Quick Guide To Porto, Portugal
Visit Casa da Música
The Casa da Música, which opened in 2005, is the first modern building in Porto to be dedicated entirely to music. The monolithic concrete and glass concert house is home to several orchestras, and provides plenty of opportunities to attend concerts, ranging from classical via jazz right through to rock.
The cultural institution was designed by the famous Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, which is why this is a popular spot not only for music lovers, but also for those with an interest in architecture.
Visist The Palácio da Bolsa
A visit to the old Stock Exchange Palace is an essential part of a sight-seeing tour of Porto. The palace, built in neoclassical style, was once the Stock Exchange and Commercial Court of Porto.
Nowadays, visitors enjoying the entertaining tours particularly admire the Moorish-style Arab Room with its highly ornamental decoration.
Taste Port or Sherry in The Port Wine Cellars
On the banks of the Douro, facing Porto's old town, the main names in Portuguese wine and port production are lined up one after the other. From Cálem, which has been producing port since 1859, via Sandeman, with a history stretching back to 1811, up to the Graham's winery that was founded in 1820, they all offer visitors a wide range of wine, port and sherry-tasting sessions, factory visits and, of course, direct sales.
My tip: the Sandeman Museum, which is open daily, is a lively way to learn more about the history of port wine production.
Stroll In The The Historic Porto Old Town
The Old Town, which has been on UNESCO’s list of World Heritage Sites since 1996, is best explored on foot. From the banks of the Douro, with the picturesque Promenade Cais da Ribeira, up to the Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower), the very symbol of the city, you pass along the narrow streets of the Ribeira quarter.
There's every reason to linger as you pass colorful facades and countless shops, restaurants and bars. Whatever you do, don't miss a visit to the Rua de Santa Catarina – Porto's best pedestrian shopping area.
Visit The Livraria Lello e Irmão Bookstore
Porto's oldest bookstore, Lello, dates back to 1906. The Neo-Gothic facade hides away a veritable hoard of winding staircases, galleries and wooden bookcases. It may come as no surprise that Lello is considered one of the world's most beautiful bookshops.
Don't forget: it's free to go in, but taking photographs in the store is not allowed. Our tip: pictures of the inside can be purchased as postcards.
Visit The Museum Serralves
If you enjoy modern art and beautiful parkland, you'll just love the Museum Serralves. The art gallery, with its modern extension and an Art Deco villa, is set in beautiful gardens.
The museum features only constantly changing exhibitions, as well as the Serralves Restaurant and the idyllic Tea House. The museum is closed on Mondays. Our tip: entrance is free on Sunday from 10.00 am to 1.00 pm.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Jeremy East