Top 12 Sights to See in Porto

Updated on April 13, 2018
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Eurofile lives in the UK. She travels regularly around Europe with her husband, and they have visited Portugal many times.

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.

Porto.
Porto. | Source

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.

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 | Source

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 Tiorre dos Clerigos towards River Douro.
View from Tiorre dos Clerigos towards River Douro. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. It cost us 8.50 euros each.

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. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

It cost us 4.50 euros each to enter and, as photography was banned, we spent 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 included entry to the church museum and the catacombs.

Places to see North of the River

A
Torre Dos Clerigos, Porto:
R. de São Filipe de Nery, 4050-546 Porto, Portugal

get directions

B
Centro Portugues de Fotografia:
Campo Mártires da Pátria, 4050-368 Porto, Portugal

get directions

C
Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas.:
R. do Carmo 1, 4050-011 Porto, Portugal

get directions

D
Livraria Lello:
R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto, Portugal

get directions

E
Estacao Sao Bente:
Praça Almeida Garrett, 4000-069 Porto, Portugal

get directions

F
Se Catedral, Porto, Portugal.:
Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573 Porto, Portugal

get directions

G
Palacio da Bolsa:
R. de Ferreira Borges, 4050-253 Porto, Portugal

get directions

H
Igreja de Sao Francisco, Porto:
Rua do Infante D. Henrique, 4050-297 Porto, Portugal

get directions

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. | Source

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 1.
Ponte de Dom Luis 1. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source
View from Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar.
View from Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar. | Source

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. | Source

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. | Source

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.

Our tour cost us 12 euros each and included tastings of three port wines.

Tip: pick up a tourist map, widely available in hotels or tourist information offices, and you will 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 Crystal.
Jardim do Palacio de Crystal. | Source

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 Crystal.
View towards Vila Nova de Gaia from Jardim do Palacio de Crystal. | Source

More Places Worth Visiting

A
Ponte Dom Luis 1, Porto:
Luís I Bridge, PTE Luiz I, 4000 Porto, Portugal

get directions

B
Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar:
Largo de Aviz - Santa Marinha, Vila Nova de Gaia, Norte, 4430-329, 4430-329, Portugal

get directions

C
Taylor's Port House:
Rua do Choupelo 250, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

get directions

D
Jardim do Palacio de Cristal.:
Garden Of The Crystal Palace, R. de Dom Manuel II 282, 4050-378 Porto, Portugal

get directions

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.

A
Porto, Portugal:
Porto, Portugal

get directions

B
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal:
Vila Nova de Gaia, Portugal

get directions

C
Francisco Sa Carneiro airport, Porto, Portugal. :
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO), 4470-558 Maia, Portugal

get directions

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.

A
Porto, Portugal:
Porto, Portugal

get directions

B
Lisbon:
Lisbon, Portugal.

get directions

C
Braga, Portugal.:
Braga, Portugal

get directions

D
Madrid, Spain.:
Madrid, Spain

get directions

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.

What's your favourite Portuguese city?

See results
Sunset in Porto.
Sunset in Porto. | Source

Questions & Answers

    © 2018 Liz Westwood

    Comments

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      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        3 days ago from UK

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

      • lovelights profile image

        Debbie 

        3 days ago from Florida

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 weeks ago from UK

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

      • profile image

        kirtidv2006 

        7 weeks ago

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

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        3 months ago

        That's very kind, thank you.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

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

      • Robert Sacchi profile image

        Robert Sacchi 

        3 months ago

        Thank you very much for the tour of Porto,

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

        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.

      • Nathanville profile image

        Arthur Russ 

        3 months ago from England

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        3 months ago from UK

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

      • pstraubie48 profile image

        Patricia Scott 

        3 months ago from sunny Florida

        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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        Thank you, Peggy. I appreciate your generous comment.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        5 months ago from Houston, Texas

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

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

      • JanisaChatte profile image

        Janisa 

        5 months ago from Earth

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

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

      • Coolmon2009 profile image

        Coolmon2009 

        5 months ago from Texas, USA

        Thank You for the introduction to Porto, nice article

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        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.

      • poppyr profile image

        Poppy 

        5 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        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 profile image

        Ethel Smith 

        5 months ago from Kingston-Upon-Hull

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        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 profile image

        Natalie Frank 

        5 months ago from Chicago, IL

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        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.

      • Glenis Rix profile image

        GlenR 

        5 months ago from UK

        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).

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

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

      • Anne Harrison profile image

        Anne Harrison 

        5 months ago from Australia

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        5 months ago from UK

        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 profile image

        Gregory DeVictor 

        5 months ago from Squirrel Hill, PA

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        6 months ago from UK

        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.

      • alancaster149 profile image

        Alan R Lancaster 

        6 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        6 months ago from UK

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        6 months ago from UK

        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.

      • PegCole17 profile image

        Peg Cole 

        6 months ago from Dallas, Texas

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

      • MarleneB profile image

        Marlene Bertrand 

        6 months ago from USA

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        6 months ago from UK

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

      • Rachel L Alba profile image

        Rachel L Alba 

        7 months ago from Every Day Cooking and Baking

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        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.

