Medium 9781743605950

Lonely Planet Pocket Porto

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Lonely Planet: The world's leading travel guide publisher

Lonely Planet Pocket Porto is your passport to the most relevant, up-to-date advice on what to see and skip, and what hidden discoveries await you. Admire Se cathedral, marvel at Casa de Musica and check out the stunning Palacio da Bolsa; all with your trusted travel companion. Get to the heart of the best of Porto and begin your journey now!

Inside Lonely Planet Pocket Porto:

  • Full-colour maps and images throughout
  • Highlights and itineraries help you tailor your trip to your personal needs and interests
  • Insider tips to save time and money and get around like a local, avoiding crowds and trouble spots
  • Essential info at your fingertips - hours of operation, phone numbers, websites, transit tips, prices
  • Honest reviews for all budgets - eating, sleeping, sight-seeing, going out, shopping, hidden gems that most guidebooks miss
  • Free, convenient pull-out Porto map (included in print version), plus 15 colour neighbourhood maps
  • User-friendly layout with helpful icons, and organised by neighbourhood to help you pick the best spots to spend your time
  • Covers Ribeira, Aliados and Bolhao, Miragaia, Vila Nova de Gaia, Massarelos, Boavista and West Porto, and more

eBook Features: (Best viewed on tablet devices and smartphones)

  • Downloadable PDF and offline maps prevent roaming and data charges
  • Effortlessly navigate and jump between maps and reviews
  • Add notes to personalize your guidebook experience
  • Seamlessly flip between pages
  • Bookmarks and speedy search capabilities get you to key pages in a flash
  • Embedded links to recommendations' websites
  • Zoom-in maps and images
  • Inbuilt dictionary for quick referencing

The Perfect Choice: Lonely Planet Pocket Porto, a colorful, easy-to-use and handy guide that literally fits in your pocket, provides on-the-go assistance for those seeking only the can't-miss experiences to maximise a quick-trip experience.

  • Looking for a comprehensive guide that recommends both popular and offbeat experiences, and extensively covers all of Porto's neighbourhoods? Check out our Lonely Planet Portugal guide.
  • Looking for more extensive coverage? Check out our Lonely Planet Europe guide for a comprehensive look at all the region has to offer.

Authors: Written and researched by Lonely Planet,

About Lonely Planet: Since 1973, Lonely Planet has become the world's leading travel media company with guidebooks to every destination, an award-winning website, mobile and digital travel products, and a dedicated traveller community. Lonely Planet covers must-see spots but also enables curious travellers to get off beaten paths to understand more of the culture of the places in which they find themselves.

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Porto

ePub

 

Ribeira

ePub

Ribeira is Porto's biggest heart-stealer. Its Unesco World Heritage maze of medieval alleys zigzags down to the Rio Douro and a promenade lined with slender, pastel-hued houses and hole-in-the-wall tascas (taverns) with front-row views of the spectacular Ponte de Dom Luís I. Jam-packed with sights, shops and restaurants, this historic neighbourhood is postcard Porto.

MBegin at the Romanesque Sé, Porto's fortified Romanesque cathedral, which lords it over the city and affords ravishing views over the rooftops from its terrace. From here, meander deep into the medieval alleys of the Unesco World Heritage historic centre. Particularly pretty is Rua das Flores, which rambles past tiled houses with Juliet balconies, the beautiful azulejo-clad Igreja da Misericórdia, enticing pavement cafes and speciality shops.

RStop for an organic lunch or a cup of Azores tea at rustic deli Mercearia das Flores. Recharged, join a guided tour at the lavish Palácio da Bolsa, where a grand staircase curls up to the kaleidoscopically intricate Arabian Hall. Take a breather in the Jardim do Infante D Henrique before turning the corner tothe Igreja de São Francisco, which bombards you with its gilded baroque splendour.

 

Aliados & Bolhão

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With a regal beaux-arts boulevard blazing through its centre, this vibrant neighbourhood hides boutiques, old-school grocery stores, pavement cafes and baroque churches dazzling with azulejos (hand-painted tiles) down its backstreets. This is where Porto comes to market shop, eat and play, with the Galerias enticing partygoers to its glam-retro bars, sassy cocktail-sipping lounges and live-music venues after dark.

MRewind to an age of lace-gloved farewells at São Bento train station, peering up at magnificent azulejo panels mapping out Portuguese history milestones. Stroll monumental beaux-arts boulevard Avenida dos Aliados, before swinging over to Mercado do Bolhão, which thrums with hungry locals shopping for Atlantic-fresh fish and tangy chouriço (sausage). Punctuated with boutiques and sidewalk cafes, Rua Santa Catarina is made for a languid saunter – begin at beautifully tiled Capela das Almas and end at sumptuous Café Majestic.

