In search of things to do in Porto? Look no further!
Porto, a bustling, ancient, authentic city listed as a World Heritage Site in Europe’s oldest country, Portugal, is a must for anyone contemplating a European trip. With it’s amazing architecture and stunning landscapes, who can pass up the opportunity to visit the historical centre or enjoy a glass of one of the most delicious wines in the world named after the town itself. As a rich city, full of sites and wonders and fantastic eating, it is hard to pick the top five things you must do in Porto, Portugal.
Visit the Ribeira Neighbourhood and Historic Centre
Start by meandering down the narrow, cobbled streets taking in the atmosphere as you pause to enjoy the view of the Duoro River. Experience the awe of taking in some spectacular architectural genius, from the Palácio da Bolsa, listed by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site, with its opulent interiors; to the magnificent 3 storey high fountain situated in the famous Praça Da Ribeira Square which was built in the 1780s and is decorated with Portugal’s Coat of Arms. Soak up the rich history, culture and vibrancy of life in this truly old and beautiful city.
Eat Fresh Fish For Lunch at the Fisherman’s Village
Another very important thing to do in Porto is eating well. After working up an appetite visiting the many sites in the Historical Centre, head over to one of the neighbouring fisherman’s villages where you will find large grills out on the streets grilling up mouthwatering fish caught fresh by the local fishermen. Choose from sea bass, cod, shad, or feast on a fresh seafood stew cooked and served in one of the local restaurants.
Another food option is the famous local delicacy that is the enormous Francesinha – “Little Frenchie” in Portuguese. This traditional dish, originally made by Daniel Da Silva when returning to Portugal from France, is a Portuguese adaptation of the French “Croque Monsieur”. Bursting with flavor, the sandwich stuffed with a mixture of pork and beef meats, covered in cheese and is then drowned in a special secret beer sauce. Each establishment makes its own variation of the sauce – the only common ingredient to all being beer – in a bid to out-flavour the others. It is a delicacy not to be missed.
Visit the Port Wine Cellars
Of course, no visit to Porto is complete without a visit to the World Famous Port Wine Cellars, and after indulging in all that delicious food, it is time to wash it all down with the sweet sensations of Porto’s famous fortified wine. There is so much history to be learned when it comes to the delicious drink, which you can take in whilst visiting the Port Wine Cellars, touring their atmospheric surroundings and taking in the rows and rows of old wooden barrels. Of course, the visit isn’t over until you have sampled the many varieties of Port, including Ruby, Tawny, Vintage and Crusted to name a few, and truly begin to understand how this incredible sweet taste ensured that Porto became a thriving trade Port, exporting the drink throughout Europe.
Take in the View at the Monastery Da Serra Do Pilar
Finally, the beautiful monastery, built in the 16th Century, is an architectural landmark and UNESCO World Heritage Site. Inside you will find impressive carved gold-leaf altars, stunning Solomonic columns and 18th century wooden carvings of the Saints Eulailia, Apollonia and Augustine. Outside the front of the church, which was once quickly turned into an impromptu fort during the Napoleonic Invasions, you will be mesmerized by the spectacular views of the city of Porto and the Duoro River below. The perfect place to end up after a day of eating and drinking and merriment.
To top it all off, you can enjoy all of these things do in Porto in a personal, authentic private tour by sidecar. The tour will take you off the beaten path on an exclusive tour while your personal guide shares his knowledge of the rich culture and history of Porto. What better way to enjoy this ancient, vibrant city?