Porto, Portugal

Hills. River. Ocean. Beach. History. Good weather. For those visiting Portugal’s second largest city and UNESCO World Heritage Site located on the estuary of the Douro River, running in Porto has it all. Note that the old city is very vertical and features a lot of narrow, cobblestoned streets — not that easy for running. If you’d like to have an in-person guided running experience in Porto, we highly recommend our friends at Go! Running Tours.

The signature runs in Porto are along each side of the Douro River, and three distinct oceanside promenades, including the nearly 20 km Gaia seafront, where you can run one way and take the train back! We also have a ‘runseeing tour’ of the the historical core, with its maze of narrow streets, walls, and fortifications. defined in the “Protected area”, and within it the “Classified area”, which comprises the medieval borough located inside the 14th-century Romanesque wall. Fun but a bit confusing for running.

Getting around this compact city is fairly easy. Six metro lines serve central Porto. Foz and the area north of Matosinhos are not that well served by transport.  Praia=beach. Praca=Square

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Porto’s weather is generally great for running, with warm, dry summers and mild but somewhat rainy winters. High temperatures in height of summer are not nearly as high as much of Portugal, averaging 26 C (80F) range, with cool-ish nights. Temperatures drop off to an average high of 13C (54F) in January, where nightly lows dip to 5C (40s). It rarely goes below freezing.  Winters can be wet, as most of Porto’s nearly 1200mm (49 inches) of rain falls between October and April.

Porto is a popular tourist spot, so there’s a large selection of accommodations, at various price ranges. The largest cluster is near the older part of town, on the north side of the Douro River, to the east of the A1 (Arrábida Br.).  Our recommendation is to stay as close to one of the Douro river paths or oceanside paths as possible, for good proximity to the best running. But the transport is pretty good, so you can also use that to zip to/from a favorite spot.

There are not really any independent running stores in Porto, but there are outlets of Sportsdirect and Decathlon, two popular sporting goods chains that sell running gear. Also, outlets of Asics and Nike. See our Map on the Porto home page for location & info.