Being a hilly city located near the coast, the list of excellent spots for enjoying a sunset in Porto is endless. The colourful neighbourhoods along the River Douro in the background do nothing to detract from the beauty either. In the face of boundless options, however, Culture Trip has narrowed it down to these ten points of interest with some of the best vistas that Porto has to offer.
While the bridge isn’t an ideal spot to sit while watching the setting sun, it’s a prime location for capturing an amazing photo that will make all your Instagram friends jealous. From this central point, photographers and pedestrians can look over Porto, its neighbouring city of Gaia (or more appropriately Vila Nova de Gaia), and gaze along the River Douro.
Situated between the Dom Luis Bridge and the Clérigos Tower, the Porto Cathedral is another popular place for catching plenty of sights. While it attracts admirers to the church itself, the nearby square offers a beautiful panorama of the city and its river. Whether you sit on the stairs in front of the cathedral’s entrance or head to the square, this is one of the best views over the Ribeira district.
Anyone with the patience and endurance to climb 240 stairs will be rewarded with one of the best views – from one of the highest lookout points – in all of Porto. Built in the 18th century, it was the tallest structure in Portugal at its inception. While it no longer holds that title, it’s still a prominent feature in the city, viewable from many neighbourhoods and landmarks.
The Serra do Pilar (Pilar Mountain) is not in Porto but in the nearby city of Gaia. It is, however, one of the best spots to catch the sunset over town. With the right angle, it’s possible to capture an image of both the setting sun and the local monastery. At the foot of the mountain is the Jardim do Morro (Morro Garden), where visitors can pair their viewing and picture-taking with a picnic.
The square near the Church of Nossa Senhora da Vitória is another place to sit, gaze upon the sky, and enjoy a great view over the city’s clay-topped roofs. The bird’s-eye view will help showcase the historic streets in a new light, too. It’s located near many of the other major landmarks and very easy to get to in time to catch a beautiful sunset.
This lookout point is located in one of the many manicured gardens in Porto and offers an excellent spot to sit in the sun, read a book, walk the dog or go jogging. Fun fact: Miradouro das Virtudes translates into ‘viewpoint of virtues’ in English. Out of the five main raised gardens in the city, Miradouro das Virtudes is often a favourite among both locals and tourists (if the latter can find it).
Combine a beautiful view with surroundings of elegance and charm at the Jardims do Palácio de Cristal. Known in English as the Crystal Palace Gardens, this stunning manicured maze of greenery lives up to its name. You may even see peacocks milling about. Like most of Porto’s historical buildings, the Palácio de Cristal dates back to the 1800s, making this a good spot for learning a bit of history, too.
Porto’s social scene is buzzing, so why not enjoy your sunset with a coffee or glass of Port wine? The 17° bar, located on the top floor of the Hotel Dom Henrique Downtown, is a happening spot in Porto that’s also open to the public. Attend on the weekends and you may enjoy a trendy soundtrack as well.
A name with 360° in it has to be a good place for a sunset, and the Terrace Lounge is no exception. With cushioned seating, guests can stay cozy while enjoying a great view. It’s impossible to do better than one of these trendy sky bars for a relaxing lounge session at sunset.
Not all the best viewpoints around Porto are located up high, as anyone will see from a visit to Foz do Douro. Located where the river meets the ocean, the Pergola and beach are excellent spots to catch a sunset while listening to the sounds of the seashore. It’s also a perfect place to play with your dog or children, enjoy a romantic stroll with a partner, or exercise on your own.