A guide to Porto

The city of Porto is located along the Douro river, in the north of Portugal. The city has several ancient churches and medieval streets, and is known for its production of port wine.

Central Porto from Torre dos Clérigos, photo by Jonik
Central Porto from Torre dos Clérigos, photo by Jonik

Central Porto from Torre dos Clérigos, photo by Jonik on Wikipedia

Enjoy the views from Cais de Gaia

Cais de Gaia is an area known for its views towards the city. From tis area visitors will be able to see the sea and the boats, with the Dom Luis Bridge soaring above it. This area is filled with bars and restaurants with views towards the coast.

Porto - Dom Luis I bridge, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia
Porto – Dom Luis I bridge, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia

Porto – Dom Luis I bridge, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia

Visit the port houses

A short distance away from the coast visitors will find the Port Wine warehouses. Some of the port houses are ancient mansions known for their architecture. Most of the port produced in the region is stored here, and visitors will be able to enjoy sips of several of the local ports.

The city offers a large selection of local delicacies. Tripe stew is one of the city’s most popular dishes. Another main dish that can be found in most of the city’s restaurants is the bacalhau fish, dried salted cod.

Spend an afternoon at a museum

This city has several museums. The Serralves Museum is known for its collection of contemporary art. There are many temporary collections on display, and the building itself is one of the city’s architectural landmarks. Next to the museum visitors will find the Casa de Serralves, a pink Art Deco building. After touring the galleries visitors will be able to enjoy a walk around the museum’s gardens.

Walk around the city center

The city center is filled with ancient churches. The Sao Francisco Church was built in a baroque and Gothic styles. Inside the church visitors will be able to see baroque decorations, gilded pillars, marble and wooden carvings. The columns are decorated with carvings of cherubs and plants. Below the ground floor are the catacombs, which have been transformed into a museum dedicated to this ancient monastery.

The Sé do Porto is the city’s cathedral. After the cathedral’s many restorations the building has been transformed into a baroque fortress with a Gothic rose window decorating the facade. The altar is made of silver and one of the chapels has a sacred art museum. From the cathedral’s tiled terrace visitors will be able to enjoy views towards the Episcopal Palace.

Façade of the Porto Cathedral by night; photo by Adbar on Wikipedia
Façade of the Porto Cathedral by night; photo by Adbar on Wikipedia

Façade of the Porto Cathedral by night; photo by Adbar on Wikipedia

The district of Ribeira is known for its medieval streets. The Praça da Ribeira is located in this district, a riverfront square that has become a popular meeting point. There are many bars, cafés and restaurants, some of them located below medieval arches. Those located on the square have views towards the quay, which is filled with colourful fishing boats. There are several historical landmarks located in this district, including the Casa do Infante, a palace where the city’s archives are kept. Visitors will be able to tour this historical place. The Boavista neighbourhood is another area filled with landmarks, and many of the city’s hostels and boutique hotels are located there. In the nearby Avenida dos Aliados visitors will find the Praça Liberdade, the city’s main square. This area has many white buildings with facades that are decorated with carved sculptures.

Porto Ribeira, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia
Porto Ribeira, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia

Porto Ribeira, photo by Georges Jansoone on Wikipedia

Lori

I’m offering public relations, communications and image counseling in everyday life and I have a PR agency – PRwave INTERNATIONAL. I am passionate about reading, blogging (I also have a blog in Romanian) and traveling. Follow me on Twitter - @violetaloredana (Romanian) and @TravelMoments.

4 thoughts on “A guide to Porto

  • 8 November, 2013 at 09:58
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    The bridge looks amazing! And the cathedral, that is just breathtaking. I would love to visit some time. Thanks for the beautiful guide to visiting Porto.

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