A Ponte Luiz I (Portuguese) is one of the six bridges which are most emblematic of the city of Porto and that crosses the borders of the city and Gaia where you can find the famous wine cellars of Porto. Its construction is based on a Belgian engineer project, the designer was a disciple of Eiffel, which explains its similarity to the Eiffel Tower. It has two floors, on the top line the Metro passes. There are walkways so you can enjoy the spectacular views of the Douro river with barges passing through the city. To access the Bridge D. Luis you can get there from the mall which has opened (rua Catarina), the funicular that goes right up to the bridge and enjoy the atmosphere of the resort and which offers beautiful views over this cosmopolitan city.
Lello & Irmao is a library of movies, and has been since its appearance in the famous wizard saga, it is always full of tourists wanting to see if it's real. The central staircase is interesting and draws attention upon entering the property, with its curious curves, and it's delightful wooden shelves that are filled with books. Glancing over them, I saw that they had all types of topics, especially arts, there is even a shelf of books in Spanish. I would say that this one is one of the most beautiful in the world, a must see. It will not disappoint, and you will maybe find a book that interests you. The only bad thing is that it is crowded and the do not let you take pictures.
The Douro River is the gateway to the Ribeira region and is worth exploring on a river cruise. All the cruises are very similar, and it's well worth taking a trip to enjoy the breeze and the views of the city. The tours cost 10 euros and run for 50 minutes, and many include a visit one of the wineries and a mini wine tasting and a tour of the cellars. We took the tour at 15:00 so as to avoid the midday heat. In the square just behind the pier, people drank beers while roasting sardines on a makeshift barbecue. In the evening, there are plenty of restaurants around the area with affordable prices: we had fish, a starter, and a bottle of local wine for about 25 € for two
Located in the "fregusia de São Nicolau" next to the banks of the Douro River, it's part of the historic district of Porto and considered a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The "Cais da Ribeira" is one of the oldest squares in the city and stands out due to the brightly-colored hold homes clustered around the banks of the river. A true gem of traditional Portuguese architecture.
Nowadays, the area is a bit touristy, with lots of bars, restaurants, and hotels. Highlights are the "Praça da Ribeira", "Rua da Fonte Taurina", and the "Bacalhoeiros y la Casa do Infante" where Prince D. Henrique was born in 1394.
You can't pass through the Douro region without trying Port wine, a real nectar of the gods that's cultivated on the banks of the Douro and gave the city its name.
The train station of San Bento was built in the early 9th century on the ruins of the former convent of San Bento's Ave Maria. Although the entrance of its facade is stately and old, the true gem can be found on its inside: A hall decorated with more than 20,000 pieces of mosaic that reiterates the history of Portugal.
The Bolhao Market, which is found near Avenida dos Aliados, in the heart of Porto, in a landmark building opened in 1914. We were surprised at the condition it is in, a shame since the site must have seen better times. With grumbling stomachs and a blazing sun in the middle of October, we went for a snack and we ate. I must say it's been one of our best meals in Porto. The place, surprised us overall, but especially for its appearance, one of a tavern in deep Spain in the 50s. We ate great, and had excellent service: cod, pork steak with egg and rice, a jug of green wine, two puddings, two coffees, all for 13.60 E, awesome!!
The Crystal Palace is a round building built in 1860. The truth is that it is ugly, it looks like a flying saucer, but it is surrounded by spectacular gardens with gazebos, fountains, flower beds with strolling peacocks.
The cathedral can be found in the center of Oporto. It is perfectly accessible from the exit of the metro of S. Benito. It´s a cathedral whose floor is of the romantic style but was restored many times. The most interested to visit is the claustro. I remember that Sunday morning it was closed.
