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Top 12 Sights to See in Porto

Eurofile lives in the UK. She travels regularly around Europe with her husband, and they have visited Portugal many times.

Porto.

Porto.

Why Go to Porto?

When you think of Portugal as a travel destination, what springs to mind? Some would say the capital, Lisbon, which features on cruise itineraries, while others might picture the sunny beaches of the Algarve on the south coast, but few would mention Porto—Portugal’s second-biggest city on the north-west coast and the place from which many think the country took its name.

In recent years things have changed. A combination of the increased popularity of river cruises, with trips setting off from Porto to go up the River Douro, and the expansion of Porto airport to receive flights from Europe’s biggest low-cost airline, Ryanair, has heralded a big increase in tourism.

Locals say “Lisbon boasts, Braga prays and Porto works”. This ‘working’ city is setting about carving itself a deserved niche on the Portuguese tourist trail, delivering a memorable and rewarding experience for all who visit.

Having already visited the Algarve several times and also Lisbon, Portugal had become a favorite holiday destination for us, not least because it is one of the more reasonable European countries to visit. There can’t be many countries where you can buy two coffees for less than two euros. Casting around for a different part of Portugal to explore, Porto came up on our radar and the reports were encouraging. Add to the mix 12 days of annual leave going spare in June-July, a hotel available at a great points redemption rate and cheap flights from the UK and, for us, it was a no-brainer.

Porto.

Porto.

Where to Go in Porto

Most people call in briefly on Porto at the start or end of a river cruise, or at most spend 2-3 days there on a city break. Having spent 12 days in the area, our explorations of Porto and its surroundings were a little more thorough. Here are the top 12 places we visited in the city, followed by more information for travelers.

Top 12 Sights in Porto

  1. Torre dos Clerigos
  2. Centro Portugues de Fotografia
  3. Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas
  4. Livraria Lello
  5. Estacao Sao Bente
  6. Se Catedral
  7. Palacio da Bolsa
  8. Igreja de Sao Francisco
  9. The River Douro
  10. Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar
  11. Taylor's
  12. Jardim do Palacio de Cristal

At the end of this article, you will also find information on getting to Porto, where to stay while there, getting your bearings, and the weather.

Torre dos Clerigos.

Torre dos Clerigos.

1. Torre dos Clerigos

It can be helpful in an unfamiliar city, to find a good viewpoint, from which you can get an idea of the overall layout and the geography. I would recommend Torre dos Clerigos, at the top of Rua Clerigos and overlooking Praca de Lisboa to the north of the Ribeira area, which runs down to the northern banks of the Douro river. Once you have negotiated the 225 step spiral staircase, you are rewarded with panoramic views over the city.

View from Torre dos Clerigos towards River Douro.

View from Torre dos Clerigos towards River Douro.

After taking in the 360-degree view, the museum might not be to everyone’s taste, but it is certainly worth exploring the adjoining church, which is all included in the cost.

Admission to the tower and museum is 5 euros (9 am- 7 pm) and the same price for the tower only at night (7pm-11pm).

Tip: choose your time carefully, as the top of the tower and steps up can get crowded at busier times of the day.

2. Centro Portugues de Fotografia

Located south of Praca da Cordoaria and within sight of Torre dos Clerigos, this former prison, now housing a photographic museum makes a handy shelter, as we found during a downpour. Its former life as a jail ceased with the Carnation Revolution in 1974, but it still gives an atmospheric backdrop, with many original features retained and photographs of previous inmates, complete with details of their misdemeanors. As well as hosting photographic exhibitions, the museum has a collection of cameras, giving the older ones amongst us the opportunity to spot familiar models from bygone pre-digital days.

Entrance to the photographic museum is free.

Inside Centro Portugues de Fotografia.

Inside Centro Portugues de Fotografia.

3. Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas

Located on Rua do Carmo, a few minutes walk to the north-west of Torre dos Clerigos, and separated by a meter-wide house, these must be two of the closest located churches. The narrow house in the middle once divided the monks of Carmo and the Carmelite nuns.

Entrance is free to both churches and they are worth a look inside, with their well-gilded naves.

Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas.

Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas.

4. Livraria Lello

Amongst its more famous residents, Porto boasts that J.K. Rowling lived here, whilst teaching English 1991-1993. It is said that she wrote part of her Harry Potter book whilst here and that Livraria Lello, a neo-Gothic bookshop on Rua das Carmelitas, (to the north of Praca de Lisboa and Torre dos Clerigos), dating from 1906, has a twisting staircase, which inspired the one in Harry Potter. Whatever the truth behind the tale, the bookshop’s owners have never looked back since. They now charge 5 euros for admission, which is deductible against any book purchases, as many tourists were there to view only and book sales fell. It is now advisable to pre-book your visit to avoid lengthy queues and tickets are sold next door.

