Visit the old district of Ribeira, the historical sights in Porto or walk over the Dom Luís I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia to sample real port. You can do it all in Porto!
For the best sights in Porto, you simply walk into the old centre of Ribeira. Ribeira is the oldest district in Porto. You can wander round the narrow streets and alleyways for hours. Due to Ribeira’s exceptional character, the district has been on the UNESCO World Heritage List since 1996. Don’t forget to visit the Praca da Ribeira, the district’s most famous square. This riverfront square used to be the city’s trading centre in the Middle Ages.
Porto’s cathedral is situated on the city’s highest hill. From the tower you have a glorious view of the old centre of Ribeira. The cathedral was originally founded in the 12th century but has undergone many changes since then. The Baroque elements were only added in the 18th century. So you will discover a mix of various architectural styles in the cathedral. If you have time left, make sure you visit the Gothic convent beside the cathedral.
Casa da Música is the place to be for music lovers. This futuristic building was designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas. Take a look inside and attend a music performance in one of the two concert halls. In the Sala Suggia – the largest hall – there are mainly classical performances, while Sala 2 focuses more on bands and solo concerts. The Casa da Música also offers great food, in the artists’ café or in the luxury restaurant on the top floor.
If you would like to take a break from the city visit Vila Nova de Gaia, a coastal city opposite Porto. Gaia is responsible for supplying port across the globe, so it is great to walk around and take a look in one of the city’s many port cellars. There are various cellars offering tours and of course, always with a port tasting!
The Dom Luís I Bridge is one of the more modern sights in Porto. This enormous steel bridge over the Douro River connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia. It consists of two levels: the lower deck is for cars and the upper deck for pedestrians and the metro. It was designed by Théophile Seyrig, one of Gustave Eiffel’s pupils. Another fun thing to do is to take a boat tour and view the impressive bridge from the water.
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