Porto or Lisbon? Which destination is right for you?

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Lluís Enric Mayans


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How not to hesitate when you know that on one side there is the city of Porto, famous for its imposing structures, its wine cellars and its historic center, and that on the other side there is Lisbon, the capital of Portugal with its charms and beautiful beaches?

Porto VS Lisbon: the comparison criteria

It is obvious that to designate the ideal destination, it is better to establish selection criteria, which can be based on the tourist assets of each city, including the climate, the cost of living or the types of activities available. You can then choose the destination that best meets your expectations.

Porto, a coastal city located in the north-west of Portugal, known for its bridges, its wines and its cultural richness, including the medieval district of Ribeira, is a popular destination for lovers of urban getaways.

Lisbon, which is both the capital and the largest city in the country, is a must-see destination. In fact, in addition to its cultural attractions, it has other assets that are sure to attract lovers of seaside holidays and superb sandy beaches.

Which city to choose according to the climate and the weather?

In order to designate the most climate-friendly city, it was necessary to take into account the climatic conditions which offer the greatest number of bright and pleasant days for an urban getaway.

Best weather forecast: Lisbon

Favored by its geographical location, the city of Lisbon, which is located further south, enjoys superb climatic conditions throughout the year. Winters are particularly mild, while in summer the comfortable heat enhances the beautiful sunny and bright days. The city of Porto also enjoys magnificent climatic conditions, but in winter it is rainier than Lisbon. Which makes her a little less attractive.


When to go to Porto? (depending on the climate, attendance and prices)

Which city to choose according to the price of plane tickets?

In order to find the preferred destination according to the price of plane tickets, our analysis is based on the cheapest price during the low and high tourist season.

The cheapest round trip average price: Porto and Lisbon

For two to five euros of difference sometimes to the advantage of Porto, sometimes to the advantage of Lisbon, it is clear that these two destinations are tied, question price of plane tickets. Indeed, if the flight to Porto is cheaper during the high season, the one to Lisbon is advantageous the rest of the year, except during the summer.

The destination to choose according to your budget

By taking into account the costs of living during the stay, it is possible to determine which city is the most accessible with a reasonable travel budget.

The cheapest city: Porto

While the difference in costs is smaller for a two- or three-day getaway, it becomes larger for a one or two week stay. By adding the expenses for accommodation, food, transport and activities: a stay in the city of Porto is less expensive than a stay in Lisbon. So, if you have a limited budget, you should focus on the city of Porto, which also offers many interesting activities.

Quality of life: health, safety, pollution

To find the destination where it is good to live, you have to take an interest in health and safety issues. Which city should be favored in terms of well-being: Porto or Lisbon?

It is good to live in both Porto and Lisbon

The quality of life that characterizes the city of Porto, makes it one of the most popular destinations in Portugal. Moreover, Porto, the Unbeaten, has been named the best European destination three times by European Best Destinations, over the past 8 years. As for Lisbon, it is not left out, because it too has been ranked among the top 10 cities with the best quality of life in the world.

Which city to choose according to travelers' opinions: Porto or Lisbon?

If you're still having trouble making up your mind, you can also rely on the reviews of travelers who have had a successful stay in Porto or Lisbon.

Travelers prefer: Porto and Lisbon

Obviously ! Opinions differ when it comes to choosing between Porto and Lisbon and that is understandable. Indeed, those who love the cultural character of the old town of Ribeira, the beauty of the Douro Valley and Portuguese gastronomy prefer the city of Porto. But those who wish to visit more monuments and museums, alternate the pleasures of urban getaways with those of relaxation at the beach, opt without hesitation for Lisbon.

Which destination to choose for a weekend or a week: Porto or Lisbon?

Which destination to choose according to the time you have available: Porto or Lisbon? To answer it, just consider the variety of activities to be done during this period of time.

For a romantic weekend, prefer Porto

The city of Porto, which allows you to take a stroll on the Douro, gastronomic evenings in Vila Nova de Gaia and getaways in the alleys of the old town of Ribeira, is particularly suitable for a romantic getaway for a weekend. .


For a week, prefer Lisbon

Thanks to the many monuments and museums that characterize the city of Lisbon, the Portuguese capital is the perfect destination for a stay of a week or more. Indeed, there is no room for boredom as the city offers so much diversity. It is sure to fascinate all travelers, whatever their passions.

Which city to choose, depending on the places of interest to visit?

The interest of an urban getaway lies in the diversity of activities to do and in the satisfaction of discovering the culture that characterizes the destination, its many places of interest and tourist sites.

The city with the most UNESCO listed sites: Porto

Against all expectations, it is the city of Porto which has the most sites classified by Unesco. The historic center of Porto, the Luiz I Bridge and the Serra do Pilar Monastery, form an exceptional urban landscape, which bear witness to the cultural richness of the mouth of the Douro.

The most cultural destination: Porto and Lisbon

The cities of Porto and Lisbon are among the most popular destinations for foreigners visiting Portugal. And for good reason, they both arouse cultural interests that make them essential to the eyes of enthusiasts. If old Porto offers the promise of a visit that is both picturesque and authentic, it is difficult to compete with the many monuments and cultural sites in Lisbon, among others: the district of Belém where one can discover the famous tower of Belém, the Hieronymites monastery, the Saint-Georges castle or the Carmelite convent…

Belem Tower

So which is your choice: Porto or Lisbon?

Taking into account the selection criteria mentioned and your expectations, you now know which city charmed you the most! You know that Porto is the unmissable destination if you are passionate about cultural discovery and urban getaways, in love, for a weekend. On the other hand, to diversify the pleasures and combine cultural visits with relaxation and seaside entertainment, it is better to focus on Lisbon. And you, what is your choice? Tell us in the comments !

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