Porto is one of the most romantic cities in Portugal, able to charm from the first minutes of meeting with him. Beach resorts, colorful shops and delicious restaurants here seem to not end there. When sightseeing, there is always a chance to find an unusual restaurant with dishes from the chef. Porto is not only shopping, beaches and restaurants, but also unforgettable historical sites, which, by the way, are included in the UNESCO heritage list. Start your walk from Avenida dos Aljados with a whole complex of old mansions, after visiting the main symbol of the city - the Clerihos tower, then go to the Crystal Palace Park to feed the majestic peacocks. Rent a car and be sure to drive around the surroundings, whose beauty will certainly not leave you indifferent. And finally, buy egg cream,
IATA code: OPO
Location: 11 km from Porto
Official website: https://www.aeroportoporto.pt
Information: +351 22 943 2400
The following companies provide car rental at Porto Airport: Avis, Budget, Europcar, Goldcar, Guerin, Hertz and Sixt. Rental car rental desks are located at the exit of the terminal. There are 5 parking zones near the airport, which can be booked on the airport website.
Rua do Infante D. Henrique
Having rented a car, go see the most beautiful temple in the city, which is able to captivate the eyes of every tourist. The history of São Francisco began in the middle of the 13th century with the construction of a small monastery. Years passed, and at the same time new additions appeared, the decoration changed. Today the church is a Gothic building with baroque elements. Attention is drawn to the window, made in the shape of a rose and a sculpture of St. Francis, located just below. Walls and domes are painted with images of angels, animals, flowers. At the altar there is an entire iconographic composition depicting the genealogy of Christ. Near the church there are catacombs in which the remains of citizens are stored.
Rua do campo alegre
A visit to the Porto Botanical Garden will definitely be unforgettable. Around the small cottage there are 8 gardens. In pink, for example, you can see a real riot of colors. Many flowers, amber trees, greenhouses with succulents lead to a state of complete delight. The enchanting atmosphere is recreated in the garden of the gnomes in the best traditions of the tales of Sofia de Mello Brainer. The garden with initials is completely decorated in the form of labyrinths and filled with a low shrub that form the letter “J”.
Terreiro da Se http://www.diocese-porto.pt/
Locals consider the Cathedral one of the main places in the city. Built in the XII century, the building became a kind of center around which the city was built. Here, the organizer and adventurer of marine expeditions, Heinrich the Navigator, was baptized, and later the king of Portugal, Juan I, and the English Princess Philippe of Lancaster, were married in the cathedral. The shrine is a bit gloomy inside, but the outside looks massive and stately. Having examined every corner of the sights, it is worth lingering on the observation deck located next to and inspecting Porto from a height.
When traveling by rental car, be sure to take a ride on the Luis I Bridge, which is depicted in many photographs representing Porto. At first glance, it is not clear that the structure is two-level. The lower level is for cars, the upper level is for subway trains. For pedestrians, special trails are provided. To assess the scale of the project, it is worth taking a walk at least at one level. By the way, the bridge is considered the best viewing platform and the best place to explore the city.
Rua de manuel ii
Another picturesque place that deserves attention is the Crystal Palace Park, which was opened in the middle of the XIX century. In the center there is a crystal pavilion where cultural events for adults and children are held, and the park itself is divided into thematic zones: “Garden of Smells”, “Garden of Senses”, “Garden of Roses”. This is a great place for walking with your family at any time of the year and for fun on holidays.
50 kilometers from Porto, there is an attraction with a fascinating history, in the list next to which one often ticks “mast visit”. The fortress passed into the possession of Portuguese lands at the end of the IX century. A monastery was built here, and later, for reliable protection from Muslims, lands were allocated on which it was ordered to build a castle. The fateful construction is obliged to the daughter of the first owner of the conquered monastery. Interestingly, those significant documents with the signatures of a noble Signorina have survived to our days. Years passed, the owners of the massive building changed, and the appearance changed. It was here that Athos I the Great defeated the troops of her mother, after which Portugal regained freedom from the influence of Castile and Leon. Later, Irish Gomes da Silva will build a massive wall with 8 towers and 8 gates. Appearance will change significantly,
Rent a car and go to the colorful town of Coimbra, which was the capital of Portugal during the 12th-13th centuries, and today it is famous for its oldest university, many churches and a baroque library. The city is divided into the old part and the new. After familiarizing yourself with the main cultural sites, visit several masterpieces of temple architecture - Se Nova Cathedral and Se Velha Cathedral, which locals are proud of. In addition to tourist attractions, the opportunity of a diverse shopping attracts tourists. Numerous art galleries, antique salons, boutiques, bookstores offer unique goods and attractive prices. If you plan to stay longer in Coimbra, feel free to bring the Ponte de Santa Clara bridge, the Machado di Castro Museum and the park with the “Fountain of Love” to your tourist itinerary.
Viana do Castelo spreads out by the sea and the mouth of the Lima River. It is famous for its monasteries and churches, fountains and palaces with heraldic emblems. Passing through several streets of the historical center, you will surely get to the Republic Square, which is considered the heart of the city. Here is the House of Mercy with an attached church, a colorful fountain dating from the 16th century and the city hall. After sightseeing, you can taste the local cuisine, and then go on to inspect the main church of Matrij and the Romanesque Cathedral of Se.
