 3 is valid for 72 consecutive hours after the first validation.
  • At the Trindade Metro station, there are lockers where you can leave your luggage for a maximum period of 36 hours. The luggage storage is available from 6am to 1:30am and prices vary depending on the size of your bag.
  • Expect an average cost of 15 Euros per person/night in the hostels in Porto

In 2012, Porto saw three of its hostels enter the Hoscars Top 10, awarded by the site Hostelworld.com, a reference in the area, reserved for smaller projects (with a maximum of 50 beds).

One of these hostels also stood out for being the cleanest hostel in the world voted by site users.

Eating and drinking

At lunch, there are several places where you can eat, well, for 5 Euros. Just follow the executives and other inhabitants of Porto during their lunch break or ask for restaurants with daily menus.

At dinner, and although the service is a la carte in most establishments, it is not difficult to eat for 15 Euros per person. The wines, even in restaurants, are not expensive, and without spending too much, you can try a good Douro wine or Vinho Verde.

What to do

  • Do not miss a trip to Vandoma Fair, which takes place every Saturday morning in Fontainhas and where you can find second-hand goods
  • If by chance you sleep in 'til late, go to Porto Belo Market, held at Praça Carlos Alberto, on Saturdays from 12noon to 7pm

In downtown Porto, particularly in the area of the rectory of the University of Porto and the centenary Café Âncora dOuro - better known as Piolho - there are several cafes and bars that serve drinks at student-affordable prices, as the area of Praça Parada Leitão and Campo dos Mártires da Liberdade is a hangout for students, Portuguese and foreign participants in exchange programmes.

In the same area, you can dance in most bars with a dance floor without paying to get in or to drink.

How to get there

For Porto, there are low cost flights, for example, from London (Stansted and Gatwick), Paris (Beauvais, Orly, Vatry and Charles de Gaulle), Marseille, Lille, Tours, St. Etienne, Bologna, Bordeaux, Lyon, Toulouse, Madrid, Barcelona El Prat, Tenerife, Valencia and Palma de Majorca.

Summer only, there are low cost airlines flying from Liverpool, Las Palmas, Carcassonne, Rodez and Nantes.

With regular tariffs, there are flights from London Gatwick, Madrid, Barcelona and Paris Orly.

From The Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport, the best way to get to the centre of the city of Porto is by Metro. The trip will take approximately 30 minutes.

Be inspired

Choose your journey, find new places, have some fun and create memories for a lifetime.

Find out more

Related articles

North coast: water sports, cared for landscape and the flavour of the sea

Find out more

June is a good month to visit Porto

Find out more

The arts block: Miguel Bombarda and neighbouring areas

Find out more