Porto is the second-largest center of Portugal and the northern capital of the country. Porto is completely different from Lisbon: the only similarity can be seen in the fact that both of these cities are located on the coast. In Porto, you will find a special atmosphere, unique historical architecture, football spirit, and breathtaking views.
There are so many attractions in the city that it is simply impossible to visit them all in a few days. They are literally located at every step. To simplify your task, we have compiled a selection of the most interesting sights of Porto with photos and descriptions.
So what to do and see in Porto to get the most vivid impressions?
1. Take a walk around the Ribeira quarter
Porto is the best place to start sightseeing from the atmospheric quarter of Ribeira. Many tourists fall in love with this distinctive area, and this is understandable: every house is interesting in it. It is here that you can feel the spirit of real Portugal, walking along the promenade or through the narrow streets and enjoying the authentic beauty of cozy houses with bright tiles on the roofs.
In the Ribeira quarter, a huge number of small cafes are concentrated with a view of the promenade, and prices do not bite. Be sure to go to some institution, and best of all try the signature Portuguese franzesinya sandwich, which can be baked in an open oven right before your eyes.
In the evening, the Ribeira quarter turns into the most romantic place in the city, so if you are going to Porto with your loved one, then go here for dinner or an evening walk.
From Ribeira’s embankment, you can take a river cruise along the Dore or walk to the Don Luis Bridge, which offers a beautiful view of the quarter.
2. Admire the view from the Don Luis Bridge
The Don Luis Bridge, designed by a student of Eiffel himself, is one of the main attractions of the city of Porto. We can say that this is this bridge for Porto anyway, that the Eiffel Tower for Paris. Its unusual silhouette is often depicted on the labels of Portuguese port. In the evening, when the backlight is lit, the bridge takes on a special charm. Visiting the Port and not taking pictures of it is simply unforgivable.
Tourists unanimously say that the best views of the city of Porto, the Douro River and the Ribeira quarter with its red-orange roofs open from this building. Photos on the background of such a magnificent panorama are obtained as postcards. But the attraction is interesting in itself with its unusual two-tiered construction: cars drive along the lower tier, and subway trains travel along the upper tier. Sidewalks for pedestrians are on both levels. Local daredevils jump into the water from the lower tier, collecting one euro from tourists for their exploits.
The Don Luis Bridge connects the city center with Villa Nova di Gaia, where port wine tastings are held at the historic winery. Therefore, the final point of the walk can be planned here. Be sure to walk along the bridge, look at the panorama that opens it will give you special impressions.
From the upper level, you can take the cable car, which will take you down to the Porto embankment. Those who buy a cable car ticket are sometimes handed out flyers for tasting wines made in Portugal. A ride costs 2.5 one way.
Getting to the sights is most convenient by metro. You need to get off at Jardim do Morro or Sao Bento stations, and then walk a bit.
3. Visit the FC Porto Museum
The Porto Football Club Museum is located inside the Dragau Stadium, which we wrote about above. Numerous reviews of tourists suggest that this museum will be interesting to everyone, and for football fans, it will become a real holiday. You can also find out a lot of interesting things about sports in Portugal.
This is a very large and informative museum with many trophies, artifacts, and interactive screens. Even if you don’t know anything about FC Porto, you will still be aware and imbued with its significance. It is best to book a tour that includes a visit to the stadium. They will tell you about the history of the Porto club, show the interior and the football field itself.
Allow at least an hour and a half to visit the museum. A combined tour of the museum and the stadium will cost 15 for an adult, 10 for a child under 16 and free for children under 4 years. A visit to one museum will cost 12 euros for an adult and 8 euros for a child. Pensioners over 65 are given discounts on tickets.
4. Climb the bell tower of the church of Clerigos
The highest bell tower in Portugal, Clerigos should be a must on the list of what to see in Porto in 3 days. This high tower (75 meters) is visible from different points of Porto, so it is considered one of the most recognizable buildings in the city. Previously, it served as a guide for ships that entered the harbor.
The bell tower belongs to the baroque church of the same name 1732-1748. the building, which is also very beautiful, interesting and worth visiting. In 1910, it was officially recognized as the national treasure of Portugal.
Climbing the bell tower through a narrow staircase is not an easy task. The observation deck is also quite cramped, but it offers stunning views of the city. Therefore, to overcome the rise is definitely worth it.
