Updated: Jan 18, 2021
Porto is one of the oldest cities of Portugal, with the ocean and the river as background. From the medieval journeys to contemporary sensations, there are thousands of charms and corners that are worth discovering in the city with the essence of Portugal. Besides the historical traces and setting in the capital of the North, we also recommend to experience the famous Port wine, produced from grapes grown and processed in the demarcated Douro Valley. Porto also offers great varieties between tradition and modernity, from luxury living, nouvel Portuguese gastronomy to urban culture and entertainment. By feeling the pulse of one of the most beautiful cities in the world, you would be set to inspire ourselves in the people, in the hospitality, in the joy of the festivities and in the pleasant way of living.
Place to Stay
Vila Foz Hotel & Spa
Stepped into the majestic and old city glamour at the seafront Fozdo Douro neighborhood in Porto. From an old Manor House in the heart of the Atlantic Ocean, Vila Foz Hotel set a new luxury living standards with this incredible palatial building by keeping all the original architectural details from the 19th century, adapted to the modern luxury of our days. The unique property brought us to the revival of the highest bourgeoisie of Porto and it is surrounded by a unique tranquility and characteristic. The Spa took us on a journey of harmony and healing towards the end of our explore in Porto region and restored all our senses. Every moment set its own pace and flow here that was truly unique from other parts of the city.
Address: Av. de Montevideu 236, 4150-516 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 244 9700
Quinta da Corte
A little gem in the Wine Country of Douro Valley. The exclusive, 8-Room only Casa at Quinta da Corte offers a blend of luxury and simplicity in the middle of vineyard. Dated from the 19th century, this charming old guesthouse has been transformed by the renowned architect Pierre Yovanovitch with a mixture of original creation, design focused details and antique furnishings that represents the countryside of the Douro. The new wine cellar is a true architectural delight with the airy and intricate arches hold the temperature and humidity to help preserve the wine. The wine tasting room provides a direct view of the vineyard and landscape. From the colorful exterior of the building to kitchen, sitting rooms, and library inside, each corner makes you feel particularly warm and lived-in. Best of all, you could experience taste and enjoy everything coming from the soil within the property.
Address: 5120-491 Valenca Do Douro
Phone: +351 964536200
Place to Eat
Cantinho do Avillez
When the old world meets the new world!Inspired by the traditional Portuguese gastronomy, Cantinho do Avillez Porto offers a warm and welcoming local eatery atmosphere with an international approach. Chef Jose Avillez and his team add some local affairs to their signature dishes, from deep fried green beans with tartar sauce to the Prawns “à Bulhão Pato” and the roasted octopus with potato and tomato bread mash. Every dish is full of passion and tastiness yet without pretentiousness. After years of the arrival in Porto location, the restaurant is still one of the hottest dining spots in town. Check out our Porto stories on profile for more of our favorite dining spots in the city!
Address: R. de Mouzinho da Silveira 166, 4050-416 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 322 7879 cantinhodoavillez.pt
Mini Bar Porto
Stepping into a gastronomic playground at Mini Bar Porto created by the renowned chef Jose Avillez. The neon-flickering scenery comes to life as the night falls. From the theatrical setting to unexpected taste buds, the restaurant offers an unforgettable and surprising gastronomic experience, where nothing is what it seems.
Address: Rua da Picaria 12, 4050-477 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 112 9729 minibar.pt
O Gaveto Matosinhos
One of the finest spots in town for Portuguese seafood. Elegant decor with many rare local selections. It is the local elites favorite.
Address: R. Roberto Ivens 826, 4450-279 Matosinhos, Portugal Phone: +351 22 937 8796
Located in an old traditional building near S. Bento Railway Station, it is our favorite tapas spot for mussels, oysters, clams, razors, shrimps and many tasty things we leave without.
Address: R. da Madeira 222, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 912 881 272
This local tavern and spot offers he best sandes de pernil (roast pork sandwiches) in town, and probably in the world! It is a crime to miss this when in Porto, a must eat.
Address: Praça dos Poveiros 130, 4000-393 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 200 2874
Cervejaria Brasão Coliseu
The second location of the popular Brasao restaurant group. The francesinha, Porto’s famed multi-layered sandwich is a must here.
Address: R. de Passos Manuel 205, 4000-385 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 931 989 364
The Belle Epoque-era cafe with ornate interior featuring carved wood, mirrors & chandeliers.
Address: Rua Santa Catarina 112, 4000-442 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 200 3887
Place to See
Dream big in this most beautiful bookstore in the world! Since 1906, Livraria Lello has been the destination for political figures, artists, writers, respected bourgeois and city merchants in Porto. The space not only is known as the inspiration for JK Rowling while writing her masterwork of Harry Potter, but also a main showcase for Portuguese literature and a living access to the history and culture. An interesting fact to share as the majestic interior of Livraria Lello seems to be done with carved wood, but in fact with painted plaster, a technique that was also used in the ornaments of the stairs. It allowed the construction to be completed faster. Many visitors may not know about the treasure room in the back of the second floor where they store many of the first editions and most important books in the world.
