TOP 24 best attractions in Porto


The sights of Por­to are care­ful­ly pre­served arti­facts of the past with a rich his­to­ry and unique beau­ty.


What to do in Porto

Por­to is one of the most beau­ti­ful and attrac­tive cities for tourists in Por­tu­gal.

Archi­tec­ture lovers will be impressed by the extra­or­di­nary build­ings in the typ­i­cal local style. The Sao Ben­to sta­tion, although it is no longer the main rail­way artery, is still crowd­ed on it. Tourists come to see the char­ac­ter­is­tic blue and white azule­jo tiles. Por­to is also home to the most beau­ti­ful Bol­sa Palace — the own­er of a huge octag­o­nal glass dome and rich inte­ri­ors.

A trip to the local muse­um will be great fam­i­ly fun. The World of Dis­cov­ery Park invites you on a jour­ney with Por­tuguese nav­i­ga­tors. The Tram Muse­um is per­haps the most unusu­al: you can not only see its exhibits, but also ride them around the city like a breeze. The Suares dos Reis Muse­um hous­es mas­ter­pieces by local crafts­men.

A walk through the pic­turesque areas will appeal to lovers of pho­tog­ra­phy and unusu­al self­ies. In the Ribeira quar­ter, with nar­row streets, the spir­it of the past hov­ers. There is also the Foz do Douro dis­trict with a chic prom­e­nade and a light­house — the most pres­ti­gious in the city.


Sao Bento

san bentu

One of the most beau­ti­ful rail­way sta­tions in the world is built on the foun­da­tions of an ancient monastery. The majes­tic neo­clas­si­cal build­ing received its first pas­sen­gers in 1903. The main attrac­tion of Sant Benu is the walls dec­o­rat­ed with azule­jos. This is a spe­cial type of glazed tile, on which orna­ments are applied in a char­ac­ter­is­tic Por­tuguese man­ner.

It is build­ing to linger in front of the land­mark pan­el of 20 thou­sand tiles, made accord­ing to the sketch­es of Georges Colas. The paint­ing depicts the main mile­stones in the his­to­ry of the coun­try, for exam­ple, the Bat­tle of Valde­vez, the exploits of Egas Moniz, as well as genre scenes from the every­day life of the Por­tuguese.

Prince’s house

dom princess

Like any his­tor­i­cal build­ing, the “Prince’s House” has under­gone an amaz­ing trans­for­ma­tion. Ini­tial­ly, it was a com­plex of sev­er­al build­ings: cus­toms, a mint and util­i­ty rooms for work­ers. Con­struc­tion began in the 14th cen­tu­ry. In the 17th cen­tu­ry, King Pedro II ordered the recon­struc­tion of the build­ing. The area of ​​the court­yard remained the same, but the height of the tow­ers was seri­ous­ly reduced, but the main build­ing received two addi­tion­al floors and the win­dow open­ings expand­ed.

It is believed that the famous hero, Hen­ry the Nav­i­ga­tor, son of King Juan I, was born in this house. A memo­r­i­al plaque was installed on the facade of the build­ing on the occa­sion of the 500th anniver­sary of this land­mark event.

Palace of Bolsa

dvorec bolsa

The neo­clas­si­cal build­ing was built in 1850 by order of the city’s Com­mer­cial Asso­ci­a­tion. But the inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion last­ed for 60 years. The result of such a long effort is impres­sive: stuc­co, stained glass, bas-reliefs, columns, pompous chan­de­liers and skill­ful mosaics.

You should def­i­nite­ly vis­it the Hall of Nations. Cov­ered by a huge octag­o­nal dome, it is lit­er­al­ly flood­ed with nat­ur­al light. The low­er part of the struc­ture is dec­o­rat­ed with the coats of arms of the coun­tries with which Por­tu­gal trad­ed active­ly in the 19th cen­tu­ry.

The “Ara­bi­an Hall”, dec­o­rat­ed in the Moor­ish style, is a real realm of lux­u­ry. Ornate carv­ings on the walls, mosa­ic floor and chic glass doors with col­or­ful car­pet-like orna­ments attract atten­tion.

episcopal palace

episkopalni dvorec

The res­i­dence of the Por­tuguese bish­ops began to be built in the 12th cen­tu­ry on the ini­tia­tive of the cler­gy­man João Rafael de Men­dons, not far from the Cathe­dral. For this, an old­er build­ing, the palace, had to be demol­ished. Despite the fact that the work was car­ried out quite quick­ly, the cus­tomer did not live to see the com­ple­tion of con­struc­tion.