5. Conquer the Arrabid Bridge
If in order to see the sights of Porto you have 3 days and you like extreme entertainment, be sure to become a “climber” on the Arrabida Bridge. The organizers of the Porto Bridge Climb project offer everyone from 12 years old to overcome the 262 steps of the arch on the bridge structure, rising to a height of 65 meters. Get ready for the fact that the climb will be exciting, but completely safe and not extreme.
All groups (from one person) are accompanied by an experienced guide. You can book a ticket for the climb in advance, but it is better to come immediately to the place: here the schedule of climbs hangs. Scroll up and down for about an hour and put on comfortable athletic shoes.
From the height of the structure, you can look at the ocean and the city from an unusual angle. Also, everyone who went upstairs will have a pleasant surprise. If you want the most incredible experience, climb the bridge during sunset.
6. See the churches of Karma and the Carmelites, separated by the narrowest building in the world
One of Portugal’s most beautiful churches, the luxurious Rococo Carmo Church, is located in Teixeira Square, in the historic center of Porto. Right next to it is the Carmelite Temple. The churches are built so close that it seems as if it is one big temple. But in fact, they are separated by a house only 1 meter wide, which is considered the narrowest building in the world.
Most of all, the church of Carmo, built in the XVIII century, delights tourists with the traditional tiles of Portugal tiles “azulejos”, in appearance resembling gzhel. The walls of the church are decorated with the largest mosaic paintings with images of the Carmelites, which are impossible not to admire. In addition, the temple is decorated with statues of evangelists and sculptures of prophets. No less rich is its interior decoration. That is why the church is considered one of the most significant attractions of Porto and the surrounding area.
It is worth noting that the chic fountain with sculptures of lions, which is located in the square in front of the temples, underlines the magnificent beauty of the Karma church.
7. Visit the “Harry Potter Library” Livraria Lello
In fact, Livraria Lello is a beautiful historical bookstore of the 1890s, where you can see a unique wooden staircase almost the same as in Hogwarts in Harry Potter. According to some versions, it was this staircase that Joan Rowling was inspired when she described the Hogwarts library.
Livraria Lello in Porto is considered the third most beautiful bookstore in the world, so many travelers and fans of Harry Potter want to see it. That is why queues are often formed at the entrance, and inside the store, it becomes crowded due to numerous visitors.
Entrance to the store costs 4 you can spend this money on buying a book, but most of the books presented are in Portuguese, although copies can also be found in English.
8. Take a picture of the Porto City Hall
The famous Porto Town Hall began to be built on the town square in 1920, although it seems to be much older in appearance. The building has six floors, not counting the basement. The main decoration of the city municipality is its 70-meter tower with chimes, which can be reached by breaking 180 steps.
The Town Hall is considered one of the most photogenic buildings in Porto. It harmoniously fits into the general appearance of the square and emphasizes its slightly pompous beauty. Take a closer look at this monumental building, and you will see a huge number of decorations: sculptures, columns, and arches. Please note that the windows of the town hall are made in a variety of forms: rectangular, round, oval.
To take the best pictures, come to the town hall in the early morning, when the square is not yet filled with tourists.
9. Try port wine at the Vinicola Ramos Pinto winery
Staying in Porto, you should try the famous local port. Be prepared for the fact that its taste will pleasantly surprise you, and you will take a bottle or two with you home.
It is best to taste this drink at a historic winery: for example, Casa Ramos Pinto, which was founded in 1880 by the Ramos brothers. Here you can visit the winemaking museum, see how port wine is prepared and stored. Tasting of two budget ports is included in the price of the tour. For a fee, you can taste young wines, vintage, and luxury port.
You can get to the winery from the Don Luis bridge by going down the funicular or stairs. You can combine her visit with a walk around the Ribeira quarter.
10. Enjoy the peace and spaciousness of Porto City Park
If you have already seen enough of the architectural sights and are looking for something to see in Porto among the natural beauties, visit the city park Parque da Cidade do Porto. A walk in this spacious park can be combined with a beach holiday on the Atlantic coast since on one side the park goes directly to the promenade.
In this place you can relax in peace and quiet from the bustling city and enjoy the picturesque paths and lawns, breathing in the fresh breeze. In the ponds of the park, various birds swim (ducks, geese, etc.), which are not afraid of people. No wonder visitors called this park a green oasis of Porto.
The park is located quite far from the center, so it is better to get to it by metro or bus number 500. Allocate about half a day to visit.