Discover Porto and the essential things to do in this beautiful city

You dream of visiting Porto is a coastal city located in the northwest of Portugal. It is renowned for its imposing bridges and its production of port. In the medieval Ribeira quarter (by the river), narrow cobbled streets are lined with merchant houses and cafes. So come and discover our selection of must-see sites to make the most of your stay.


  • Ribeira, the old town
  • Boavista, the new town
  • Miragaia, a romantic stopover
  • Massarelos, bohemian getaway
  • Aliados and Bolhão
  • Vila Nova de Gaia

Ribeira, the old town

Photo credit: Flickr – Turismo En Portugal

The Ribeira is the historic heart of Porto. Classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, this district is the one with the greatest tourist influx. And we will understand why: from the cobbled and colorful streets of bright and shiny colors that wind through the city center to the quays of the Douro, we gradually descend towards a marvel of Porto: the famous Dom Luís Bridge , built in 1886 by an engineer close to by G. Eiffel. On the banks of the Douro, many bars with musical evenings to start the evening open their doors to you. The location of the district also allows quick access to boats for cruising on the Douro !

By crisscrossing the streets of the old town, you will be ideally placed while being in total immersion in the history of Porto. Accommodation prices will be rather high, but for a memorable romantic getaway in Portugal, we do not count!

Boavista, the new town

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Anthony ML Cabral

It is truly the chic district, hotels and trendy bars and restaurants, large luxury boutiques. Located to the northwest of the city center, you won’t be in a better position to do high-end shopping or to visit monuments of very refined architecture, like the  Casa da Musica .

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The nightly rates for the apartments are rather high, it’s a pretty hefty bill to stay in Porto, but it’s also THE district to stay in if you like trendy nightlife and shopping.

Miragaia, a romantic stopover

Photo credit: Wikimedia – Man

Between the northern banks of the Douro and the  Jardim do Carregal , glued to the historic heart of the city, is the Miragaia district. You will appreciate the much less effervescent and turbulent atmospheres of the Ribeira while walking in a serpentine of narrow streets where all the picturesque Port can be tasted with the eyes. A colorful district, again, ideal if you are going as a couple.

If you decide to find accommodation in this district, your accommodation offer will range from the  rather inexpensive pensão to the more budget-friendly hotel.

Massarelos, bohemian getaway

Photo credit: Wikimedia – michell zappa

Perched to the west of the city center, from the banks of the Douro to the chic district of Boavista, the district – freguesia in Portuguese – of Massarelos offers a very good compromise for finding accommodation – apartment or hotel – in Porto. This is the student district where the Faculty of Sciences and the Faculty of Letters of the University of Porto are located.

Strolling through this district, you will appreciate – in addition to the art galleries, the bars frequented by  hipster and bohemian youth – the garden of the Crystal Palace, a very relaxing green space on the heights of the city, with a breathtaking view of the mouth of the Douro sailing towards the Atlantic Ocean. Choose Massarelos to stay in Porto if you are one of the  aficionados of areas that are both calm, rather “bobo” and trendy.

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Aliados and Bolhão

Photo credit: Flickr – Tim Wang

To find accommodation in this district of Porto, this is the perfect place: close to everything, you will have the choice between the  pensão and the mid-range and upscale hotel.

Right in the heart of the city center and a stone’s throw from the historic heart, there is a very lively little district, a sumptuous mix of historic buildings and majestic churches – relics of the royal and Christian past – with the life of the commercial and working-class district. The central market and the central station are nearby. A good place, finally, to enjoy a drink in an art deco café or on the terrace in the alleys adjacent to the Grands Boulevards.

Vila Nova de Gaia

Vila Nova de Gaia district to stay in Porto
Photo credit: Flickr – Roberto Maldeno

We cross the Douro to visit the south shore of Porto, a district formerly dedicated to river trade. It is accessed in particular (for the pleasure of the eyes) by the Dom Luís Bridge, to visit (for the pleasure of the taste buds) the famous Port wine cellars . This district is especially frequented for its tranquility and the visit of the cellars and cellars. If you cross the Dom Luís Bridge, venture to the coast, and take advantage of the great beaches of the Atlantic to enhance your relaxing holiday.

Like other areas of Porto, apartments and hotels range in price from cheap to high budget, depending on whether you want a dorm bed, a homestay or a double bed in a hotel. Small downside: however, do not expect to find alleys as charming and lively as in the Ribeira or Miragaia district.

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Mohamed SAKHRI
Mohamed SAKHRI

I am Mohamed SAKHRI, the creator and editor-in-chief of this blog, 'Discover the World – The Blog for Curious Travelers.' Join me as we embark on a journey around the world, uncovering beautiful places, diverse cultures, and captivating stories. Additionally, we will delve into mysterious and, at times, even bizarre destinations.

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