PORTO – highly recommended

Porto, we did you proud. In 3.5 days we walked 27 miles around the city streets…

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal with a population of 1.3million – about the same as Glasgow.

Porto lies slightly inland from the coast, on the north bank of the Rio Douro, just before the river meets the Atlantic.

What you notice first of all are the red rooftops of the buildings which seem to be built on top of each other as the city slopes down to the river. Then you notice the azulejos, the decorative tiles that adorn the buildings, many in blue and white.

Even some like our kitchen floor

The city is divided into different parts, and as there are so many sights to see, we decided to focus on just three areas on the north bank: Ribeira, Aliados, Bolhao and Vila Nova de Gaia – which is on the south bank of the Douro.

RIBEIRA – the UNESCO area of Porto, which lies on the north bank of the Douro. Sights include:

Igreja de Sao Francisco

A bit bold and boring on the outside, but the inside wood was intricately carved and swathed in gold leaf. The adjacent museum has catacombs of the nobility dating back several centuries, and an ossuary beneath the tombs. No photos allowed in the church or the museum.

Cathedral – Se

Where Dom Joao I married Philippa I of Lancaster, and where their son, Henry the Navigator was baptised. Henry (1394-1460) was the pioneer of the caravel, the small fast Portuguese ship, who braved the Atlantic in search of Portugal’s empire.

Henry the Navigator

Palacio da Bolsa

Praca da Ribeira

Cais da Ribeira & Ponte de Dom Luis I – bridge over the Douro designed by a student of Gustaf Eiffel.


Librarian Lello

A book shop which has become world famous since JK Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books here in the early ‘90s. The long queue outside put us off, so we didn’t go in.

Sao Bento Train Station

Avenida dos Aliados

Torre dos Clerigos

Rua Santa Catarina

Majestic Tea Room
Not sure what it was, but it was sweet

Mercado do Bolhao


Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis – the main sections were closed while displays were re-organised but there was a temporary exhibition of Aurelia de Souza.

The following dark pictures looked almost totally black until you took a photo of them.

Miradouro da Vitoria

Igreja das Carmelitas

Outside a church on Sunday!

Centro Portugues de Fotografia – a prison used until 1974 now houses a huge display of cameras and some photos of prisoners and school children. No photos allowed!

Jardines da Cordoaria


61 today

Jardim do Morro

World of Wine

Teleferico de Gaia

Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

Port Tasting

Porto at Night

The Other Side of Porto – au Simon Reeve

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