Best Places to Visit in Porto. Porto, a lovely city in Portugal, is a glorious trove of incredible views, dynamic culture, and delicious cuisine. Whether you’re a history lover, a food lover, or simply seeking stunning views, Porto has for everyone. Let’s start on a journey via the best places this beautiful city has to offer.
If you’re in Porto you completely, totally must visit Ribeira Square. This old city district found by the Douro is a Unesco World Heritage Site. Yes, it’s packed with travelers, but don’t let that put you off. Cross the river in a Rabelo boat; go unstable peeking at the Luíz I, D. Maria II, and Arrábida bridges (outstanding backgrounds for dramatic photos); see the Bacalhoeiros Wall, the Casa do Infante museum, the Rua da Reboleira, Cubo square, São Nicolau Church and the ‘Alminhas da Ponte’, a statue by craftsman Teixeira da Lopes.
Eat at the Adega de S. Nicolau (they occasionally have fado nights), drink at the Pestana Vintage Hotel’s excellent RIB bar, and then head up to the heights on the Guindais Funicular Railway. Phew!
Porto Wine Cellars Best Places to Visit in Porto
Porto’s sister city Gaia has beaches and those favorite Port wine cellars. They’re beautiful, with suggested tours to introduce you to the history of the property and the specific features of each type (there are many varieties of ports).
Every tour has a comfortable ending: A Port tasting. We suggest the Sandeman Cellars (Largo Miguel Bombarda, 3; the ones with the chap in the black cape), which possess a museum; Taylor’s (Rua do Choupelo, 250), featuring the totally rated O Barão de Fladgate cafe; and Cockburn’s (Rua Serpa Pinto, 346), where you can appreciate a picnic with some lip-smacking Portuguese charms.
Foz do Douro
Foz is a mini-city within Porto. In the nineteenth century, it was a coastal resort where Brits and well-heeled Porto citizens moved on holiday. Nowadays, visit it for its coasts (several of them hold a blue flag), coastal-y outdoor cafes (try the ones at the Praia da Luz and iBar’s, found among the rocks), or a walk in the sun along the Avenida do Brasil with its opinion of the Atlantic.
Nearby are the Queijo Fort, the Passeio Alegre Fountain, the Felgueiras lighthouse, the Molhe Breakwater, and Old Foz (a quainter part of the district). You can eat very well here: try Chef Pedro Lemos’s eponymous restaurant (for a splurge), Casa Vasco, Cafeína, or a burger at Peebz.
This ornate, 75-meter bell tower, which protects lovingly over the city of Porto, is arguably the city’s multiple iconic figures. It was opened in 1763 and is gifted with a beautiful barrage of Baroque motifs thanks to its Italian designer Nicolau Nasoni. Given its central position, you can get some amazing 360° views of the city from the top, but you’ll have to rise 225 steps to get there.
Serra do Pilar
The Serra do Pilar is a jagged hill beyond the Douro River on the Gaia side. Unnecessary to say, the view is stunning, mainly at sunset. Visit the thirteenth-century monastery to find out more about the four World Heritage sites in Portugal’s northern region: the historic bases of Porto and Guimarães, the Douro wine area, and the Côa Archaeological Park.
The Guardian and travel website Lonely Planet chose this as the world’s third most beautiful bookstore. Are they laughing? It’s gorgeous! More than a century old, Lello is an art nouveau pearl with gothic details, stained glass, and a great red staircase, said to have encouraged the one in Hogwarts (JK Rowling once lived in Porto). Harry Potter fans: make a beeline here directly. There are so many travelers these days that you are now assigned to enter, but this is ignored with any purchase. Plenty of times move to the Lello Bookstore.
Best Places to Visit in Porto Cathedral
Porto’s Cathedral (‘Sé’) is the city’s most significant church. Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, it’s a national memorial. Look escape for the gothic monastery, the chapel frescoes, the Teixeira Lopes sculpture in the baptistery, and the medieval portrait of Our Lady of Vandoma, the town’s customer saint. When natives talk about the ‘Sé’, they don’t just base the cathedral: the name to use for the historic district at Porto’s soul. Walk its streets, keep Google Maps rotated off and you’ll thank us for it.
São Bento Train Station
The traditional train station is a fund to an end: it’s where you go to get someplace else. And let’s face it, most train stations are not just great places to pass the time (although they do beat airport leave lounges). Estação de São Bento is a various beast. This retired convent combines a Belle Epoque face with an iconic interior adorned with 20,000 painted tiles. Artist Jorge Colaço decorated the walls with paintings from the country’s history, including – fittingly – stages of everyday life and methods of transport. Just don’t get so captured up in gawping that you trip over a commuter. This busy station also connects to Miramar, Braga, Guimarães, and other popular goals.
Crystal Palace Gardens
When Googling this park, if you’re fronted with a set of fiberglass dinosaurs, then you’re in the bad Crystal Palace. Despite the lack of prehistoric examples, these playgrounds are somewhat more unfamiliar than what London has to offer. Not only does this green heaven have a maze of walkways, tree-lined channels, sculpted topiary, and a huge domed pavilion (all thanks to German landscape architect Emile David), but it skips the Douro River too. Well worth the hike up there.
Marés Swimming Pool
The advantages of a saltwater swim are company, but as even the most faithful wild swimmer will know, protecting a decent space in the open ocean can be tough (not to mention, potentially dangerous). At Marés Pool, you get all the health-boosting pluses that an open-air salty swim gets with the luxury and peace of a delicious lido. Try out tired muscles with a few good sizes of the pool, then exit to the surrounding rocks to respect the epic sea views enclosing Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza Vieira’s amazing creation.
Porto’s unique blend of history, culture, and natural beauty creates an unforgettable travel experience. From historic districts to modern architectural marvels, every corner of this city has something extraordinary to offer.