10 Best Things to Do in Porto ,Portugal

The city o f Porto is nestled on the slopes above the Douro Estuary.
It’s got amazing buildings, museums, churches, and of course the undeniably pretty Oporto shore, it was one of the most popular city in Europe for a reason. Without further ado, we’ll begin with the list of the 12 best things to do.

Best Things to Do in Porto, Portugal

1 Palacio Da Bolsa 

 The Palácio da Bolsa is located beside the St Francis Church of Porto, which was once part of the St Francis Convent, founded in the 13th century. In 1832, during the Liberal Wars, a fire destroyed the cloisters of the convent, sparing the church. In 1841, Queen Mary II donated the convent ruins to the merchants of the city, who decided to use the spot to build the seat of the Commercial Association.  Building work began in 1842 following the plans of Porto architect Joaquim da Costa Lima Júnior, who designed a Neoclassical palace of Palladian influence, inspired by previous structures built in the city. Most of the palace was finished by 1850, but the decoration of the interior was only completed in 1910 and involved several different artists.The Palácio da Bolsa has been classified as a National Monument since 1982.

2.  Luis I Bridge 

In 1879, Gustave Eiffel presented a project to construct a new bridge over the Douro, with a high single deck in order to facilitate ship navigation.This project was rejected due to dramatic growth of the urban population, which required a re-thinking of the limits of a single-deck platform.

A competition was initiated in November 1880, in order to construct a double-deck metal bridge, which included projects by Compagnie de Fives-Lille, Cail & C., Schneider & Co., Gustave Eiffel, Lecoq & Co., Société de Braine-le-Comte, Société des Batignolles (which submitted two ideas), Andrew Handyside & Co., Société de Construction de Willebroek (also two projects) and John Dixon.It was in January of the following year that deliberations by the committee supported the project of Société de Willebroek, a design that cost 369 000$000 réis and provided better carrying capacity. On 21 November 1881, the public work was awarded to the Belgian Société de Willebreok, from Brussels, for 402 contos. It was to be administrated by Théophile Seyrig, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel and author of the project. Seyrig had worked on the D. Maria bridge with Eiffel, hence the resemblance of his new bridge to the D. Maria bridge.Construction began on the Ponte Luís I alongside the towers of an earlier railway suspension bridge, the Ponte Pênsil, which was disassembled.

3. Serralves Museum & Villa

To the west of Porto, Serralves makes for a wonderful day out. First up is the Serralves Villa, which is a wonderful property made in the Art Deco style between the years of 1925 and 1944. Designers such as Charles Sicils were employed to decorate the interiors.

There are tree-lined avenues, beautiful terraced grounds and topiaries to see. The Museum was built in 1999 in order to host high-profile albeit temporary exhibitions – if you’re lucky, you can catch some incredibly rare paintings. There are generally four or five exhibitions hosted at any time, and they cover traditional and modern art.

4. Church Of Sao Francisco

One of the most important Gothic monuments in Porto (if not the most important), the Church of São Francisco is a wonderful, large church, with the insides having been decorated in traditional baroque manner. It is located right inside the city center which has been declared as a World Heritage Site by the UN.

 It used to house the old cloisters which were burned down in the 1832 Siege of Porto.

5. Muralha Fernandina

This wonderful, but lesser-known path has a 14th century wall to see, and it’s just up the Luis I Bridge. It’s part of a larger UNESCO world heritage site, though very little tourists actually wind up here. You can see battlements at Largo 1. De Dezembro, and at the entrance you are greeted by a beautiful albeit small garden which has orange trees.

The clincher for this place though is the view of the Douro from up top.

6. Pinhao Railway Station

This is part of the entire Duoro Valley experience – it might be a small railway station, but it packs quite a punch as far as places to visit are concerned. The first train to the Pinhâo railway station departed on the 1st of June, way back in 1880, which means you’re walking through history as you spend time on the railway station!

There is a lot of artwork on the walls of the station which you will definitely enjoy.

7. Douro Valley River Cruise

This one is also best enjoyed as part of the guided tour to the Douro Valley. This also needs a fair bit of time, but it’s manageable on a day trip to the valley. A recommendation is to go on the local rabelos boats, which are available as part of guided tours and provide you the true Douro Valley experience.

8.Igreja do Carmo

 This baroque-rococo style church is one of the highlights of Porto, which was built by carmelite laymen. It gets its name from the lady of Carmo, who was the patroness of the Order. Visit for the exquisite outside and inside views, the glass windows and the depictions all over the church.

9. FC Porto Museum

 FC Porto is the local football club, and the locals have dedicated this museum for he sheer love that they have for their football club. There is a main hall full of audiovisual experiences and a number of smaller rooms which documentaries and trophies that the club has won over the years. Football fans should make sure to have time to visit this place.

10. Casa-Museu Guerra Junqueiro

 If you’re not Portuguese, you probably don’t know who Guerra Junueiro is, let alone find out what this museum is all about. Therefore, before visiting this museum, you should probably look up who he was and what he did before heading here – it makes a lot more sense.
Guerra Junqueiro was a high-order politician, writer and journalist in Portugal. Multiple hands have exchanged the property amongst them, before the government took over and converted it into a museum. This house-cum-museum is a testament to his life and his contributions to Portugal as a civil servant.

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