SOME THINGS TO DO IN PORTO PORTUGAL
If you are wondering what to do in Porto, let us remind you that this Portuguese pearl is home to many traditional restaurants and also for some of Europe’s most inspiring museums.
In Porto you definitely have a diamond destination
The best things to do in Porto are different ways to fall in love with the city.
Here are some ideas to choose from:
Explore the Ribeira, Bolhao, and Baixa districts
Stop by the world’s most beautiful bookshop
Climb over the Clérigos Tower
Visit the best museums here
Eat Porto’s most famous dish: francesinha
Stroll around Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
See the sunset at the Morro Garden
Take a cruise down the Douro River
Let your hair down at Casa da Música
Photo: Lello Bookstore Staircase, Center of Porto Portugal.
Rio Douro is translated from Portuguese as “river of gold” because when the sun is setting down the waters can gleam like liquid gold bars.
Douro River gets to Porto as final destination after traveling many kilometers from its source in the mountainous region of Picos de Urbión from Spain.
When hearing about Portugal, a few things sound familiar: the Port wine, Lisbon, the seafood, and … azulejos. Set in Portugal’s history and culture, there are many wonderful examples of beautiful tiles.
These tiles date from the 13th century and at first, they were structures cut into geometric shapes in neutral tones. During the last couple of centuries, their use became very popular. Nowadays you can see them decorating churches, restaurants, railway and subway stations, as well as palaces and regular homes all around Portugal.
Old town Porto
Porto´s heart lies in its medieval old city: Porto Ribeira. This district begins along the Douro River and reaches the hills behind. Walking around its streets is like taking a step back in time.
Porto can give you street charm and brilliant ancient architecture
Photo: Rua de Santa Catarina. Porto, Portugal.
Don´t miss Lello Bookstore when in Porto
The Lello Bookstore is recognized as “one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world” by the magazines ´Time´ and ´The Guardian´, and by the travel guide ´Lonely Planet´ and it is also one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal.
For more than a century, Livraria Lello has been a showcase for the Portuguese literature and helped export this literature to the rest of the world.
This bookstore was frequented by JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series and it was an inspiration for her writing.
Rua das Flores from Porto
The Rua das Flores in Porto is one of the best attractions in this city because is lined with chic cafes, restaurants, souvenir shops and boutiques that run down to the Igreja da Misericórdia, the Museu da Misericórdia do Porto, and also to the Largo São Domingos, which are all key point in the city.
Photo: Rua das Flores in Porto. Manuel de Sousa. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Church of Santa Clara from Porto
Porto’s Igreja de Santa Clara is one of the best examples of historic Catholic churches. This church is austere and humble on the outside, but when passing through, you are overwhelmed by the opulent decor.
Inside the Igreja de Santa Clara there is a contrast because there is barely an inch of it that is not adorned with angels, saints, cherubs or some other decorative feature.
Photo: Igreja de Santa Clara. Alegna13. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Igreja de São Francisco
San Francisco Church is Porto’s most important Gothic monument. Its Baroque interior is full of spectacular gilt-covered wood carvings that are definitely worth seeing. If you choose to visit one church in Porto, make sure it´s this one.
Photo: Igreja de São Francisco. João Carvalho. Adapted under license (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Praça da Ribeira
If you want to see the award-winning Historical Centre of Porto, then add Praça da Ribeira on top of the list. This place has always been a very busy area, due to the important economic activity and its proximity to the port. In the middle of it you can see the sculpture ‘The cube of Ribeira’ that reveals the existence of a 17th century fountain.
Photo: Praça da Ribeira. Jorge Franganillo. Adapted under license (CC BY 2.0)
Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
This gorgeous botanical garden is one of Porto’s best escapes because of its paths spotted with sculptures, fountains, giant magnolias, camellias, and olive trees. Jardins do Palácio de Cristal is actually a mix of small gardens that you can wander to relax.
Photo: Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. Porto, Portugal.
Porto is one of the most important cities in Portugal and also, one of the oldest city centers in Europe
Casa da Música
Casa da Música is home of the National Orchestra of Porto and it has a different faceted form. Inside, its Grand Auditorium has folded glass facades at both ends which give Porto a fascinating dramatic style.
Photo: Casa da Música. Porto.
Photo: Casa da Música. Porto.
Mercado do Bolhão: Traditional Market in Porto
Another point of interest is one of the most popular and lively markets in the city. The Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market) has several floors where you can see farmers and other citizens selling fresh and typical products from the region. This huge market holds the essence of the city and it is a great place to discover the “real Porto”.
Photo: Mercado do Bolhão in Porto.