The 8 best places to see and visit on a trip to Porto

Porto and the Douro River from Vila Nova Gaia

Port It was one of the cities we wanted to meet for a long time, and recently we were able to visit it on the occasion of the inauguration of the Bluesock hostel.

In this article I will discover the best places to visit, as well as what to do on your getaway toPort.

I will tell you first of all port visit It is divided into two large areas to know.

Panoramic views of the old town of Porto from the Luis I Bridge

On the one hand, the old town from the city, where you can see its most characteristic churches, walls and neighborhoods.

And on the opposite shore of the Douro river you have Vila Nova de Gaia, with the typical wineries of his famous wines, and from where the cruises on the Douro river.

Precisely its location next to the mouth of the Douro river has marked throughout history the life and evolution of the porto city.

What to see and do in Porto

Within the old town, in addition to enjoying the beautiful facades with the typical Portuguese balconies, there are some stops that are worth making.

Corner of the old town of Porto

1 - Alleys of the old town of Porto

Undoubtedly one of the most beautiful corners of all cities is its narrow streets full of history.

Right at the foot of bridge of Luis Ion the banks of Douro river and behind the area where bars and restaurants are currently concentrated, you can stroll through these streets that in Port They are very narrow and vertical.

Being on the banks of the river, Port It is a city that has had several serious flooding.

Therefore, one of the most interesting corners of this walk is precisely the point where you can see the marks that indicate the year and the height to which the water has reached in each of the floods.

2 - San Bento train station

Another of the corners that you should not miss in this beautiful Portuguese city is the Porto train station, located in the upper part of the historic center.

Corner of the old town of Porto

Inaugurated in 1916, it is the work of a Portuguese architect who studied in France, who when he designed it did not know that he was going to finish building it since the project was his final degree project.

He liked this design so much that he was commissioned to build it, which took him 16 years due to the historical conflict that the country was living then.

Only after constructing the building did they realize that it was architecturally beautiful, but from the operational point of view it presented many problems, to the point that the station was inaugurated without lockers, bathrooms, or waiting rooms.

In the port station You can see paintings and mosaics that represent everyday scenes of the different times of the year set in the twentieth century.

In these scenes you can see above all how it was lived before the arrival of the train to the city, in addition to representing some of the most relevant events in the history of Portugal.

3 - Lello Library

It is anecdotal that one of the most popular visits in Porto be a library, but Lello It has deservedly become an icon of the city.

Built by the brothers Lello and run for 52 years by the charismatic bookseller the Mr. Sunday, the Lello bookshop It maintains an impressive charm.

With a staircase and carefully carved ceilings, it is said that it inspired the author of the saga of Harry Potter, J.K. Rowling.

4 - Church and Clérigos Tower

Certainly the Clérigos Tower It is one of the emblems of the city; Almost from any point in Porto it can be seen, so it serves as an orientation to locate you in the city.

Clérigos Tower in the panoramic view of Porto

Located at the top of the hill, a few steps from the Lello bookshop, the Clérigo TowerIt dates from the 18th century and measures 78 meters.

You can visit it and climb to the viewpoint that is high; Yes, be prepared to ascend its 200 steps, but it is certainly worth it.

5 - Porto Cathedral

Built from the 12th to the 13th century in Romanesque style, the porto cathedral It has been extended and renewed several times.

Porto Cathedral in Portugal

It is a cathedral with a peculiar main facade, and on whose side facades you can see Gothic style decoration with characteristic blue tile murals in Portugal.

Nearby is the Church of Mercy, Renaissance style, finished building in 1550, and which marks the beginning of one of the most beautiful streets in the city, the Rúa das Flores, where the balconies, mosaics and color stand out.

6 - Luis I Bridge

He Luis I Bridge It is one of the images porto city icon.

Built by one of the helpers of Gustave Eiffel, the influence of the famous French architect undoubtedly marks the style of this bridge that crosses the river joining the populations of Port Y Vila Nova de Gaia.

It has pedestrian access both at the bottom and at the top.

