10 Best Attractions of Porto

A detailed guide to Porto's must see iconic attractions.

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| 01

(Ponte Dom Luís I)

The Dom Luís I Bridge, or Luís I Bridge, is a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. At its construction, its 172 metres span was the longest of its type in the world. It has been confused with the nearby Maria Pia Bridge, a railway bridge that was built 9 years earlier, which is similar in aspect to the Luís I bridge.
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Luís I Bridge

| 02


Across the river from Porto is the historical city of Vila Nova de Gaia which has gained notoriety from the Port trade. It is within the 18th century streets of Gaia where Port companies have their lodges, the warehouses where the wine is aged and blended. The vast majority of the lodges are open to the public for tours and tasting. Typically they operate without prior booking between May and October yet some are closed on weekends. The duration and quality of tour varies with each company however all are informative and are good value for money. Usually the entrance fee is deducted from the cost of any purchase you make. Have a look at our detailed guide to Gaia's port lodges.
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Port Lodges

| 03

St. Francis Church
(Igreja de São Fransico)

Porto's most important Gothic building dating from the fourteenth century. It's interior however dates from the 17th and 18th centuries and it's dazzling intricate gold guilting remains one of the most celebrated works of Baroque in the country. Ever since 1910 it's been a national monument and became a World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1996. See More [ ► ]

Igreja de São Fransico
Cais da Ribeira


The maze of narrow streets which cascades down the hill from the cathedral terminate at the beautiful and iconic quayside, the Cais da Ribeira. The riverfront faces he Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank which is accessed across the famous Ponte Dom Luis I bridge. Ribeira, is one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods which once served as the Porto's harbour. Cargo was off loaded here from both up and downstream. Today the hubbub is comprised of tourists who wish to take advantage of the amazing sights and attractions here. The many colourful hotels, restaurants, gift shops, artisans workshops and cafés here were once warehouses and merchant buildings. Behind the riverfront the city slopes steeply up in a warren of medieval streets and alleys such as the Rua da Fonte Taurina and Rua da Reboleira, which despite appearances, hide some of the Ribeira's best and most authentic restaurants. Survival of the timeless charms of this area are now protected since it's part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site from 1996. Picturesque and charming during the day and lively during the evening, Cais da Ribeira is probably the most visited area of Porto. More About [ ► ]

| 04

(Livraria Lello)

This art nouveau/neo-Gothic masterpiece was inaugurated in 1906 by José Lello with his brother Antonio Lello after acquiring the Livraria Internacional de Ernesto Chardron book store. The Livraria Lello bookshop is universally considered one of the worlds most beautiful and an Art Nouveau masterpiece. Along with Bertrand in Lisbon, it is one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal and frequently rated among the top bookstores in the world.
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Livraria Lello

| 05

(Igreja & Torre de Clérigos)

The Clérigos Tower is one of the iconic architectural landmarks of Porto and is visible for miles around. The campanile is part of the 18th century Clérigos Church and serves as it's bell tower. Construction of the church took place between 1732 and 1750 whilst work on the tower started four years later only to be completed in 1763, at which time it was the tallest building in Portugal. Designed by the enigmatic Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni who is attributed to many other architectural works found within Porto. 230 steps over six levels ascends 76 metres (249 ft) to the belfry and offer visitors impressive panoramic views over the city below and the river beyond.
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Igreja & Torre de Clérigos

| 06

(Palácio da Bolsa)

Located on the Rua de Ferreira Borges, next to the Igreja de São Francisco, this national monument, also known as The Stock Exchange Palace is the property and headquarters of the Commercial Association of Porto and is one of the most visited attractions within the World Heritage Centre of Porto. Designed in a neoclassical style by Joaquim da Costa Lima, construction started in 1842 and took 30 years to complete. One could be mistaken in believing the Palace has royal connections however the purpose of this construction has always been related to commerce, a true reflection of Porto's strong work ethic. The neoclassical facade is designed to impress and an indication of the opulence contained within.
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Bolsa Palace
Porto Museums


During the millennia of Porto rich and diverse history a great number of artefacts, curiosities and a broad cultural heritage has been acquired. Treasures from various epochs can be found within the towns museums and art galleries. Porto's wine trade has left a rich heritage and earned the city international fame.

The cultural legacy left by the industrialists, explorers, patriots, artists, royals and enigmatic characters can be found within Porto's diverse array of museums: Casa do Infante Museum | Futebol Clube do Porto Museum | Fundação de Serralves | Super Bock Casa da Cerveja | Tram Museum | World of Discoveries

| 07

(Sé de Porto)

The cathedral's location on the highest part the hill on Rua de São João overlooks the rooftops of the city below and forms an imposing part of the skyline for miles around. The cathedral sits within the Batalha, the area which was originally inside the old city walls.

Founded in the early 12th century the cathedral has a collection of architectural styles yet with an overall Romanesque feel. Dom João I married Phillipa of Lancaster here in 1387 but they would have a problem recognising the present construction. The only original feature of the main façade remaining is the Romanesque rose window set within a crenellated arch. The crenellations on the Cathedral bears testament to the fact it was built during uncertain times. The façade is flanked by two square bell towers, each supported with two buttresses and crowned with cupolas. The loggia on the North face is accredited to the Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni and dates from around 1736. See More [ ► ]

Capuchos Convent

| 08


The Casa da Música is a concert hall in Porto, Portugal. It was designed by architect Rem Koolhaas and opened in 2005. Designed to mark the festive year of 2001 in which the city of Porto was designated European Capital of Culture, it was the first building in Portugal aimed from its conception to be exclusively dedicated to music, either in public performances or in the field of artistic training and creation. Casa da Música's project was set in motion in 1999 as a result of an international architecture tender won by the project presented by Rem Koolhaas - Office for Metropolitan Architecture. Ground was broken in 1999 at the old tram terminus station in Boavista roundabout, and Casa da Musica was inaugurated on 15 April 2005.
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Casa da Música

| 09


Set upon it's vantage point overlooking the Douro River and Gaia on the opposite bank this piece of Eden was first conceived as part the International Exhibition of 1865. Named after the Crystal Palace which was the centre piece. The gardens was designed by German landscape architect Emílio David. Today the gardens offer a tranquil respite from the city and some of the best views in Porto.
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Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

| 10


Zoo Santo Inácio is the largest and greenest zoo in Northern Portugal, ideally located only ten minutes away from Porto in Avintes, Vila Nova de Gaia. The zoo houses more than 600 animals, across 200 species, in 15 hectares of spacious and green habitats. Visitors can attend demonstrations (such as feeding sessions) showcasing the natural behaviour of certain animals. The zoo also has a restaurant, three bars, a picnic area and a shop where you can buy gifts. See More [ ► ]

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Zoo Santo Inácio