      • nikkikhan10 profile image

        Nikki Khan 

        7 months ago from London

        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.

      • poppyr profile image

        Poppy 

        7 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

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

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

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

      • poppyr profile image

        Poppy 

        7 months ago from Tokyo, Japan

        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!

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks, Leonie. I appreciate your kind comments.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        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.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

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

      • Leonie Manguilin profile image

        Leonie Manguilin 

        7 months ago from Belgium.

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

      • LiteraryMind profile image

        Ellen Gregory 

        7 months ago from Connecticut, USA

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

      • MsDora profile image

        Dora Weithers 

        7 months ago from The Caribbean

        Impressive architecture. Beautiful views. Interesting routes to travel. Thanks for the verbal and pictorial tour. Enjoyable!

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thank you, Peggy. I was amazed at how much there was to see in Porto. I am encouraged by your kind remarks about my photographs, as I was concerned about their quality.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks, Brian. I appreciate your encouraging comment. I haven't had the opportunity to cross the Atlantic yet. My knowledge of the USA is based on what I read.

      • Peggy W profile image

        Peggy Woods 

        7 months ago from Houston, Texas

        This is a fabulous first article here on HubPages! You have given me a great idea of what there is to do and see in Porto. That train station is certainly beautiful as are those gardens overlooking the river down below. Your photos are wonderful and add so much to this article.

      • B. Leekley profile image

        Brian Leekley 

        7 months ago from Kalamazoo, Michigan, USA

        I'm not likely to ever have a chance to vacation in Europe. This excellent article is the next best thing to being able to visit Porto, Portugal. Your 'tips' are helpful.

        I like the idea of turning prisons into museums.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks, Eddie. I really appreciate your encouragement. It's great to be able to put some of my big photo collection to use. Digital cameras are great, but I just end up with so many photos at the end of a trip.

      • eddiecarrara profile image

        Eddie Carrara 

        7 months ago from New Hampshire

        Great first article Liz, so much information, and the pictures are awesome :)

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks, Bill. I have a lot to learn, so appreciate your comment. Porto definitely exceeded my expectations.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thank you FlourishAnyway. I appreciate your encouragement.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks, Linda. I think Porto has often been overlooked in the past, but is coming more to the notice of travelers now.

      • bdegiulio profile image

        Bill De Giulio 

        7 months ago from Massachusetts

        Welcome to HubPages. Great first hub. Was not overly familiar with Porto but will have to check it out someday, looks interesting.

      • FlourishAnyway profile image

        FlourishAnyway 

        7 months ago from USA

        What a terrific article—and your first here on HubPages! Welcome! I really enjoyed the tips and the candor about the hat was worth seeing and what you found yourself sneaking off from. Looking forward to many more great articles from you!

      • AliciaC profile image

        Linda Crampton 

        7 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

        I enjoyed reading about your explorations and looking at your photos very much. Porto sounds like an interesting place to visit. I'd love to visit the city.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks for the compliment, Anna. I was unsure about a 12-day stay in Porto, but it exceeded my expectations and the Port was good too.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks for your kind comment, Bill. That comes as a big encouragement.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks for the encouragement, Ann. I was a little worried about the quality of the photos after a comment on a feedback post. I've been to Lisbon and liked it so much that we returned a second time.

      • Global-Chica profile image

        Anna 

        7 months ago from New York, NY

        This is such a great guide to Porto! I'm itching to go back now - thanks! ;-) I love the tips you've provided - so handy!

      • billybuc profile image

        Bill Holland 

        7 months ago from Olympia, WA

        Welcome to HP! I can say without hesitation that this first article of yours is much better than my first many years ago. Well done!

      • annart profile image

        Ann Carr 

        7 months ago from SW England

        This is a useful, informative hub with great photos. My son-in-law is Portuguese but I've only been to Lisbon (his home town) and don't even know that very well.

        This makes me keen to visit Porto. Thanks for sharing the information.

        Ann

        PS: The tips below are good ones to follow - you'll get into the swing of things easily after a few hubs.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thanks. I really appreciate the tips.

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 

        7 months ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Yes you can in capsules and there is a copyright option on the right hand side of the page. I always use it.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thank you. Still learning the ropes. I'm guessing I can add my name and copyright by going back into the capsules?

      • Gabriel Wilson profile image

        Gabriel Wilson 

        7 months ago from Madeira, Portugal

        Wow loads here, you could have wrote an article on each place to visit especially with all the map info. Well done you and I look forward to more informative articles :) Don't forget to add your name to your photos and your copyright.

      • Eurofile profile imageAUTHOR

        Liz Westwood 

        7 months ago from UK

        Thank you very much for your encouraging comment. I am in awe of your travels and inspired by your articles.

      • aesta1 profile image

        Mary Norton 

        7 months ago from Ontario, Canada

        Congratulations on your first article. Porto is very interesting and has so much to offer. We were there last December and really enjoyed our stay. Your guide would have been very useful to us.

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