Top 5 things to see in Porto

Top 5 things to see in Porto

If you love delicious food, amazing architecture and Portuguese culture then a visit to Porto is a must. As the second largest city in Portugal after its capital Lisbon, this vibrant and eclectic city marks the start and end point of your Douro river cruise.
Porto is full of hidden gems and brimming with shops, cafes and restaurants just waiting to be explored. Wondering where best to start? Here are our top five things you should see on your next trip to Porto.

1. Dom Luís I Bridge

One of Porto’s most iconic structures which you are bound to come across is The Dom Luís I Bridge. This two level bridge spans across the Douro river, connecting the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia to the lively Ribeira district of Porto. Car traffic travels across the lower level, while pedestrians and the metro share the top level. Spend a morning walking across the Dom Luís I Bridge to admire the beautiful views of Porto and the Douro river from above. A photographer’s paradise.
Dom Luis Bridge

2. Sample the famous Port Wine

One thing that Porto is renowned for is its famous Port Wine and one of the best places to sample the delicious spirit is the historic district of Vila Nova de Gaia. Positioned on the banks of the Douro river, you can find many cellars offering tastings which makes a perfect way to spend a leisurely afternoon. Take the time to sample the many varieties and vintages of Port Wine to find your favorite tipple as well as enjoy a guided tour to learn more about the history of the house.
Port Wine

3. Amazing architecture

For architecture buffs, Porto is home to some stunning architecture. Be sure to see The Church of Sāo Francisco, one of the most important buildings in Porto. It began life in 1245 as a small church and convent with Romanesque touches before being transformed into one of Porto’s best examples of Gothic architecture. The nearby Porto Cathedral is also one of Porto’s oldest buildings built between the 12th and 13th century, and offers beautiful examples of Gothic style cloisters, lined with the beautiful blue and white azulejos tiling. You can also enjoy stunning views of the city and the snaking Douro river from the cathedral’s terrace.

Close by is the Sāo Bento Train Station, regarded as one of the most beautiful train stations in the world due to the magnificent azulejos that line the station’s walls. Designed by artist Jorge Colaço in 1930, there are approximately 20,000 tiles depicting the history of Portugal such as the Battle of Valdevez in 1140.

Sao Bento Train Station

4. Dine in Ribeira

Pay a visit to the riverside quarter of Ribeira, one of the oldest districts in Porto, positioned on the banks of the Douro river. This lively, yet picturesque district is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site and home to narrow cobblestoned laneways, as well as a waterfront strip lined with cafes, restaurants and shops known as Cais da Ribeira. Here you can dine on some of Portugal’s local delicacies at the many traditional restaurants with outdoor patios. Enjoy breathtaking views of the Dom Luis I Bridge while you eat and listen to the live music as the sun sets.

5. Explore the stunning beaches in Foz

For a trip outside the city, a visit to Foz is a must. Home to beautiful beaches, great restaurants and amazing architecture, alongside grand mansions, visitors can easily spend half a day leisurely exploring the area and picking out their dream home.

Enjoy a leisurely stroll by the sea along the promenade or go for a swim during the warmer months. Other attractions in Foz worth checking out include the 16th century Fortress São João Baptista da Foz, a stronghold to better protect the coast and the mouth of the Douro River, the Felgueiras lighthouse, first constructed in 1886 and Forte de São Francisco Xavier, also known as Castelo do Queijo (Cheese Castle), due to the cheese-shaped piece of rock it stands on. 

Foz Porto

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