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After three months in this charming city, I can safely say that watching sunset in Porto is my favourite way to end a day. I experienced beautiful clear days with magical sunsets all throughout the winter.
Before moving to Portugal, many people told me the weather in Porto was dreary compared to the south. I didn’t think so: my birthday in January was spent in Jardim do Morro with friends, eating cake without even a winter jacket. I’d never get that in the UK!
Whatever time of year you visit, use this guide to discover the best sunset in spots in lovely Porto…
What time is sunset in Porto, Portugal?
Here are the average sunset times in the middle of the month…
What does ‘miradouro’ mean?
You’ll see this word everywhere while researching sunset in Porto. Similar to the Spanish word ‘mirador’, it means viewpoint. Look out for it on signposts and maps; you may discover new ones I didn’t!
Where to find the best sunset in Porto
Although this guide isn’t in any particular order, the first three are my favourites. Yes, they’re busy and touristy but for good reason.
Luis I Bridge
This iconic bridge connects Porto with Villa Nova de Gaia (home of port wine, a classic delicacy you can read about in my Porto food & drink guide). The lower crossing is not especially atmospheric but the top level offers some of the best views in Porto, especially at sunset.
The bridge is free to cross and takes around 5 minutes to walk along, although you may spend 10 times longer snapping photos. It’s not just a footbridge but a Metro line; make sure to jump out of the way when a train comes rumbling across!
Every evening, people cross Luis I Bridge from Porto to Gaia to reach Jardim do Morro for sunset. But don’t forget to enjoy the journey: the bridge is a real treat.
Insider tip – when walking back to Porto across the bridge, don’t miss the Porto street art mural of a friendy old man.
Jardim do Morro
The most famous sunset spot in Porto is easily Jardim do Morro (Morro Garden) on the top level of Vila Nova de Gaia. It doesn’t matter the time of year: if it’s a clear day, the crowds flock to Jardim do Morro to watch live performers and admire golden hour over the city.
Spending time at this atmospheric viewpoint will always remain a favourite memory from my time in Porto. The gardens look across the Douro River to Riberia’s colourful waterfront.
Insider tip – if you’ve been port tasting in Gaia during the day, walk up the hill (free) or catch the cable car from Gaia Lower Station. It’s pricey at €6 (€9 return) but it’s a fun way to travel with lovely views.
Jardim do Morro bar
It’s not the best option for those travelling on a budget since the drinks are quite pricey (around €7 a cocktail) but you can’t deny this rooftop bar beside Jardim do Morro is a lovely spot. Like the park, it overlooks the Douro and Riberia.
They serve Portuguese wines, beers and the classic Porto beverage of porto tonico, a cocktail made with sweet white port, tonic water, a sprig of mint and a slice of orange. Bliss!
Monastery of Serra do Pilar
Although Jardim do Morro is the most atmospheric place to sit down and watch sunset in Porto, the Monastery of Serra do Pilar arguably offers better views. Firstly, it’s slightly higher and secondly, it faces west which means you’re directly looking at the sunset (unlike in Jardim do Morro where it’s slightly to your left).
This ex-monastery is no longer in use but has a colourful history. It took 72 years to construct due to lack of funds, then was used as a makeshift for during the 1832 Siege of Oporto. These days, it’s an iconic monument preserved to look as it would in its heydey.
Tip – you can easily see sunset from Luis I Bridge, Jardim do Morro and the Monastery of Serra do Pilar during the same evening. They’re all right beside each other.
A word about Kittie’s Rock
I debated not mentioning this place at all but, if you read any other articles about sunset in Porto, you’ll soon see it mentioned. Halfway down the cliffside near the Monastery, it’s become a popular place to scramble down to.
It’s not an official sunset spot and is actually pretty dangerous. People have made it look nicer on Instagram than it is, so I wouldn’t really advise visiting.
Moving away from this area and onto other sunset locations around Porto…
Miradouro da Rua das Aldas
This is a well-known miradouro because it’s beside Porto Cathedral and the Bishop’s Palace. Work it into your Porto itinerary by visiting these historical monuments in the afternoon and staying for sunset.
The Aldas Street viewpoint overlooks Porto’s mismatched rooftops out to the Douro. It’s an atmospheric place at dusk because there are usually buskers playing live music.
Parque da Quinta da Macieirinha
This large green space is one of my favourites in Porto. Enter via the Crystal Palace Gardens, pass the Superbock Arena and keep walking around the side. When you reach Parque da Quinta da Macieirinha, you’ll be rewarded with views of the many bridges crossing the Douro to Gaia.
Pack a picnic because there are plenty of places to sit including stone benches and tables on the riverside.
Keep walking to the best sunset spot in the park…
Torreão do Jardim do Palácio
Torreão do Jardim do Palácio is a small stone tower that turns into one of the prettiest sunset spots in Porto during the late afternoon/early evening. Since it’s only small, you’ll want to visit early enough to nab a spot at the top. If you don’t manage it, never fear: this whole area is lovely.