Tip: If, like us, you are put off by the queues, the inside of the shop is illuminated in the evening, so a reasonable photograph can be taken after 7.30pm when all the crowds have gone.

Livraria Lello.

Livraria Lello.

5. Estacao Sao Bente

If you walk east along Rua Clerigos, you will pass Palacio das Cardosas (now an InterContinental hotel) on the right and Praca da Liberdade on your left, with the Camara Municipal, do Porto at the top of the square. Turn right onto Av. D. Alfonso Henriques, as you do so take a look at the fascia of Igreja dos Congregados, which is illuminated at night. You will see the station (Estacao Sao Bente) on the left. ‘So what? it’s just a station’ you might say. But take a look inside and you will understand why this station merits a mention.

Estacao Sao Bente.

Estacao Sao Bente.

Completed in 1903, Estacao Sao Bente has been described as one of the world’s most beautiful train stations. The walls of the front hall are decorated with azulejo panels, using 20,000 tiles, and depicting historic battles and the history of transport.

The entrance hall, Estacao Sao Bente.

The entrance hall, Estacao Sao Bente.

Tip: If you are interested in finding out more about the background to the scenes depicted, you could always sign up for a free walking tour of Porto, which starts in front of Porto’s welcome center opposite the station, as we did.

Having had a great experience on a free walking tour of Lisbon the previous year, we signed up to take the walking tour towards the end of our time in Porto. It didn’t go quite to plan, as the guide took us in the Welcome center and spent some time explaining the interactive displays in there, before getting us to line up for a group photo. I now realize that this was done early on before too many people dropped out. First stop was Estacao Sao Bente across the road, where the guide went into great detail about the stories behind the azulejo panels. He was obviously passionate about his subject, but as time went on, the eyes of his listeners glazed over and I have to admit that we sneaked off and failed to complete the rest of the tour.

6. Se Catedral

If you walk south from Estacao Sao Bente along Av. D.Alfonso Henriques, you will end up walking across the top level of Ponte de D. Luis 1 over the River Douro to Vila Nova de Gaia. But it’s worth taking a slight detour off to the right to visit the Se Catedral, which you can see from afar with its granite towers. We looked inside at the barrel-vaulted nave and the altarpiece, but just as striking and worth a look were the views over Porto from the terrace outside. There is a small charge for the cloisters, which we did not venture into.

Se Catedral.

Se Catedral.

7. Palacio da Bolsa

I would recommend a visit to Palacio da Bolsa, (translated as stock exchange palace) located a short walk north from the River Douro on the west side of Rua Ferreira Borges. The only way to see the inside of the palace is to get onto one of the guided tours, which set off every 30 minutes in various languages

Palacio da Bolsa.

Palacio da Bolsa.

Tip: Be organized and plan your visit in advance to ensure that you can book a tour in English at a time that suits you. It took us two attempts to get on a tour. On the first occasion, turning up on spec did not work, as the English tour was full. At the second attempt, we arrived earlier and booked a tour for later that day. Tours cost 10 euros per adult.

The tour starts in the Patio das Nacoes (Hall of Nations), where the stock exchange operated. This is an impressive sight with a Greco-Roman floor mosaic, a large skylight and the edge of the ornate ceiling decorated with the coats of arms of the countries that Portugal once traded with.

Patio das Nacoes, Hall of Nations.

Patio das Nacoes, Hall of Nations.

The guided tour continues up the Escadaria Noble (Noble Staircase), which is beautifully carved out of granite and adorned with busts of sculptors. The ceiling frescoes are illuminated by two bronze chandeliers. Take a glimpse into Gustave Eiffel’s study along the way. The guide will show you Sala do Tribunal, with its ornate wooden look, where the port is still declared ‘vintage’. But by far the most decoratively impressive room is Salao Arabe (the Arabian Hall). This was inspired by the Alhambra, in Granada, Spain, and every surface is covered with Moorish designs gilded with gold.

Salao Arabe, the Arabian Hall.

Salao Arabe, the Arabian Hall.

8. Igreja de Sao Francisco

Located adjacent to the Palacio da Bolsa and on Praca Infante Dom Henrique, Igreja de Sao Francisco is visible from the River Douro, as it stands up from the northerly bank in The Ribeira district of Porto. This was on our ‘must see’ list, as it is highly acclaimed for its baroque finery and many kilos of gold leaf.

Igreja de Sao Francisco.

Igreja de Sao Francisco.

Entry is 7.50 euros and, with photography banned in the church, many visitors spend a further 1 euro on an information leaflet. In all honesty, having visited other churches for free and having taken photos of ornate naves elsewhere, I can say that we were fairly underwhelmed by this church. Therefore, I would not recommend it unless you have a particular interest in baroque churches. Admission includes entry to the church museum and the catacombs.