Personally I think of this church, together with the Tower of the Clerics as one of the monuments that best represents the city of Oporto, along with the Luis I Bridge. Both are some of the most emblematic places in the city. This is definitely a place that belongs to the Baroque and Rococo style, being built in the eighteenth century by the order of the Clerics, made from stone, with a tower that tops the building as the ex libris of the city. This church is located in the highest part of the Portuguese city of Oporto, so you can see it from everywhere. The ticket to climb to the top of the tower costs 1.00 € and it's closed on Sundays and holidays, however the church itself is only closed on Wednesdays. The buses that come to this part of Oporto are: 3, 6, 20, 52, 78.
The greand avenue Dos Aliados reminds one of the big avenues of Paris and Barcelona. The big central walkway is full of trees and seats to rest on during your visit to Oporto, where there are also small stands and various sculptures that are interesting. One one side of the avenue you can find one of the most ornate McDonalds of the chain, and it is said to be the most beautiful. It is typical to find yourself packed-in on the south part of the street, where more tourists go. It is an avenue to visit, and a big change from the zone of the Ribeira.
I've visited this shrine twice. The first time I didn't have the opportunity to climb the stairs so I had to return to do so and to see everything that they hold. It's an interesting walk that ends at the church with spectacular views of the city of Braga. It's worth it but if you do not want to do the stairs you can go up in a car.
The Arribes, as it is called in Zamora, is a deep ravine that have been carved by the Douro. Zamora shares this space with Portugal, to whom the river makes a frontier and continues to Salamanca. In this trajectory, the Douro sometimes descends more than 400 feet, causing a spectacular canyon, a true geological throat whose slope has been exploited for the production of electrical energy. On the Portuguese side you can take a boat tour of the Douro and hear the authoritative explanation by a Portuguese biologist describing all the places you see from the boat.
This tower of Porto is the highest tower in Portugal (76 meters high/200 steps) so you can enjoy a wonderful panoramic view of the city. On the climb to this particular tower with 49 bells you may hear a large carillon concert that may give you a scare. Once up, you realize that the effort was worth it as the city views are magnificent and you can take pictures of their houses. The Church and the Tower of Clerics is one of the most important visits in Porto and it's worth climbing the steps to get the deserved reward of one of the best views of the city.
The Chapter House is the prettiest room in the Tibães Monastery. It's where they made many big decisions, such as choosing the rulers of each monastery every three years. It was built in 1700, but later it was completely reconstructed in 1783. It is a very large, rectangular room with a coffered ceiling covered with carved and painted wood, with a wooden border around the perimeter that is carved with floral motifs, and birds and angels' heads.
It has three large windows and an altar dedicated to Frei José de Santo António Vilaça and an allusive picture of the Holy Spirit. The walls are covered with tile panels with a Rococo style that depicts scenes from Joseph's life in Egypt. Above them there are several other pictures from the eighteenth century that portray popes and other people from the Benedictine Order.
As I did the Portuguese route on my way to Santiago I was able to come pass by this marvel of strength. More than strength it is a surprise. Of course, nobody expected what was inside unless you already know. We all climbed up to meet with a wall, the surprise was that inside the wall was an entire medieval village full of houses, stately buildings, shops selling everything ... but mostly coffee and towels ... Lovely and beautiful strength, not wasted ...
There is a boat ride on the river Douro that is very interesting yet very touristy. It takes about three hours and you can visit the river bridges. The best is to see all the facades facing the river, both the buildings of Porto and those of the city called Gaia, where are the wine cellars of the Ribeira Oporto. There are many restaurants but they trick people, they think that the only thing to season is oregano and the tourist life is of suffering.
The Chapel of Souls in Santa Caterina is a cavalcade of the most beautiful chapels decorated with typical Oporto flair, with blue Portugese tiles. The corner of this street is the most famous of all Oporto as it is full of shops.
I have always enjoyed visiting Portugal and this summer, I had the opportunity to visit a town in the north near Galicia with a long history. It's a small town with an older section that is surrounded by walls. It´s located on the banks of the River Lima (or Limia) which is crossed by a Roman bridge. It´s worth strolling through the streets where you´ll see some very traditional Portuguese customs among the multitude of statues and figures. I also recommend eating at one of the restaurants and enjoying the local cuisine.