Traditional boats of Porto wineries on the Douro River

In the lower part of the bridge the passage opens for motor vehicles, and joins the street where most of the wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia with the Porto Old Town.

The upper part is reserved for the tram, and it is undoubtedly where you will have one of the best views of the area Douro river as it passes through the two populations.

On both sides of the riverbank there is a cable car Which takes you to the top of the bridge if you don't want to walk up the hill.

Note that on the shore of Porto you can find the remains of the wall that protected the city.

As a curiosity, after its construction, the port wall During the time he was standing he never received any attack, so it was decided to tear it down in order to expand the city, with such bad luck that shortly after removing it, they suffered an invasion.

Our recommendation is not to miss one of the sunsets that can be seen from the top of the bridge.

Corner of the old town of Porto

7 - Wineries in Vila Nova de Gaia

When we talk about Port His world-famous wine comes to mind right away.

So much so, that a tourist trip to the city would be lame without visiting any of the wineries to learn about the particularities of its wine and its production process, since they are part of the essence of the city.

The wineries of the traditional port wine They have two curiosities that really surprise.

The first is that they are not in the same city, but on the opposite bank of the river, in the aforementionedVila Nova de Gaia; and the second is that the grape is brought from an area of ​​vineyards located along the border with Spain.

Porto wine cellar

Precisely on the river you will see the typical barges that carried the wine through the Duero, which although they are no longer in use, remain in their original locations as a tourist attraction.

At the time of recommending a winery to visit, I indicate the one of Porto Cruz for its impressive terrace from where you can see a spectacular panorama of everything he Douro river as it passes through Porto.

To get to know one of the most typical wineries, on my recent trip we approached that of Ramos Pinto, where through a guided tour we were able to know the production process of this famous port wine.

8 - Douro River Cruise

Port It is located at the mouth of the Douro river; This means that many activities you can do in the city are linked to it.

The most recommended is undoubtedly the boat cruise on the Douro.

Porto Cathedral in Portugal

Most of the companies that offer this cruise are located on the shore of Vila Nova de Gaia, just in front of the area where the wineries are located.

Known as six bridge cruise It leaves from the area of ​​the wineries and passes under all the bridges of the city, reaching the mouth of the river.

You also have the option of night cruise on the Douro, which has a special charm for the lighting of the city.

With a duration of almost an hour, you will have unbeatable views.

Porto Curiosities

The first thing you should know is that the real name of the city is Porto, word that means port in Portuguese, which denotes the fishing character of the area.

Corner of the old town of Porto

The sadness that gave the inhabitants the march of the fishermen for long periods of time marked all aspects of the city.

The well-known Portuguese fados have their origin here; they are sad songs that were sung by the sorrow that gave them to see the family leave for the open sea without knowing if they would return or not.

The colorful house facades found on the river bank have an origin similar to fado.

Painting them with these striking colors were a way of giving joy to the city so that it could overcome this sadness, and that it was the first thing that fishermen saw when they returned home.

The first settlements that are known in Port They are of Roman origin, and are located on the other side of the river, in the aforementioned area of Vila Nova de Gaia, where the aforementioned wineries are currently located.

A curious feature of this enclave is that the Douro river acts as a natural border between the populations of Port Y Vila Nova de Gaia, currently joined by several bridges, including the best known, the bridge of Luis I.

Corner of the old town of Porto

Both towns sit face to face on two hills between which the mighty river makes its way.

Tours and guided tours in Porto

There are companies that offer several Porto toursin which include the visits to the wineries, the tourist buses, and even the use of the funicular that leaves from the area of ​​the boats to the top of the bridge of Luis I.

Apart from full tour of Porto, you can also sign up for the visit of the old town.

But if what you want is to simply enjoy the river, you can do it walking or cycling, since on the shore of the old town they have built a path with bike lane that goes from the city to the mouth of the Duero.

There are many bike rental companies, so if this is the option that attracts you the most, you won't have trouble finding one.

How to get to Porto

Video: 10 Things to do in Porto, Portugal Travel Guide (December 2019).