Portugal's cultural capital has long been on the top of my wish list. Porto is a magnificent city with lots to offer. Last summer, I prepared an arsenal of film, armed my cameras, and finally set out on a six-day trip to this great city!
Oporto or Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, located along the Douro river estuary in the north of the country. For a long time, I have wanted to visit this great city, and now I finally have. Let me take you on a trip through this magnificent town!
First day in Porto
Arriving late on our first day, I didn’t have much time to take lots of pictures as light was already fading. We quickly caught a first glimpse before heading over to our hostel. We stayed at a very nice, inexpensive hostel with a lovely garden and incredible views.
Second and third day
We took our time to get to know the city a bit better. The historic center of Porto is on UNESCO’s World Heritage list, and rightfully so! Some of its highlights are the Stock Exchange Palace, the Cathedral, the Church, the Tower of the Clergy, the Bishop’s Palace, City Hall and the impressive bridges over the river Douro.
We decided to spend this day by the sea, in Matosinhos. You can get to the beach by subway or by bus, but I recommend you take the old tram that runs along the river. We continued along the shore a bit further to visit the saltwater pools designed by Siza.
Porto also has several cultural highlights, the most important being the Museum of Contemporary Art in Serralves Park. The surrounding gardens are amazing and an absolute must-see!
Agromonte cemetery is located in the middle of town. Though a little creepy, it is still worth a visit.
The most important building constructed in recent years is the House of Music, which is considered to possess the best acoustic qualities in the world.
My plan was to hop on a cruise down the river and see the bridge. Sadly, it was pouring rain that day, so we just left for the airport to head back home.
In short, if you ever get the chance to visit Porto, don’t hesitate! The food is fantastic, the coffee excellent, and the people very friendly and kind. Prices are economic, so money goes a long way. I know I’ll come back!