Welcome to the second largest city in Portugal. In the port city on the Atlantic coast. In the home of port wine. Welcome to Porto - your lovely and sunny start and finish on your journey along the Douro! We have already taken a look at the highlights of the city for you.
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. The port town is considered the economic, cultural center of the northern part of the country. During a city trip through Porto, you will quickly notice that the city is located on a slope, on the banks of the river Douro and is known for its magnificent bridges, such as the oldest of all, the "Maria Pia". A total of 6 bridges, connect Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia, the center of the port wine production, before the Douro flows into the Atlantic Ocean.
Enjoy your river cruise on the Douro and gaze at the landscape with its many steep slopes, before you stroll delightedly through the coastal town and soak up the romantic ambience, with its many small houses and sights.
Come on board the A-ROSA cruise ships and discover the port city of Porto from the river.
With the A-ROSA ALVA you will dock directly in the center of Porto during your trip on the river Douro. You can reach the heart of the port city on foot, with its many traditional stores, the third most beautiful bookstore in the world, the "Livraria Lello", and the historic old town, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996.
From the outside, "Livraria Lello" is neo-Gothic. Inside, it is art nouveau. And it is beautiful through and through, as millions of bookworms worldwide know. It was built in 1869, has been renovated, and is listed as a historic monument. The narrow building with its even narrower, winding wooden staircase stretches over several floors, and each one awakens the feeling: magic does exist. And it's right here. Is that why so many claim that J. K. Rowling got inspiration for her Harry Potter novels here when she lived in Porto?
A trading city like Porto naturally also needs a representative administration. The Palácio da Bolsa, the stock exchange, was built in the 19th century exactly for this purpose. It was designed to convince European merchants of Portugal's trading power. If you look at the powerful building with its glass dome, the courtrooms and marble and gold ornaments in all nooks and crannies, you realize: it was successful. Let yourself be inspired by a guided tour.
How beautiful it is! We're talking, of course, about the view from the Ponte Dom Luís I, the arched bridge that connects Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia - similar to the Eiffel Tower in Paris, by the way. It was named after the former King Luis I, who inaugurated it in 1886. The bridge has two levels, one for cars and one for streetcars. Pedestrian walkways for strolling and reveling exist on both levels. To wallow in the past, you should take the streetcar. The oldest streetcar in Portugal still runs on three lines - also over the Ponte Dom Luis I.
The old town of Porto is called Ribeira, which means "riverbank". Behind the simple name lies a terraced district full of culture and sights. An important part of the culture here is Bacalhau, or stockfish, and port wine. It's no wonder that UNESCO listed Porto's old town as a World Heritage Site in 1996.
Waiting rooms of train stations are rarely an attraction. Not so in Porto, where the pretty hall is decorated all over with Azulejos. These weatherproof, blue-painted tiles are not only nice to look at, but also narrate important chapters in Portuguese history. A stop you should not miss.
Would you like to have a short overview first? Then the best place to visit is the Igreja dos Clérigos. The church from the 18th century in the middle of the city has the highest tower in Portugal. The church tower is 75 meters high and since it was built by Niccolò Nasoni, sailors have taken their orientation from it. Today you can climb to the top and enjoy the view over the old town, the Douro River and the neighboring town of Vila Nova de Gaia. And already choose which magnificent sight you will visit next.