Follow this one-day itinerary to make the most of your trip to Porto.
Start off your trip early in the morning by the Serra de Pilar Monastery and enjoy the magnificent views of the river and Dom Luís I Bridge, a dominant of Porto built by Gustav Eiffel’s disciple Théophile Seyrig. The monastery itself is also worth the visit - it has a unique circular church and cloisters. Dom Luís I Bridge is your next stop - it is now part of the cultural heritage of Porto and it offers some amazing views of the city as well. After you cross the bridge, take a stroll around the bank of the Douro River in the Ribeira District and marvel at the picturesque houses with colourful facades and balconies on the opposite side.
Stroll to the Church of São Francisco - this intriguing church mixes Gothic and Baroque styles and the interior boasts glamorous wood carvings that cover the stone structure of the church. Move to the Stock Exchange Palace and explore its richly decorated interior and equally stunning exterior, which was also recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Then, visit one of the oldest monument in the city, Porto Cathedral.
Porto boasts magnificent buildings almost everywhere you look. Thus, even if you do not plan to travel anywhere, take a while to admire the São Bento Railway Station and its beautifully decorated interior with tiled walls and pictures telling the stories from Portuguese history. After you leave the station, you will find yourself on Avenue of the Allies - Porto's busiest boulevard and main artery for shopping, social life, and people-watching. The boulevard leads to the City Hall - take a walk to this superb building and then go back to Clérigos Church. Clérigos Church is one of the many beautiful Baroque churches that you can come across in Porto. Climb its tall bell tower, which became a symbol of the city.
Before you head to the Crystal Palace, stop by at the Igreja do Carmo, which is easily recognizable by the beautiful blue and white decoration on the side wall. Finally, end your day wandering around the garden surrounding the former Crystal Palace (now a popular sports and music venue) - it offers a great view of the river.