The long days of summer are now behind us, but the longing for wanderlust remains throughout the autumn and winter months. Apart from the hardened outdoor specialist, the natural option for most is to take in the cultural sights on a city break. Porto is a perfect city for the transition from the summer days that have gone, and the dose of culture that so many of us leave behind when the sun is shining. With 20 degrees still a reality in the city during October and November, and it being famed as a city of narrow street and colourful houses, it is a brilliant place to take on by foot.
Porto is not a massive sightseeing city when compared to some of the better-known European tourist destinations. It is more a place to potter around, whilst enjoying a high quality of food and drink, architecture and friendly locals.
However, whilst visiting it is worth taking in the following if you can –
The Dom Luis I bridge, an icon of the city, is a double decker bridge that was constructed between 1881-1886. Designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, it bears a striking resemblance to the tower he is so famous for. Although it once carried traffic on both levels, the top level now carries one of the cities metro lines, but also boasts a pedestrian walkway. At 60 metres above the river below, it is worth walking across, with spectacular views of the city to be had from upon high.
The Porto Cathedral is so important to the nation of Portugal, that it has now been declared a national monument. Based in the Batalha district of the city, it is within a stone’s throw of the city walls that once protected the closed city. Originally built in the 12th century, the Cathedral has been rebuilt and renovated numerous times over the years, which gives it a unique blend of architectural styles, including Baroque, Roman and Gothic features.
Lastly, Porto’s riverside quarter, known as the Ribeira district is a tourist must do. Home to the cities famous riverside colourful houses, winding medieval streets and cobblestone alleyways, it is a place to get lost in. The scenic beauty of the area led to it gaining UNESCO World heritage status in 1996, but it is also a great location to dwell, with it boasting numerous restaurants and bars on the edge of the river Douro.