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6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

Porto is one of the most popular destinations in Europe and we will tell you the tourist traps to avoid in Porto for your next trip.

Porto, Portugal’s northern gem, is renowned for its charming streets, Douro river views, and port wine. Like many popular destinations, however, it has its share of tourist traps. Here are some key tourist traps to avoid in Porto and tips on how to sidestep them to ensure a more authentic experience.

What Is The Best Way From Porto Airport To City Center?

The best way from Porto airport to city center is by shared transfer for €10 you can book online and 20 minutes.

Read here Is Porto worth visiting?, best sim card Porto Airport and Portugal sim card for tourist


There are cheap hotels available for you at a starting price of €30. Luxurious hotels in another option for your accommodation in Portugal, the price can range from €90-up.



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Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto

1. Overpriced Restaurants in Ribeira

6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

What to Avoid: The Ribeira district, while picturesque, is lined with restaurants that can be overpriced and cater predominantly to tourists, offering subpar versions of Portuguese dishes at premium prices.

How to Avoid: Walk a few blocks away from the river to find better-priced restaurants with more authentic and higher quality meals. Try dining where the locals eat, such as in the less touristy neighborhoods like Bonfim or Boavista.

2. Touristy Port Wine Cellars

6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

What to Avoid: Some of the most famous port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia can feel commercialized and crowded, with rushed tastings and a lack of depth in the experience.

How to Avoid: Opt for smaller, lesser-known wine cellars where you can enjoy more personalized tours and tastings. Look for places that allow you to book in advance and check online reviews for recommendations on the best experiences.

3. Street Sellers and Low-Quality Souvenirs

What to Avoid: The streets of central Porto, especially around popular tourist spots like São Bento Station and Clérigos Tower, often have street vendors selling low-quality souvenirs that are not locally made.

How to Avoid: For authentic local products, visit local markets such as Mercado do Bolhão or shops in the Cedofeita neighborhood. These locations offer a range of high-quality and locally crafted items.

4. Cliché Fado Shows

6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

What to Avoid: Some Fado performances are marketed heavily towards tourists, especially in high-traffic areas, and can lack the authenticity and intimacy that true Fado is known for.

How to Avoid: Seek out smaller, intimate venues that are well-reviewed for authentic Fado shows. Ask locals or your accommodation hosts for where to experience genuine Portuguese Fado.

5. Expensive Tram Rides

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What to Avoid: The iconic tram 28 route in Porto is a well-known tourist magnet. It can be overcrowded and pickpockets are known to target tourists.

How to Avoid: If you wish to experience a tram ride in Porto, try less popular routes or travel during off-peak hours. Always keep an eye on your belongings.

6. High-Priced Guided Tours

What to Avoid: Some guided tours can be overpriced, offering little value for the cost, especially those sold on the spot in busy areas.

How to Avoid: Research and book tours in advance through reputable providers. Online platforms can offer reviews and ratings that help you choose a tour that provides a good balance of information and value.

General Tips For Porto

Eat Like a Local

Enjoy meals at local tascas (taverns) where menus are often written in Portuguese and offer a more authentic dining experience at reasonable prices.

Use Public Transportation

Porto’s public transportation network is extensive and cost-effective. Use it to explore different parts of the city comfortably and affordably.

Learn Basic Portuguese Phrases

Knowing basic greetings and phrases can enhance your interaction with locals and enrich your travel experience in Porto.

How To Avoid Tourist Traps in Porto

1. Dine Away from Main Tourist Areas

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Restaurants in highly touristic areas like Ribeira and around popular landmarks can be overpriced and might not offer the most authentic experience.

Venture into less touristy neighborhoods like Cedofeita, Bonfim, or Baixa where locals dine. These areas often feature better quality food at more reasonable prices.

2. Choose Authentic Port Wine Cellars

Some of the very popular wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia can be crowded and commercialized, offering less personal experiences.

Opt for smaller wine cellars that provide more intimate and detailed tours. Booking in advance can also help you avoid large tour groups and ensure a more personalized visit.

3. Be Cautious with Street Vendors

6 Tourist Traps to Avoid in Porto Portugal And How to Avoid Them

Street vendors around major tourist spots often sell overpriced or non-authentic souvenirs.

For authentic local products, visit markets like Mercado do Bolhão or shops that specialize in locally made goods. These places offer genuine Portuguese products and often at better prices.

4. Skip Overpriced Guided Tours

Some guided tours are heavily marketed towards tourists and can be overpriced for the value they provide.

Research and book tours with reputable companies or check online platforms for reviews before booking. Consider free walking tours as an alternative—they’re often led by knowledgeable locals, and you can tip based on your satisfaction with the tour.

5. Avoid Cliché Fado Shows

Touristy Fado shows in central areas can sometimes lack authenticity.

Look for Fado performances in local restaurants or bars known for their cultural value. Ask locals or your accommodation hosts for recommendations on where to experience genuine Fado.

6. Use Public Transportation Wisely

Relying solely on taxis or hop-on-hop-off buses can be expensive.

Porto has an excellent public transportation system, including buses, trams, and metro. It’s cost-effective and allows you to explore the city like a local.

7. Learn Local Dining Customs

Eating at typical tourist meal times. Restaurants catering to tourists may open earlier but you’ll miss out on the local dining atmosphere.

Embrace the local dining schedule—lunch around 1-3 PM and dinner from 8 PM onwards. This is when the best authentic restaurants open and are bustling with locals.

8. Shop at Local Markets

Buying groceries or snacks from souvenir shops or mini-markets directly in tourist-heavy areas.

Visit local markets or grocery stores a bit removed from the main tourist paths. Not only are prices better, but you’ll also get a slice of local life.

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