Places to see North of the River

9. The River Douro

Without a doubt, the focal point of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia is the River Douro, which separates the two. Instead of walking over the top level of Ponte de Dom Luis 1, we chose to make our way down through the small streets and alleyways from the cathedral terrace to the Cais da Ribeira. This riverfront promenade, lined with eating places, is a hive of activity with stalls selling boat trips on the river, which set off from here as well as the water taxi, which regularly travels across to Gaia on the other side.

Tip: If on a budget, don’t be tempted to stop for food here before exploring the other side of the river, where eating places get cheaper the further you walk along away from the bridge.

Cais da Ribeira.

Cais da Ribeira.

Barcos rabelos, flat-bottomed boats that were used to transport barrels of Port wine along the river line the bank towards Ponte de Dom Luis 1. Sometimes mistaken as being designed by Gustave Eiffel (of Eiffel Tower, Paris fame) himself, this bridge was actually completed in 1886 by one of his students. A railway bridge spanning the Douro further east, Ponte Maria Pia, was Gustave Eiffel’s project completed in 1877.

Ponte de Dom Luis 1 is a striking piece of engineering, spanning the River Douro on two levels. The upper level carries a metro line and pedestrians, whilst the lower level carries cars and pedestrians.

Ponte de Dom Luis I.

Ponte de Dom Luis I.

It’s an easy walk up from Cais da Ribera to the lower level of Ponte de Dom Luis 1 and views from it are worthwhile, but be warned the pavements are not wide and it can be quite a jostle facing oncoming pedestrians with traffic passing you, as you also negotiate those who stop to take photographs and selfies.

To my mind some of the best views of Porto are to be had looking back from the Vila Nova da Gaia side of the River Douro or from the teleferico da Gaia (cable car) that travels between a station near the upper level of the bridge down to further along the Gaia promenade, handily located for the berthing place of the river cruisers.

The teleferico is a painless way of accessing the upper level of Ponte de Dom Luis 1, which I would highly recommend. Although it can be slightly unnerving having the metro passing you with little between you, other than a few well-spaced out bollards, the walkways are wider than on the lower level and the views back over the river, Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia are stunning.

River Douro.

River Douro.

The alternative to the teleferico is a steep walk up steps from the Gaia side, not for the faint-hearted, a steep walk up from the Cais de Ribeira side or reasonably flat access by following Av D. Afonso Henriques south from in front of Estacao Sao Bente.

10. Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar

Located in Vila Nova de Gaia, to the east of Ponte de D. Luis 1, this hilltop monastery offers stunning views, looking down onto the bridge and beyond to both banks of the River Douro.

Tip: For great free views of Porto, Vila Nova de Gaia, the Douro and some of its bridges, you can access the terrace in front of the monastery for no charge.

Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar.

Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar.

View from Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar.

View from Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar.

Tip: As the monastery is on what is part of a military base, to explore inside and up on the top, you need to book onto a 40 minute guided tour leaving every hour between 10.30 am and 12.30pm and between 2.30pm and 5.30pm.

The tour cost us 4 euros each, which I thought represented reasonable value. We were allowed to wander around the circular cloister, before being introduced to a member of the military who lead us at a fair pace up the steps to the rooftop for more views over the two cities and the river, slightly obscured by the trees around the monastery. Once back down the steps, our small group was met by the guide who took us into the circular church and, in excellent English, explained its various features and uses over the years.

Port Houses in Porto

No article on Porto is ever complete without a section on its most famous export, port wine, Vinho do Porto, or simply port. This fortified wine is made from grapes grown in the Douro valley and fortified by the addition of grape spirit. Traditionally the port barrels were transported downriver on rabelos (flat-bottomed boats, which now line the banks of the river in Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia) to the port houses set up by merchants, many of whom were foreign, in Vila Nova da Gaia, where the port was aged before being bottled and exported. A tourist map indicates 14 of the larger port houses in Gaia. There are many familiar names amongst them, such as Taylor’s, Croft and Cockburn’s. All of them boast a strong heritage, offer port tastings and the opportunity to purchase the product. Several of them run tours of the port houses. Having read promising reviews and having a friend who claims Taylor’s port as his favorite drink, we opted to tour Taylor’s port house.

11. Taylor’s

Taylor’s is located further uphill than a lot of the other port houses in Gaia, on Rua do Choupelo. Although easily identifiable with its clear rooftop signage from afar, for us, walking up from the river, Taylor’s took some finding, but it was well worth it when we got there.

Taylor's.

Taylor's.

