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10 things to discover in Porto

Porto is a historic and varied metropolis known to be an amazing tourist destination. Accommodating and beautiful, the city is alive with colorful buildings, old cobbled streets and a modern lifestyle along a scenic river.

Here are 10 things that I am sure you will enjoy discovering in Porto.

1 Cais da Ribeira

ribiera-porto

On the banks of the Douro River, the city’s riverfront is a postcard! The pastel colored houses look like Legos stacked on top of each other, and the old boats on the river float along the tide going up and down. This area that was once a bustling commercial center is now a buzzing nightlife scene.

2 Church of Sao Francisco

church-porto

This historic monument was built over many stages, finally resulting in a magnificent Baroque church that appears to be bathed in gold. You have never seen anything like this intricate and abundant wood carving!

3 Casa da Musica

casa-de-música-porto

One of Porto’s leading cultural venues, this avant-garde building is dedicated only to music and musical performances. The home of the national orchestra of Porto, this large-scale original architecture will surely catch your attention.

4 The beaches

For many travelers, Porto is synonym with sandy beaches and sun-kissed travelers. It is famed for its wonderful resorts which are the country’s main tourist magnet. On the beautiful Costa Verde coastline, you will find a wide array of places to choose from. Canide Sul beach is easy to get to, and it’s safe and clean.

beaches-porto

5 The nightlife

As the second largest city in the country, Porto’s nightlife can be crazy. For a drink, for live music, for food, for lovers, for those who like to dance, downtown will hold everyone in the many bars and discos that spill out into the streets. You might also want to check out the Industrial Area which is packed with dance clubs.

nighlife-porto

6 The wall

muraiha-porto

The Muralha Fernandina castle and wall is a medieval monument that has stayed intact throughout the ages. Built around the city for protection, you can climb up the stone stairs all the way to the top that offers a 360 surreal view of the river.

7 The city park

city-park-porto

The Porto city park is the largest urban park in Portugal, which stretches out all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. It is a beautiful green oasis in the heart of the city, filled with wildlife, lakes, monuments, and big enough that you will not see it all in one day.

8 Douro river cruise

Now this is what I’m talking about! I just love discovering a city from the river. The cruise offers magnificent views of the bridges, Port vineyards, beautiful houses, all accompanied by a lovely meal and a wine tasting.

river-cruise-porto

9 Port wine

port-wine-porto

Simply delicious, I never knew that the word “Porto” designated a wine that is made in Porto. Port wine is a fortified spirit produced exclusively in the Douro valley, and the sweet red wine is often served as a dessert. Although, for my taste, I could have it at any time. A great activity would be to visit one of the wine cellars where you would try all the different kinds of Port.

10 The Harry Potter bookshop

harry-potter-porto

Livraria Lello is a place that inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter books. She used to often visit the bookshop while she lived in Porto as an English teacher. And this place is indeed magical! With carved wooden arches and book shelves that stretch from floor to ceiling, you could really find a magic wand in here.

With so much to see and to do, the list could easily go on but I didn’t have any more time in Porto. I will surely be back to visit this vibrant place that has really impressed me.

Meanwhile I’ll sip some of this nice Port wine that I got. Até logo Porto.

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