Address: R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 200 2037 www.livrarialello.pt
Palacio da Bolsa
Built in the 19th century by the city's Commercial Association in neoclassical style, Palacio da Bolsa is one of the most impressive edifices and important buildings in Porto. The central Nations' Courtyard is covered by a large metallic, octagonal dome with glass panels. In the back, there is a sumptuous stairway leads to the upper stories with the ceiling frescoes painted by António Ramalho. The stunning Arab Room is definitely the highlight of the palace. The room is decorated in the exotic Moorish Revival style, which was very trendy in the 19th century. It is the perfect venue for a journey out of a journey.
Address: R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal Phone: +351 22 339 9000
Chapel of Souls
There are 15,947 tiles in total covering 360 square meters exterior facade and it was clad in 1929 with tiles depicting scenes from the lives of saints. The Azulejos are works by Eduardo Leite and they were produced in Lisbon by the “Viuda Lamego” Ceramic Factory. It is simply powerful and unforgettable.
Address: Rua de Santa Catarina 428, 4000-124 Porto, Portugal
Torre dos Clerigos
This iconic tower dominates the entire landscape of the city. The architectural complex of Clerics, considered a National Monument since 1910, contains the Tower, Museum and Church. The church and the Tower are part of a baroque-inspired building from the 18th century, which marked the city's urban configuration. The Church and the Tower are adjoined to the House of the Brotherhood, which is now a museum that provides a return to the past at the spaces that were once private and destined for the daily life of the Brotherhood of the Clerics.
Address: R. de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto, Portugal
The Church of Saint Francis
The most prominent Gothic monument in Porto, Portugal, known for its outstanding Baroque inner decoration. It is declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
Address: Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto, Portugal
Telephone: +351 222 006 493
Casa da Musica
The modern takes on the tradition. Enjoying the musical and cultural encounters in the exclusive Blue Room in Casa da Musica Porto. Designed by architect Rem Koolhaas, Casa da Musica is the first building in Portugal aimed from its conception to be exclusively dedicated to music. It is a destination for urban sensations and entertainment.
Address: Av. da Boavista 604-610, 4149-071 Porto, Portugal
Fundação de Serralves
The pink Art Deco Casa de Serralves and the Museum of Contemporary Art make Serralves Park a destination for Portuguese and international contemporary art and culture. It represents emerging and important artists such as Pedro Cabritareis, Studio Olafur Eliasson, Anish Kapoor and Joan Jonas. You could easily spend half or a full day exploring the stunning architecture and cutting edge art collections within.
Address: R. Dom João de Castro 210, 4150-417 Porto, Portugal
Telephone: +351 808 200 543 www.serralves.pt
Pontede Dom Luís
Ending our Porto journey with the view of the iconic Pontede Dom Luís over Douro River. At its construction, its 172 metres span was the longest of its type in the world. The saudade, nostalgic beauty has been the key element that made us fall in love with this city and it is a place to explore and experience the essence of Portugal.
Address:Pte. Luiz I, Porto, Portugal
Farol de Felgueiras
The lighthouse guards the city with the backdrop of douro river and the Atlantic. The openness of the lighthouse offers a completely different feeling than the crowded historic old city. It is also the best spot to admire the sunset and dramatic sky in Porto.
Address: Jardim do Passeio Alegre,, Porto, Portugal
Things to Do
Port Wine - Cockburns Port Cellar
On the other side of the Douro River is Gaia, an area full of giant wine cellars where the winemakers store their Port wine from the Douro Valley for exporting. At Cockburns Port Cellar, you could learn about the wine that takes its name from the city near the Atlantic coast, from where it has been shipped for the last centuries. The traditions, the vintage collections and the newcomers. It was the perfect education to prepare yourself before the adventure in the wine country.
Address: R. de Serpa Pinto 346, 4400-307 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal Phone: +351 913 007 950 www.cockburns.com
About two hours drive from Porto, you can reach the impressive landscape of the Douro, the first wine region demarcated in the world since 1756. Port is a rich wine from a rugged valley. For centuries, the only way to plant a vineyard was by building dry stone-wall terraces, and many terraces may only carry single row of vine. These heroic tasks along with the extreme climate formed a dramatic scene and look of the Douro Valley, the wine country of Portugal.
We list few of our favorite activities in Douro Valley:
Due to the extreme climate and rugged landscape at Douro Valley, the wine making industry still pretty much uses the traditional methods to cultivate their vines. Spending a day in the vineyard collecting the grapes was a tough but fun job,. It is difficult to walk on the uneven path between the terraces. It seems beautiful from far, but every drip of Port is coming from lots of science and hard work. Finally, a well deserved wine tasting time overlooking the valley was the best reward after a tough day!
The Douro Valley living could not be complete without a river boat ride between the scenic valleys. Follow the path where the winemakers used to transport their wine barrels down to Porto, it connects the economic and historic traces for centuries in the region.
Pinhao Train Station
At the Pinhao train station, the beautiful Azulejos on the wall depict scenes from the wine harvest indicate this is the epicenter of Port wine land. Many variations at the site give a wonderful sense of aesthetic unity to such cultural details. Each Azulejo tells the story of the winecountry, how the transport and harvest used to work. It is a visual heaven for traveling on a train.