To walk through the gates is to walk into another world, with its English grounds and on a hot day, the coolness of the cellar is much appreciated. The tour is done via a headset with numbers on exhibits corresponding to recorded information in your chosen language so you can go at your own pace, taking in as much or as little as you want. Perhaps the most impressive sight is the vast cellar with its large barrels of aging port wine, including one holding 100,000 liters.

Port barrels at Taylor's port house.

Port barrels at Taylor's port house.

The tour continues with graphic explanations of the history of port winemaking, using photographs, displays, and video footage and brings it right up to date with an explanation of current methods. By the time you emerge into daylight, you will feel like a port wine expert. Then comes the best bit, the opportunity to taste some of Taylor’s high-quality port wine and we found the measures fairly generous.

Tours cost 15 euros each and include tastings of three port wines.

Tip: look out for tourist maps, widely available in hotels or tourist information offices, and you could find the offer of a free glass of vintage port upon presentation of the map at Taylor’s.

Your tasting session is expanded to sample 4 of Taylor’s port wines and your walk back down to the river becomes a little more unsteady.

Tip: unless you have your heart and your budget set on an expensively branded vintage port, I would advise looking in a supermarket, where perfectly acceptable bottles of Port can be purchased for a fraction of the cost.

12. Jardim do Palacio de Cristal

Located to the west of central Porto, this park south of Rua Dom Manuel II and north of the River Douro offers the opportunity to escape city life for a quiet stroll amongst a mosaic of small gardens. The gardens were laid out by the German landscape architect Emille David and include ornamental parterres, secret hedge gardens with fountains, areas of woodland and a rose garden.

Jardim do Palacio de Cristal.

Jardim do Palacio de Cristal.

A popular place for a quiet stroll, the gardens are also home to a selection of peacocks and hens. The original Palacio de Cristal was replaced in 1956 by a domed pavilion, in which sports events, exhibitions, theatre and musical performances take place.

Not to be missed are the miradouros (viewpoints) on the park’s southern edge with views over the River Douro towards Vila Nova da Gaia.

Tip: June/July is not the best time to view these gardens. If at all possible try to visit in early spring to catch everything in bloom.

View towards Vila Nova de Gaia from Jardim do Palacio de Cristal.

View towards Vila Nova de Gaia from Jardim do Palacio de Cristal.

More Places Worth Visiting

Getting to Porto

Porto airport receives flights from many other European destinations, including London (Gatwick and Stansted airports), Madrid and Barcelona. If traveling from the USA, the best plan would be a transit via a bigger European airport, or better still, to take in Porto as part of a longer European trip.

Francisco Sa Carneiro airport is 12.1 km north and slightly west of Porto. A taxi into the center of the city costs 25-30 euros. The metro or bus services offer a cheaper option.

Where to Stay in Porto

As with any city expanding into the tourist market, Porto now has a wide range of hotels to suit every budget. From the 5 star InterContinental, set in a former palace and the Yeatman, with its stunning views over the River Douro to Porto, to the Holiday Inn Express Exponor, near Matosinhos and within walking distance of the coast, or the Hotel Ibis Budget Porto Gaia. Along with a host of others branded and independent, as well as self-catering apartments in the center and by the coast.

We stayed at Holiday Inn Express Porto Exponor for 11 nights in June/July 2017. Our choice was primarily determined by the availability of rooms on a very reasonable points basis via the IHG rewards scheme. Although the hotel was a 20-minute bus journey (at best) into Porto, the location suited us because of the nearby coastline, within walking distance. However, if you are limited for time, I would recommend a more central location.

Getting Your Bearings in Porto

The city of Porto lies several kilometers inland from the coast, on the northern bank of the River Douro and facing the city of Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank. Its location offers tourists the best of both worlds, a stunning city to explore as well as the opportunity to relax on a beach during the warm summer months or take in a bracing coastal walk in the cooler months.

The Weather in Porto

If you are expecting the high temperatures of the Algarve, you might be disappointed. Due to its more northerly location on the west coast, the hottest month tends to be July with temperatures averaging 20 degrees Celsius / 67 degrees Fahrenheit. January is the coolest, averaging 10 degrees Celcius / 50 degrees Fahrenheit. Although it has to be said that these temperatures act only as a rough guide. At the time we were in Porto late June/early July we experienced temperatures up to the high 30 degrees Celcius / over 100 degrees Fahrenheit on a trip up the Douro valley and also in the mid-teens degrees, Celcius / low 60s degrees Fahrenheit on the Atlantic coast.

July is the driest month with around 20mm of rainfall and December the wettest with 175mm. December has the record for the lowest average hours of sunshine at 3 per day. June and July share the highest average at 10 hours of sun per day.

Where Is Porto?

