THE 10 MOST INTERESTING THINGS TO SEE IN PORTO
Are you planning a visit to Porto and don’t know where to start? Ribeira? Aliados? Too many names and you are confused? Don’t worry, we have chosen for you the "Top 10 of what to see in Porto", where we highlight the emblematic places of the city that should always be on the list of any visitor.
1. CLÉRIGOS TOWER
Of course, we have to start our top 10 of the city of Porto with the Clérigos Tower, the ex-libris of the city. Clérigos Tower is omnipresent throughout the city, as it marks the landscape of Porto with its baroque architecture, which is one of the best examples of the Portuguese Baroque. You will find it easily near the Aliados Avenue. Those who are not afraid of heights will surely venture out and climb, the more than 200 steps to the top, where they will find which is probably the most impressive view of the city of Porto, with an overall extent to the river Douro. It is the ideal place for photos and for the selfie that will leave friends gnawed with envy.
2. LELLO & IRMÃO BOOKSTORE
From the top of the tower, you will see a long queue from a very close place, on the parallel street. Don’t be surprised, it is the famous Lello & Irmão Bookstore. But why do people queue to enter? Lello & Irmão is considered one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and through the ornate shelves and its famous staircase you will find some of the magic of Harry Potter, as it is said, the writer JK Rowling sought inspiration in this place to create a scene in her book... Can you find out which one? Lello & Irmão have existed since the year of 1869, and in the present building, since 1906.
3. D. LUÍS I & RIBEIRA BRIDGE
When arriving at Ribeira square, it is impossible not to notice the second most famous landmark in the city of Porto, the beautiful iron bridge over Douro River, which connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. It is a remarkable work of iron engineering.
On the upper board, you will find the perfect place for more selfies and a fantastic view over the river and the Ribeira area.
If you cross the bridge to the edge of Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can visit the cellars of the famous Port wine, you will come across the perfect setting for that "postcard photo".
The visit to D. Luís I bridge is not complete without a stroll through the Ribeira. This old fishing district is one of the most typical ones of the city, where the tradition continues to be very strong. The narrow streets, the picturesque restaurants and the terraces on the river allow you to spend some of the most pleasant evenings during your visit on Porto.
4. ALIADOS AVENUE
It is the heart of Porto. The Aliados Avenue, with its imposing buildings, is the place where the great festivities of the city are celebrated like the Feast of St. John, which is celebrated on the night of the 23rd to 24rd of June. This area is ideal for your accommodation as you will be close to most of the places on our Top 10, most of them within a short walk distance.
5. PORTO CATHEDRAL
Being a city with a great religious tradition, it is easy to find in the streets of Porto several Catholic churches. However, none of them will have the imposing importance of the Sé Cathedral. Entering a 12th-century building is always fascinating. The Cathedral of Porto, besides being one of the oldest monuments in the whole country, is an impeccable example of Romanesque religious architecture, a very rich style in Portugal.
6. MAJESTIC CAFÉ
Do you want to have some coffee? There are those who say that the Portuguese spend all their time in cafés, but with cafés like the Majestic, the question is: how can’t you? Located on Santa Catarina Street, the main commercial artery in downtown Porto, the Majestic is as beautiful as refined.
It has even been considered the sixth most beautiful café in the world. So if it's snack time, go to the Majestic. But attention, as it is a bit expensive.
7. SERRALVES FOUNDATION
At Serralves Foundation you can find one of the most beautiful gardens in the city, as well as one of the most important museums of Contemporary Art. If you visit Porto with children, the Serralves Foundation is one of the places that you MUST go to. They will love it!
However, a visit to the Serralves Foundation is not only mandatory because of this. Its building, signed by Siza Vieira, the first Portuguese Pritzker Prize, it is an incredible building that blends in the nature of the Serralves Garden in a harmonious way, inviting you to travel through it and linger in it.
A perfect plan to visit the Serralves Foundation is to go with time, to visit the entire museum, to have tea in the middle of the afternoon and then linger in the gardens.
8. THE CHURCH OF SÃO FRANCISCO
The San Francisco Church, very close to the Ribeira Square is another Church that is in our Top 10. But unlike the imposing Cathedral of the city, we chose this church for its interior, which is meticulously worked on gilded carving and its set of organs. It is, therefore, one of the most sought religious places by visitors.
9. PALÁCIO DA BOLSA
The Palácio da Bolsa, the simplified name of the Palácio da Associação Comercial do Porto, is one of the most imposing buildings in the city. It is an authentic mix of architectural styles, but the great highlight goes to the Arabian Hall, which will amaze you with its gold-stucco plasterwork. Did you know that it is here that many of the heads of state who visit Porto are honored and received? Don’t forget to go there. Also, because of the guided tours, which are extremely interesting and very complete.
10. SÃO BENTO RAILWAY STATION
For those arriving by train in Porto, the São Bento railway station could not be a better business card. Its building, with French influence, welcomes travelers with its various panels of tiles, typically Portuguese, which depict several historical episodes of Portugal, with great detail. In the Aliados area, São Bento station, considered the eighth most beautiful railway station in the world, is another point that you should visit even if you are not going to travel by train.