An itinerary to discover the beauty of the Portuguese city and its flavors
Porto is a wonderful city, made up of ancient buildings that drag you into another era. Strolling through its streets, in a continuous up and down, you experience the magic of this Portuguese City: stores bearing the old wooden signs, colorful facades, narrow alleys where you experience the daily life of its inhabitants.
The famous fortified wine, Port, takes its name from the city of Oporto, located at the mouth of the Douro River. Its fame is attributed to the need of English traders, at the time at war with the French, to find an alternative to the wines of their wartime rivals. Therefore they began intense trade relations to procure this sweet wine, reinforced with aquavit.
Must-see stops in the city of Porto
- Ponte D. Luis I
- Ribeira Square
- Church of Santa Clara
- Porto Cathedral (Se Catedral)
- Sao Francisco Church
- Palacio da Bolsa
- Church of São Pedro dos Clérigos
- Clerigos Tower
- Livraria Lello & Irmão
- Igreja do Carmo
- Avenida dos Aliados
- Porto City Hall
- Capela das Almas
- Casa da Musica
- Parque da Cidade do Porto
- Castelo do Queijo
D. Luis I bridge
Descending to the Douro River, you encounter the Dom Luís I Bridge, an imposing iron structure, reminiscent of the Eiffel Tower. In fact, its builder was a close collaborator of the French engineer.
The river passes through the valley that bears its name, the Douro Valley, which enchants tourists with its beauty and offers the vines from which fragrant wines and Port, the world-famous fortified wine named after the city, are born. A tour at nightfall, when the illuminated bridge creates a romantic atmosphere on the river, is a must.
Ribeira is the picturesque neighborhood that stretches over the Douro and offers a spectacular view of color, stores and life. The houses are colorful and embellished with the characteristic azulejos. Here you can enjoy the City’s typical cuisine in one of its quaint restaurants and bars.
Se Catedral and Igreja de Santa Clara
Porto’s cathedral, the Sé, is one of the most impressive buildings, consisting of twin towers with a large central rose window and a large plaza that offers beautiful views of the river and the Ribeira. The Igreja de Santa Clara is characterized by a deep Baroque style and gilded carving work.
Igreja de S Francisco and Palacio da Bolsa
Igreja de S Francisco offers a real spectacle inside. It is completely adorned with gold and embellished with wood carvings. The Palacio da Bolsa might go almost unnoticed from the outside, but inside it offers an unimaginable spectacle, with different styles from each other, but very well integrated.
São Pedro dos Clérigos church, the tower and Livraria Lello & Irmão
The Church of São Pedro dos Clérigos is a complex whose tower is one of the symbols of the city of Porto. At the top, after walking up many steps, it offers another beautiful view of the City.
The distinctive shelves of the Lello and Irmao Library, with its 8-shaped staircase and Gothic-liberty style, make it unique and magical and were the film set of the Harry Potter movie.
Avenida dos Aliados, Porto City hall and Capela das Almas
Avenida dos Aliados is a major avenue in the city center, and there are many impressive buildings here, such as the Porto Town Hall, which appears at the end of the square with its 70-meter-high tower.
Capela das Almas is a small church covered externally with blue and white tiles depicting scenes of the death of St. Francis of Assisi and the martyrdom of St. Catherine.
Casa da Musica, Parque da Cidade do Porto and Castelo do Queijo
Outside the historic center of Porto, you can visit the Casa da Musica, with its concert halls, the Parque da Cidade do Porto, and the Castelo do Queijo, a small fort by the sea dating back to the 1600s.
Typical dishes and the famous Porto wine
There are not only tourist attractions in Porto, but also good cuisine to discover. Characteristic of the local cuisine are Pastéis de bacala, codfish croquettes to try accompanied by a good glass of Port wine. Fracesinha is a kind of sandwich with ham and cheese covered with a good dose of meat sauce.
The City’s long river, which plays the most important role in the production, trade and export of Port, offers a lovely landscape, suitable for long walks. You encounter bars, restaurants and the most famous wineries that organize guided tours accompanied by Port tastings. It is easy to see the characteristic boats that transported wine in barrels, barcos rabelos.
The Douro region is a land that offers fragrant, floral wines. Not far from here Vinhos Verde are also produced. These are wines with a fruity, floral aroma, low in alcohol and slightly fizzy. This fizz is called by Portuguese “agulha”.
Porto: cultural and culinary richness
Porto is a city rich in every sense: in attractions, in food, in wine, in color. It is a place to visit, in which to spend a few days, a weekend or even a whole week, getting carried away in a romantic atmosphere, surrounded by beauty and taste that pass between nature, monuments and wine.