A tour guide to walk around Porto, Portugal

48 Hours in Porto, Portugal

If you’d ask, me do you prefer Porto or Lisbon? I would say tough choice my heart can’t choose. Although Porto is smaller than Lisbon, both cities have a way to wow you over. Taking a walk along the Douro River or sharing an evening meal with a friend sitting outdoors next to the River feels like being on vacation 24/7.

After my previous post on spending 3 days in Lisbon, I’m inviting you to spend 48 hours in Lisbon.

The River Douro An Unmissable Walk In Porto

Did you know that the River Douro is the highest flow river on the Iberian Peninsula? That is probably why Porto was not in red on the global warming water rising map for 2030 by coastal climate central. A stroll along the River is a must. You can plan it for the evening and have dinner at one restaurant on Cais da Ribeira this what the area is called. Before sitting down for a nice lunch or dinner, walk over Dom Luis I Bridge. The bridge crosses over the River and will take you to Vila Nova de Gaia. Walk through the city to reach the upper bridge. However, there’s a river level passageway you can use to cross. Walking up to the top of the bridge will give you a fantastic bird view over Porto and the River.

When I first saw the bridge, some of the arcs decorations sounded pretty familiar, and I asked myself if Gustave Eiffel was behind it? Guess what he was the influence behind it. Eiffel had constructed the railway bridge called D. Maria that you see driving along the River before arriving in the city centre. In fact, the road between the two bridges is called Eiffel. One of the administrators who had worked with Eiffel on the first bridge, Théophile Seyrig, worked on the Dom Luis I Bridge hence the influence.

Once you are on the top of the bridge. Let yourself wow over by the gorgeous views of the River and the red-tiled rooftops of the city ( I was always lucky to be on that bridge in bright sunshine). Once on the Southside towards Vila Nova de Gaia, you can easily walk down along the riverside for a view view over the North Side on the colourful houses of Cais da Ribeira

The old Town

The Porto City Hall

There are several architectural buildings you do not want to miss in Porto. First, the Porto city hall was built between 1920-1957. The imposing buildings and avenues around will transport you somewhere like New York. I’m not talking about the skyscrapers as there is none, but the imposing buildings look like the old banks building that you can still find on Wall Street or in the city of London.

Café Majestic

Opened in 1921, travel back in time stepping into this café. If only you do one thing, do not miss the building. I didn’t stop for a coffee there, and the reviews I have read online are pretty mixed as some mention the place as a tourist trap. However, the outside building is definitely worth stopping by.

The Sao Bento Railway station

Even if you’re not planning to take the train, it’s worth looking inside as the wall is covered in the beautiful Azuelo tiles that you will find on several buildings in the city. This train station is part of Unesco world heritage. It mostly deserves the suburbs of Porto. It is also convenient for visiting the Douro valley.

Igregas dos Carmelitas

Igregas dos Carmelitas Church

I have been to Porto twice now and still haven’t visited the interior. However, it is definitely on my wish list. The Church was built of the 17th century at the height of Baroque style with majestic altars covered in gold. The outside lateral wall is tiled with Azuelo tiles, creating a beautiful landscape for street photography.

Mercado Ferreira Borges

A former market space with iron structure. Located on Praça Ribeiro in front of the Jardim do Infante. One of the first iron building in the city.The municipal market hall was built in 1885 as indoor market and is now a space for cultural exhibitions it is also a night club and a restaurant.

Wander in the hilly streets of Porto

Take time to wonder in the old town, walking up the narrow streets from the Mercado Ferreira Borges on Praça Ribeiro up to Rua das Flores and up to Praça da Liberdade.

Porto has a lot to offer, it’s such a vibrant city with picturesque streets and beautiful buildings covered in Azuela tiles. 48 hours might be enough but it will give you a good grasp of what the city and the Douro valley have to offer to wanting you to uncover more.

What are your favourite places to visit in Portugal?

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