Tours & activities in Porto

Ribeira Free Walking Tour

The scenic walking tour that explores Porto's neighbourhoods along the Douro riverbanks

ABOUT THE Ribeira Free Walking Tour

This 2.5-hour tour along the Douro River and through its surrounding neighborhoods easily boasts some of the most beautiful sites in Europe. However, these riverbanks aren't just picturesque - they tell some of Portugal's most fascinating stories. From the launch of the first expeditions into the Atlantic, to the home of the first Portuguese Navy, the water has always been key to Porto and Portugal. Ironically, the locals also call Porto the "undefeated city", and while it has fought back kings, bishops and emperors, it has actually been conquered multiple times!


The Ribeira Walking Tour starts in front of the statue of Bishop António Ferreira Gomes, opposite the Clérigos Tower, and it usually ends on the Gaia side of the Dom Luis I Bridge. Explore some of the most beautiful neighbourhoods along the Douro River as we take you on a tour around the Porto riverbank, a UNESCO World Heritage site! We never cancel; tours run rain, hail or shine.


Portuguese explorers and the creation of the Navy

With an unforgiving, infertile soil and a growing economic crisis, the Portuguese got creative and looked to the sea for a solution. Porto's banks saw the launch of the first expeditions into the Atlantic, which led to the colonization of countries like Brazil. No wonder Porto was also home to the first Portuguese Navy.

Protecting Porto, the undefeated city

Even with their sights set on lands far away, the people of Porto didn’t take their eyes off what they had at home. As you visit the Palace São João Novo, home to Porto's elite, you hear how Porto earned its name as the ‘unbeaten city’, fighting back any king, bishop or emperor (to name just a few) who tried to invade its shores.

Gaia and the Port Wine cellars

The Porto of today is famous for its scenic riverbanks and its delicious Port wine – both of which are products of the resourcefulness, bravery and strength of this city. As you stare out from the famous Virtudes lookout point and look down from the iconic Dom Luís I bridge, you'll see Gaia, boasting the cellars where Port wine is stored and aged. Learn how the area evolved from explorers to Port winemakers, to become one of Portugal's most-visited sites.

Free Tour concept

The tips-based model of the Free Tour allows guests to support and reward only the highest quality tours, and to ensure that the tour fits within their expectations, and within their budget.

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Your Ribeira Walking Tour starts at the statue of Bishop António Ferreira Gomes, opposite the Clérigos Tower

  • Discover the Palace of São João Novo, home to Porto's elite
  • Look across the best views of Porto from the Virtudes lookout point
  • Visit the Gothic Church of Saint Francis, a UNESCO World Heritage site
  • See the oldest house in Porto, and discover the Ribeira neighbourhood
  • Take in the iconic Dom Luis I Bridge



This tour doesn‘t run today

Next departure in English : Friday 7th Jun 20243:00 PM
Next departure in Spanish : Friday 7th Jun 20243:00 PM
Inclusions & exclusions
What’s included
  • Local English-speaking guide
What’s not included
  • Gratuities for guide (optional)
Additional Information
  • The independent guides who employ us to market their tours have your best interests in mind; while the tour usually includes the sites & stories mentioned and lasts about 2.5 hours, your tour may vary depending on what your guide thinks is best for your group
  • Due to the old streets and uneven terrain, accessing parts of Porto by wheelchair can sometimes be challenging. We unfortunately do not advise guests in wheelchairs to join this tour due to the narrow stairways and steep hills. We apologise for any inconvenience or disappointment caused
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End start Tour usually ends here
Tour usually covers

What is a Free Tour?


The Free Tour is the best introduction to Porto! A general overview tour including many of the highlights of the city, the Free Tour usually lasts around 3 hours and is provided by a local freelance guide in partnership with SANDEMANs NEW Europe, so tour content can vary depending on your guide’s particular area of interest and expertise.

The Free Tour is a walking tour with no need for public transport and is designed for independent travellers, not groups. You can book your spot in advance online or simply show up at the start point on the day. There is no payment necessary at the start of the tour but you are welcome to tip your guide at the end!

We believe in supporting local communities and are committed to giving a voice to some of Porto's best local freelance tour guides, who passionately share the city's history and culture with their own unique and always-entertaining style. They'll never pressure you to tip; we believe that, if money is given, it should be voluntary and in direct proportion to the quality of the tour and the budget of the traveller.

Why join the SANDEMANs FREE Tour?

  • Expert local guides
  • Theme specific tours
  • Location specific tours
  • The Free Tour is guaranteed to fit within your budget
  • The guides performing tips-based Free Tours are incentivized to perform every time


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Participation in tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe is strictly on a voluntary basis. Neither SANDEMANs NEW Europe, nor the self-employed freelance guides who are the providers of the tours promoted by SANDEMANs NEW Europe, will be held responsible in any way for injuries to body or property incurred during tours. The tour guides reserve the right to deny participation in any tour, to any person, for any reason. Thank you for your understanding.

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