Porto may take second place to the city of Lisbon in many Portugal visitors' minds, but the fact is that the charming city of Porto a wonderful travel destination in its own right, and definitely worth slotting in for a visit during any Portuguese vacation. Here, we'll take a look at some of the best things to see and do in Porto, Portugal.
The view from Ponte D. Luis I, the bridge that links Porto and Gaia, is absolutely breathtaking. It's one of the best photo opportunities in the city, and you can walk from one end to the other. Built in 1886, the architecture of the bridge itself is quite impressive, as is the fact that it's stood up to 21st-century traffic as admirably as it has. Best of all, walking across the bridge is free. It's a low-budget attraction with a high-rent view.
After crossing the Luis Bridge, you'll arrive at Zona Ribeirinha, a historical riverfront district with a wonderful sense of history. Here, you can stroll along the waterfront, stopping for port and ice cream as you go. The hills along the way are steep, but the cafes at the top are well worth the climb. It's also a great place to catch a river cruise for a very reasonable price.
This striking church was constructed before Columbus sailed the ocean blue, way back in 1416. It might not look like much from the outside, but inside, it's quite a masterpiece. Baroque and Rococo architectural flourishes abound, and the church exudes a feeling of tranquility and reverence that's undeniable.
This historical railway station features a pictorial history of Portugal told in one of the nation's proudest artistic traditions, ornate azulejo tiles. It's truly an impressive sight, and a wonderful photo opportunity. Those who come here simply expecting to catch a train will unexpectedly find themselves in awe, and even those who have no intention of riding the rails should pay this train station a visit.
Casa da Musica was built to commemorate Porto's 2001 nomination as Europe's cultural capital, and it's quite an impressive sight. Instead of emulating historical architectural styles, the building's designers took a radically different approach, and the result is no less than a masterwork of modern architecture. Of course, the building's appearance isn't the only thing visitors appreciate about Casa da Musica; the musical performances hosted here are quite enthralling, and the acoustics of the concert hall are top-notch.
This newly opened theme park truly has something for everyone. It recreates the history of Portuguese exploration in vivid detail, with life-sized statues and scenes detailing the intrepid and fearless adventurers of days gone by. Smart presentation and high-tech interactivity make this an experience one that is not to be missed.