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Porto | © Pixabay
Porto | © Pixabay
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These 23 Pictures Will Make You Want to Book a Trip to Porto Right Now

Picture of Nina Santos
Updated: 13 April 2017
Like one of the fine wines from the region, Porto is a city that becomes better with each passing year. Slightly timeworn and weathered, the gray skies and dated buildings add character, while the twinkling lights along the Douro River reflect off the water and illuminate a central part of the city. Pair these features with the reserved yet friendly locals, the charming trams, beautifully adorned architecture, and the wine, and Porto’s charm may put anyone under its spell. How can anyone not want to visit a city that looks like this?

Bridges

Maria Pia Bridge © Pixabay
Dom Luis I Bridge | © Pixabay

Like Lisbon, Porto lies along the river and is home to a few iconic bridges that connect it to nearby municipalities.

Looking down the tramway lines, crossing the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge into Porto | © Bernt Rostad/Flickr
Looking down the tramway lines, crossing the Ponte Dom Luis I bridge into Porto | © Bernt Rostad/Flickr
A view of Ponte Dom Luis I and Villa Nova de Gaia from the Ribeira, Porto, Portugal | © Kirk K/Flickr
A view of Ponte Dom Luis I and Villa Nova de Gaia from the Ribeira, Porto, Portugal | © Kirk K/Flickr
Ponte da Arrábida © António Amen / Wikimedia Commons
Ponte da Arrábida | © António Amen / Wikimedia Commons

Most of these bridges (known as pontes in Portuguese) were constructed in the 19th century. An exception is the Arrábida Bridge, which was built between 1957-1963.

Architecture

Porto’s architecture is a combination of Baroque, Roman, Gothic and Neoclassical styles. Some of the buildings date back to the 17th and 18th centuries, while plenty others were built much more recently.

Palácio da Bolsa, Porto | © US Embassy Lisbon Portugal/ Flickr
Palácio da Bolsa, Porto | © US Embassy Lisbon Portugal/ Flickr
Livraria Lello e Irmão | © diegoperez74/Flickr
Livraria Lello e Irmão | © diegoperez74/Flickr

One bookstore, the Livraria Lello & Irmão, is known as one of the most beautiful in the world, although its more common claim to fame is serving as inspiration for Harry Potter’s JK Rowling.

São Bento railway station

São Bento Station, Porto | © moz278/Flickr
São Bento Station, Porto | © moz278/Flickr

All across Portugal, visitors will notice painted tiles called azulejos adorning churches, houses, restaurants, and even train stations. The São Bento station is as much a tourist stop as a means for travel.

Porto city Hall © Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons
Porto City Hall | © Diego Delso / Wikimedia Commons

Churches and Cathedrals

As a Catholic country, Portugal has no shortage of churches or cathedrals, and Porto’s may be among the most beautiful. Don’t miss the traditional azulejos and stained glass windows.

Cathedral © Pixabay
Cathedral | © Pixabay
Porto | © Nicolas Vollmer/Flickr
Porto | © Nicolas Vollmer/Flickr

The Church of Saint Ildefonso, pictured above, is covered in around 11,000 tiles. They were added in the 1930s.

Porto, Portugal | © Kimble Young/Flickr
Porto, Portugal | © Kimble Young/Flickr
Church of Saint Francis in Porto, Portugal © Asmodaeus / Wikimedia Commons
Church of Saint Francis in Porto, Portugal | © Asmodaeus / Wikimedia Commons

Anyone can see the importance that these churches hold in the Portuguese culture by appreciating the décor. The delicate woodwork, carvings and statues speak for themselves.

Torre dos Clérigos © Pixabay
Torre dos Clérigos | © Pixabay

Coast

Matosinhos pergola | © Yellow.Cat/Flickr
Matosinhos Pérgola | © Yellow.Cat/Flickr

Porto may not have any beaches within the city, but there are plenty nearby. The Pérgola at Foz do Douro is one beautiful destination nearby where ocean-lovers can enjoy a stroll and listen to the whispering waves.

Streets

Avenida dos Aliados is one of the trendy areas where locals and tourists can go shopping or sip a coffee while staring at the beautiful architecture.

Avenida dos Aliados | © lilivanili/WikiCommons
Avenida dos Aliados | © lilivanili/WikiCommons
The local tram, Porto, Portugal
The local tram, Porto, Portugal | © Rick Ligthelm/Flickr

Other parts of the city are older and the trams are an excellent way to explore different areas.

Trams de Porto © Alain GAVILLET / Wikimedia Commons
Trams de Porto | © Alain GAVILLET / Wikimedia Commons

Douro River

Nothing screams Porto’s name louder than the Douro River and its associated Ribeira district. Plenty of cafés and restaurants offer outdoor seating to enjoy the view.

Douro River © Pixabay
Douro River | © Pixabay
Porto, Portugal
Porto, Portugal | © Rui Bittencourt/Flickr
River Douro © Pixabay
River Douro | © Pixabay

Wine

The only exception to Ribeira being the most iconic piece of the city is its wine. Porto is most famous for its world-renowned port wine and the Douro Valley where it originates.

Douro Valley | © Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau/Flickr
Douro Valley | © Porto Convention & Visitors Bureau/Flickr
port © liz west / Flickr
Port | © liz west / Flickr
Sandeman Wine Cellar, Gaia, Portugal © Abhijeet Rane / Flickr
Sandeman Wine Cellar, Gaia, Portugal | © Abhijeet Rane / Flickr