Porto is an open love letter to anyone who visits it. Poets described its cosmopolitan vein and urbanity. Singers, Portuguese and not only, sang heartfelt songs about the fascination that the Invicta awakens. Whoever passes through these streets ends up not ever leaving, or yearning for a swift return. Will you be able to resist this unique location? Let yourself be inspired by this city of passions and adventures, in this itinerary recommended by All About Portugal.
Casa da Música
Leaving Porto Deluxe, turn right and you'll be just a few steps from one of Porto's most emblematic architectural masterpieces. While you’re there, take a look at the space's agenda and delight in its cultural offerings, in particular with regard to the various styles of music performed, from jazz to opera, to electronic or symphonic music.
Speaking of inescapable visits, Serralves is a mandatory presence on all Invicta tours. Take an urban bus to Casa da Música (201, 203 or 504) and be enchanted by the Serralves Park and the Museum of Contemporary Art. Try to know if there are special activities or exhibitions.
Get around on foot for about 20 minutes or take the bus (502 or 504) and venture into the City Park. Ideal for walking or exercising, this green space is an appealing place for outdoor enthusiasts. It is also close to the beaches of Matosinhos, where you can enjoy fresh fish.
Crystal Palace of Porto
At the stops near the City Park, return by bus (201 or 207) to the city centre and to the gardens of the Crystal Palace (in Portuguese, Palácio de Cristal). In addition to offering an incredible view over the Douro River and part of the city of Porto and the Gaia Pier, the place invites you to a stroll, romantic or not, away from the hustle and bustle of the city streets.
We continue by bus (200, 201, 207, 208, 303 or 501) towards the heart of Porto, this time to the iconic Clerigos Tower, the city jewel. The portentous monument, designed by Nicolau Nasoni, can be visited within the pre-determined visit hours, and offers one of the best views of the Invicta. Be sure to walk the streets surrounding the building.
The legendary Livraria Lello, built in a neo-Gothic style, is within a 3-minute walk from the city centre. With an illustrious façade and an imposing central staircase, this book store is one of the most beautiful in the world. Historic building of the Invicta, it has gained even more prominence thanks to the saga of "Harry Potter" books and films.
Porto City Hall
Start the descent to the famous Avenida dos Aliados, where you will be impressed by the surrounding buildings. Going up the avenue, you will find the City Hall, a magnificent and historical landmark of the city. The Aliados are also an inescapable visit on New Year's Eve, São João (June) and when FC Porto is champion.
At the end of Avenida dos Aliados, located in Praça da Liberdade, we find the McDonald's restaurant. While this suggestion may seem unusual, you will quickly realize its importance when you come across the beauty of this space. In addition to the entrance, the interior is also of incredible beauty and worthy of international prominence.
São Bento Station
Turn left at the end of Avenida dos Aliados and then right, to São Bento Station. Formerly a convent, the building was rebuilt in the twentieth century and contains, inside, a spectacular tile panel, worthy of being appreciated. If you wish to visit a nearby town, such as Penafiel or Braga, you can take the train here.
Rua das Flores
After leaving the station, walk for 3 minutes to Rua das Flores, one of the most emblematic streets of Porto, that has been recently renovated. Very rich in commerce and cafés, the Misericórdia Curch stands out among the surrounding buildings, with the Misericórdia do Porto Museum right next door. Then, go down towards the Ribeira, along Rua Ferreira Borges.
Stock Exchange Palace
On one side of the Garden Infante Dom Henrique, 5 minutes away, you will find the impressive Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace), a work of the second half of the 19th century and a symbol of local commerce. A masterpiece of neoclassical architecture, its main attractions are the Arab Salon, the highlight of this visit, its noble staircase and the Pátio das Nações.
Church of San Francisco
Immediately next to it is the Church of San Francisco, the city's main Gothic monument. Built in the 14th century, had as its most impressive alteration the Baroque-inspired Temple, dating from the 18th century and preserved to the present day. Do not miss the altarpiece of the main chapel and the abundant golden carving.
Perfect postcard of the city, Ribeira is an irresistible place, either for its beauty, or for its gastronomic and leisure offer. Having the Douro as a backdrop is a dream. From here you can admire the Serra do Pilar, which inspired the songs of Rui Veloso, and the Cais de Gaia, as well as the D. Luís I Bridge. It is also the starting point of several cruises.
Gaia Cable Car
Located in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the riverbank, the Cable Car offers you an enviable perspective over the Douro river and the cities of Porto and Gaia. This composition connects the Garden of the Morro to the Pier of Gaia, moving in both directions. Take a break at the pier to cool off or eat and let yourself be conquered by the view that the Garden of the Morro offers, on your way back.
Take the D. Luís I Bridge on foot, and find the Guindais Funicular, at the end to your right. This will allow you to cross the Centre area straight to the area of Batalha, also iconic in the city. Stroll around, taking advantage of the treasures that still resist the passage of time, such as the Convent of the Clarissas or the Palace of the Condes de Azevedo.
About a 5-minute walk from Porto Deluxe is one of the main monuments of the Invicta: the Porto Cathedral. From the outside you can admire the Historic Centre, with the Clerigos Tower standing out in the horizon. Inaugurated in 1120, the Cathedral underwent serious structural changes throughout the centuries, revealing even today influences of various styles. Worth a visit.
Re-energize at the historic Majestic Café, less than 10 minutes away, taking the opportunity to venture out of the busy streets of Porto. It is one of the oldest and most traditional cafes in the city, located in a unique and colourful building with marble floors and a large living room. Return to Porto Deluxe by underground (Metro) (stop at Casa da Música) or by bus (201 or 302).