The best view of Porto, City in Portugal | One of the Europe's Best Destinations



Easy Escapes: Porto, Portugal

PORTO PORTO

Francesca Rice grabs an early spring break in picturesque Porto, Portugal’s second largest city

Francesca Rice grabs an early spring break in picturesque Porto, Portugal’s second largest city

Why go?For the beautiful views over the Douro River, for the dramatic Atlantic coastline, for lazy walks around the characterful old town, for the relaxed atmosphere, and for the delicious wine – Porto is the historic home of port. The city is perfect for a romantic break, a little off the beaten track but with plenty to enjoy. There’s an air of faded, old-world glamour to the tiled buildings, grand churches and soaring bell towers of the World Heritage-protected historic centre, now blended with a more contemporary vibe from the colourful street art that covers the city’s crumbling walls. 

Enchanted nights: panoramic views and an old-world atmosphere are good reasons to visit Porto© Turismo de Portugal/Paulo Magalhaes

When?Make the most of Porto’s warm and sunny climate between April and September, especially if you fancy spending time on the nearby sandy beaches of Foz or Gaia. July and August are the most popular months, with temperatures in the mid-twenties, but the warm weather continues into autumn, and winters are mild.

You really must…Wander around the cobbled streets of the city centre, taking in the faded, Beaux-Arts architecture. You can climb to the top of the Clérigos Tower (torredosclerigos.pt) to enjoy panoramic views across the city, and check out the hilltop Sé cathedral, which dates back to the 12th century. It’s one of Portugal’s finest monuments, along with the impressive São Francisco Church, with its dazzling, gold leaf-covered Baroque interior.

Another must is a walk across the Dom Luís I Bridge (you can take a quick bubble lift to the top), which was designed by the famous Gustave Eiffel, with incredible views over Porto and the Douro River. You should also poke your head into the São Bento railway station – the anteroom is covered in beautifulazulejos(traditional tiles), which depict famous scenes from Portuguese history. Art-lovers should take a wander around the Miguel Bombarda neighbourhood, where you can visit independent galleries showcasing an eclectic mix of paintings, prints and photographs. The Museo Nacional de Soares dos Reis (museusoaresdosreis.pt) houses an impressive collection of Portuguese paintings and sculptures.

Finally, visit one of the port wine houses, located across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. A good one is Taylor’s (taylor.pt), where you can tour the cellars and learn how port is made, and taste three different varieties for just £4. If the weather’s warm, take a leisurely stroll along the riverbank to the coast, where you can relax on the sandy beaches of Foz. It’s a bit of a trek, so you might want to hop on one of the city’s old-fashioned trams instead. You could also take a taxi to the Gaia beaches, which are slightly more unspoilt. Taxis are a cheap and easy way to get around, so don’t hesitate to use them.






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Date: 01.01.2019, 09:24 / Views: 73264