Top 10 Attractions
Porto is an amazing city with a numerous of sights and attractions worth seeing it. To help you choose the ones that are definitely worth going this is our Top 10 Porto Attractions.
So, when making your itinerary for your vacation days in Porto, be sure to include this places and you will not be sorry, we guarantee it.
Pick up a pen and a notebook and we shall begin:
1) Clérigos Tower
You’ve probably have seen this everywhere ever since you started searching about Porto and we are here to ensure you, the rumors are true, so you should find the time to stop by this landmark. It’s the city’s most important Baroque building built in the eighteenth century by the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni. Just be prepared to climb the 240 steps to the top.
2) Porto Cathedral (Sé)
The most important church of the city is a 12th century landmark with rose window and Romanesque origins. The national monument it was rebuilt a century later and then largely altered in the 18th century but you can still see the Romanesque origin and Gothic cloister. But Sé not only means the religious architectural monument, for the locals it means a city district. So, after the visit trough the church get lost at the streets along the way back to the city center and be amazed by the history and beautiful scenery you will discover along the way.
If walking around in the city it´s not the kind of tourism you like, then perhaps skip this. But you are going to miss out on a pretty great time with beautiful colorful buildings great restaurants and cafes by the river and a privilege view of the Luis I bridge. This part of town is so iconic that a few years ago UNESCO declared a World Heritage Site. You could separate an entire day dedicated to wonder around taking pictures, going in and out of shops and cafes until the end-of-the-day drink with a (really) nice view.
4) Fundação de Serralves Museu de Arte Comtemporânea (Contemporary Art Museum)
If visiting churches are not really your thing and you want to choose one just so you can make that catholic aunt happy, choose São Francisco Church. From the outside, it looks like just another austerely Gothic church from the 18th century, but inside you will find cherubs and sober monks under a 100kg worth of gold leaves. There is also a museum on the grounds with a lot of artifacts from the monastery.
5) Cais de Gaia
The views from Cais de Gaia are perhaps the longest-lasting images of Oporto for visitors. It’s impossible not to stand in awe at the city’s stunning skyline, whose impact is further enhanced by the picturesque boats that stand in front, and the soaring double-decker Dom Luis Bridge.
6) São Francisco Church
From outside looks like an ordinary 14th century Gothic and Baroque construction. But it has the most extraordinary church interior in Oporto and unquestionably one of the most fabulously opulent in all of Europe.
The extensive 17th and 18th baroque decoration is a profusion of gilt wood carvings in the vault pillars and columns: cherubs, plants, and animals dripping with gold — note the “Tree of Jesse,” dating from 1718.
7) Casa da Música
This twelve-storey, irregular-shaped building was designed by world-renowned architect Rem Koolhaas exclusively for musical performances. For admirers of architectural marvels it justifies a visit to Oporto on its own.
The striking white concrete structure is an inventive building. Inside the 1,300-seat auditorium of perfect acoustics is a baroque organ pinned to the wall. The VIP room has hand-painted blue tiles, blending contemporary minimalism with traditional touches.
You can see it all in a highly recommended guided tour.
8) Palácio da Bolsa
This pompous 19th-century building with a vast Neoclassical façade is the former stock exchange that was built to impress and earn the credibility of European investors.
Inside it could be mistaken for a royal place. Especially the ornate Arab Room, an oval chamber that attempted to copy Granada’s Alhambra Palace. It is now “the grand reception room” of the city where heads of state and other luminaries are received on a visit to Oporto.
9) Dom Luís Bridge
Oporto’s iconic bridge opened in 1886, when it held the record for the longest iron arch in the world. Today the metro crosses the upper level, while the lower level is used by cars and pedestrians. There you can cross the river between the center of Oporto and the spectacular city views and port wine warehouses of Vila Nova de Gaia.
10) São Bento Station
The first train arrived here in 1896, but the building (designed with a French Renaissance touch) was only officially inaugurated in 1916 where a convent once stood. This is the city’s most central station. Standing downtown just around the corner from the monumental Avenida dos Aliados.
Around 20,000 magnificent tiles alluding to the history of transport and Portugal cover most of the atrium. They’re the work of artist Jorge Colaço and date from 1916.