Porto is fast becoming a great tourist destination. Located in the north of Portugal, it boasts lots of interesting sites to visit and explore. Here are the top ten attractions to see while visiting Porto.
This is the city’s most visible landmark, standing at 75 metres tall. “It was opened in 1763 and boasts beautiful Baroque motifs designed by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni” explains Vincente P. Scott, a writer at OXEssays and LiaHelp. The tower has 240 steps to climb, offering a breath-taking panoramic view that awaits at the top.
This museum was designed by Alvaro Siza Vieira. The minimalist design of the building and surrounding gardens attracts as many visitors as the ever-changing international exhibits shown within. There are also numerous eye-catching outdoor art exhibits throughout the gardens.
This is Porto’s most important church. Built-in the 12th and 13th centuries, the cathedral is considered a national monument. If you are planning on visiting this stunning cathedral, be sure to keep your eye out for the Teixeira Lopes sculpture in the baptistery, the medieval portrait of Our Lady of Vandoma, the city’s patron saint, and the chapel frescoes.
Dom Luís Bridge
This bridge was built in 1886 over the Douro river. It was designed by Téophile Seyrig, an engineer who worked with Gustave Eiffel. The bridge has an upper and lower deck, with a pedestrian walkway on the upper deck, which offers spectacular views and a direct walking route to the port wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Another way to enjoy the architecture of this bridge is to book a boat tour on the Douro River.
Vila Nova de Gaia
Vila Nova de Gaia sits just across the Douro from Porto and is interconnected not only through the series of bridges but also its shared history of port-wine making. A visit to the port wine cellars is a must for anyone who loves port wine. The cellars are beautiful, and the guided tours are informative and there is a port tasting at the end of the tour.
Casa da Música
If you are a fan of contemporary architecture, then the Casa da Música should be on your list of places to visit while in Porto. This impressive building was designed by Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas. It is the new home for the National Orchestra of Porto, which opened to critical acclaim in 2005. The facility offers daily guided tours and special packages include backstage passes and free port wine! A must-stop when visiting Porto.
This bookstore is one of the most famous in all of Europe. This bookstore is known for its beauty. As it is rumoured to have inspired author J.K. Rowling, many fans flock to this bookstore from all over the world. In addition to the impressive inventory of more than 60,000 books, the shop features a double helix staircase, a stained-glass skylight, and a café on the second floor.
Palácio da Bolsa
Constructed on the site of the former St. Francis Convent, the Palácio da Bolsa was built as a stock exchange, designed to impress Europe’s economic leaders. Several architects worked on its construction and it took nearly 70 years. It was designed in a Moorish style by Gustavo Adolfo Gonçalves e Sousa.
This unique pool was designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. It is not your average pool and worth a visit. This pool is built into the rocks that divide land from ocean, making this a breath-taking sight to behold, as well as take a dip in. Unlike most pools, this pool is filled with salty seawater.
São Bento Train Station
Last but certainly not least on our list is the beautiful São Bento Train Station. “There are over 20,000 decorative tiles which adorn the walls of the station,” says Steven Emory, a travel expert at StateOfWriting and Essayroo. Painter Jorge Colaço took 11 years to complete these intricate tiles. It was voted 10th most beautiful in Travel+Leisure magazine’s list of the World’s Most Beautiful Train Stations.
Porto offers a good mix of history, culture, architecture, nature, and art. These attractions offer something for everyone. It is a must-visit place on your next visit to Portugal.