Portugal lies on the Iberian peninsula at the southwestern edge of mainland Europe, adjacent to Spain. Porto is 312km north and slightly east of the capital, Lisbon, 55.1km south-west of Braga and 563km west and slightly north of the Spanish capital, Madrid.

Final Thoughts on Porto

Before we traveled there, I wondered if we would find enough to fill 12 days in Porto. I needn’t have worried. There was plenty to do. In fact so much, that I have material for several more related articles, which will follow in due course. I have no hesitation in recommending Porto as a great destination for a city break or a slightly longer holiday.

Your choice.

Sunset in Porto.

Sunset in Porto.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2018 Liz Westwood

Comments

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on August 13, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Devika. We enjoyed our time in Porto very much. Tourism there was lower key than in Lisbon or the Algarve. There was much more to see there than we had expected. I think we are all virtual travellers at the moment.

Devika Primic on August 13, 2020:

Porto sounds incredible and is attractive. I hope to visit some day and will keep this information in mind. A place I can only dream of for now.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on July 27, 2020:

Thank you very much for your comment, Denise. This was one of my first articles on HubPages. I have recently been revisiting the Porto articles with a view to linking them with some boards on my new Pinterest account. The Sao Bente station hall was the most decorative that I have ever seen.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on July 27, 2020:

You have blessed us with so many marvelous photos of places we may never get to see in person. I especially love the blue-painted walls of the entrance hall, Estacao Sao Bente. Amazing.

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 10, 2020:

Thank you very much for your comment, Swaty. We enjoyed spending time in Porto. There was a lot to see there. I hope you can visit one day.

Swaty from Bangalore on June 08, 2020:

Porto is a lovely place to go, surely. After reading your article, I am waiting for a chance to visit this place for sure. Liz, you write so nicely.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 20, 2020:

Thank you very much for your comment, Tiarna. It's great to have an opportunity to use some of my photos. Porto has become increasingly popular with tourists in recent years for good reason, but it still lags behind Lisbon and the Algarve. I would highly recommend visiting Porto.

Tiarna Georghiou from Brisbane, Australia on April 20, 2020:

Wow, Porto sounds like an amazing place, one I would definitely like to visit someday! You took beautiful photos as well. I enjoyed reading your article very much.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 21, 2020:

I see your point. I was thinking like an artist and not like a traveler. The traveler would like it all in one place for convenience. The artist would like a few things with extensive detail to draw or paint from. In the end, it's a matter of what YOU like.

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on March 21, 2020:

It's a dilemma I often have about how to use the information I collect while travelling. I once read a thread from an experienced hubber, who advised writing one longer detailed hub instead of several shorter ones. I am still undecided. I could produce more articles if I split the information, but for travellers it's helpful to have it all in one place, especially as we can't link to our other articles.

Denise McGill from Fresno CA on March 20, 2020:

It seems like you could have broken this hub into about 3 hubs or more. There is so much to see here and so much to say about it all. Kind of like being there!

Blessings,

Denise

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on February 22, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Rochelle. I am pleased that you enjoyed reading this article.

Rochelle Ann De Zoysa from Moratuwa, Sri Lanka on February 22, 2020:

Wow! Rich with historical places :) Thank you for taking me on this jouney :)

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on February 03, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, Victoria. I must look the Jeremy Irons film up. We have been to Lisbon twice. Both times we combined our visit with stays on the coast near Estoril and Cascais. Lisbon is a relatively compact capital city to visit. I would highly recommend the free walking tour. We learnt a lot from it and our guides thoroughly deserved their tips at the end.

Victoria Hannah from Sydney, Australia on February 02, 2020:

This is such an interesting article on Porto thank you Liz, I have always wanted to go to Portugal and naturally thought of Lisbon first, primarily because I love the Jeremy Irons movie, 'Night Train To Lisbon'.

That is great advice about getting a higher viewpoint in which to get a good layout of the city, thank you.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 16, 2020:

Thank you for your comment, bhattuc. Porto exceeded our expectations as a travel destination.

bhattuc on January 15, 2020:

Well explained, informative and useful. Thanks.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 25, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Dale. I was surprised at how many interesting places we found to visit in Porto. It was an excellent city break, with the benefit of easy access to the nearby coastline and beaches as well.

Dale Anderson from The High Seas on November 25, 2019:

The photos alone make me want to go and see them myself. Good hub here.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 20, 2019:

Thank you very much for your comment, Patricia. It amazes me that JK Rowling managed to write there. I prefer peace and quiet. The book shop does look interesting and it does a good trade on the back of the Potter link.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on November 20, 2019:

This sounds like quite an adventure. You shared what sounds like most interesting places to see. My baby grandson would love to come there if just because of the mention of JK Rowling and the Potter book. Thank you for sharing with us. Angels once again are headed your way ps

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on September 05, 2019:

Thanks for the comment, Gabriel. I wondered if 11 nights was going to be too long in Porto, but we found plenty to see and do and had no problem filling our time there. I didn't think of Porto as a transit airport for Madeira. I was expecting flights via Lisbon, but it makes sense now, as Porto airport has opened up a lot with the Ryanair flights.

