A weekend in Porto

  • 2 days
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  • General public
  • Culture / Heritage
  • Discovery
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Porto, an intriguing and timeless city, deserves attention. The numerous buildings draw a colourful palette offering visitors curious architectural discoveries. And a weekend in Porto will pass very quickly, because there are many attractions.

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View of the historic centre of Porto. Ponte Dom Luis I.

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  • Porto
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Details of the stay: A weekend in Porto - 2 days

Day 1 : Stroll and tastings

The weekend in Porto begins with a visit to the port and wine cellars. First of all, we pass by the charming Praça da Ribeira and the quays, it is the most typical place in Porto. From the edge of the Douro, beautiful view on the other side and the parade of boats. The pretty Luis I bridge, made of wrought iron, provides access to Gaia. All the cellars of Porto are located in this commune, the choice is wide. The visit, often with tasting, lasts from half an hour to an hour. When leaving the cellars, a walk on the quays of Gaia is more than recommended, especially on sunny days. You can also take advantage of this opportunity to have a drink on the terrace and at lunchtime, you can taste the daily specials offered in the many small restaurants. Lunch on the Ribeira quays is also a very good option.

After getting to know the local cuisine, go to the Bolsa Palace for a guided tour. It is quite exceptional with its Arab lounge decorated entirely with Moorish style woodwork and stucco.

Just next to the palace is the Church of São Francisco, a church with a Gothic facade, but inside baroque. You can also access the crypts.

Those who are not yet tired will walk up the streets leading to the cathedral. This large massive building of Romanesque origin has undergone several transformations over the centuries and its interior has also been remodelled in Baroque style, decorated with lots of gold and silver.

To change a little bit of scenery, the rest of the programme will take place in Foz do Douro, along its rather remarkable seaside with its promenade which, sometimes below, is on the same level as the beach. The gastronomic offer is of high quality.

Day 2 : The upper city

The upper city and the heart of the historic centre, la baixa, are tackled for a busy programme.

First of all, a visit to the São Bento station, built in a former convent, is a must. In the main hall, you can admire the 20,000 azulejos painted in 1930 by the artist Jorge Colaço. Very impressive!

When you leave the station, you go to the Bolhão market, by metro or on foot. Walking, we go up the street of Sa da Bandeira, very commercial.

At the Bolhão market, all types of fresh produce, flowers and herbs are sold. It is a lively place in the city and a stopover to get to know the fruits and vegetables consumed by the Portuguese, such as the different species of cabbage, sold already sliced.

Just a stone's throw from the market is Santa Catarina Street, which is largely pedestrianised. On this street there are many clothing and shoe shops. It is also on this street that the famous Majestic Café is located.

Once in front of the Majestic, it will be impossible not to cross its doors for a small coffee or even a light meal. The facade and interior of this majestic Art Nouveau building, with its well-dressed boys, piano, coffee shops and various cakes, symbolize Porto on their own.

After refuelling at the Majestic, we head to the charming Lello bookstore, another store that has become a tourist attraction. Inaugurated in 1906, it is located in a neo-Gothic building in the rue des Carmelitas.

Going down this same street, you arrive at Torre dos Clérigos, a tower that is so emblematic of Porto. The brave can climb the 200 or so steps to get a panoramic view of the city.

The day ends with a visit to the Museum of Contemporary Art in Porto, the Serralves Museum. This museum, located in a building with refined lines and designed by Alvaro Siza, has quickly become a national reference. Enjoy a cup of tea in the garden of the park, and enjoy a peaceful moment.

To finish the visit to Porto, it is essential to go to the Casa da Musica. A mecca for music, the very modern building houses, in addition to the concert halls, a charming restaurant on the seventh floor. The proposed menus are very accessible and are an excellent option to end your stay in Porto!

For those who still have some energy, extend the evening in the Rua galeria of Paris and discover these many lively bars.

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