Oporto in 2 Days
Porto has history, majestic monuments and over 30 museums, a cosmopolitan downtown, stage to a bustling nightlife that attracts thousands of people, an amazing cultural dynamic, friendly green spaces, gastronomy and wines of excellence as well as a thriving fashion.
And people are warm, just like the weather. The Porto inhabitants take pride in welcoming visitors to the Invicta city and this hospitality is one of the memories that tourists usually take with them when they leave us.
This set of arguments has placed the city in some of the most prestigious publications in the world, with newspapers and magazines from all around the world suggest this destination. As was written by the Wall Street Journal, the Invicta city "has everything", and is "easy to love and hard to leave".
In two days one can get a "glimpse" into the essence of Porto. On the first day of your visit, head towards the downtown city centre, wander through the narrow streets of the historic centre, classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, and toast with a glass of Port wine in one of the many cellars and wine bars or in the cellars located in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the left bank of the River Douro.
Downtown, in Avenida dos Aliados - the city's living room - and the Praça da Liberdade, Mercado do Bolhão, Rua de Santa Catarina - where you can shop in the traditional shops and have a coffee at the famous Majestic café- and the Praça da Batalha, the railway station of São Bento, the Lello bookshop and the Torre dos Clérigos, all are a must see. In the historic centre, do not miss out on the churches of St. Francis and St. Nicholas, the Casa do Infante [Prince's House] and the Palácio da Bolsa [Stock Exchange Palace]. Take a break in one of the Ribeira terraces, with eyes set on the D. Luis I Bridge and on the Port wine cellars.
End the day in the surrounding of the Clerics. In this zone - the bustling zone or "the Paris Galleries", because of the Rua Galeria de Paris - there are fashion designers, designerand vintage furniture, second-hand shops gourmet shops and wine bars, signature restaurants and traditional Portuguese cuisine, and more bars, many bars.
The Sea and culture
On the second day of your visit, visit the House of Music, 'lose' yourself in Serralves, have lunch by the sea and relax in the City Park. On Sunday mornings, Serralves has free admission. Visit the Museum of Contemporary Art, whose building bears the signature of architect Álvaro Siza Vieira, and the Art Deco style House - and stroll through the park and romantic gardens of the Foundation. Drink tea in the friendly Tea House before heading to the House of Music.
On Sundays you can hear classical music on the emblematic concert hall - opened in 2005, it is the first building built in Portugal that is exclusively dedicated to music - without being too expensive. Always at noon. Then have lunch at the restaurant located at the top of the building designed by Rem Koolhaas and/or take a guided tour to the work that took the city's level of culture to another level.
Then take a stroll through the City Park, with its 83 acres, follow the last part of Avenida da Boavista, which extends to the Atlantic. An idyllic setting that is connected to the beach, so if you have time, before joining the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, catch the sun setting while sitting at one of the many terraces located by the sea.