One of the most popular things to do in Porto is the 6 Bridges Cruise, so I decided to write this article answering the question burning in your chest (“Is it worth to take the 6 Bridges Cruise in Porto?”), and how to save money on this activity.
If you are tired for touristy activities and yet would like to do a river cruise, check out my article about the Best river cruises in Porto (besides the 6 bridges cruise), because it is REALLY worth reading it 🙂
If you want to do a river cruise in Porto BUT not with other 60 people (that is how many people join the 6 bridges cruises!), then consider doing one of these cruises:
- Top sunset river cruise in Porto – for those looking forward to a romantic moment in Porto 😉
- Best river cruise in Porto with Wine and Tapas – for those that want to combine a 6 bridges cruise with some food and wine.
- Best river cruise in Porto for bachelor / bachelorette parties – perfect for large groups of friends that want to party!
- Best river cruise in Porto for solo travellers – for those of you traveling alone and wanting to meet new people (I get you, I travel alone all the time!).
- Top river cruise on a PRIVATE Yacht – for those that want to take their 6 bridges cruise to the next level.
- Best river cruise with a local Fisherman! – for those looking for a more authentic experience.
What is the 6 Bridges Cruise in Porto
It is a 50 minutes river cruise in Douro river, starting either at Ribeira’s quay (in Porto), or in Vila Nova de Gaia’s quay (depending on the company you choose), and it shows the amazingly beautiful 6 bridges in Porto.
The 6 bridges Cruise is ideal for:
- Families with kids – it is actually one of the activities we like to include on our private tours in Porto, whenever there are children in the group. During the 6 bridges cruise the kids get to see many exciting things, from natural elements to buildings on both margins, and hence they never get bored.
- If you need a break in between activities – as the 6 bridges cruise is rather short, you can use it as a relaxing moment in between a tour and a visit to a Port wine cellar, for instance, or between visiting the best monuments in Ribeira and going out for dinner.
- If you are in need of a relaxed time – there’s nothing for you to do once you’re on board, just enjoy the sun and take great photos of Porto 🙂
- If you would like to have a better idea of the main buildings of Porto. From the river you have a much nicer and complete perspective of them.
- Naturally, if you’re curious about the 6 bridges of Porto 🙂
How to take the 6 bridges cruise
There are several ways. I always prefer to buy the tickets online as I hate to wait in queues (specially during summer time!).
Then, you just need to print the tickets and show it at any boat departing from Ribeira neighborhood, in Porto.
I recommend you to arrive 10 minutes earlier, in order to ensure that you are one of the first to enter the boat – this way, you’ll get a spot at the bow, rather than on the inside.
You can save your seat by getting the online ticket to the 6 bridges cruise. Don’t forget that kids under three years old don’t pay, and kids between 4 – 10 years old have 50% discount.
If you want to make the most of your day in Porto, why not combine the cruise with some other activities? Check out some tips below for some great ways to spend your day (and save money). 😉
How to save money on the 6 Bridges Cruise in Porto?
Hop On Hop Off bus tour + 6 Bridges Cruise + Port wine cellar visit: save 42€
Many people prefer the combined ticket to the Hop On Hop off bus tour + 6 bridges cruise + Port wine cellar.
It is indeed a great deal to get a combo ticket for the Hop On Hop Off Bus + 6 bridges cruise + Port wine cellar as you only pay 28€.
This is incredibly cheap because the river cruise costs 15€, a visit to a Port wine lodge around 15 / 18€ and the Hop On Hop Off Bus around 20€ / day.
The total cost of those separate activities would be 15€ + 15€ + 20€ x 2 = 70€, so at the very least, you are saving 42€ if you get the combo ticket.
With this ticket, you get a Hop-on hop-off bus ticket that is valid for 2 days and you can use as many times as you want during that period of time.
This is great for those who don’t have a lot of time in the city and for seniors, because you avoid the hills of Porto.
You also get a guided tour of the Calém wine lodge with wine tasting and discounts on restaurants, bars, shops and other attractions. Plus the 6 Bridges Cruise, obviously. Save yourself some bucks by getting the online combo ticket.
City Train tour + 6 Bridges Cruise + Port wine cellar visit: save 15€
Another way of saving money is to get this ticket for the City train tour + 6 bridges cruise + Port wine cellar. It is a great combo if you are travelling with children because they usually love the magic train!
And it’s very cheap – only 25€. I recommend you buy the combo ticket because if you buy separately you will be paying double that price (over 40€) because the river cruise costs 15€, a visit to a Port wine lodge around 15 / 18€ and the magic train 10€.
Therefore at the very least, you are saving 15€ if you get the combo ticket.
What does the 6 bridges cruise in Porto consist of?
I already told you the history of the 6 bridges of Porto, and hence I am not going to do the same on this article.
Instead, down below you’ll find some pictures taken from inside the boat during the cruise – they might actually help you to decide to either take it or not! 😉
The 6 bridges cruise starts at Luiz I bridge, designed by Théophile Seyrig – no, this is NOT Eiffel’s bridge, unlike what many tour guides in Porto will make you believe!
Afterwards, you’ll see Infante Dom Henrique’s bridge, launched in 2003. It was the last bridge to be built in Porto, and it is a remarkable example of how engineering can present elegant solutions to difficult challenges.
You’ll then view the beautiful D. Maria Pia’s bridge – designed by Théophile Seyrig and Gustave Eiffel. In 1991, this bridge was superseded by São João bridge, built some meters away, as you can see in the picture.
Behind São João bridge, looking very tiny on this picture, is Freixo bridge, launched in 1995.There is a high way called “VCI” that surrounds the city in between Freixo bridge and Arrábida bridge. If you’re renting a car at the airport of Porto, you’ll most likely take this highway when entering the city.
It’s time to go peek my favorite bridge of Porto, the Arrábida Bridge. What a superb piece of engineering – it is actually my favourite bridge in Porto!Nowadays you can climb the arch of the Arrábida bridge from the inside, but to be honest it’s nothing special because, unlike what you might thing, the view from the top is not spectacular.
During the 6 bridges cruise, you can admire the wonderful views of both Porto and Afurada, the magic fishermen village that will appear on your left hand side.
Important notes regarding the 6 bridges cruise in Porto:
- Don’t forget to bring both sunscreen and a light scarf, as it gets very sunny and windy at the same time.
- Please remember that the online tickets are valid for all the boats that depart from the deck in Ribeira, in Porto, and not on the boats that depart from Gaia.
- Remember that this is one of the most popular activities in Porto and hence you should book your tickets in advance – at least 3 / 4 days.
- Once inside the boat, please be reasonable and don’t put yourself in danger by climbing to the edges to take photos, as the staff will come to take you down!
- If you’re travelling with children, make sure they behave inside the boat, by not screaming and running around other people.
I hope you enjoy the ride! 🙂