Porto – What to Visit?


Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral)

The “Sé do Porto” is a Roman Catholic church located in the historical center of the city. It is one of Porto’s oldest and most beautiful monuments you can visit. Actually, you can visit not only the Cathedral itself but also its cloister. Bear in mind that it is free to visit the church but to visit the cloister you have to pay entrance fee. The entrance to the cloister is located inside the Cathedral, and it is decorated with tiles painted with scenes from the Bible. From this cloister you can also visit the Casa do Cabildo (Cabildo’s House) where it is shown the Cathedral’s Treasure. The “Sé do Porto” is definitely a place you cannot miss.

Address: Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto

Torre dos Clérigos (Clerigos’s Tower)

This is one of the most well-known monuments in Porto. Sitting on the top of the hill you can see the tower from different points of the city. It is 76 meters tall and 200 steps that you can climb to get to the top where you will have an amazing from the city and the river. You can also visit the church that is amazingly beautiful.

Website: http://www.torredosclerigos.pt/en/

Address:  Rua de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto

Liberdade Square

Liberty square is the main and most important square of the city, where the old town connects with modern part of Porto. This plaza in the very center of the city is closed to different main historic and cultural points such as the Clerigos Tower, the Sao Bento Railway Station and even the Santa Catarina street is not very far.

At the end of the Liberdade Square you will find yourself at Avenida dos Aliados, which is flanked by beautiful buildings. It is in this avenue that you will find the most beautiful McDonalds in the world (see Porto – Where to Eat/Drink?). In the middle of this square there is a 10-meter bronze equestrian statue of King Peter IV. The statue of the King holds the Constitution in his hands and shows it to the people, a symbol of the his fight to protect it during the Liberal Wars.

São Bento Railway Station

Yes – this train station is special. Afterall how many cities can say for sure that they have the most beautiful train station in the all world? There is no better way to be received in this city (or say goodbye) than reaching to this beautiful train station. Its almost 20,000 portuguese tiles displayed together featuring historical and ethnographic images. Make sure you don’t miss the opportunity to feel amazed by this very special place.

Address: Praça de Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto

Ildefonso Church

In the end of St Catarina Street, next to São João Theater you will find this amazing baroque-style church. Covered outside with traditional portuguese tiles, this church is an example of the Portuguese heritage. Inside there is an retable, project of the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni. This majestic altarpiece was created and installed by the architect Miguel Francisco da Silva in 1745.

Address: Rua de Santo Ildefonso 11, Porto

Lello Bookstore

This bookstore is famous because the stairs you’ll find inside were the ones that inspire J.K.Rowling to create the moving stairs inside Hogwarts. The bookstore inside is beautiful with its stained glass window and the famous stairs that connects the lower and upper level. This bookstore is one of the oldest in Portugal and has a big variety of books available.

The only let down is the number of people inside, the bookstore is always packed. Because of that you to buy a ticket to enter into the bookstore but the money spent will be discounted if you buy a book.

Website: https://www.livrarialello.pt/en-us/modern-home

Address: Rua das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto

São Francisco Church

This church was established in 1245 by the Franciscan Order. This church is one of the most important examples of the Gothic architecture in the city and declared as World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The outside of this church is majestic, however the inside will blow your mind. The church has three naves that are coated with golden carvings. It is believed that more than 300 kilos of gold dust was used.

São Francisco church on the left and Stock Exchange Palace in Front

You can also visit the catacombs where the Franciscan monks and member of the city’s wealthiest families are buried. Here is where it is located an ossuary which you can see through a glass door.

The tickets’ price to visit the church and the catacombs are 4 euros.

Website: http://ordemsaofrancisco.pt/igrejamuseu/

Address:  Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto

Palácio da Bolsa (The Stock Exchange Palace)

Even though this place doesn’t have the most excited name, this was one of the places we most enjoyed to visit. You can only visit this place with a tour guide but there are tours starting every 30 minutes. Now, what is the Stock Exchange Palace and why is worth to spend some time here?

The Stock Exchange Place is currently the headquarters of Porto’s Commercial Association. The building was constructed in mid-nineteenth century and it’s located next to the St. Francis Church. Inside this monument, you will be able to visit different rooms, all of them luxurious decorated.

The room we most liked, that is also the most precious room of all tour is called the Arab room. This 300-meter room is decorated in a Moorish style and it will make your eyes sparkle with excitement.

Website: https://palaciodabolsa.com/

Address: Rua de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto

Chapel of Souls

In the middle of the most commercial streets of Porto, the Santa Catarina Street you will encounter this amazing church. You will easily recognize it by the traditionally Portuguese white and blue tiles that cover its facade. These panels represent episodes from the lives of S. Francis of Assisi and Saint Catherine.

Address: Rua de Santa Catarina 428, 4000-124 Porto

Bolhão Market

The Bolhão market is the most popular and traditional markets you can find in the city. It was opened in 1914 and you can find stalls with meat, fish, flowers, vegetables among many other products. In here you can experience the true spirit of the city, a lively and vibrant culture.

Note this place is currently under construction so you can find the stalls inside the shopping located next to its usual address.

Website: http://www.mercadobolhao.pt/

Temporary address:  Rua de Fernandes Tomás 506/508, 4000-211 Porto

Crystal Palace Gardens

This is not just a normal park. These gardens are a fantastic place to walk around and enjoy the view of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia and the river Douro. You can also see peacocks, rose gardens and fountains. A really relaxing and enjoyable experience.

Address: Rua de Dom Manuel II, 4050-346 Porto

Port Wine Cellars

Porto Wine is a dessert wine traditional of this part of Portugal. When you walk close to the river Douro, in a part of the city called “Ribeira” you will see cellars of different brands on the other side of the riverbank, in Vila Nova de Gaia. Most of those cellars are opened to the public and you can visit them. I visited the Burmester Cellar located close to the Luis I bridge.

During our tour we learnt about the peculiarities of Port Wine, how it is made, the differences between each type of the Port Wine regarding flavour, colours and qualities. Our tour was complemented with a tasting experience where we tried 3 different Burmester Port Wines: Fine White, Fine Ruby and Special Reserve Twany Jockey Club.

Our tour was 16 euros each person, but they haven’t different types of tours, some pairing the tasting experience with chocolates and biscuits. If you are interested, take a look in their website where you can book your tour.

Website: https://burmester.pt/en/caves/

Address: Largo Dom Luís I, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia

6 Bridge’s Cruise

Other experience very popular in this region is a cruise along the Douro river. These cruises usually take between 1 or 2 days. You will be cruising through the Valleys where the grapes grow every year and breathtaking views.

If you cannot spend a day outside the city you can have a different option, a 50-minute cruise that will take you along the river passing the 6 bridges that connect Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. From your boat you will see from a different perspective the cities of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, Luís Bridge, Serrra do Pilar monastery, Infant Bridge, D. Maria Pia bridge, S. João Bridge and Freixo brige.

We book our tour through the agency “Cenários d’Ouro” which included the 6 Bridge’s cruise and a visit to the Burmester Cellars.

Website: https://www.cenarios.pt/en/

Sá da Bandeira Theater

If you like theater plays or comedy shows or just be sitting in a beautiful room with a magical atmosphere you have to see a show in the Theater “Sá da Bandeira”. This building was built in 1855 and you can find it in one of the streets in the very center of the city. This place has such a charismatic atmosphere that it leaves no one indifferent.

Address: Rua de Sá da Bandeira 108