Now I’m back again to list down all the places that you should definitely not miss when you’re in Porto. I have listed five places in part 1 and here, I’m going to give you the next top 5 places. Of course I do have my personal favorites but overall, these are in no particular order and all of these places I’ve mentioned so far are unique and enticing in their own way. So, let’s begin!
♦ RUA DE SANTA CATARINA STREET
Famously known as the shopping area of Porto, this is a long way street lined with local shops, hotels and restaurants including high street and luxury brands. It is a very lively part of town. Filled with street performers and street vendors you sure can easily spend your entire day here. Along this street is where my favorite cafe is located as well. If you guys have watched some of my videos, then you might have seen me spending my time at Fabrica Natas. I won’t be going into detail about cafes in general because I will be writing a separate blog about different cafes and restaurants in Porto soon!
Quick Tip! If you want to shop, find some souvenirs or just enjoy window shopping, then this is a great place to start. This is a one long street so it is very easy to navigate. Don’t forget to check the Santa Catarina Mall for more restaurant and shop options.
♦ IGREJA DO CARMO (CARMO CHURCH)
This church lies at the center of the city and has attracted everyone by its incredible tile painting that covers its entire wall. The tile painting which is called azulejos is without a doubt an incredible work of art. The idea is similar to the one that is found at Sao Bento Station or in most architectural structures around Porto. Azulejo tiles are not only considered as an artistic distinction but most importantly it is a symbol of the city’s history.
Quick Tip! By the time of me writing this, I have not been inside of this church but I do know that they have viewing hours for anyone who wishes to go inside including a group tour. So if you are interested with its history including its tile painting then I highly suggest joining these tours.
♦ PALACIO DA BOLSA
This is one of the first places I visited when I first came to Portugal. It is one of the most important sites in Porto as it was built as a stock exchange palace during the 19th century. Now, it can be viewed in public via scheduled tours. It consists of different types of rooms some of which you can rent for private or public events. The most popular room in the palace is called the Arab Room that is covered with Arab intricate designs that made this hall stand above the rest.
Quick Tip! The palace offers and schedules different language tours, although you can also go in without joining a tour. But I highly suggest joining in to one as each rooms of the palace has its own history to tell. Anyway, if you want to take a ton of pictures, they will give you enough time to spare right after it.
♦ DOM LUIS BRIDGE
Of course, we can’t miss talking about the most well known bridge in Portugal, the Dom Luis Bridge. This bridge connects Porto and another big city called Vila Nova de Gaia. What made this bridge so unique is its structure. It is built with two separate decks. The lower one which is mainly designated for cars while the highest one is for the public train. Both of these decks come with designated pathways for pedestrians. So that means you can easily cross the bridge on foot and can definitely get the best view whichever side you are.
Quick Tip! Since this is a major landmark of the city, the pathway can get really crowded with tourists. Since the upper deck offers the best panoramic view of the city, I highly recommend going a little bit earlier. It can also be extremely windy on top so just be highly cautious about it.
♦ EVERY RANDOM CORNERS & STREETS
Last but not the least, one of the best things to do while in Porto is the chance to just enjoy strolling around. This way you can discover random streets and corners that showcase different local shops, restaurants and unique facades of buildings standing alongside each other. So, ditch taking any transportation and get your happy feet walking. You’ll never know what the city has to offer until you go and explore it!
Quick Tip! The city is full of up and down terrains with cobblestone streets that could potentially be slippery when it rains. So to get through the entire stroll, wear your most comfortable pair of shoes.
Hope you find this list useful and I also hope to give more recommendations to you guys in the future. In the next blog, I will be listing down some local cafes and restaurants that you can try here in Porto so please stay tune!