Gabriel Wilson on September 05, 2019:

Hi Liz, you did Porto more than justice in fact this article was a lovely journey. I fly via Porto and often have an overnight due to link ups rather than affection but over the years Porto has grown on me. And after reading this I will try out a few new experiences. I look forward to reading more :) I love the photos and really enjoyed reading.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on September 02, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Rachel. The internet is very useful for letting us see other parts of the world. There are many far flung places that I will never go to, but, thanks to the internet I can learn about them. The next generation will probably be able to experience even more through VR without ever leaving their homes.

Rachel Alba on September 02, 2019:

Hi Liz, I never get to travel so it's extra special to see your fabulous pictures. I never thought of Portugal as a place to visit, but now I do, although It won't happen. So thank you so much for showing us your pictures and descriptions and view points.

Blessings to you.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on September 02, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Devika. Portugal, especially Porto, is well worth a visit. Are you visiting Mallorca, Spain? I look forward to reading about your travels. I am currently working on an article about the Costa Blanca, Spain.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 02, 2019:

I am glad to stopped here this is interesting and most informative of Porto. I haven't been and do plan travels soon to Palma in Spain. Porto sounds affordable and also a beautiful place to visit. Many places to visit and lots to do. Thank you for this hub!

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on July 16, 2019:

Thank you very much for your encouraging comment, R Talloni. I had seen the station on a TV programme so I was interested to see what it was like. Had we lasted the course with the free walking tour we tried, we might have learned a little more. We were overloaded with information about the wall decoration in the station by the young guide.

RTalloni on July 16, 2019:

Thanks for this visit to Porto through your descriptions and lens. A great read with great photos. How I would love to stand in the Estacao Sao Bente entrance hall! Your tips help take us into the city as we read through your article. Another enjoyable and useful post here.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on July 08, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Rajinder. I hope you can visit one day. I was unsure what to expect, but it turned out to be a great trip. I try to pass on, in the tips, what we learned from our experiences.

Rajinder Soni from New Delhi, India on July 08, 2019:

Porto is really an awesome place and after seeing your hub I will definitely give it a visit. Thanks for sharing such deepful insights about this place and the tips are just like cherries on the top of cake (this hub).

I have put Taylor's port house in my WishList.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on July 08, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Nithya. I hope you can visit Porto sometime. It is well worth a trip. I was pleasantly surprised at how much there was to see there.

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on July 08, 2019:

Porto is beautiful with so many places to visit. I enjoyed reading about them and the photographs are fantastic. I hope I can visit Porta someday, fingers crossed.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 10, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Gupi. Porto was a very interesting place to visit. I would like to explore more of Portugal in the future.

Gupi on June 09, 2019:

Great Article, lots of useful information. Thanks for sharing

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 01, 2019:

Porto is a destination rising in popularity. It certainly deserves consideration for any tour of Portugal. I would also recommend Lisbon.

Spain has many areas of interest too. Seville is one of our favourites. Barcelona, Cordoba and Ronda are also good to see. We would like to visit Granada too. I hope you get to visit Spain and Portugal one day.

Scott S Bateman on May 31, 2019:

I wasn't aware of this city before, but I'll certainly keep it in mind for what I hope will be a trip to Spain and Portugal one day.

Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar looks especially interesting to me because of the views and potential for a lot of photos.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on March 04, 2019:

Thanks for your comment, Matilda. There was more to see in Porto than I expected.

Matilda Woods from Toronto on March 04, 2019:

What a wonderfully detailed article! These are all must sees in Porto, for sure!

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on February 27, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Aurelio. When did you visit Porto? Were there many tourists there then? I had the impression that tourism had really taken off the past few years. But maybe that's just because we can get there easier now from the UK with budget flights and more English people now go to Porto. Others have probably been visiting Porto for years and its just those from the UK, who have been later arriving in big numbers.

Aurelio Locsin from Orange County, CA on February 27, 2019:

Wish I'd had this article when I visited Porto many years ago. I only recall seeing about half of the sights and missed some good ones. Well, if I ever return to that place, I'll know what to visit.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 27, 2019:

Thank you for your comment, Audrey. There was much more to see and do in Porto than I expected.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on January 27, 2019:

Hi, Liz. What an informative and interesting amount of material you've shared here. Enjoyed it all!

