Porto, also called Oporto, is the second largest city in Portugal. (The largest being Lisborn.) It´s a cosmopolitan city that is not far from the Atlantic ocean and it’s one of the most visited cities in the country. The city is intertwined with rich history and unique Portuguese culture.
Porto is especially famous for it’s production of Port, originally Vinho do Porto. Port is a type of red wine with a higher percentage of residual sugar and has its origin precisely in Portugal. The historic center of Porto is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Follow this guide to visit the best of Porto:
1. Torre dos Clérigos
Torre dos Clérigos, part of the Clérigos Church, is a 76 meter (249 foot) tall tower that is visible from variable points in the city. It’s one of the characteristic symbols of Porto, and known for its endless, fantastic views over the whole city. The construction of Clérigos Church and the tower was finished in 1750 and it’s unique for its beautiful decoration and typical baroque motifs.
Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto, Portugal
Price: Day ticket (9:00-19:00): from 4.50 USD to 6.50 USD. Night ticket (19:00 -23:00): 5.50 USD
Opening Hours: 9:00 - 23:00
Website: Torre dos Clérigos
2. Palácio da Bolsa
This historic building is located in the Infante D. Henrique Square in the center of Porto. It was built by the Commercial Association in the 19th century and is a typical Neoclassical building, labeled as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The popular space is the great ballroom called the Salão Árabe where you can see decoration inspired by Moorish design and gilded with a few kilograms of gold.
Address: R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal
Price: Adult: 9 USD. Student/Senior: 5.50 USD
Opening Hours: 9:00-18:30
Website: Palacio da Bolsa
3. Cais da Ribeira
This district, located on the riverside, is the most romantic place in Porto. The Cais da Ribeira is full of tiny, narrow streets with the air of history. The harbor is filled with boats and the waterfront is full of restaurants and cafés. It’s a must visit during your stay in Porto, especially if you travel with your beloved. This place is just charming and it’s not surprising that is also a UNESCO World Heritage site.
Address: R. do Cais da Ribeira, Porto 4050-321, Portugal
4. Dom Luis I bridge
This iconic bridge connects Porto with the municipality on the other side called Vila Nova de Gaia. The construction was finished in 1876 when it held the record for the longest bridge of its kind. At present, the metro crosses the upper part, while the lower part is open to cars and foot passengers. The bridge is located in the Cais de Ribeira and you get there by walking along the waterfront.
Address: Ponte Luís I - Cais da Ribeira, Porto, Portugal
One of the city´s oldest monuments you can find in the historic center, the Porto Cathedral is a Roman Catholic church, built under the patronage of Bishop Hugo in the 12th century. The cathedral has two square towers a Baroque porch and a significant Gothic rose window that is the only part of the original facade. Don´t miss the fantastic views over old Porto which you can see from the terraces.
Address: Terreiro da Sé - 4050-573 Porto, Portugal
Price: Free (Some parts have a charge)
Opening Hours: Summer season: 9:00-19:00, Winter season: 9:00-19:00
Contact: [email protected]
Website: Porto Cathedral
6. The Carmo and the Carmelite Church
The Church of the Carmelites is located on the square of Carlos Alberto and was built in the 17th century. Next to it, the Carmo Church was built in Baroque style in the 18th century as a project of architect José Figueiredo Seixas. The churches are connected to one another, although they are two different churches. Both churches were certified in 2013 as national monuments.
Address: Praça de Gomes Teixeira 10, 4050-011 Porto, Portugal
Price: free entrance
Opening Hours: 07:30 - 19:00
Contact: +351 22 332 2928
7. Avenida dos Aliados
Right in the center of Porto is this beautiful and important promenade. The Avenida dos Aliados is surrounded by many big houses, hotels and important branches of Portuguese banks. On one end of the street stands the Town Hall, while on the other side is the square adorned with a statue of King Pedro IV.
Address: Av. dos Aliados, Porto - center, Portugal
8.Taylor’s Port wine cellars
It would be a shame not to visit some wine cellars when you are in Porto. The Taylor´s Port wine cellars are in the historic area of Vila Nova de Gaia, on the opposite side of the Dom Luis I Bridge from Porto. The Taylor´s wine cellars are 300-year old cellars that are recently renovated and used as a museum. They provide interesting tours through the old cellars that include audio presentation available in English, Portuguese, Spanish, French and German. At the end, you will have the opportunity to taste two kinds of Port wine and relax in Taylor’s tasting room.
Address: Rua do Choupelo, nº 250, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal
Price: 13 USD
Opening Hours: April - November: Monday to Sunday- 10:00 – 19:30 – last entry at 18:00
Contact: +351 223 772 956 / +351 223 772 950
Website: Taylor´s Port Wine cellars
9.Parque de Cidade - Porto city park
Porto city park was designed by Sidónio Pardal. The project started in 1993 and was solemnly finished in 2002. It’s the largest park you can find in Portugal and it was selected in the year 2000 as one of the top 100 remarkable Portuguese works.
It’s the perfect place for relaxing or taking a walk during a hot day, and there is direct access to Praia Internacional if you are eager for a day on the beach!
Address: Estrada Interior da Circunvalação, 15443; 4100-083 Porto, Portugal
Opening Hours: Winter: 7:00-22:00. Summer: 7:00-00:00
Website: Parque de Cidade
10. Festa de São João - St. John Festival - Don't miss the most important event of the year!
São João is the main event of the year in Porto. You can expect a wild night full of endless fun! The festival is the celebration of patron São João and is simply a time of fun, grilled mackerels and street music. The city is full of people hitting each other with plastic hammers. Sounds crazy? Yes, no doubt, you will have a funny time. The festival takes place every year on June 23rd and finishes with a big fire show. Don’t miss the most entertaining night of the entire year.
Address: The main area of the festival is in the center and along the riverside.
Date: June 23rd
11. Baixa do Porto
Downtown or Baixa do Porto is the central, traditional part of Coimbra, located right in the heart of the city. Baixa surrounds the square, Avenida dos Aliados, as the main point of Coimbra. Here you find the main shopping street, the railway station Sao Beo and the traditional market Bolhão. Around this focal point, there are many streets filled with cafés and stores.
Places to visit in Baixa: 1. Avenida dos Aliados 2. Sao Beo station 3. Bolhão 4. Church of Misericórdia 5. Rua das Flores ( Street of flowers) 6. Church and tower of Clérigos 7. Lello bookshop
Address: Central part of Porto
Ready for your trip?
If you want to make your trip more enjoyable, these tips above will make it for you. Just follow the guide and enjoy your perfect holiday. Porto is a great choice in all seasons - it’s charming anytime - and you shouldn’t skip this city while traveling to Portugal. Because where else could you taste one of Portugal symbols, traditional Porto wine?