RFurther west, baroque Torre dos Clérigos pops up – climb its 225-step staircase for cracking city views. After a breather, visit enchanting neo-Gothic Livraria Lello, a bookstore with a pinch of Potter magic. Revive over moreish éclairs at nearby Leitaria Quinta Do Paço, then check out twin churches Igreja do Carmo and Igreja das Carmelitas.

 

Miragaia

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Sloping steeply down to the riverside, its brightly painted, laundry-strung houses pasted picturesquely to the hillside, Miragaia is a delight for the aimless ambler. Besides a handful of sights and an art-crammed gallery, the real appeal here is strolling labyrinthine lanes to sky-high viewpoints, time-warp bars and family-run taverns in the old Jewish quarter, Vitória. Here history seeps around every cobbled corner.

MMake a beeline first thing for the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis to take a spin around its prized collection of fine and decorative arts, ensconced in the sublime Palácio das Carrancas. The star attraction is O Desterrado (The Exiled) by sculptor António Teixeira Lopes. Revive gallery-weary eyes over coffee and homemade cake or a light lunch at bijou Atelier.

RNow turn your focus to the free Centro Português de Fotografia, atmospherically lodged in a former jail. Shutterbugs are in their element gawping at the nostalgic collection of century-old cameras and poignant photography exhibitions. From here, you can easily slip into the warren of narrow alleys weaving through the former Jewish quarter.

 

Vila Nova de Gaia

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Vila Nova de Gaia takes you back to the 17th-century beginnings of port-wine production, when British merchants transformed wine into the post-dinner tipple of choice by dabbling with a dash of brandy. Their grand lodges sit imposingly astride the Rio Douro, inviting you for tours of barrel-lined cellars, tastings and dinner at rooftop terraces with twinkling views of the historic centre opposite.

MTrot across the Ponte de Dom Luís I for giddy city views, looking out for the odd crazy kid plunging into the Douro below. You'll emerge high on Vila Nova de Gaia's slopes, where the 17th-century Mosteiro da Serra de Pilar invites exploration. The views from the nearby, palm-speckled Jardim do Morro enthrall. From here, hitch a lift on the Teleférico de Gaia down to the riverfront.

RGet versed in port wine at slickly modern Espaço Porto Cruz, offering exhibitions and tastings, followed by lunch with a view at De Castro Gaia. You can easily while away a couple of hours in the historic port lodges. Top billing goes to Taylor's for its impressive, informative cellar tours (note the eye-popping 100,000L vat of late-bottled vintage) and tastings.

 

Afurada

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Sitting pretty on the banks of the Douro, this breezy fishing village has remained charmingly oblivious to 21st-century trends. Even getting here on the creaking wooden boat crossing the river is like time travel. Afurada is in high spirits in summer when it hosts two must-see festivals – Festas de São Pedro da Afurada and Marés Vivas (Click here).

f Local boats make the quick hop across the Douro, departing from Cais do Ouro (near the Ponte da Arrábida) every 15 minutes from 7am to 7.30pm. A one-way ticket costs €1.

The lure of the sea is tangible in Afurada, with seabirds wheeling in the sky above, washing strung out to dry in the briny breezes and fishers tending to their nets and preparing their tackle. The river is lifeblood for locals. Stroll the waterfront to see a delightfully untouristy side to Porto and enjoy broad views – Foz across the water and the hazy smudge of the Atlantic on the horizon.

Get up bright and early to catch the small but lively fish market, Mercado de Peixe São Pedro da Afurada ( GOOGLE MAP ; Mercado de Peixe de S. Pedro da Afurada; h6am-7pm Mon-Fri & 6am-2pm Sat), in full swing. The fishermen who earn a crust here sell off cod, sardines and other Atlantic catches in rapid-fire Portuguese.

 

Massarelos

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Low-key Massarelos snuggles alongside Miragaia on the riverfront. If you want to slip off the well-trodden trail, this neighbourhood of breezy views and niche museums will appeal. Slow the pace with a languid stroll in Porto's most fetching botanical gardens, or gallery-hop along Rua Miguel Bombarda, a mile of style with verve, an artsy crowd and global flavours.

MLaunch your morning at the port-focused Museu do Vinho do Porto, then take a bracing stroll along the river, pausing to admire the azulejos (hand-painted tiles) adorning 18th-century Igreja do Corpo Santo de Massarelos. Weave uphill for a serendipitous stroll in the Jardim do Palácio de Cristal, a gorgeous patchwork of gardens where botanical species thrive, peacocks strut and miradouros (viewpoints) command sensational city views. Romance? You'll find it in a nutshell at the Museu Romântico.