Robert Sacchi on January 12, 2019:

That's good news.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 12, 2019:

Thanks for the advice, Robert. I am hoping to make a start this next week. Pondering the best URL takes a little time, but once I have made a start it is good to get into the groove of writing again.

Robert Sacchi on January 11, 2019:

Time is always an issue. Just remember finishing an article starts with starting to write the article.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 10, 2019:

Thanks for the encouragement, Robert. Time is always an issue. I am accumulating a lot of material, but struggling to get the time to use it. Maybe one day I will catch up.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on January 10, 2019:

Thank you very much for your comment, Linda. Porto is becoming popular with tourists, as more are becoming aware of its attractions. We have also enjoyed visits to the capital, Lisbon and the coastline nearby. The south coast of the Algarve is a favourite holiday destination for many and has a lot to offer with a picturesque coastline, watersports and places to visit.

Robert Sacchi on January 10, 2019:

You're welcome. Keep up the travelogues.

Linda Chechar from Arizona on January 10, 2019:

So many things to do and see in Porto. I think it would be my first choice for a visit to the country. You are an encyclopedia full of valuable European travel information.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on December 09, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, Robert. I find through Hub Pages that I also get to see and learn about far away places, that I probably will not get the opportunity to travel to.

Robert Sacchi on December 09, 2018:

Debbie brings up a great point. This and other travelogue articles show people places they might not be able to visit and in many cases show people places they never knew existed.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on November 12, 2018:

Thank you for your comment, Debbie. I am pleased that you enjoyed the photographic tour of Porto.

Debbie from Florida on November 12, 2018:

I know I will never be able to visit these beautiful places, but it was so nice being able to view the beautiful architecture and scenic views through the eyes of your camera. Such a well-written article. Absolutely enjoyed it.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on September 26, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, KDV. If you like the architecture in Porto I think you will love the architecture in my Prague article.

kirtidv2006 on September 26, 2018:

Absolutely love the architecture. The cathedral is so beautiful :-)

Robert Sacchi on August 14, 2018:

That's very kind, thank you.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on August 13, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, Robert. I hope you can go there sometime.

Robert Sacchi on August 13, 2018:

Thank you very much for the tour of Porto,

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on August 01, 2018:

Thanks for your comment,Arthur. I also like France and Belgium. There's so much to see there. Spain and Portugal have a slightly different feel to them, but both are well worth a visit.

Arthur Russ from England on August 01, 2018:

Great article, we've never been to Portugal, our destination has always been France and Belgium; but if we ever do decide to venture further south then Porto certainly looks appealing.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on July 21, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, Patricia. I hope you get the chance to visit Porto some day.

Patricia Scott from North Central Florida on July 19, 2018:

For sure if I ever get to visit there I will check out these sites. I am especially a lover of the waters in countries I visit so know I would meander down and spend time there. Thank you for sharing this with us. Pinning Angels are on the way to you this evening ps

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 12, 2018:

Thank you, Peggy. I appreciate your generous comment.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on June 11, 2018:

I am looking forward to reading more from you. Your first 3 articles are so very interesting and informative.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 07, 2018:

I hope you get there. It's well worth a visit. I look forward to reading articles based on your back-packing travels.

Janisa from Earth on June 05, 2018:

Simply stunning! I've been to Lisbon once and I just loved it. I especially enjoyed the food and the city's history. Portugal is definitely on my "visit in the near future" list because of its beauty, affordability and delicious food. Well, and also because I won't have problems talking to locals there :D I hope I'll be able to visit Porto when I go backpacking through Europe.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 05, 2018:

Thanks for your comment. I'm pleased that you like the article.

Coolmon2009 from Texas, USA on June 05, 2018:

Thank You for the introduction to Porto, nice article

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 05, 2018:

I'm sorry, I can't help you there. I get loads myself. Each time someone comments on an article I've already commented on, I get notified. On the positive side, the more articles you comment on, the more likely their writers are to read your articles.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on June 05, 2018:

Every time someone comments on your article, I get a notification. How do I switch it off?

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 05, 2018:

Thanks for your comment, Eileen. Having visited Lisbon and the Algarve a few times and having enjoyed them, we thought we would venture further north in Portugal.

Ethel Smith from Kingston-Upon-Hull on June 02, 2018:

Visited the Algarve and Lisbon a few years back. Thanks for sharing so much information here and some great images

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 01, 2018:

I visited Spain several times and there are many places there well worth a visit. I was probably in danger of overlooking Portugal at first. But I'm very pleased I didn't, as it has a lot to offer.

