Medieval walls, historical site, compact streets and delicious food – all the things to do in Porto. So let’s see what can make you fall in love with this city!
If you will ever come to Portugal, we are sure you will be struck by how rich and varied the heritage there can be: medieval buildings, gleaming Baroque churches, fantastic architecture with a drop of the Romanesque. And that’s just the beginning of things to do in Porto. If you are a lover of architecture and design – see what this gorgeous city have to offer!
Cais da Ribeira
This famous Porto place is a little chaotic, but fun to explore. There are bars and restaurants around every corner, and they line up on the riverside walk. In the cozy evening, you can enjoy the iconic Luís I Bridge, and if you are fit enough as an explorer, through the arcades there’s a confusing maze of steep streets and stairways between brightly painted houses, which represent a lovely Portuguese architecture style.
Casa da Música
Music is for everyone right? In the heart of the 2001 European Capital of Culture, Porto stands out from the other cities by housing the first ever Portuguese building that is exclusively dedicated to the music and art events. The combination of large windows with tiles and other decorative elements can make your visit a wonderful experience. Every detail is a creation of this design and keeps astonished everyone the same way the music does.
Luís I Bridge
This bridge is an industrial symbol for Porto, which was conceived by the German engineer Théophile Seyrig – who co-founded the Eiffel Company. How amazing is that?! The view is fantastic from it because you can see Cais da Ribeira from it and all the people will look like ants from 45 metres heights! If you want to go down to the waterfront, you can use the Funicular dos Guindais. This is definitely the place for fantastic Instagram photos.
Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
This stunning botanical garden is one of the best Porto landscape places with lawns, fountains, sculptures, giant magnolias, camellias, cypress and olive trees. It’s a place full of small gardens with a wonderful view of the city and Rio Douro. Inside of it, there is a building that amazes by its own architecture the same way as the wandering peacocks amaze everyone as well.
Palácio da Bolsa
Another attraction for design and architecture lovers – Porto’s old stock exchange, with its own Neoclassical design and eclectic interiors. There you can feel the richness of the sculptures and decorative carvings, see amazing plasterwork, frescos and chandeliers. While some parts are overwhelming, other parts as the courtyard is stunning by an octagonal metal and glass roof.
Are you a Harry Potter fan? If yes, then this place is the next destination you have to see. A lot of people are down to the architecture: The Livraria Lello has an Art Nouveau design, with plenty of nods to the Gothic in its traceries, murals and pinnacles on the facade. Also, it contains the sinuous wooden staircase, ceiling piping and stained glass skylight inside that can leave you breathless. Exactly this place was inspired by the famous writer – J.K. Rowling when she lived here in Porto as an English teacher.
Even though there were a lot of changes within this building, it is a perfect sightseeing place for architecture lovers, because the cathedral keeps big pieces of its original 12th-century architecture. When it was built, it had a function of defense – as you may see from the buttresses, arrow loops and crenellations. Inside of the Cathedral, there’s a narrow Romanesque nave and choir, which got a Baroque redesign in the 17th century.
When the building was completed, the 75.6-metre-high tower of this Baroque church could be seen from every corner of Porto. A beautiful monument, with delicate carvings all the way up definitely will attract an eye of a person passioned about architecture and design! Nevertheless, if you don’t mind the queue and the 240 steps you can climb up the tower and see a panoramic view of Porto.
Church of São Francisco
Porto is really famous for its architecture – especially churches which stands out authentic even nowadays. Another example – church that is the last Gothic monument. You can wander around inside then head back to the main facade where an ornate portal is created by a rose window. The interiors were redecorated from the 1500s to the 1700s, how cool is that? The old Gothic vaults, walls and pillars are covered up by intricately carved panels representing birds, cherubs and foliage – what makes this church even more beautiful.
Soares dos Reis National Museum
Another attraction for art and design fanatics with a drop of history interest – national museum. A lot of the pieces are still on display, there are a few pieces by Soares dos Reis, as well as other vaunted Portuguese painters and sculptors like Silva Porto, Vieira Portuense, Domingos Sequeira and Miguel Ângelo Lupi.
Lastly, another wonderful place to visit is Covet House Douro – which is a great opportunity for our clients to get into the handcrafted world! The house is on the shore of Douro river and represents all the Covet Group brands and their products. Let’s celebrate design together and get a tour around the Porto!
See You Soon!
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