The second largest city in Portugal is home to some incredible architecture, as well as great restaurants, pretty gardens and quirky shops.
Saturday - Upon Arrival
Take a stroll around Porto and you’ll find that almost every corner is covered in beautifully intricate tiles. Start at Igreja do Carmo - this striking church is an excellent example of baroque architecture, and its façade is adorned with blue and white tiles. Walk to São Bento train station and you’ll find an incredible mural inside, depicting historical events in the city.
Saturday - At Noon
For a taste of modern architecture, get a taxi out to Casa da Música. Home of the Porto National Orchestra, this concert hall was designed for optimum acoustics throughout, and a guided tour is fascinating. The unique shape of the building means the rooms are remarkably quirky, too. Rehearsals frequently take place throughout the day, either in the smaller spaces or the impressive main auditorium.
Saturday - In the Evening
Head over the Douro River to Vila Nova de Gaia, for incredible views of the red rooftops of Porto. Staggered over several tiers of hillside, The Yeatman is one of the finest hotels in the city, and its restaurant boasts two Michelin stars. The multi-course dinner menu features an array of incredible dishes, showcasing the best of Portuguese cuisine while the lights of Porto sparkle in the background.
Sunday - In the Morning
Start off the day with a walk around the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal. These beautiful gardens are filled with pretty fountains and flowerbeds, and you’ll enjoy incredible views of the river and the private gardens in between. You might even see a peacock wandering through the grounds. Grab an espresso and a pastel de nata (custard tart) from a nearby café to enjoy while you’re making your way around.
Sunday - At Noon
Just around the corner from the gardens you’ll find the city’s small art district, located around Rua de Miguel Bombarda. At midday, most of the galleries open their doors, alongside cute cafés and antique shops. The street art is particularly impressive, too. Call into the Rota Do Chá (Tea Route) – a must for tea-lovers, this café and shop has almost 300 blends to choose from.
Sunday - Before You Leave
With an intricately carved ceiling, wood-paneled walls and a striking winding staircase, the Livraria Lello bookshop is a must-see in the city. It’s said that it inspired JK Rowling while she was writing the first of the Harry Potter books (she was living in Porto at the time). Squint, and you could almost be in Hogwarts.