Natalie Frank from Chicago, IL on June 01, 2018:

I have always thought of visiting Spain but haven't given Portugal much thought. After your article though, I can say I would love to go there. It seems like such a wonderful place to visit. Thanks for the article.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on June 01, 2018:

Thanks for your comment. I can recommend Portugal as a great destination. I've found it cheaper to visit than France or Spain and the climate is good. The Algarve is great for the beach in the summer and walking in the cooler months. Lisbon is one of my favorite capitals. It's relatively small compared to others and ideal for a short sight-seeing break. It seems that anywhere with a link to J.K.Rowling/Harry Potter attracts the tourists.

Glen Rix from UK on June 01, 2018:

I have never visited Portugal so found your article tantalizing. Perhaps I should add a trip to the bucket list. Interesting info about J K Rowling. (In Edinburgh crowds of Japanese cue on the pavement outside the cafe where she wrote much of the early Harry Potter books).

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on May 28, 2018:

Thank you, Anne. Porto is well worth a visit.

Anne Harrison from Australia on May 28, 2018:

So hope to go to Porto next year, so thanks for list!

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on May 28, 2018:

Thanks, Gregory. I have another article on travel in Porto and the Douro valley, which you might be interested in. It covers boat trips on the River Douro.

Gregory DeVictor from Pittsburgh, PA on May 28, 2018:

Liz, thanks for a great and detailed article about Porto. The weather in January sounds inviting. I believe that I would be quite interested in seeing the River Douro.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on May 09, 2018:

I've been to Cascais and Lisbon a couple of times and also visited Sintra once. It's a lovely part of the world. Thanks for the encouragement. I used to live out at Burton Joyce, so passed Sneinton on the way into Nottingham.

Alan R Lancaster from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire) on May 09, 2018:

Hello Liz, went to Cascais on honeymoon in 1981, saw Lisbon and Sintra amongst other places. Dry as a camel's back end! My daughter Suzy was in Porto not long ago at a convention or something like that. She is now learning Portuguese. I liked it, although.the 'system' took some getting used to the way the food was cooked. We went walking, the new wife (at the time) and I took the ferry and did a circuit of the city . Lots of British buses, Central European trams, Brtish telephone kiosks and pillar boxes as well as Green Goddesses (much in evidence with the fires breaking out all around the area).

Well written, let's have some more. I lived in Nottingham bac in 1968-71, in a converted pub at Sneinton Hollows on the way out to the racecourse.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 22, 2018:

Thank you, Peg. Porto is well worth a visit and I think visitor numbers are rising, as more people realize what Porto has to offer.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 22, 2018:

Thank you, Marlene. It is definitely one of the more affordable European cities to visit and more picturesque than I realized before we went there.

Peg Cole from Northeast of Dallas, Texas on April 21, 2018:

Thanks for sharing this delightful photo tour and history of Porto. Makes me want to visit.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on April 21, 2018:

Your photos, commentary, and extra tips make me long to visit Porto. It is all so beautiful. Thank you for sharing your vacation with us.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 21, 2018:

Thank you for your encouraging comment, Rachel. I very much appreciate it.

Rachel L Alba from Every Day Cooking and Baking on April 19, 2018:

What a great article and pictures. My husband and I don't travel so I love especially to see pictures and the descriptions like yours. Thanks for sharing.

Blessings to you.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 19, 2018:

Thanks for the encouragement, Nikki. Porto is well worth a visit sometime.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 19, 2018:

Hi Poppy, your brother was very fortunate. Lisbon is a lovely city. We've visited twice. We especially enjoyed a free walking tour of the city. Our guide told us a lot about Lisbon's history.

Nikki Khan from London on April 19, 2018:

Loved to see Portugal in pictures and through your descriptions, would love to visit and explore in person.

Thanks for such a detailed hub on beauty of Porto Liz.

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on April 18, 2018:

I think he lived in Lisbon. He worked in a youth hostel and really enjoyed it.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 18, 2018:

Thanks for the encouragement. Your brother was very fortunate to live in Portugal. Where did he live there?

Poppy from Enoshima, Japan on April 17, 2018:

Looks beautiful! My brother used to live in Portugal and always said it was nice. You obviously love this city very much and you've added some very valuable information for visitors. Great job!

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 17, 2018:

Thanks, Leonie. I appreciate your kind comments.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 17, 2018:

Hi Ellen, you might want to compare climates for when you intend to travel. Mainland Portugal tends to be better weather between mid-April and early Fall. I've heard that Madeira is also well worth a visit.

Liz Westwood (author) from UK on April 17, 2018:

Thanks, Dora. I'm pleased you enjoyed reading about Porto.

Leonie M from Belgium. on April 16, 2018:

Liz: I have enjoyed reading your well-written article. You remind me of Portugal.

Ellen Gregory from Connecticut, USA on April 16, 2018:

Interesting. Recently, I have been looking at trips to the Azores, but maybe this is a possibility