Find it towards the back of Parque da Quinta da Macieirinha. Afterwards, continue around the park in the opposite direction to the one you came. You’ll eventually make it back to the front entrance of the Crystal Palace Gardens.
Miradouro da Vitória
This elevated viewpoint in central Porto (near the Clérigos Tower) benefits from the fact it’s hidden down a side street. However, it’s no hidden gem and has become a popular place to watch sunset in Porto.
You visit Miradouro da Vitoria any time of day but sunset is undeniably most atmospheric. Watch seagulls soar with Porto Cathedral to the left and the Douro to your right. From here, you can see down to Riberia and all the way over to Gaia.
Address: Rua de São Bento da Vitória 11.
Miradouro das Fontainhas
Now for a hidden gem!
Near the Bonfim area of Porto, Miradouro das Fontainhas is a cliffside viewpoint with spectacular views of two bridges: Ponte Infante Dom Henrique and Ponte D. Maria Pia, the latter designed by Gustave Eiffel (arguably not his most famous monument).
To escape the crowds, pull up a chair outside one of the no-frills cafes (Azul e Branco is a good choice with typical Porto dishes for €2). Glance down the cliffside to see community gardens maintained by elderly Porto locals.
Finally, another option is to walk across Ponte Infante Dom Henrique. As a car bridge, it’s not as peaceful as Luis II Bridge but – on the plus side – you’ll have the pavement to yourself since it’s not a tourist spot. Sunset is just as impressive; you can see over the monastery and other parts of Porto.
Read next: Bonfim area guide
Sunset viewpoints near Porto
Leaving the city centre behind, here are a few final places to watch sunset around Porto…
On the west coast of Portugal just up from Porto, this beach town is a fantastic place to surf, eat seafood and – you guessed it – watch sunset. It takes just 40 minutes to reach by Metro or 20 minutes by car/Uber. You can also catch the 500 or 502 bus for €1.50.
Praia de Matosinhos (Matosinhos Beach) is the optimum spot for a sundowner with several beach bars on the sand.
Between Matashinos and Porto is an upmarket neighbourhood named Foz (pronounced Fosh) where the Douro meets the ocean. With a promenade running along the seafront, it’s a lovely place to amble at sunset admiring the sun as it slips behind the waves.
Catch the 500 bus (€1.50) from Porto to Foz or, the more atmospheric option, the historic Line 1 tram from Riberia.
Matashinos-Foz coastal walk and bars
Finally, the Foz to Matashinos coastal walk follows a beautiful stretch of coast from Matashinos’s Castelo do Queijo to Foz’s promenade. Walking should take 30 minutes unless you stop for photos.
Along the way, you’ll find plenty of coastal bars where you can stop for a drink. Expect to pay tourist prices, though.
Bars to watch sunset in Porto
Once you’ve exhausted the miradouros and other free vantage points, you may wish to watch sunset with a cocktail. There are almost too many rooftop bars to count.
Read my Porto bar guide to find all the rooftop bars.
What else to do in Porto?
- 80 best things to do in Porto – the ultimate insider’s guide
- How to spend 3 perfect days in Porto
- Where to find street art in Porto
- The best Porto dishes – 25 typical meals
- How to take a Porto to Douro Valley day trip
- A vegan’s guide to food in Porto
- Where to find the best pastel de nata in Porto
- The ultimate guide to brunch and breakfast in Porto
- 16 best day trips to take from Porto
- An in-depth guide to coffee in Porto
- Neighbourhood guide to Bonfim, Porto
Thanks for reading!
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TRUSTED RESOURCES FOR VISITING PORTUGAL
Getting there by air – I use Skyscanner to find the best-value flights, using the ‘search by month’ tool to find the cheapest dates. You can also use the ‘to anywhere’ feature if you’re flexible on where you’re going.
Driving in Europe – use Rentalcars.com to compare car rentals in European countries (and all around the world).
For trains, I use Omio. The search feature allows you to compare prices, and they show live departure times on the website. This is also a handy tool to compare trains and buses in one search.
For buses, I use FlixBus. Find journeys between European countries from €1!
For hotels and self-catering apartments, I use Booking.com. You can filter by review score and price to find the best-rated budget places. For hostels, I use Hostelworld.com.
Browse tours and activities on GetYourGuide and Viator.
To save money on accommodation, I use Trusted Housesitters, a website that connects homeowners going away and travellers who can sit their homes & pets.
Need travel insurance? I use True Traveller (for UK & Europe residents) since it’s some of the most affordable insurance out there but still covers everything you’d need including various activities, valuables and pre-existing conditions. Unlike some companies, they insure you if you’re already travelling / don’t yet have your flight home booked. Get a quote.
For travel insurance for other nationalities, I recommend Hey Mundo and for long-term digital nomad travellers, I suggest Safety Wing.
Check out my resources page for more travel discounts and budget tips from my 10+ years on the road!