When I was a teenager my parents took me and my sister to Madrid. What could have been a lovely family trip is basically summed up in this horrible memories of my father dragging us to three / four museums per day under 40C. Ever. Single. Day.
One day the women united and decided it was time to do some proper shopping. Revenge felt good! 😛
I am telling you this story to give you a little advice: if you’re travelling to Porto with teenagers, just give them a choice. You might have a very clear idea of what monuments to see and restaurants to go, but let them choose between riding a bike by the beach or going to a city park, spend the day visiting museums or simply doing some street shopping in Rua de Santa Catarina.
This way, they’ll enjoy much more, and they will let you enjoy much more as well 😉
And the best things to do in Porto with teenagers are…
Climb the Arrábida bridge
A really nice activity to do in Porto with teenagers is to climb the Arrábida bridge from within. Don’t be dismay by the 262 stairs that you’ll have to climb as they are very short, as hence don’t require an excellent physical shape or a lot of effort. In fact, you’ll arrive very shortly at the top, where you’ll be rewarded with a beautiful view over the Douro river, the Crystal Palace gardens and some Port wine lodges.
Currently the ticket to climb the Arrábida bridge costs 12,50€ and you can pay either in cash or using the credit card.
It’s not mandatory to make a reservation, but if you’d like to do so, just contact the company at +351 929 207 117 or send an email to email@example.com.
Regarding the schedules: it’s possible to take this activity every day of the year, during the afternoons. There is a new group departing every 45min, and the first one is at 2.30pm.
To arrive to the Arrábida bridge simply take the tram line #1, it’s a beautiful ride 🙂
Go for a bike ride in Gaia
If you have run out of ideas on what to do in Porto with teenagers or if you simply want to escape the crowds of the city, why don’t you just rent a bike and go ride by the ocean side?
There are several amazing bike lanes in Porto, but the best (and more easily accessible) ones are in Gaia, right after Afurada, the magic fishermen village. My suggestion is to have a grilled fish at one of the unpretentious restaurants in Afurada and then start the ride along the coast.
Don’t stop until you see Capela do Senhor da Pedra, the stunning chapel built on the beach, which is approximately 10km away from Afurada. At this point, if you or your family is too tired to keep riding, simply take the train back to Porto from the station Miramar or Francelos, that are very close by.
Take a helicopter flight over the Douro river
Let’s start this list of things to do in Porto with teenagers in style, shall we?
A rather unique way to discover Porto is to take an helicopter ride, which allows you to get a quick glimpse over the 6 bridges, the Douro river, the city centre and even the ocean. There are three helitours’ itineraries in Porto:
- Historical area tour | 10 min (approx) | Price flight: 150€
- 6 Bridges tour | 15 min (approx) | Price flight: 215€
Porto city tour | | 20 min (approx) | Price flight: 290€
Check this website to book an helicopter tours in Porto.
Have a surf lesson in Matosinhos
The LAST thing I would ever do on a trip was to voluntarily enter Atlantic cold waters 😛 Nonetheless, there is a beach in particular where you can easily – and safely – take a surf lesson for a reasonable price, which is definitely one of the best things to do in Porto with teenagers.
At Praia de Matosinhos there are several surf schools, but Surf On the Road has the highest ratings and packages specially designed for tourists, that include half day or full day surf tours which include pick up and drop off wherever you want them to. To get there, simply take the subway to the station Matosinhos, which is 5min walking distance from the beach.
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Try to Escape the Room
Another fun thing to do in Porto with your teenagers is to give it a go at Porto Exit Games, where you are the main characters of a thriller game and the main goal is to get out in time.
There are several rooms at the Porto Exit Games, each one with a game with a specific difficulty level. Up to 5 players can get inside a room, which makes it very suitable for families. Nonetheless, extended versions of all the games are available for groups between 6 and 10 people.
The prices range between 49,90€ and 59,90€ (normal version, 2 to 5 players) and between 89,90€ and 99,90€ (extended version, 6 to 10 people), so the more people the better 🙂
You can book the ticket to the Porto Exit Games or simply show up and wait for the next available slot.
Go to a swimming pool / park
In the last couple of years Porto has been enjoying (or just enduring, im my case…) very high temperatures during Summer (June to August) and even during Fall (September to November).
If you’re travelling to Porto with teenagers it might be wise to include a day off at either one of the best beaches in the city. All the beaches that are mentioned of the article have a life guard and a flag to tell you if you can or cannot swim on a particular date. There is this urban myth that the best beaches are in Gaia, just across the Douro river, but to be fairly honest I find them all pretty much the same.
Please keep in mind that we’re facing the Atlantic ocean, so the 1) the water is f****ng cold and 2) there are strong currents that might endanger a less prepared swimmer. Depending on how old are your kids, you might want to take them to some of the nice swimming pools in Porto, like Piscina das Marés (the one on the picture above) or Quinta da Conceição.
Have a picnic at the city park
If you’re family is like me and simply hates the idea of spending the day at the beach (seriously people, there’s so much to do in life rather than getting tanned!), why don’t you organise a picnic at one of the most beautiful gardens in Porto?
There are many parks and gardens at the city but I reckon that the most versatile one is the city park. There you can make a picnic, do some jogging, walk the dogs, ride a bike, feed the ducks on the lake… you can also take advantage of the proximity of the city park to the Atlantic ocean and spend some hours in the park and then go to watch the sunset by the beach. It’s a lovely afternoon plan if you’re staying in Porto with teenagers.
Have a drink with them (seriously!)
I am not encouraging juvenile drunkenness, relax! But given the fabulous weather that you’ll most likely enjoy during your stay in Porto, why don’t you take some time to simply enjoy a light meal or a drink or two at one of the amazing rooftops and urban esplanades in the city?
There are two in particular that I find very suitable if you’re travelling in Porto with teenagers, which are Miradouro Ignez (the one on the photo, with a great terrace overlooking the Douro river) and BASE, the cosmopolitan open air terrace very close to Lello bookshop and to the Clérigos tower.