006 - Porto (Oporto) - Portugal

We have finally arrived to one of the most romantic cities in Portugal, a major stop for most tourists -> Porto. There is a lot to say and show, so let's get to it!

Click on the map

006.1 We start our journey in the heart of the city of Porto, at the beautiful Sao Bento Train Station. In the previous article we showcased Companha Station (much bigger than this one, but also not even close to the center of Porto).

006.2 This is one really good looking train station/historic building. Probably the most Portuguese station of all of them. Ornated in the early 1900s it represents azulejos (blue painted white ceramic tiles) with seasons work, battles, and famous places.

006.3 And back in 2017/18 there were no shops to hide the beautiful décor, but a clean area where people would suddenly forget about daily troubles. 

006.4 Edificio A Nacional. 

006.5 From the Train Station, we can go straight ahead (west) and we will reach a very populated area: Clerigos Church and the Tower behind. 

006.6 Olive trees and Clerigos Tower. Yes you can climb on top of it and get a bird's eye view over the area. Sadly, this is one of those objectives with tons of people waiting in line. So we chose to drink a coffee.

006.7 Speaking of fish-in-a-can effect, Lello Library is one of a kind in Portugal and one of those places that in 2 years of coming to Porto, I still did not have the courage to stay in line, on the ground, for hours... If you are lucky to see a small waiting line (no people on the ground) then go and visit! 

006.8 For those who don't wish to wait, there other libraries (granted not as wow looking as Lello, but very beautiful) such as this A Vida Portuguesa - Loja Clérigos

006.9 At Loja Clerigos we will find reprints of advertising material, old objects (some I don't even know if they are for sale, like this typewriter) that speak of Portugal from another era. Pretty cool concept, wish this was a thing present in every country. 

006.10 Pretty much in the same area we find another trip back in time, this great looking store: Armazens Cunhas (clothes for the home and much more). We did not find it open but we loved the iconic peacock on top of the building. 

006.11 Remember that we said we go straight ahead from the Train Station to visit the Clericos? What if we went south from the Station? We would get to another very circulated area -> Se Cathedral of Porto (we showed also the Se Cathedral from Braga)

006.12 The Funicular dos Guindais

006.13 Porto's Commercial Association and the Stock Market Palace (Bolsa Palace) are in the center of this view -> impressive inside, and it can be visited only in a guided tour. (we are not huge fans of stock markets...)

006.14 We look a little to the left and now we get a more iconic look of Porto. This is the Douro River (yep the same one from the previous article) and the colourful river-side buildings.

006.15 Riverside of Porto and some Rabelo boats (lower corner of the image) 

006.16 Sunset over Porto 

006.17 Going under the Luis I Bridge

006.18 Ponte Luis I and the city of Gaia (we will have a better look in the next article)

006.19 Historic lift - Elevador da Lada. Not opened every time and definitely not for free. We did not take it because the view from Ponte Luis I is awesome so we were not curious of a 1994 elevator. 

006.20 The famous Cais da Estiva Street, up and close.

006.21 The weather is not great outside? Then why not have a drink inside!

006.22 Rabelo Boats and the beautiful Porto Riverside Street. Some of these images could make a great puzzle game!

006.23 No visit to Porto can be done without a wine or a softer drink! Here we reach the end of Estival Street and we go north a bit.

006.24 St. Francis Church and the beautiful statues. 

006.25 Mercado Ferreira Borges, right next to the Stock Market (seen before)

006.26 The iconic Portuguese Tram. There is also a museum (quite expensive, so I did not visit it because I am not really that into trams and/or metro). Next to the Tram Museum, it is fairly easy to find parking place and it will avoid the many hours of finding a spot, closer to the center, in a paid parking. (here also is paid, but much less) 

006.27 There are many places to take the historic tram, or a boat but you have to agree that a helicopter ride at sunset could be much more epic.

Now we almost reached the last bridge over Douro River, before it meets the Atlantic Ocean (see next article for that photo).

006.28 Jardins do Palácio de Cristal (we actually went inside the building, in the early months of 2017, but like I said on previous articles, I lost that hard drive so those pictures are gone... (and some really good looking sunsets in autumn are lost also). At night, there are yellow lights coming out of those round shaped orifices on the cupola and you will need a tripod. Luckily there is a big photo/camera shop with cheap and special equipment for all levels. That is where I bought my first L series Canon lens (70-200mm f4).

006.29 Yet another church and the Tower of Pedro on the left side of the picture. (you can see it as you get out of the park, walking always north)(read the legend of Pedro, at the end of this article)

We went on foot in Porto, on multiple ocasions (we saw it a lot in 2017 and 2018) but nothing much to be seen. 

Yes you can rent a bicycle to ride along the "coast" but it will almost never run really close to the water. There are many quad-bikes and many also with little children using the bike lane so walking is preferable. 

The lighthouse is not good looking, so don't bother walking up to it.

You can actually trace our walk (from the Tram Museum) up to Cristal Palace and then continue on the Julio Dinis blvd. Again not much to see there, except the Music House (one ugly building...)

From there we went west towards the ocean on the Boavista Avenue (is pretty straight forward).

006.30 Next to the Sea Life Aquarium (extremely expensive, we could not afford to pay to see animals in "cage") there is this beautiful building that looks like a restaurant. What is remarkable about it, is actually the roof. 

006.31 Forte de São Francisco Xavier. This is one small fort, very accessible, with great museum inside (lots of shining armour and old firepower. 

006.32 Of course, no Fort would be complete, without the canons!

006.33 One of the reasons we went to the fort (and paid the entry fee) was of course to get a better view of the beach! 

This is how far we went north in Porto, and then stopped and went back to the hotel.

006.34 This is Church of Saint Ildefonso and with it we conclude part one of Porto/Gaia so please check the next article also.

Just a few images above, we showed the Tower of Pedro, built in the 14th century, and now we present the legend of it:


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