- Carla Fernandes
Visiting Porto - One-Day Tour
To get the most out of the city we recommend starting early, around 8am and walking, this way you can feel and experience Porto in a more intense and closer way.
When you leave the Boavista Guest House turn right and at the second street turn right again.
Start your route down Rua de Cedofeita and you will find lots of local shops as well as cafes and pastry shops where you can have a coffee and taste a "nata", the portuguese way of saying "pastel de nata". At the end of Rua de Cedofeita you will find Praça Gomes Teixeira more commonly known as Praça dos Leões and you will see the beautiful fountain with some imposing lions that informally gives the square its name and the beautiful building of the Rectory of the University of Porto.
In Gomes Teixeira Square you can visit two seemingly connected churches, the Carmelitas (1628) and the Carmo (1768) with their magnificent examples of tiles covering the facades. You'll see that if you like visiting churches, you're in the right city, there are many to visit throughout the city.
CURIOSITY: The churches of Carmo and Carmelitas are apparently glued together, but... they are not. Between these two churches is a very narrow house, the Casa Escondida, considered the narrowest in Portugal (open to visitors). Look at the facades of the churches and see if you can find the Casa Escondida. Believe me, it goes unnoticed by many people!!!
From Praça Gomes Teixeira you will see the famous Clérigos tower with 75 meters high and an impressive panoramic view. You can't miss the experience of climbing it... over 200 steps! It is for the brave, but really worth it, you will be impressed with the view over the city.
Leave the Clérigos tower and after visiting the church take a rest in the Cordoaria garden. Catch your breath and continue the walk through the city.
Right there, walk down Rua das Carmelitas and stop at n. 144, visit the famous Lello Bookstore and make sure you recognize its famous staircase, so often associated with Harry Potter. Continuing your descent, you will reach the most famous and important square in the city of Porto - Praça da Liberdade. Surely, you have seen it on television during the S. João festivities or in the celebrations of the numerous victories of the city's main football club: Futebol Clube do Porto.
The Praça da Liberdade is composed of beautiful architectural examples that deserve a more careful and attentive observation. Admire it and take lots of pictures, you will have works of art worthy of framing.
Just over there, from Praça da Liberdade, you will see one of the city's ex-libris and considered one of the most beautiful train stations in the world in 2011 by Travel + Leisure - S. Bento station. The station has established itself as one of the main monuments in the city, and is especially famous for its more than 20,000 tiles depicting the history of Portugal. Stunning, you'll say, surely.
Leaving S.Bento station, go up Avenida D. Afonso Henriques and visit the Porto Cathedral.
From the Sé go to the Luís I Bridge and cross its upper deck, rest in the Jardim do Morro and enjoy the view over the Ribeira and the Douro River. Take lots of pictures and share them with your friends and family.
Turn around and go back to S.Bento station. There you will find many options to enjoy an invigorating lunch. There are many options, all of them delicious, but try the famous Francesinha do Porto.
After lunch, go down Rua das Flores and appreciate its monumental architecture. It is a very lively street and you can enjoy the works of painters, handicrafts, street music and much more. At the end of the street you will see the Ferreira Borges market, a beautiful example of iron architecture, and the Palácio da Bolsa. Visit them, you won't regret it. Right next to the Palácio da Bolsa is the Igreja de S. Francisco, the largest example of the Baroque style in Porto. Do you dare? Visit the catacombs of this church and then head to the Ribeira to relax.
The Ribeira of Porto is the true postcard of the city. Sit at one of the many terraces and watch the bustle of its people. It is pure magic.
Continuing your visit, cross the Luis I bridge by the lower deck and you'll be in Vila Nova de Gaia. Choose one of the numerous port wine cellars and taste the true nectar of the gods. Take more pictures of the Ribeira, believe you will have the best angles for some impressive photos.
Go ahead and think about dinner. Decide whether to dine at the Gaia quayside or in Ribeira, the options are varied and for all budgets and wallets.
You'll be tired from walking so far... but your soul will be filled with so much beauty and charm.
It's time to return to Boavista Guest House, by foot and enjoying the city at night or come by metro, exit station, Carolina Micaelis.
At Boavista Guest House we are waiting to welcome you with a smile and waiting to hear your impression of our city.
One thing is for sure, you will want to return with more time, there is so much to discover in Invicta.