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Porto - Discovering the City

Discovering Porto means encountering many surprises in one of the oldest and most beautiful cities in Europe. Here are some tips so you can better explore the “best destination in the world”.

The city includes churches, monuments and museums, and has one of the richest artistic, cultural and historical heritage in Portugal. This richness is widely present in the Historic Centre of Porto, classified as world heritage by UNESCO in 1996 and the ideal starting point for a trip that blends the past and contemporaneity in the right amount.

But Porto is also a city which can be discovered in a small alley or in the corner of a narrow street; on a morning walk by the Douro River or while having lunch by the Ribeira; while watching the sunset from an outdoor café in Foz, or a traditional restaurant; and also by learning with the knowledge of the locals. Here are some suggestions for your adventure:

Museums, Exhibitions and Galleries

Aside from the University’s museums, Porto boasts renowned institutions. The Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art, designed by architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, offers an innovative exhibition programme. In Portugal’s first art museum, the Soares dos Reis National Museum, located in the Carrancas Palace, you can find several nineteenth- and twentieth-century artworks. Art galleries are also scattered across the city, reflecting the city’s vibrant art scene.


Throughout the city you will find historic landmarks which bear the essence of Porto and its people. For those interested in architecture, the Clérigos tower and the Porto Cathedral (Sé) offer a journey through history as well as unparalleled views of the city.

Parks and Gardens

As a city that favours green spaces, Porto invites us to enjoy nature in its parks and gardens, many of which boast spectacular views of the Douro River. The Porto City Park, the grounds of the Serralves Villa and the Palácio de Cristal Gardens are all well worth a visit. There are also many green spaces across the University’s campuses, such as the new Botanical Park in Campo Alegre, which includes the historic Botanical Garden of the University of Porto, the gardens of Casa Primo Madeira, as well as the gardens of the Faculty of Sciences.

Cruises along the Douro River

It is impossible to truly get to know Porto without discovering the Douro River. One of the best ways to experience the river, aside from strolling along the riverside walkway that stretches from Ribeira to Foz, is with a boat ride. Throughout the year, all sorts of boats depart from the Ribeira Square on rides that may vary in distance, but which can all be rounded off with a glass of Port...

Port Wine and the Cellars

The city’s world-famous Port wine remains one of its most sought-after treasures. The cellars of this unparalleled fortified wine can be found along the Vila Nova de Gaia riverside. Produced from the grapes of the Alto Douro wine region, Port wine travels down the river to its destination, with a view of Ribeira, where it will age in oak casks or in bottles. An unmissable experience, which should be paired with a wine tasting.