25 Best Things to Do in Porto

Showing 1 - 15 of 25

  • Porto Cathedral cloisters
    Porto Cathedral cloisters

    The austere and imposing cathedral in Porto was built during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Romanesque style. Alterations during the 18th century have made the façade more appealing


  • Igreja de Sao Francisco - Porto
    Igreja de Sao Francisco

    Fine Gothic church situated just behind the Ribeira. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site the church has a particularly fine Baroque interior


  • Porto Bridge from Vila Nova da Gaia
    Bridge from Vila Nova da Gaia

    The double-decker Dom Luis I bridge is an icon of the city of Porto. It spans the River Douro linking the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia with the bustling downtown Ribeira district of Porto. Construction took place between 1881 and 1886 with the bridge being built adjacent to an existing bridge which it replaced. The granite pillars of the original bridge are still in place, standing on the Ribeira like a pair of gate posts.

    It is probably no coincidence that the bridge passes more than a fleeting resemblance of its neighbouring bridge, the...


  • Porto Town Hall (Camara Municipal)

    Avenida dos Aliados is generally regarded as Porto's city centre and is, as such, the most grandiose avenue. Flanked by ornate buildings in a range of architectural styles, from neoclassical to French Beaux-arts, this avenue was built to impress. As such it is home to some of the city's most prestigious hotels along with a number of banks. When I lived in Porto I was never quite convinced I was in an actual city until I wandered down to Aliados.



    Public Places
  • Clerigos Tower at Night
    Clerigos Tower at Night

    The 'church of the clergy' is an imposing Baroque building in its own right. However, it is the 76 metre high Clerigos Tower, symbol of Porto, that makes this one of Porto's main sites


  • Palacio da Bolsa interior
    The Arab Room - Palacio da Bolsa
    Josep Renalias | BY-SA

    The neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace is located in the historic centre of Porto. The palace is perhaps best known for its magnificently decorated interior, most notably the 'Arab Room'


  • National Museum Soares dos Reis - Porto
    National Museum Soares dos Reis

    Founded in 1833 this was Portugal's first national museum. Set in the Carrancas Palace the National Museum Soares dos Reis features one of the finest collections of Portuguese art in existence. This includes many works by the sculptor António Soares dos Reis, after whom the museum is named. The collections feature painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork and ceramics from many of Portugal's most revered artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.


  • Jardins do Palácio de Cristal - sports pavilion
    Jardins do Palácio de Cristal sports pavilion
    Concierge.2C | BY-SA

    Set on a hilltop in Porto's city centre are the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal. An 8 hectare expanse of landscaped gardens offering panoramic views of the city and Douro River below.  

    Created towards the end of the 19th century the layout of the gardens is the work of eminent German landscape gardener Émille David.

    The gardens are an oasis of calm within Portugal's second city. Paths weave between the meticulously tended botanical gardens and lawns, and there are fountains and sculptures dotted around the park. The result is a patchwork of smaller gardens, each with its...


  • São Bento, Porto
    São Bento Station, Porto
    António Amen | BY-SA

    São Bento is Porto's central station, although the exterior of this grand building barely hints at its purpose. Completed in 1916 the station is built on the site of a 16th century Benedictine monastery - from which the name São Bento is derived.

    The monastery itself was almost destroyed by fire in 1783, and despite being rebuilt was barely standing at the end of the 19th century. 

    São Bento Railway Station was designed by a local architect, José Marques da Silva, with much of the influence coming from the French Beaux-Arts style. The first stone was laid by King Carlos I in...


  • Casa da Musica - Porto
    Casa da Musica
    Filipe Fortes | BY-SA

    Located in the geographic heart of Porto, just of the Rotunda da Boavista, is the Casa da Música (House of Music). Built to be one of the city's major venues this building goes far beyond and is an icon of the progressive architecture Porto is held in esteem for.

    Built to coincide with Porto's 2001 designation as European Capital of Culture the building was to be something of a centrepiece. It was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhas and its bold styling met with worldwide acclaim.

    It is hard to describe the building in words. Apparently it takes an asymmetrical polyhedron...


  • Casa de Serralves
    Casa de Serralves
    Nmmacedo | BY-SA

    Also known as the National Museum of Modern Art, the Fundação de Serralves has an impressive permanent collection and regular exhibitions. The museum is set in the beautiful gardens of the Serralves park


  • Livraria Lello e Irmão - Porto
    Livraria Lello e Irmão - Porto
    Alegna13 | BY-SA

    Built in 1906, the Livraria Lello and Irmão has been described as one of the finest bookshops on the planet. I would dispute this as the selection of books are nothing out of the ordinary; however, the spectacularly ornate interior is. Featuring interwinding central staircases, sumptuous wood carvings, stained glass and a bridge, the decor more fitting of a catheral than a bookstore!

    Now, I assume that most people visiting are the Livraria Lello e Irmão not going to be looking for a book, so I'll concentrate on the building!
    The building was designed by architect Xavier...


  • Igreja de Sao Ildefenso
    Igreja de Sao Ildefenso

    Completed in 1739, this proto-Baroque style features a distinctive façade of azulejo tilework. Inside is a retable by the Italian artist Nicolau Nasoni


  • Igreja da Misericórdia - Porto
    Igreja da Misericórdia
    António Amen | BY-SA

    The Igreja da Misericórdia do Porto is located on the historic Rua das Flores in downtown Porto. The church does not stand alone but is instead sandwiched between the offices and shops that line this typical Porto street.

    Originally built in the 16th century the church's facade was redesigned by Northern Portugal's favourite Baroque architect, the Italian Nicolau Nasoni. He was responsible for designing a number of buildings in the city including the Clerigos tower and church, and the...


  • Igreja de Santa Clara interior
    Igreja de Santa Clara interior
    António Amen | BY-SA

    Porto's Igreja de Santa Clara is a fine example of my favourite kind of historic Catholic church; these are the one that are fairly austere and humble on the outside, but when you pass through the doorway you are almost overwhelmed by the opulent decor.

    The exterior of the church is largely 15th century in origin and built in the Gothic style. The exception is the main entrance which was remodeled in the Baroque style. Sitting in a courtyard, just off a leafy square, the church has a very peaceful feel to it. You wouldn't know you were only minutes from Porto's famed Ribeira and the...




Porto travel guide »

Porto is considered the capital of the north and as the second largest city in Portugal, rightfully so. There are really very few similarities between Porto and Lisbon – they are both near the coast, on the banks of large rivers and...