Every city has something that makes it truly special, including the best of Porto. Or, more often than not, some things. We’re talking about natural landmarks that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. We’re describing historic venues that have stood the test of time.
We’re mentioning monuments that have come to symbolize entire cities and even countries. We’re talking about must-see attractions.
Porto, Portugal has no shortage of must-see attractions. In fact, this particular city has an abundance of them. Ancient palaces, massive parks, sacred churches, monumental museums — Porto has it all and then some. Each of these attractions is culturally significant in its own special way. That’s something you’ll experience for yourself when you visit Porto.
There are so many amazing things to see that you might be overwhelmed at first. Trust us, we’re speaking from experience on that one.
That’s why we’re going to share some of our favorite must-see attractions in Porto today. You’ll have to travel all around the city to find these attractions, but that’s a huge part of the fun. Just leave your extra bags and gear at a luggage storage locker before you hit the road.
Best of Porto Portugal Includes These Must See Attractions and Here is Why
Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, is a haven for romantic getaways. The old town of Porto boasts majestic medieval churches and castles that date back centuries, while the bustling shopping streets and vibrant nightlife of modern Porto offer an unforgettable experience to visitors. Here are some must-see attractions in the city:
One of the fascinating things about castles and palaces is that they help us travel through time. Seriously, think about it. Whenever you look at a palace in person, you’re essentially seeing what thousands, maybe even millions, of people saw centuries ago. Take Bolsa Palace for example.
This stock exchange building has been around since the 1800s. Countless eyes have admired its Neoclassical architecture. Opportunities to see the palace’s interior used to be quite rare. These days, you can join a tour and travel through time with your own two feet.
Casa do Infante
“Casa do Infante” means “house of the Prince” in Portuguese. Despite that name, historians aren’t entirely sure which prince this building belongs to. Some say that Casa do Infante was the birthright of Prince Henry the Navigator. Others suggest the opposite. The world may never know who Casa do Infante truly belongs to.
However, one thing is clear; Casa do Infante is one of the most gorgeous and historically significant houses in Porto. As far as must-see attractions go, this granite masterpiece is a sight to behold.
Porto isn’t just famous for its picturesque palaces. It’s also the home of many, and we mean many, awe-inspiring churches. The Clérigos Church is precisely the kind of building that we’re talking about. This church is famous for its Baroque design and its skyscraper-esque bell tower.
Imagine, a building like this constructed in a time when technology was far less advanced than it is today. The Clérigos Church is a testament to the things people can achieve when they truly put their minds to it.
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Jardins do Palácio de Cristal
Just like people, places can have reputations that proceed them. That’s basically a flowery way of saying that you’ve likely heard of the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal before. Oh, that name doesn’t ring a bell? Well, what if we used this venue’s English name — Porto’s legendary Crystal Palace?
“Jardins” is Portuguese for “gardens”, hence “the Gardens of the Crystal Palace”. There’s something spellbinding about this place. Maybe it’s the awesome array of flower art on display. Maybe it’s the mesmerizing mazes scattered about the premises. Whatever it is, we love it and we know you’ll love it too.
They say that life imitates art. Normally, we’d be inclined to agree. But the Livraria Lello is the exception to that trend. This ancient bookstore inspired the design for Hogwarts’ library in JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series.
Moreover, the Livraria Lello has its own special kind of magic. You’ll be absolutely enchanted by this bookstore’s warm atmosphere. Your mind will mystically expand after you browse Livraria Lello’s collection. Who needs a Philosopher’s Stone when you have this place?
Luís I Bridge
Dom Luis I likely would have been content studying sea creatures and writing poetry. Fate, however, had different plans for him. He became the King of Portugal when his brothers passed away. This bridge is dedicated to Luis I who, despite his tumultuous reign, earned many awards and decorations in life. The Luis I Bridge overlooks the Douro River. Trust us, the view from up here is worth the visit.
Miradouro da Vitória
Miradouro da Vitória is a unique attraction. You see, this venue is a streetside viewpoint. It’s basically just a clearing where you can look at other parts of the city. But that’s exactly what makes Miradouro da Vitória special.
From here, you’ll have a clear view of many of Porto’s famous bridges and buildings. Miradouro da Vitória is an attraction that gives you a fantastic view of other attractions.
Ponte da Arrábida
Porto is often called “Invicta” as a call back to the Portuguese Civil War. However, Porto has another nickname — the “City of Bridges”. We’ve already talked about the Luis I Bridge and its breathtaking view of the Douro River.
However, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention the Ponte da Arrábida. This bridge also hovers over the Douro River, but it also features art pieces and architecture that you can’t find anywhere else. Last but not least, you can sign up for a Bridge Climbing Tour… if you dare.
At the end of the day, Porto is a coastal city. That means that the sea is essentially one of the city’s biggest must-see attractions. Matosinhos Beach provides visitors with an astounding view of Porto’s sparkling seas. You could honestly make a whole day out of visiting Matosinhos Beach. You can only admire some of the other attractions in Porto.
Matosinhos Beach, however, is a must-experience attraction. It has a picturesque landscape and visitors can take advantage of the beach’s many amenities. The beaches are usually quite busy, but that’s part of its charm.
If you’re looking for a more secluded spot, nearby Vila Nova de Gaia Beach is an ideal alternative. You can also find some great restaurants and cafes along the Esplanada do Castelo where you can enjoy a relaxing evening. With its unique culture and stunning surroundings, Matosinhos Beach is the perfect addition to any romantic getaway in Porto!
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Once the sun sets, visitors can explore some of Porto’s nightlife. The city’s vibrant nightlife is full of exciting bars and clubs that provide live music, karaoke, and dancing. A great spot to check out is Clube Industrial for some amazing live performances. It’s also a popular place to meet the locals and get a true taste of Porto’s nightlife.
For couples looking for a romantic evening, the waterfront is home to some wonderful restaurants serving delicious Portuguese cuisine. An ideal choice for dinner is the Esplanada do Castelo, which offers stunning views of Matosinhos Beach.
After dinner, take a stroll around the beach and admire its beauty under the stars. You can also grab an ice cream or some other treats at one of the many beachside cafes before heading back to your hotel.
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For those wanting to have a more intimate experience, the wine cellars of Porto are a must-visit. The area is popular for its exquisite wines and unique atmosphere that will be sure to create lasting memories. To top off your romantic getaway, you can take a boat cruise along the Douro River in the evening to watch the sunset over Porto – it’s an unforgettable sight!
After a full day of exploring the city, your stay in Porto wouldn’t be complete without indulging in some delicious local delicacies. Sample traditional favorites such as Francesinha and bacalhau, or try regional specialties like tripas à moda do porto and favas com enchidos. Whatever you choose to eat, it’s sure to be a memorable culinary experience.
For a complete romantic getaway, consider booking a stay at one of the many boutique hotels in Porto. These are perfect for couples looking for luxurious accommodations and lots of privacy.
After you check-in, you can explore the city further from the comfort and convenience of your own private space – it’s the perfect way to end a day of sightseeing and adventuring. With so many breathtaking sights, you can be sure that your romantic vacation to Porto won’t be an easily forgettable one!