Car rental in Porto
Rent a car in Porto

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Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, sits at the mouth of the river Douro. The city centre is packed with history, great restaurants and trendy clubs, and you don't have to drive far out of town to see the vineyards that produce the grapes for the region's famous port. Car rentals in Porto allow you to explore areas difficult to access by public transport and give you the freedom to do things at your own pace.

It's your choice: Where to go in Porto

Porto, a sprawling city of 220,000 inhabitants, has several areas of interest. Renting a car in Porto means you can see the city according to your schedule.
Visit Baixa, one of the most visited areas and known for its pretty yellow houses with terracotta roofs.
Ribeira, the Porto's historic centre, has narrow streets packed with bars, restaurants and cafés.
Further out of town, and easily accessible when you rent a car in Porto, is the picturesque Douro Valley and its many wineries and vineyards to explore.
If you'd prefer to spend your time in Porto on the beach, then the southwestern area of Matosinhos is the obvious choice, boasting miles of sandy beach and dining and shopping options.

Things to do in Porto

Porto offers plenty to see, whether you're interested in sport, culture, history or art. The iconic symbol of the city is 17th-century Clérigos Tower. Climb the 240 steps to the top for the best views over the city and the Douro River.
Stroll along Cais da Ribeira, the city's riverfront promenade, and enjoy a meal overlooking the river and Dom Luís I Bridge. While you're in the area, walk up to São Bento train station, famous for its intricate and typically Portuguese blue-and-white tilework.
Heading out of town, visit the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, Porto's botanic gardens. The gardens are immaculately maintained, and the paths and fountains are the perfect place for relaxation and enjoying city views.
Sports fans will relish the chance to visit the Estádio do Dragão, FC Porto's home grounds.

Important info about Porto

Porto lies on Portugal's east coast, about three hours' drive north of the country's capital, Lisbon. Porto has a rich history – since the Middle Ages, it has been one of Europe's major ports, as evidenced by the impressive merchants' houses and palaces in the older parts of the city. Most visitors stay in one of the many hotels in the Boavista area, to the north of the river. Porto's also the best place to try the fortified wine that bears the city's name, port. The climate in Porto is generally mild, with temperatures rarely dropping into single figures, even in the depths of winter. Porto is a popular base for exploring northern Portugal, as it provides easy access to the Douro Valley, Lisbon and the coast. The city's international airport is just 12km northwest of the city centre. Porto has a vibrant foodie scene, with restaurants serving international cuisine and the local favourite, francesinha, an open sandwich made with sausage, ham and cheese and topped with a fried egg.

Weather in Porto
Facts
Country Portugal
Language Portugese
Currency Euro
Time-Zones WET (Western European Time)
Capital Lisbon

Good to know

Renting a car in Porto is a great way to get around, and Portuguese roads are generally high quality. Like most Western European drivers, Portuguese drivers stick to the right. The speed limit is 120kmph on motorways, 90kmph on rural roads and 50kmph in town. Police can levy on-the-spot fines for speeding and other traffic offences, such as failing to wear a seatbelt or drunk driving, and will often ask to see driving licences and passport, so carry both with you. As many Portuguese motorways are toll roads, keep some euro coins or smaller notes to pay at booths easily. Most rental car companies in Porto require the main driver to be over 25 years old, or charge younger drivers a supplemental fee.

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What to visit around Porto

Pick up a rental car at Porto Airport or in town to enjoy the freedom of being able to explore further afield. 40 minutes' drive northeast of Porto is Braga, an ancient city with a pedestrianised historic centre. Easter celebrations here are famous throughout Portugal, and the city's large student population creates a vibrant and youthful atmosphere. In the Douro Valley, where Portugal's wine industry is based, follow the two well-signposted wine routes to take in the best wineries and scenery. Porto's also far enough north that you can easily venture into Spain to the coastal city of Vigo to enjoy some of Iberia's top seafood and coastal views. History buffs won't want to miss Guimarães, home to a medieval hilltop castle and the palace of the Dukes of Braganca, built in the style of a French chateau. It houses an interesting tapestry and furniture museum.

What to bring to your friends from Porto

Port is the obvious gift to bring home from Porto – there are lots of shops in the Ribeira district selling everything and anything connected with the iconic drink. Cork products are also strongly associated with the Porto area, so look for bags, jewellery, decorations and homewares made from the product. Pottery is made all over Portugal, and makes a colourful and affordable memento of your visit to Porto, with ceramic roosters being particularly popular. Blue and white ceramic tiles, azulejos, are found in most craft shops and feature a variety of traditional patterns and local scenes. Leather goods such as shoes, belts and bags are also good value, as are textiles and embroidered items such as cushion covers or tablecloths.Foodies might want to look for some Portuguese sardines in brightly coloured cans to take home and enjoy as you plan your next trip to the country.