Due to the haste, mis­takes were made in the con­struc­tion of the build­ing, and the num­ber of dec­o­ra­tive ele­ments was reduced. In the 18th cen­tu­ry, the palace was sig­nif­i­cant­ly altered, and ele­ments of the Romanesque style framed by win­dows were sup­ple­ment­ed with baroque details.

House of Music

dom music

Por­to’s main con­cert hall was built 15 years ago by the inno­v­a­tive archi­tect Rem Kool­haas. In addi­tion to amaz­ing acoustics, the build­ing has an unusu­al shape, rem­i­nis­cent of a space­ship from a dis­tant galaxy. The walls of the con­cert hall, which can accom­mo­date up to 1,200 spec­ta­tors, are made of glass, through which passers-by can see musi­cians and spec­ta­tors.

Fortress of Fernandina

krepost fernandini

From the once for­mi­da­ble fortress of the XIV cen­tu­ry there was only a wall run­ning par­al­lel to the funic­u­lar. From the street Largo 1. de Dezem­bro you can get to the loop­holes of the citadel. The atmos­phere of the Mid­dle Ages reigns in the tow­ers of gray stone, and scenes of des­per­ate bat­tles come to life. And the view of the city and the Douro Riv­er is breath­tak­ing. The entrance to the fortress is framed by a gar­den of orange trees. Nice set­ting for the adven­ture ahead.

Luis I Bridge

most luisha

An iron two-lev­el bridge con­nects the rocky banks of the Douro Riv­er at a height of 45 m. The author of the design is Theophilus Seyrig, a stu­dent of the famous Gus­tave Eif­fel. Per­haps that is why the bridge resem­bles the invert­ed sil­hou­ette of the Parisian tow­er.

Cars dri­ve along the low­er span, metro trains ride along the upper one. There are walk­ways on both lev­els. At the top of the bridge there is also a board­ing point for the funic­u­lar going down to the embank­ment.

Churches and cathedrals

Church of Saint Francis

cerkov st francasca

The mag­nif­i­cent and only sur­viv­ing exam­ple of Goth­ic archi­tec­ture in Por­to took almost 200 years to build, and received its first parish­ioners in 1425. The main dec­o­ra­tion of the facade is a giant rose win­dow above the entrance and a sculp­ture of St. Fran­cis, in whose hon­or the tem­ple was erect­ed.

The inte­ri­or dec­o­ra­tion was formed dur­ing the XVI-XVIII cen­turies. It is notable for the abun­dance of ele­ments in the Baroque style. Par­tic­u­lar­ly impres­sive are the gold-plat­ed wood carv­ings above the entrance and on the columns. The orna­ments are dom­i­nat­ed by images of birds, flow­ers, angels and scrolls.

Church of Clerigos

cerkov klerigush

The baroque church, with huge bizarre win­dows, looks more like a fairy-tale palace than a reli­gious build­ing. Its 76-meter tow­er, built can be seen from almost any­where in the city. It has long served as a guide for ships head­ing to the port. In addi­tion, the tem­ple had the sta­tus of the tallest build­ing in Por­to for sev­er­al cen­turies.

Anoth­er inter­est­ing detail of the facade is a huge clock on the bell tow­er and an obser­va­tion deck at the 6th floor lev­el. To climb there, you will have to over­come 225 steps of a spi­ral stair­case.


kafedralni sobr

The main tem­ple of the city is not at all impres­sive with its pomp and beau­ty — it was rebuilt from a harsh fortress in the 12th cen­tu­ry. But­tress­es, loop­holes and thick bat­tle­ments are facade ele­ments that imme­di­ate­ly catch the eye. The cathe­dral was rebuilt in the 17th cen­tu­ry. This is how the baroque chapel appeared, which hous­es a mas­sive sil­ver altar weigh­ing about 800 kg.

The inte­ri­or of the cathe­dral is ascetic, but it is com­pen­sat­ed by the views from the court­yard — the cathe­dral was built at the high­est point of Por­to.

Karmu Church

cerkov karmu

The quaint roco­co church was built in the 1750s. Carved stone orna­ments wrap­ping around the facade are asso­ci­at­ed with fine lace. From this, the build­ing resem­bles a toy doll­house. How­ev­er, this is not the main attrac­tion.

