The famous Douro River, the epicenter of the ancient port city, is the perfect backdrop for river cruises, sunset walks and long lunches. The cobbled streets of the Ribeira are charming; iconic azulejos (tiles) bring historic buildings to life. The tangle of terracotta roofs that flow down to the bustling Douro River makes for a perfect postcard backdrop. Beautiful beaches, fascinating architecture and design from every angle, in every light, Porto is captivatingly beautiful.
History of the city
Porto has its origins in an establishment called Calle or Portus Cale. The city is said to have been founded in 417. Over the centuries, it has known several rulers, including the Suevi, Goths and Moors. Thanks to intense commercial activity, the city quickly developed and in the 14th century the old medieval wall became obsolete and was replaced by the new wall of Ferdinand. However, it was not until the period of the discoveries that Porto became a major trading port. In the 15th century, it became one of the largest shipbuilding centers in Portugal. In the 17th century, Porto experienced significant growth thanks to the wine trade. He has a long tradition of defending civil rights. Thus, its population resisted a long military siege by the royalist forces between 1832 and 1833. The sacrifice of the people, who fought to support the Constitutional Charter, made the victory of the liberal cause possible.
The three suburbs of Porto
The three suburbs Ribeira, Baixa and Bolhão constitute the most historical and tourist areas of Porto. During your stay, this is where you will probably spend the majority of your time. You will surely like to walk in the pretty cobbled streets that crisscross these neighborhoods.
Discovering pastel de nata
Portugal is the place of origin of one of the best delicacies: the succulent pastel de nata. Impossible to chew and flip, these puff pastry pies filled with the creamiest egg cream and dusted with cinnamon are divine and addictive. Grab a coffee, choose your pastries and make yourself comfortable to enjoy.
The Stock Exchange Palace
The Palais de la Bourse was built between 1842 and 1910, and pays homage to the rich merchants of the city of yesterday and today. Built on the ruins of the cloister of the Church of St. Francis in Porto, the neoclassical building is where the Portuguese Stock Exchange once operated. Already beautiful on the outside, the building is absolutely stunning on the inside as well. The Hall of Nations, the Grand Escadaria Nobre, and the Arab Hall are some of the rooms to visit.
The largest bookstore in the world
They say that Livraria Lello is the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Designed by Francisco Xavier Esteves in a neo-Gothic style, the bookstore was officially opened by the Lello brothers in 1906. With its intricately carved Gothic woodwork, grand spiral staircase, floor-to-ceiling shelves and stained glass window, it has continued to impress visitors ever since.