With its captivatingly-beautiful streets, enchanting palaces and captivating canalside setting, Porto is one of the most delightful places in all of Portugal. Discover Porto’s rich heritage and explore captivating neighborhoods such as Alfama and Beato; savor mouthwatering local cuisine or partake in an exhilarating boat cruise along its picturesque waterways!
With a plethora of attractions waiting for you, it’s hard to know where to begin. To get you started on your explorations, we’ve compiled a list of what not to miss when visiting this magnificent city.
Are you ready for an epic adventure? We guarantee you won’t be disappointed with Porto – let’s delve into the secrets of this captivating Portuguese metropolis!
Be enthralled by the magnificence of Porto’s Castelo de São João Baptista, which is also situated on this island. This sovereign fortress has been home to the Portuguese nobility since its construction in 1172; it was the site of triumphant coronations and the place where Belem Tower used to stand before it was razed in 1762.
Contrasting with its stately exterior is a humble interior: compared to such sites as Leaning Tower of Pisa or St. Mark’s Basilica in Venice, this stronghold appears rather modest! However, don’t let that dissuade you from exploring its environs – a riveting journey awaits you within these walls!
I recently visited this captivating location with my family for the sole purpose of indulging in one of its most renowned features: the dungeon. This repurposed subterranean chamber was once an epicenter for imprisonment – yet today it serves as an intriguing venue for showcasing medieval designs and creating captivating mosaics! For example, our visit saw us marvel at intricate patterns crafted from clay during their stay here.
1. Take a cruise along the Douro River
To savor the quintessential Portuguese experience, embark on a cruise along the Douro River.
As you float along its waterside, your senses will be captivated by the sights and sounds of this UNESCO World Heritage Site. You’ll also have the opportunity to enjoy some of the region’s most renowned wineries, savoring delicious wines and sampling some delicacies before disembarking for yet another voyage!
2. Visit the Porto Cathedral
If you’re seeking an out-of-the-ordinary destination to visit, take a trip to the Porto Cathedral – one of the most captivating structures in all of Portugal!
A masterpiece of Gothic architecture, this cathedral was constructed between 1170 and 1499; its construction was completed over eight centuries later. Indeed – it has been described as ‘one of the greatest achievements in Christian architecture’ by Prince Henry of Portugal!
The cathedral’s interior boasts more than 500 year-round works of art, including masterpieces by Portuguese artists such as José Malhoa; sculptures by Jacob Epstein, Antoine Bourdelle and Aristide Maillol; as well as decorative elements by Scott Johnson, Yayoi Kusama and Eduardo Paolozzi among others.