Attractions of Europe

Top 10 Porto, Portugal Tourist Attractions

Next to Lisbon, Porto is the largest city in Portugal. Because of its rich historical background, it has been declared as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and recognized as a Gamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group. It is amongst the oldest European centers that withstood the challenges of time and nature, thus, it is common to see many visitors all year round. If you're ready to taste the best port wine and see fascinating sites in this old majestic city, grab your pen and paper and take note of these Top 10 Attractions that you should never miss when you visit Porto.

Cais da Ribeira
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Laurent
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1: Cais da Ribeira

The district of Ribeira is a mirror of the old European life. It has been named as the Soul of Porto because it has buildings that are hundreds years old, as well as tea shops, streets and alleyways that have witnessed the changes in history for quite some time. If you are looking for a romantic place to marvel at, you can definitely go to Cais da Ribeira. Hop into a sailboat with your loved one or visit the House of the Prince, which is Prince Henry the Navigator's birthplace.
Sao Francisco Church
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/Yellow.Cat
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2: Sao Francisco Church (Church of São Francisco)

The Sao Francisco Church is the most famous Gothic monument in the city. The church has been dedicated to Saint Francis of Assisi and was finished around 1425 with a unique Baroque design. It homes a large polychrome granite statue of Saint Francis of Assisi, dating back to the 13th century. Apart from the patron saint's statue, the Tree of Jesse is also noticeable on the altar, which is significant in the genealogy of Jesus.
Palacio Da Bolsa (Bolsa Palace)
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/jad99
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3: Palacio Da Bolsa (Bolsa Palace)

The Bolsa Palace is a 19th century building located in the Infante D. Henrique Square. It is very accessible from the Sao Francisco Church and features lots of sculptures, fixtures and paintings. Some of the famous works are from António Soares dos Reis, José Marques da Silva and João Marques de Oliveira. The palace is inspired by Neo-Palladian architecture, which was one of the trending styles in the city during the 18th century.
Porto Cathedral
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/arqpalazzo
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4: Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto)

Sé do Porto is located at the heart of the city. Among the famous happenings in this chapel is the marriage of King John I and English Princess Philippa of Lancaster during the 4th and the 15th centuries. As there are several prominent events held in this cathedral, it became famous to royal families during Baroque times and led to multiple lavish reconstruction projects.
Casa Da Musica
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/arqpalazzo
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5: Casa da Musica (House of Music)

Designed by world-renowned Dutch architect Rem Koolhas, Casa da Música is a famous music concert hall in Porto. The building comprises of two main auditoriums - the large auditorium has a capacity of 1,238 people and the small auditorium has a capacity of 300 people seated. Some of the Portugal's most prominent musical events are hosted by the Casa da Música and the visitors can expect to enjoy several forms of music ranging from jazz, fado, electronic to dance music. When hunger strikes, there is a restaurant at the top of the building with seating capacity of 150 people.
Serralves (Contemporary Art Museum)
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6: Serralves (Contemporary Art Museum)

When you travel Porto bound, you can also see other types of art, such as those that can be found at the Contemporary Art Museum. While most people think that Japan is the best place to see minimalist and contemporary artworks, Serralves can change your perspective once you see their world-class masterpieces. The museum was opened in 1999 and was designed by the 1992 Pritzker prize winner, Álvaro Siza Vieira.
Ponte Dom Luis Bridge
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/paspalletas
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7: Ponte Dom Luis Bridge (Dom Luís I Bridge)

Between the cities of Oporto and Vila Nova is the Ponte Dom Luis Bridge. It is a metal arch that extends across the Douro River and has been standing for roughly 120 years. It was completed in 1886 by a student of Gustave Eiffel, which explains its resemblance to the construction of the famous Eiffel Tower in Paris. The top deck of the bridge is for pedestrians, so it's quite expected to see lots of people trying to take scenic shots here.
Clerigos Tower
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/lilivanili
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8: Clerigos Tower (Torre dos Clerigos)

The Church of the Clergymen is a tall and famous bell tower that was built for the Brotherhood of the Clerigos. It was finished around 1750 with noticeable Baroque walls designed by the renowned Italian architect, Nicolau Nasoni. This church is the first in Portugal to have an oval Baroque floor plan, which is why it is considered one of the country's characteristic symbols.
Estacao de Sao Bento
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/schnappi
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9: São Bento Railway Station (Estacao de Sao Bento)

The railway station of Sao Bento is well-known for its tile-decorated walls illustrating the significant events in the History of Portugal. The name of the train station was derived from the Benedictine monastery that was built on this spot during the 16th century. As the monastery was destroyed by fire, the expansion of the railway station was put in place under the influence of French Beaux-Arts architecture. At present, it serves as the main stop for most suburban lines in the city.
Douro River Boat Tours
Photo Courtesy:Flickr/jcrcasimiro
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10: Douro River Boat Tours

After watching the city from the Ponte Dom Luis Bridge, you can book for Douro River Boat Tours and feel the cool breeze as you marvel at Oporto while you cruise. You can certainly look forward to seeing fantastic views, eating great food aboard and tasting fine wine, which is one of the city's top products. It's best to plan your tour ahead of time to have a hassle-free travel experience.

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