RRevive over lunch or an aromatic cuppa at hippy-chic, lantern-lit Rota do Chá. Now it's time for a wander along Rua Miguel Bombarda, where Porto flexes its creative muscles in cutting-edge galleries, concept stores and artsy boutiques.

 

Boavista

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The city's longest avenue blazes through Boavista, where Porto takes a massive leap into the 21st century, with rooftop bars, urbane hotels and landmarks designed by Pritzker Prize–winning duo Álvaro Siza Vieira and Eduardo Souto de Moura.

MNo building has more pulling power in Porto than the cultural behemoth Casa da Música, a futuristic Rem Koolhaas number that reverberates to the Porto National Orchestra. Traffic whizzes around the monument-topped Jardim da Boavista opposite, while the nearby Mercado Bom Sucesso throngs with tripeiros (Porto residents) in search of fresh produce and gourmet snacks. But save yourself for a creative veggie lunch in the hidden garden at Em Carne Viva.

RFollow Avenida da Boavista west for a walk in the vast, lake-dotted Parque da Cidade.

NWatch transfixed from beach bar Praia da Luz as the setting sun paints the sky pink. Foz has a slew of fine-dining restaurants, not least the Álvaro Siza Vieira–designed Boa Nova Tea House, perched on a clifftop, with Rui Paula at the stove. Finish on a high over cocktails and DJ-spun tunes at Zenith Lounge Bar.

 

Foz do Douro

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Out west, Foz do Douro moves to its own relaxed beat, with en vogue beach bars humming with bronzed locals, an Atlantic-thrashed esplanade and fine-dining restaurants.

j Vintage tram 1 (Infante–Passeio Alegre) trundles between the historic centre and Foz do Douro.

The hum of traffic on Avenida da Boavista soon fades as you enter the serene, green Parque da Cidade ( GOOGLE MAP ; Avenida da Boavista), Portugal's largest urban park. Laced with 10km of walking and cycling trails, this is where locals come to unplug and recharge, picnic (especially at weekends), play ball, jog, cycle, lounge in the sun and feed the ducks in the lake.

Otherwise known as the Castelo do Queijo (Cheese Castle) because of the wedge of rock it stands upon, Forte de São Francisco Xavier ( GOOGLE MAP ; Praça Gonçalves Zarco; admission €0.50; h1-6pm Tue-Sun) looks every inch the archetypal fortress with its sturdy ramparts, watchtowers and drawbridge. Built in 1661, it harbours a small weaponry exhibition, but more impressive is the view reaching out to sea – sunset is prime time.

 

Serralves

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This arrestingly minimalist, whitewashed space was designed by the eminent Porto-born architect Álvaro Siza Vieira in 1999 and classified a National Monument in 2012. Despite its out-of-the-way location on Porto's western fringes, it is one of Portugal's most-visited museums and an absolute must-see for fans of contemporary art. Besides the gallery, there is the pristine art-deco villa, Casa de Serralves, to explore and an 18-hectare park dotted with sculptures, a lake and pockets of woodland to roam.

GOOGLE MAP
www.serralves.pt ; Rua Dom João de Castro 210 ; adult/child museums & park €8.50/free, park €4/free ; h 10am-7pm Tue-Fri, 10am-8pm Sat & Sun, shorter hours in winter

m The estate and museum are 6km west of the city centre. Exit the at Casa da Música, where there are onward connections on buses 201, 203, 502 and 504 at the Boavista Rotunda.

 

The Best of Porto

ePub

Rising in a helter-skelter of chalk-bright houses, soaring bell towers and Gothic and baroque churches, Porto's Unesco-listed historic heart is an alley-woven dream of medieval loveliness made for strolling. Cobblestone streets twist past old curiosity shops and pavement cafes that hum with local gossip, and every so often the cityscape cracks open to reveal miradouros (viewpoints) over Porto.

Start Igreja da Misericórdia; metro São Bento (yellow line)

Finish Ponte de Dom Luís I; Jardim do Morro cable car station

Length 4km; four hours

Pause for lunch near the river. For Douro views, try to snag a terrace table at Bacalhau ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %960 378 883; http://bacalhauporto.com; Muro dos Bacalhoeiros 153; petiscos €3-8.50, mains €9-16; hnoon-11pm Sun-Thu, noon-11.45pm Fri & Sat ), where the namesake codfish is the menu star. A Grade ( MAP GOOGLE MAP ; %223 321 130; Rua da São Nicolau 9; mains €9-17.50; h12.30-4pm & 6.30-11pm ; v) dishes up Portuguese home cooking with a smile.

 

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