Since the beginning of the 16th century, the residence of the archbishop has been located in Braga, which is why the city is considered the center of Portuguese Catholicism. Arriving in Braga, visit the Cathedral, built in the Romanesque style in the XI century, the palace of the Archbishop, which houses the City Library and the university administration. Attention is also worthy of the Museum of Pius XII, where Paleolithic tools and ceramics of prehistoric and Roman times are presented, as well as the Museum of Noguer Da Silva, which is famous for its collection of antique objects. If you will be in Braga at the end of June, do not miss the opportunity to get to the São João Festival.
Having rented a car, go 30 kilometers from Porto to the town of Vila do Conde, which will be an excellent option for a day trip. It is located at the place where the Ave River flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The architectural ensemble of the city is very diverse, which is why Vila do Conde does not lose color, but rather looks authentic and spectacular. It is worth visiting the convent of St. Clara at the beginning of the XII century, the Gothic monastery church and the aqueduct, consisting of 999 arches. Take a walk along Baiche street and then, after going to the lower part of the city, examine the Vasco da Gama square and the parish church located here.
Rua de Fernandes Tomas 535 https://www.facebook.com/acasadoevaristo/
From 8 a.m. at A Casa do Evaristo aroma of spiced coffee and fresh pastries is heard. This is a small cozy place where you can have a delicious breakfast or a hearty snack during the rest between excursions. The staff is friendly and attentive to each client. If you stroll along the main street of Porto one day, stop by A Casa do Evaristo to enjoy the atmosphere and delicious food.
Rua de Pedro Hispano 1190 http://www.essenciarestaurantevegetariano.com/
Fans of vegetarian food should visit Essencia Restaurante Vegetariano. The menu presents interesting and unique dishes from the chef that will appeal to everyone. The cooking technology allows you to achieve a unique taste, which is why you want to come back to the restaurant again and taste something new. Be sure that here you can taste special dishes that you have not seen in any menu before. To get to the restaurant for dinner, it is better to book a table.
Rua Conde de Vizela 141 http://www.grupodespensa.com/
If you want traditional Italian dishes or something special from the “fusion” series, go to A Despensa by rental car. This is a small restaurant where for each guest there is a suitable dish on the menu. The house has a homely atmosphere, so I want to stay longer. Despite the large flow of guests, the staff friendly welcomes each guest and helps to choose the best based on preferences.
Passeio de Sao Lazaro 5 https://www.facebook.com/damapedecabra/
If you are looking for a suitable place where you can have a hearty lunch with your family, Dama Pe de Cabra is a great option for a meal. The restaurant is small, while the owners will personally prepare the dishes you like and make sure that everything is to your taste. By the way, if you travel with children, you can ask them to cook something special for them here. In the warmer months, a small terrace opens where you can enjoy delicious food and views of Porto.
Muro dos Bacalhoeiros, 111 e 112 http://www.winequaybar.com/
For the most beautiful views, head to the Wine Quay Bar. It is especially romantic here in the evening: from the windows you can see the port and the bridge, illuminated by a hundred lights. In this restaurant it is worth trying the local wine and asking the waiter to choose dishes that will organically complement its taste. So, sitting at a table and slowly exploring the bewitching landscapes, you can discuss plans and finally fall in love with the picturesque city of Porto.
Rua Senhora do Porto 930
+351 22 834 7000 http://www.hotelstarinnporto.com/en-gb/home.aspx?areaid=33 double room - from € 49
For those who plan to rent a car and are looking for a hotel on the outskirts of the city for a relaxing pastime, Star Inn Porto is suitable. The fashionable interior in the style of minimalism, spacious rooms and the absence of noisy establishments nearby are the undoubted advantages of the hotel. It offers tourists free parking, room-service, laundry. The competent staff will pay maximum attention to each guest and help to solve any problems.
Avenida Boavista 1269
+351 22 608 6600 http://www.hotelportopalacio.com/hotel-overview.html double room - from € 115
Porto Palacio Congress Hotel & Spa is an elite hotel, the accommodation of which will please even the most spoiled tourist. A jacuzzi, a fitness center, a swimming pool, spa treatments - all this will be at the guests' disposal so that everyone feels comfortable and can spend their holidays in Porto unforgettable. In case you need to organize a meeting, a conference room is equipped, for families who travel with children, a babysitting service is offered.
Rua Tenente Valadim, 146
+351 22 040 4000 http://www.sheratonporto.com/ double room - from € 120
Another hotel where you will have an unforgettable time is Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa. The main advantage of the hotel is its proximity to the old part of the city (15 minutes on foot), high-quality service and delicious cuisine. In the morning, after working out in the fitness center, you can go explore the beautiful places of Porto, and in the evening visit the pool or spa treatments to restore strength after a busy day. Those who travel without a car will be able to use the shuttle service.
Rua de Santa Catarina 1347
+351 22 509 5599 http://www.castelosantacatarina.com.pt/index.php/en/ double room - from € 74
Want to go back several centuries and live in a real castle? Choose a Castelo de Santa Catarina. The hotel is located almost in the city center, so if you wish, you can walk to some sights. It offers dry cleaning services and free parking, where you can leave a rental car. In the quiet, cozy courtyard at the hotel you can spend leisure time or even organize a morning tea party.
Avenida da Boavista 1466
+351 22 607 2500 https://www.ihg.com/crowneplaza/hotels/ double room - from € 100
Crowne Plaza Porto is located in the prestigious Porto district, surrounded by the most delicious restaurants and the best boutiques. The hotel has cozy rooms with stylish interiors. As a small compliment, guests will be waiting for aromatic preparations for a good night's sleep, and upon registration, free guided tours with wine tasting will be offered. The competent staff will be able to make sure that the tourists feel as comfortable as possible and do not need anything.
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© Anastasiia Voloshina, 2016