The city of Porto is known worldwide for the wine with its name (produced in the Douro valley), for the bridges and for its historic center classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Without forgetting its gastronomy!
But what do we have to write even in our visit plan?
Here are 10 tips:
The Cathedral is imposing and of rare beauty inside. It is to be seen and admired without haste, as well as its cloister, on the south side. In the wide square of the cathedral, one has a privileged view of the city, the Douro River and part of the Ribeira. Close to the Sé, being in Terreiro da Sé, on the left, you go down a staircase and you will visit the Church of São Lourenço (16th century), also known as Igreja dos Grilos, in a mannerist style.
2. VISIT THE CHURCHES
Church of the Crickets
Inside you will be dazzled by the richness of details and the beautiful altarpiece of Our Lady of Purification, in gilded woodcarving. It is called Igreja dos Grilos because it was, after the expulsion of the Jesuits, sold to the Barefoot Hermits of Saint Augustine, known as “Friars Grilos”, who remained there until 1832.
Church of Santa Clara
This church has a great contrast between the extreme simplicity of its facade and the luxurious interior of gold carvings. Impresses by the sumptuousness and beauty! It is close to the Fernandinas Walls (14th century), being very close to the Guindais Funicular, which connects the Batalha neighborhood to Ribeira, in the lower part of the city.
Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas (side by side), in Cordoaria neighborhood
The Igreja do Carmo has a huge panel of tiles on its external side and the Igreja das Carmelitas, previously attached to the Convent (converted into part of a barracks) is also very beautiful.
San Francisco Church
Impresses by the wealth of details covered with more than 200 kg of gold and the wonderful work “Tree of Jesse”.
3. WALK THROUGH RIBEIRA
Ribeira is an area that is close to the Douro River, in the historic center of Porto. From there you can see the wine cellars and the Luís I bridge. A place of great charm with the colorful houses that compete for space, in the middle of the narrow streets, with shops, restaurants and people walking.
4. VISIT THE BOLSA PALACE
This palace was built in the place of the old San Francisco Monastery. Don’t miss the Arabic room with gold decorations and oriental style
5.TAIN THE TRAMWAY TO THE OCEAN
Take the tram line 1 from Ribeira to the mouth of the Douro river. It is a short trip – about 20 minutes – but very beautiful.
Attention: it is not a cheap transport as the tram ticket costs more than twice as much as a bus or metro ticket.
6. DISCOVER THE SERRALVES FOUNDATION AND THE CONTEMPORARY ART MUSEUM
The cultural foundation is one of the most important in Portugal and the museum is the most visited in the whole country. The building mixes contemporary architecture with Art Decò and touches of modernism.
7. EAT A FRANCESINHA
Looking for a real tavern to try an unforgettable dish: Francesinha. Inspired by the French toast, with various types of meat in the filling and melted cheese and fried egg on top. All dipped in an extraordinary sauce and accompanied by chips.
8. DRINKING A COFFEE AT CAJÉ MAJESTIC (on Rua Santa Catarina)
Certainly a tourist experience, but this cafe is worth a visit to observe its Art Nouveau architecture. In 2011 it was considered one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.
9. WALKING IN VILA NOVA DE GAIA
From Porto, you can cross the Luis I bridge on foot. Go to Vila Nova de Gaia from the top and take the opportunity to make fantastic photos! Arriving in Gaia, on the left side, the Serra do Pilar Monastery is highlighted, another unforgettable visit. And stop at one of the port wine cellars for a visit and a tasting.
10.WALKING IN THE BOLHÃO MARKET
One of the most emblematic markets in the city of Porto. The market is mainly focused on fresh products, especially food.