Porto: Streets, Neighborhoods & Places
Porto is a photogenic city and is full of perfect spots for your tripod. Or, if you prefer, just to rest your eyes. The most obvious is the view point from Clérigos Tower, which will make you climb less than 300 steps. But you will find others, perfectly embedded in the mesh of the city, some of them in locations that will surprise you: the yard of the Cathedral or the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, the Virtudes Sidewalk, the Gardens of Palácio de Cristal and of the Tait House. All of them with a privileged view to the houses and the river. One of our favorites is “ right at our doorstep” at the end of Rua da Vitória.
Heritage: Historical Center
When roaming through the city you will find many buildings and monuments perpetuating the history of the city and its golden ages, from medieval times, through the Baroque era, until it turned into the cosmopolitan metropolis that prides itself on what it is today. Some of the most striking are the Cathedral, at the top of the hill where the medieval borough started to grow, or the Tower of Clérigos, by architect Nicolou Nazoni, which is one of the best examples of the height of the Baroque period. Be sure to also visit the S.Bento Railway Station and the Stock Exchange Palace.
Discover: Cultural Venues
Porto hosts an intense and varied artistic life, largely due to the quality of two of its major cultural facilities. One of them is Serralves Museum, whose author is the renowned architect Siza Vieira, and which has a program of international dimension in the branch of contemporary art. The other one is Casa da Música, commissioned to Rem Koolhaas to be one of the stages for the European Capital of Culture in 2001. Buildings which, by themselves alone, are worth a visit. In the photography area, don’t fail to visit the former Gaol and Court of Appeal, where nowadays you can find the Portuguese Center of Photography.
World Class Architecture
The river side is one of the most picturesque areas of the city, from which you can perceive the closeness that Porto has with its river. It won’t be hard for you to notice how much the city still pulsates and lives here, in a space that integrates an area classified as World Heritage. The houses, designing an intricate and colorful urban mesh. The clothes drying on the clothesline, adding even more tones to this varied palette. The vast range of bars, terraces and traditional trade-based craft products. Elements which render this area of the city the perfect place for a stopover allowing you to contemplate the hustle and bustle of the river and the iconic bridges.
Cellars: Port Wine
The greatest ambassador of Porto in the world has several doors open to you on the left bank of the Douro river. The famous nectar is produced on the banks of this same river, a few hundred miles upwards. You can begin a real journey of the senses by its end by visiting the companies that produce it, getting to know the techniques, learning its histories and traditions. And of course, taking all the tastings you feel like and are capable of. Don’t forget to admire the Rabelo boats which for decades brought the barrels of Port Wine downriver and be thrilled by the scenery which is the best postcard of the city.
In Oporto there are several possibilities to know better the city, in particular by Bus and even by the historic Electric or Tram. Several circuits are available so that visitors may have the greatest possible coverage of the city. You have total freedom to visit the various points of interest in each route. Available timetables are extensive and easily accessible.
Gastronomy: Restaurants and “Tascas”
You will have plenty of opportunities to understand why the North of Portugal and Porto in particular, are worldly famous as places “where you can eat a lot and well.” Whether you choose exclusive restaurants or small taverns, you will find variety, quality and … a few surprises. Be sure to try the typical dishes such as ”Tripas à moda do Porto” (it is on account of this dish that Porto citizens are called “tripeiros”) and the” Francesinha”, which had everything to be a simple snack, but you will find it to be much more than that. Be amazed by our wine lists, and make sure to focus on our national wines, particularly those departing from Porto to the rest of the world: the renowned Douro wines.
Nightlife: Cafes, Bars & Clubs
Porto has always been a town of cafes. Places like Majestic or Guarany, or others, less impressive to the sight, but equally stage to passionate conversations and intense gatherings. Now Porto is also a city of bars and clubs, where the act of having a drink or dancing gets along well with those who prefer just to stroll among the small crowd that gathers in the area of Galerias de Paris. There you will find bars to suit every taste and many of them don’t even charge entrance fees. Choose the ambience that most suits you.