ND Focus – Elia’s focus on Project Management / 13-14 September 2018

About Porto

Porto through the eyes of our local partners

Photos by Helena Sampaio


Porto in 48 hours – by  Linguaemundi

The historic centre of Porto and the River Douro on the Gaia side, where the Port Wine lodges are located, are classified as World Heritage.

São Bento railway station, with its atrium lined with tiles, is an ideal starting point to your visit to Porto. Just ahead is the Cathedral. From there you descend by steps and the mediaeval streets lead you to Ribeira where the Church of São Francisco can  be seen. Nearby, you can see and visit the Palácio da Bolsa (former Stock Exchange palace). The tram leaves from next to the river for a trip that goes to Foz (the mouth of the Douro), where you can take a stroll along the tree-lined avenues. Avenida da Boavista starts here, and not far away is the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves, with its gardens and its contemporary art exhibitions. The museum of Serralves is the work of Álvaro Siza Vieira, one of the foremost architects of the Porto School of Architecture, and winner of the Pritzker Prize.

The architecturally imposing Casa da Música, a work of Rem Koolhaas, with its full programme of cultural events, is on Rotunda da Boavista. On your way to Baixa, the city centre – in between are the Crystal Palace gardens, with another panoramic view of the river, and the Soares dos Reis Museum. Another garden, full of sculptures, is Cordoaria, surrounded by churches and other historical monuments worth seeing. It’s worth climbing the Clérigos Tower for a different view of Porto. Immediately nearby is the famous Lello bookshop that inspired J. K. Rowling write the much loved Harry Potter stories. Continue walking towards Aliados, past the shops and art nouveau buildings. After exploring this broad avenue, it’s worth strolling along the pedestrian-only Rua de Santa Catarina and pop in to the Café Majestic for a coffee in what is said to be one of the most beautiful cafes in the world.

There‘s still a visit to be made to the south bank of the river to go to a Port Wine lodge and taste some Port in this unique setting.

Photos by Helena Sampaio

Top things to see in Porto – by Multivertentes

Want to get to know Porto? Just wander around the historical centre, classified as a World Heritage Site since 1996, and appreciate its charm.

Start with the Clérigos Tower, Porto’s most iconic landmark, built by the Italian Nicolau Nasoni in the first half of the seventeenth century. If you dare to climb the 250 steps to reach the top, you will surely feel rewarded by the beautiful view of the city.

You can also go down to Avenida dos Aliados, admire the typical azulejo tiles inside São Bento station, go up to Rua de Santa Catarina for some shopping, or enjoy a break at the historical Café Majestic. Ask for a “pastel de nata” to go with your coffee.

Another must-do in Porto is to take a walk around Ribeira, the old city district located by the Douro river. Enjoy the views from Luis I bridge, embark on a cruise on a Rabelo boat. Head to the southern bank for a visit to the wine cellars and a taste of Port wine. Or take a ride on the Guindais Funicular and bravely cross Luis I bridge along the top deck for stunning views and photo opportunities.

You can also get the old Tram 1, starting right in front of São Francisco Church in Ribeira and go to Foz, travelling along the river bank and enjoying the beautiful views, before heading for lunch in one of the many popular restaurants.

Back to the centre, in Rua das Flores you will certainly find that special place to have dinner or just a drink, taking with you a fond memory of Portugal’s impressive selection of wines and fine food. 

Outside the old district, head to Boavista where Casa da Música waits for your visit, a contemporary building exclusively dedicated to music, where you can also enjoy a drink on the top floor bar and revel in the terrace’s great views. Go to the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves, where you not only find art, but can also take a stroll in the beautiful gardens.

Other spots for visitors to the city are the Lello Bookshop, considered the third most beautiful bookshop in the world; the “Palácio de Cristal” (Crystal Palace) gardens – for some fresh air and astonishing views over the river; and “”, Porto’s Cathedral, which is the city’s most important church.

One more tip for getting around the city – get the subway’s Andante Tour 1 ticket, which is valid for 24 hours. Enjoy!