Visit PortugalPorto Hop-On, Hop-Off Tours: Are They Worth the Money?

Sindy Smith2 years ago

If you’re visiting Porto for a weekend or just a few days, then hop-on, hop off city bus tours can be a great way to ensure you squeeze in all the main sights.

Porto has so much to offer, and if you aren’t sure which attractions are worth visiting, then a hop-on, hop-off tour can help you see it all.

The best hop-on, hop-off tours in Porto

The most famous sightseeing bus tour options are: City Sightseeing Portugal and Yellow Bus tours.

Option 1: City Sightseeing Portugal

The City Sightseeing buses in Porto are big red double-decker buses. Once you’ve hopped on, you can hop on and off as many times as you like.

The City Sightseeing buses operate all year round except on Christmas and New Years Day in Portugal.

The first tour departs at 9am and the last at 6.45pm, with buses departing every 30 minutes.

What language is the audio tour in?

An audio guide is available in eight different languages on board: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Portuguese and Japanese.

What route does this bus take in Porto?

This bus company has two routes: the Red Line (33 stops), which departs from Ribeira and the Blue Line (24 stops), which departs from Torre dos Clérigos.

How much does it cost?

A one-day pass costs €15 for adults and a two-day pass costs €17 and is valid for 48 hours from when you first validate it.

City Sightseeing Porto

You can buy a ticket with City Sightseeing or our friends at Get Your Guide. You may also be interested in other tours of Porto, they have so many to choose from.

Option 2: Yellow Bus Official Sightseeing Tours

A Yellow Bus Official Sightseeing hop-on, hop-off tour is a great way to discover the city in three different ways – by bus, by boat, and inside a Port wine cellar!

The buses operate everyday from 9.15am until 6.15pm in summer and from 9.30am to 5.30pm during the winter.

What language is the audio tour in?

An audio guide is available in eight different languages on board: English, Spanish, French, German, Italian, Dutch, Russian and Japanese.

What route does this bus take in Porto?

The Yellow Bus tour offers two different routes: Historical Porto, which takes you through the city centre, and Porto Castles, which includes the riverside and Matosinhos (northern Porto).

How much does it cost?

This can also be a great way to save money, since a bus ride, boat cruise and visit to a Port wine cellar will cost you more than the Yellow Bus Premium 3-in-1 ticket for €23.40 (for an adult).

Alternatively, a one-day bus ticket costs €13.50 for adults and a two-day ticket costs €15.30.

Yellow bus Porto

You can buy a ticket with Yellow Bus Official Sightseeing or our friends at Get Your Guide.

Join a hop-on, hop-off bus in Porto

The simplest way to buy a ticket is to book online, especially because these tours sell out quickly.

If you buy in advance, there is no need to worry about long queues or missing out. You can also get a full refund for your ticket if you cancel up to 24 hours before.

The best stops on your hop-on, hop-off tour of Porto

The Porto Cathedral

The Porto Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church located in the historical centre of Porto. It is one of the city’s oldest and most important Romanesque monuments.

Porto Cathedral
Inside the magnificent Porto Cathedral.

Torre dos Clérigos

Part of the Clérigos Church, a Baroque church in Porto, the bell tower (Torre dos Clérigos) is visible from all over the city and is one of Porto’s most iconic symbols.

Port Wine Museum

The Port Wine Museum is the perfect stop for wine lovers! You’ll learn all about where Port wine comes from, how it is made, and how the process has developed over time.

The advantages of hop-on, hop-off bus tour

We really love these bus tours as there is less waiting time because a bus passes each stop every 30 minutes and there are two different bus tour routes with over 50 stops around Porto. You won’t get lost because you can’t miss these brightly coloured, easy to identify buses and the stops are clearly signposted around the city.

Your ticket gives you access to the tour bus for up to two days, with unlimited “Hop-On, Hop-Offs” and they are good value for money, usually costing around €20 for 24 hours.

A seat on a tour bus means you will enjoy 360° panoramic views of the city with an audio guide in eight different languages so you can learn all about Porto’s history and culture.

Finally, you have the option of creating your own itinerary to explore the city at your own pace and leisure.

To summarise, the Porto hop-on, hop-off bus tours are:

  • Convenient;
  • Affordable;
  • Informative; and
  • Lots of fun.

But there can be some disadvantages

Because of all the reasons above, these buses are extremely popular with tourists. That means that the buses can be busy, especially in summer and at key times of the day. You might find yourself without a seat or waiting for the next bus to come along, which could affect you if you are short for time.

Another disadvantage, depending on your itinerary, can be that the bus stops at all the major tourist sites. If you are simply trying to move from point A to B, and not interested in all the stops between, public transport, a taxi or even walking might be a better option.

The hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Porto: Are they worth it?

If you have little time in the city, you can easily knock out all the major city sites in 24 or 48 hours by hopping on a bus.

It’s also great if you want to get your bearings first and if you want to see what the city has to offer before deciding which attractions will get your attention, then the bus tour could be the way to go.

Are you coming to Porto with kids?

It can be hard travelling with children, but it can be a fun adventure for kids to climb to the second floor of a bus and see the city from high up.

Top 3 tips for hop-on, hop-off tours in Porto

Tip 1: 24 hours can be enough to discover porto

While 24 hours can be enough to discover the sites of Porto, you can better explore the city with a 48-hour pass. An extra day can give you more freedom and a chance to relax at each bus stop, rather than rush through the city, given you have the time, of course.

Tip 2: Tickets include discounts for attractions

Your ticket also comes with discounts to many of the city’s attractions, so be sure to make full use of this! For example, the Yellow Bus offers discounts at the Zoo Santo Inácio in Gaia, Sealife and the Serralves Museum (just to name a few) and the City Sightseeing bus offers free visits to Quinta da Boeira,  Quevedo or Porto Cruz wine cellars.

The list of included discounts can be found on the city map on board your bus.

Tip 3: Pay attention to bus stops

If you are unsure you are at the right bus station, just look up! All bus stations with a bus tour in Porto display the plaque of the company.

tour bus Porto

The hop-on, hop-off bus tours make visiting Porto both easy and fun

With over 50 conveniently located stops all around the city, simply hop off to see the destinations you wish to explore up close and hop back on to move to the next one!

Don’t lose your ticket, and above all, make the most of all Porto has to offer.

If you are planning a day trip to cities outside of Porto, this can take time away from the city’s centre. A hop-on, hop-off  bus tour can get you around the hot spots of Porto while giving you time to take a day trip to the coastline or wine regions.

Enjoy Porto!

Did you have any questions about the hop-on, hop-off bus tours in Porto? Just ask below and we’ll be happy to let you know.

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Sindy Smith

I'm a freelance copywriter and free-spirited traveller from Australia. I fell in love with Portugal when I arrived here and hope to share with you all the reasons why.

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