Positioned on the Douro Estuary, this historic city with a medieval history is bustling, beautiful and compact. It has so much to offer from seafront views to quaint streets and churches, this magnificent corner of Portugal is every bit impressive.
Cais da Ribeira
This riverside area of Porto is busy and full of fun where you can find bars and restaurants on every corner and there is a lovely riverside walk available. From here you will have spectacular views of the iconic Luis I Bridge and if you take a walk through the arcades you will come across steep streets and stairways that open up to pastel-painted houses. In recent years it has undergone some work and that has taken the area to a new level.
Serralves Museum & Villa
Found in the west of Porto, Serralves has a gorgeous Villa and museum for tourists to visit. The Villa, Casa de Serralves is an Art Deco property that was built between 1925 and 1944 with well-known designers crafting the magnificent interiors.
Situated in beautiful grounds with tree-lined avenues and plush lawns, it is every bit impressive. You will also find the contemporary art museum where you can find temporary exhibitions. Commonly, there are around five on display at any one time, ensuring that there is always something to take a look at.
Luís I Bridge
This is a real symbol of Port, the twin-level arched bridge made of metal was first opened in 1886. It was designed by German engineer Theophile who played his part in the foundations of the Eiffel Company.
The breach joins the banks of the Douro and is almost 45 metres high. From the bridge, you can take a view over the Cais da Ribeira which is used by the light railway but after you have embraced the views, you can take a trip on the Funicular dos Guindais where you can then access the waterside.
Foz do Douro
If you want to explore the fresh outdoors, then head for the Foz do Douro, which is a smart district where the Douro reaches the ocean. There is a stretching promenade that is lined with palms and pines as well as a pergola that is similar to that of Nice.
The Pergola da Foz was first put in place in the 1930s after the wife of the mayor fell in love with the one in Nice. The Farol Molhe do Douro lighthouse is impressive and did its job for 120 years before being taken out of service in 2009. This area is filled with modern restaurants and during the height of summer, you will be rewarded with an amazing romantic sunset.
Located near the Luis I Bridge is the 14th-century wall that runs parallel to the funicular. It belongs to the World Heritage Site but it is an attraction that proves that the city has a lot of history.
You can find out more about the battlements at Largo 1. de Dezembro where you will find the wall that is surrounded by a beautiful garden with orange trees. There are UNESCO signs dotted around giving more information about the medieval history of Porto but be sure to take in the views of Douro because they are spectacular.
Church of Santa Clara
You will find this church positioned next to the medieval defensive walls of Porto. Built in 1457, it was put in place to replace a medieval convent. It is very much like other religious buildings in the city where they underwent a significant update in the early part of the 18th century.
This glorious building contains gilded mouldings, red marble and wooden carvings that contain detail that simply have to be seen to be believed. The style here is known as Barroco Joanino in Portugal, which derives from the reign of John V when the Portuguese Empire was at its wealthiest.
Douro River Trip
This impressive river is over 900km in length and it forms a huge part of the city as it has a special feeling about it. It is possible to take an hour-long cruise along the river where the guide will give you information about Porto and its history.
This will include port warehouses, landmarks and bridges. Once you make your way upriver, you will also find the Maria Pia Bridge, which is older than the Luis 1 bridge and was built by Gustave Eiffel.
Map of Porto
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