Reasons to Visit Porto: Explore Porto on Foot with Different Attractions - Food & Beverage Magazine

Reasons to Visit Porto: Explore Porto on Foot with Different Attractions

Prodigiously blossoming on the banks of the Rio Douro, Porto enchants for the beauty of the historic center, the excellence of the cuisine and wines, the liveliness of the nightlife and the sympathy of the inhabitants.Explore Porto on foot and walk through its maze of medieval streets, learn to know the shades of the port in the cellars that produce it, take the tram to go and see the ocean in Foz and you will soon fall madly in love with this ardent soul city. And between a surprise and a taste of bacalhau here with locals showing you different attractions not to be missed.

  1. Self

The magnificent and imposing cathedral of Porto, similar to a fortress, stands on top of a hill, dominating an imposing and massive maze of medieval stairs and alleys. Built-in the 12th century, it was remodeled in the Baroque style in the 18th century.




With our Advice/Guide

  • Reach the cathedral in the late afternoon to photograph the old city and the river from above, in the magical light of dusk.
  • Lose yourself in the labyrinth of streets surrounding the Self, letting yourself be guided only by instinct and curiosity.
  • Attend a function: Sunday mass is celebrated at 11, while vespers are held every day at 7:pm.
  1. Monument Church of St Francis

Outside the Monument Church of St Francis has an austere façade with Gothic elements, while once crossed the threshold the church reveals from the most opulent expressions of Portuguese Baroque. The gold leaf (almost 100 kg) covers most of the surfaces, on which stand out figures of monks and cherubs. If you decide to visit only one church in Porto, choose this one.

With our Advice/Guide

  • Camera and smartphone are useless: No photography is allowed inside.
  • To contemplate the church in complete tranquility, try to be there when it opens in the morning, or, in summer, just before closing.

  1. Bolsa Palace

A brief visit inside the sumptuous Bolsa Palace indicates very clearly who once held economic power in the city. Built between 1842 and 1910, this splendid neoclassical building celebrates the past of Porto and those who dedicated themselves to financial transactions. Its rooms are decorated with extraordinary frescoes, mosaics and works of art.

  1. Soares dos Reis National Museum

The extraordinary collection of the Soares dos Reis National Museum ranges from Neolithic sculptures to Flemish painting. Required by Napoleon’s troops, the neoclassical Palacio Carrancas was hastily abandoned upon the arrival of the English, so much so that the future Duke of Wellington found the remains of a banquet in the dining room. Its flagship is the sculptures of António Soares dos Reis and António Teixeira Lopes (19th century).

With our Advice/Guide

  • In the museum gift shop, you will find quality objects to give or take home, while in the library you can browse through interesting books on the history of art.
  • Don’t miss the Galleria António Soares dos Reis, the paintings of the Portuguese, Dutch and Flemish masters and the sculptures of António Teixeira Lopes

  1. Jardins do Palacio de Cristal (Porto)

Among the most popular green areas of Porto is this vast and beautiful park spread over a hill that, in addition to a botanical garden, interspersed with statues and fountains. It is actually a mosaic of small gardens surrounded by giant magnolias, camellias, olive trees and cypresses, which reveal splendid viewpoints overlooking the river and the city.

With our Advice/Guide

  • The park gives its best at the beginning of spring, when everything is in bloom.
  • At sunset the sky turns pink and it is beautiful to observe the opposite bank of the river, where the lights of the port cellars are lit up.
  • Visit the Museu Romântico on weekends, when entry is free.
  1. Serralves

The name of Serralves is linked to one of the most important cultural institutions of Porto. In a large park not far from Avenida da Boavista, the boulevard that connects Boavista with Foz do Douro, there is a splendid art deco villa and a museum designed by Álvaro Siza Vieira, which houses temporary exhibitions and a prestigious permanent collection ranging from the end from the 60s to today. The beautiful park dotted with fountains and sculptures is perfect for resting your eyes and stretching your legs.

With our Advice/Guide

  • On the first Sunday of the month admission is free from 10 to 13.
  • The website shows a useful map of the park.
  • At the beginning of June, Parque de Serralves is held, a cultural festival that includes dozens of exhibitions, workshops and activities, all with free admission.
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