A perfect day in Porto

Porto is the second biggest city in Portugal. Located on the Atlantic coast and on the banks of the Douro river the city has more than 1 million friendly inhabitants.


In the morning put your comfy shoes because Porto is an excellent city to explore on foot. Start with the oldest part: the Ribeira. You can´t miss the red roofed old houses squeezed on the rocky slope of the Douro river. This is the UNESCO World Heritage-listed Ribeira district. Walk the narrow streets and later go to the other side of the river by crossing the iron Ponte de Dom Luís I bridge.

Dont´t forget to enter the Lello bookstore. Opened in 1906, Lello is one of the most beautiful places to read in Porto and around the world. In 2007 Lello was selected by the British journal "The Guardian" the third most beautiful bookstore in the world.

In the late afternoon take an old tram line from the Ribeira to the ocean front. Sit comfortably on one of many beach cafés decks and enjoy the sunset.


For some free Portuguese red or white wine tasting go to ViniPortugal ( http://www.viniportugal.pt/ ) in the heart of the old Ribeira district.

You can also have fun and learn about a production of the world-famous sweet Port wine at the wine caves located in the old warehouses. ( http://www.cavesvinhodoporto.com/ ).

On the 24th of June ( St John´s day ) there is a famous Regatta of Rabelo boats on the Douro river. In the old days the boats used to transport barrels of Port wine from the upper Douro to the caves located in Porto. Today hundreds of people gather along the banks of the river to watch the spectacle.


For shopping go to Santa Catarina street not far from the old town. This mostly-pedestrianized street is a magnet for both locals and tourists. If you are tired just sit in one of the many cafés and watch the life of this always busy street.

An old pastry shop close to the Santa Catarina shopping district in the old town.

On the same Santa Catarina street seek for the Capela das Almas or a Chapel of the Souls with its gorgeous tiles that cover its exterior walls with the scenes from the lives of Saint Francisco de Assis and Saint Catarina.


Hotel HF Tuela just in the town center and close to Bom Sucesso Shopping Center offers good accommodation with reasonable prices of 38 Euro per room.


If you want to eat the best fish and sea food in town head for Matosinhos, a large by-the-ocean community 2 kilometres from Porto. Just in front of the ocean you will find a lot of small family-run and inexpensive restaurants with unquestionably the freshest gilled fish in Northern Portugal.


PS. This is a part of my mini-guide of Porto published elsewhere.