The point of attrac­tion for tourists is a blank wall over­look­ing Gomes Teix­eira Square. From top to bot­tom, except for the foun­da­tion, it is cov­ered with white and blue azule­jos. The tiles form a sin­gle pic­ture — the Israeli Mount Carmel and the birth of the Carmelite Order. The inte­ri­ors impress with pomp: gild­ing, carv­ings and skill­ful fres­coes.

Church of Saint Clare

cerkov st klari

The tem­ple, locat­ed not far from the fortress walls, was erect­ed in 1457. It was repeat­ed­ly rebuilt and mod­i­fied until it acquired unique fea­tures. The church is the embod­i­ment of the Bar­ro­co Joani­no style, which orig­i­nat­ed at the begin­ning of the 18th cen­tu­ry dur­ing the reign of King João V. The red mar­ble walls, columns and ceil­ing are cov­ered with the finest carv­ings, stuc­co and bas-reliefs.


Suares dos Reis National Museum

nac museu suoresa

Orig­i­nal­ly found­ed in 1833, this muse­um housed reli­gious objects from monas­ter­ies that had been abol­ished dur­ing the civ­il war. The exhibits are still exhib­it­ed in a sep­a­rate room.

Over time, the muse­um has under­gone changes — the works of the promi­nent sculp­tor António Suares dos Reis were placed in it. Then the col­lec­tion expand­ed even more — it includ­ed works of art by rec­og­nized mas­ters: Ange­lo Lupi, Portuense Vieira and oth­ers. In total, more than 13 thou­sand items cre­at­ed in the 16th-20th cen­turies are stored here.

Tram Museum

musei tramvaev

The muse­um was opened in 1992 in the for­mer Mas­sarelosh depot. The col­lec­tion includes dozens of trams not only from Por­tu­gal, but also from the Czech Repub­lic, Great Britain, the USA and Italy. Most of the exhibits belong to the begin­ning of the 20th cen­tu­ry, but there are also rare options — horse-drawn car­riages.

All vehi­cles are in work­ing order, shin­ing with fresh paint and pol­ished met­al parts. You can sit in the car or go into the dri­ver’s cab — all but­tons and levers are allowed to be touched. The muse­um has a tour depot. From it, accord­ing to the sched­ule, rare trams leave and ride tourists through the his­tor­i­cal and sim­ply beau­ti­ful places of Por­to.

“World of Discovery”

mir otkritii

Por­tu­gal is a coun­try of great nav­i­ga­tors. An inter­ac­tive themed muse­um invites you on an excit­ing jour­ney with Vas­co da Gama to pave the short­est route to India, or Pedro Alvarez Cabral, who first land­ed on the coast of Brazil.

Along the way, tourists (sea­far­ers) are wait­ing for a storm, after land­ing — meet­ings with wild ani­mals, acquain­tance with the sur­round­ing land­scape. Walk­ing through the styl­ized streets of ancient cities is a pleas­ant oppor­tu­ni­ty.

Romantic Museum

romanticheski museum

The muse­um occu­pies a beau­ti­ful 18th-cen­tu­ry man­sion, Quin­ta da Macieir­in­ha. It is famous for the fact that mem­bers of the roy­al fam­i­ly lived there for sev­er­al gen­er­a­tions. The bright­est rep­re­sen­ta­tive was Karl Albert — the king of the Sar­din­ian king­dom in exile. He spent the last years of his life in the man­sion.

After the death of the monarch, the build­ing was con­vert­ed into a muse­um, in which the life of the nobil­i­ty of the 19th cen­tu­ry was recre­at­ed. Tourists are invit­ed to view antique fur­ni­ture, paint­ings, car­pets, stat­ues, dish­es and oth­er lux­u­ry items of the past.




The largest city park is spread over an area of ​​over 83 hectares. This is a real oasis for walks on a hot day and roman­tic dates in the evening. The long alleys are plant­ed with a vari­ety of trees — from conif­er­ous species and ever­green shrubs to age-old decid­u­ous giants. Lawns with trimmed lush grass are an ide­al place for pic­nics. There is a small sem­blance of a rock gar­den.

crystal palace park

park hrustalnogo dvorca

The large and green park is named after the no longer exist­ing palace. It was a pavil­ion made of glass and fit­tings, which was erect­ed in 1865 for the world exhi­bi­tion. Lat­er, it was demol­ished and a spher­i­cal struc­ture was built for cul­tur­al events. The park has many alleys, lawns, bench­es. There is a play­ground, bike paths, cafes and restau­rants. In the cen­ter is a pond.

