My daughter and her friend will be traveling for 4 days to Porto during their end-March spring break. My 16 year old daughter is doing a year abroad in Zaragoza, Spain and is familiar with independent travel. We'd appreciate any suggestions on best areas to stay, to dine, to shop, and sights to see. Also, any day trip suggestions as 4 days may be a bit long. Thank you in advance for your help!
The Rebeira area in Porto is very nice, as is the Rua Flores area. Both have lots of restaurants and would be fun areas in which to stay.
For day trips, going up the Douro, Guimarães and Braga are the most common day trips and all are easy.
I'm Portuguese and I live in Porto area... If your daughter is coming here with a friend, I'm sure they'll have a great time ;) There is a lot to see in Porto but, depending if they want to visit museums and monuments or just stroll around, 4 days are enough.
They should consider visiting places like the cathedral, São Bento train station, Tower of Clérigos, Ribeira, cross the Luis I bridge and go to Serra do Pilar Monastery (one of the most beautiful viewpoints with views over Porto). There are many bars and restaurants around these places... (if they want to try local gastronomy, they should order a "Francesinha").
One of the best places/streets to shop is Rua Santa Catarina...
I agree with the previous comment and my suggestion is that they stay at an hostel / guest house / apartment in the historic centre... Public transportation is good so, if they need to, they can take the metro, bus and tram to explore the city...
I believe they'll have 1 or 2 days left for day trips... Guimarães is a great place to go - if they go there, they should visit the castle, the ducal palace and stroll through the historic centre; Braga is also a good place to go (both north of Porto); if they like nature, they can go east on a day trip to Douro Valley and admire the river, fauna, flora and wine terraces; south of Porto, they can go to the beautiful city of Coimbra and explore some of its points of interest like the University and its amazing library, the cathedrals, the monasteries and so on...
If they need anything while in Porto, just tell me ;)