1. Visit the Sé do Porto Cathedral
Sé do Porto Cathedral is the main church of Porto built in on the highest point of the city. Its high, dark walls and the Baroque style reminds me the times of Portuguese conquistadors. From the square surrounding the cathedral, you can admire the beautiful panorama of Porto skyline!
2. Walk down Rua Santa Catarina
… the most famous street of Porto! Rua Santa Katerina is known not only for the shops and restaurants, but also for two beautiful churches – Capela das Almas and Igreja sto. Idefonso – both with façades beautifully decorated with white and blue azulejos.
3. Have a cup of coffee at the Majestic Café
Have a cup of coffee and look around the magnificent, richly decorated interior!
4. Admire the panorama of Porto from Ponte Dom Luís I
Ponte Dom Luís I is one of six bridges connecting Ribeira and Vila Nova de Gaia. It was built by the company owned by Gustav Eiffel. Hence its construction resembles the famous Parisian tower. The view from the bridge is stunning, especially during sunset and twilight hours!
5. Wine tasting at Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia is famous all over the world for the production of delicious and aromatic port wine. You will find here dozens of wine cellars full of the bottles from the floor to the ceiling. You can do the wine cellars tour here and have a glass or two of delicious wine. It is only 2 Euro per glass, but if you buy a tour, wine tasting will be included in the price.
6. Visit Livraria Lello, the most beautiful bookshop in the world
Doesn’t the interior of the bookstore look great? There’s a reason why Livraria Lello has been recognized as one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world and inspired J.K. Rowling to create the magical world of Hogwarts. It is a place where shelves full of books books rise up to the ceiling, stairs give the impression of being alive and dusty atmosphere is undoubtedly full of magic! What is more, you can deduct the price of the ticket (4 euros) from your books purchases!
7. Take a walk following the trail of azulejos
Porto is definitely one of those places that need to be walked length and breadth to feel its unique atmosphere and understand the extraordinary charm! Following the trail of white and blue azulejos you must include on route the Chapel of Souls (Chapel das Amas) and the church of St. Idefonso, the building of the railway station Porto-São Bento, Igreja dos Congregados (little church in front of the station) and Igreja dos Carmelitas. Keep in mind that Porto azulejos aren’t only churches. The white-and-blue tiles can be seen in every corner of the city!
8. Try francesinha
Necessarily! Francesinha is a delicious sandwich, made of bread and four different types of meat, covered with melted cheese and served on fries with beer sauce. So really not a sandwich at all! Apparently, this dish is a local version of the French croque-monsieur adapted to the palate of the natives. Well, I think that francesinha is a one plate summary of the whole Portuguese cuisine. It is delicious, I admit, but also not the lightest one 😉 .
9. Wander the corners of Ribeira
And not only Praça da Ribeira and the main boulevard alongside the Douro river, but also the surrounding streets. Apparently Ribeira belongs to the dangerous parts of the city, so better do it during the day… Don’t be too much worry though! It is worth to discover this slightly different face of Porto, a bit poor and neglected, but still full of charm adorned with colorful façades of tenements.
10. Try the fish in Matosinhos
Generally speaking, going to Matosinhos is a must do if you are in Porto for more than two days! Waves of ocean crashing onto the shore and salty winds capture the imagination and allow to understand the sailors and their constant need to embark on the unknown. But yet, we will stay on the waterfront, because Matosinhos cannot be left without trying the local fish! Apparently it is the best fish in town (and half of cheaper!). No matter which restaurant you choose, it will definitely be delicious!
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And what would you add to the list of things to do or try in Porto?
Thanks for reading!