Things to see in Porto
Portugal’s second largest city has amazing sights – here’s the top five. By Time Out Porto editors
1 Torre dos Clérigos
The Clérigos Tower is indisputably Porto’s most famous landmark. Built during the first half of the 17th century by Italian Nicolau Nasoni (check out more of his work around the place), the tower is the city’s most important Baroque building. Brace yourself and climb its 240 steps. You won’t regret it when you reach the top. If you think Porto’s street-level views are spectacular, you ain’t seen nothing yet. Òrua de São Filipe Nery, Porto, Portugal. www.torredosclerigos.pt. Daily 9am-7pm.
2 Ponte Luiz I
Another city icon, this cast iron bridge in the middle of Porto’s old town was completed in 1887 to a design by Téophile Seyrig, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. Today its upper deck is a popular place for taking snaps of the city, while in the summer its lower level serves as a diving board for local kids jumping into the Douro. Òbetween Porto & Vila Nova de Gaia, Porto, Portugal.
3 Casa da Música
You’ll spot this strangely shaped building on loads of postcards sold around town. Since opening in 2005 the ‘House of Music’ has become a Porto icon and is well worth a visit. It hosts frequent concerts, and has a sophisticated restaurant on its top floor and an eclectic café on its ground floor. Take a guided tour of the building and get to know this masterpiece by Rem Koolhaas from the inside.
Òavenida da Boavista, 604/610 Porto, Portugal. www.casadamusica.com/agenda. Mon-sat 9.30am-7pm; Sun (and holidays) 9.30am-6pm.
4 Teatro Nacional São João
This national theatre, inaugurated in 1920, has a classical charm replete with sophisticated detail and symbolic ornaments. It also boasts one of the city’s best contemporary performance spaces, with a program of well chosen and sometimes challenging works. There are guided tours of the whole building from Tuesdays through to Saturdays. Òpraça da Batalha, Porto, Portugal. www.tnsj.pt. Tue-sat 1- 7pm; Sun 2-7pm.
5 Fundação Serralves
This multifaceted oasis offers plenty of ways to spend a few hours. Start with the gorgeous Art Deco house, then explore the sprawling park and wind it all up with a visit to the Contemporary Art Museum (until January 2018 you can see Live Uncertainty: An Exhibition After the 32nd Bienal de São Paulo from Brazil). There’s also a shop with designer pieces, an art
bookshop, a restaurant and a café. Òrua D João de Castro, Porto, Portugal. www.serralves.pt/en/. Daily 10am-7pm.
6 Foz do Douro
Foz is almost a mini-city within Porto. In the 19th century it was a seaside resort where Brits and well heeled Porto residents went on holiday. Nowadays, visit for its beaches (several of them have a Blue Flag, ie they're certified for water quality and safety), seaside-y outdoor cafés (try the ones at the Praia da Luz and ibar’s, located among the rocks), or a stroll in the sun along the Avenida do Brasil with its view of the Atlantic. Nearby is the Queijo Fort, the Passeio Alegre Fountain, the Felgueiras lighthouse, the Molhe Breakwater and the Old Foz (an older, quainter part of the district). You can eat very well around here: try chef Pedro Lemos’s eponymous restaurant (for a splurge), Casa Vasco, Cafeína or a burger at Peebz. Òporto, Portugal.