There are always many tourists here. The land­scape is com­ple­ment­ed by instal­la­tions, antique and mod­ern sculp­tures. The park is divid­ed into sev­er­al the­mat­ic areas, such as the “gar­den of smells”, “gar­den of feel­ings” or “gar­den of ros­es”.

Botanical Garden

bot sad

The botan­i­cal gar­den has gone through a long evo­lu­tion. Ini­tial­ly, it was a pri­vate park with home own­er­ship. It went through sev­er­al own­ers before being sold to the Uni­ver­si­ty of Por­to. Despite the mod­est size of the ter­ri­to­ry (about 4,000 sq. m.), the rich­est col­lec­tion of flo­ra is pre­sent­ed here. It is divid­ed into 8 the­mat­ic zones, and each is dec­o­rat­ed in its own unique style:

  • flower gar­den,
  • his­tor­i­cal,
  • green­hous­es with trop­i­cal flo­ra,
  • arbore­tum,
  • orchid gar­den,
  • pond.

All zones are sep­a­rat­ed from each oth­er by hedges. The area is very well main­tained.

Interesting places

Ribeira quarter

quarter ribeira

The noisy quar­ter was built up with chaot­i­cal­ly bright build­ings, which is why it looks “alive” and col­or­ful. Nar­row cob­bled streets and a series of steep stair­cas­es lead to the Douro Riv­er embank­ment, laid right through the hous­es, many of which have over­come the 300-year mark.

The area is full of bars, cafes and restau­rants serv­ing authen­tic Por­tuguese dish­es. The smells hov­er­ing in the cor­ri­dors of hous­es tight­ly pressed against each oth­er awak­en a seri­ous appetite.

Foz do Douro area

area fosh du doru

This is the most pres­ti­gious area in the west of the city with lux­u­ry hous­ing and fash­ion­able shops. The main attrac­tion is the long paved prom­e­nade lined with palm trees. It is mod­eled after the famous Croisette in Nice. The prom­e­nade is com­ple­ment­ed by a per­go­la, which appeared in the 1930s by order of the wife of the then may­or.

Anoth­er dom­i­nant fea­ture of the area is the light­house on the pro­tec­tive pier. It reg­u­lar­ly shone and was a guide for ships for more than 100 years. In 2009 it was closed. But from the stone embank­ment con­nect­ing the embank­ment and the arti­fi­cial island with the light­house, beau­ti­ful views open up.

Freedom Square

ploshad freedom

The main square of Por­to is sur­round­ed by man­sions, expen­sive hotels, bou­tiques and restau­rants. Most of them are archi­tec­tur­al mon­u­ments of the 19th cen­tu­ry. The square was laid in the 18th cen­tu­ry, it was part of the town plan­ning plan. In 1866, a mon­u­ment to King Pedro I was erect­ed in the cen­ter. The well-known reformer and author of the con­sti­tu­tion is depict­ed on horse­back. On the south side of the square stands the Car­dozese Palace, a canon­i­cal exam­ple of the neo­clas­si­cal style.

Lello Bookstore

knigni magasin lello portu

This is the most unusu­al book­store not only in Europe, but per­haps in the whole world. A quaint neo-Goth­ic build­ing with Art Nou­veau ele­ments was erect­ed in 1906 by order of the Lel­lo fam­i­ly. Archi­tec­tur­al super­vi­sion was car­ried out by Javier Estevez. It was thanks to him that the store acquired icon­ic ele­ments: mul­ti-col­ored stained-glass win­dows and a red curved stair­case.

This book­store is said to have inspired J.K. Rowl­ing to cre­ate Har­ry Pot­ter. The writer lived in Por­to for some time and taught Eng­lish.

Santa Catarina street

ulica santa katarina

This is the main shop­ping street of the city, where you can buy any­thing. There are numer­ous shops, sou­venir shops, bak­eries, fash­ion salons and oth­er estab­lish­ments that invite you to spend mon­ey. You should come here to buy cork oak prod­ucts: shoes, bags, wal­lets, cas­es, belts and more.


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