23 Best Things to Do in Ribeira

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  • Igreja de Sao Francisco - Porto
    Igreja de Sao Francisco

    Fine Gothic church situated just behind the Ribeira. Designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site the church has a particularly fine Baroque interior

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  • Porto Bridge from Vila Nova da Gaia
    Bridge from Vila Nova da Gaia

    The double-decker Dom Luis I bridge is an icon of the city of Porto. It spans the River Douro linking the Port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia with the bustling downtown Ribeira district of Porto. Construction took place between 1881 and 1886 with the bridge being built adjacent to an existing bridge which it replaced. The granite pillars of the original bridge are still in place, standing on the Ribeira like a pair of gate posts.

    It is probably no coincidence that the bridge passes more than a fleeting resemblance of its neighbouring bridge, the...

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  • Porto Cathedral cloisters
    Porto Cathedral cloisters

    The austere and imposing cathedral in Porto was built during the 12th and 13th centuries in the Romanesque style. Alterations during the 18th century have made the façade more appealing

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  • Palacio da Bolsa, Porto
    Palacio da Bolsa - Porto

    The neoclassical Stock Exchange Palace is located in the historic centre of Porto. The palace is perhaps best known for its magnificently decorated interior, most notably the 'Arab Room'

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  • Clerigos Tower at Night
    Clerigos Tower at Night

    The 'church of the clergy' is an imposing Baroque building in its own right. However, it is the 76 metre high Clerigos Tower, symbol of Porto, that makes this one of Porto's main sites

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  • Porto Town Hall (Camara Municipal)

    Avenida dos Aliados is generally regarded as Porto's city centre and is, as such, the most grandiose avenue. Flanked by ornate buildings in a range of architectural styles, from neoclassical to French Beaux-arts, this avenue was built to impress. As such it is home to some of the city's most prestigious hotels along with a number of banks. When I lived in Porto I was never quite convinced I was in an actual city until I wandered down to Aliados.

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    Porto
    Public Places
  • National Museum Soares dos Reis - Porto
    National Museum Soares dos Reis

    Founded in 1833 this was Portugal's first national museum. Set in the Carrancas Palace the National Museum Soares dos Reis features one of the finest collections of Portuguese art in existence. This includes many works by the sculptor António Soares dos Reis, after whom the museum is named. The collections feature painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork and ceramics from many of Portugal's most revered artists of the 19th and 20th centuries.

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  • Jardins do Palácio de Cristal - sports pavilion
    Jardins do Palácio de Cristal sports pavilion
    Concierge.2C | BY-SA

    Set on a hilltop in Porto's city centre are the Gardens of the Palácio de Cristal. An 8 hectare expanse of landscaped gardens offering panoramic views of the city and Douro River below.  

    Created towards the end of the 19th century the layout of the gardens is the work of eminent German landscape gardener Émille David.

    The gardens are an oasis of calm within Portugal's second city. Paths weave between the meticulously tended botanical gardens and lawns, and there are fountains and sculptures dotted around the park. The result is a patchwork of smaller gardens, each with its...

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  • Casa do Infante
    Casa do Infante

    Also known as the Alfândega Velha (Old Customs House), this is the house which, in 1394, Prince Henry the Navigator was born in (or Infante D. Henrique as he was known locally).

    The restored interior is now home to a museum with a diverse range of exhibitions chronicling both the life of Prince Henry the Navigator and the Discoveries along with Porto's role in this era of Portuguese history. Other topics covered include the Roman occupation during the 4th-5th centuries and the buildings life as a customs house and mint.

    Many of the...

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  • Episcopal Palace - Porto
    Episcopal Palace in Porto

    The former residence of the bishops of Porto is built in a late baroque and rococo style and is believed to be the work of Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni

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  • Miradouro da Vitória - Porto
    Miradouro da Vitória - Porto
    WASD42 | BY-SA

    Miradouro is the Portuguese word for viewpoint, and the Miradouro da Vitória is perhaps the best known of these in Porto. The view over the Ribeira from here is a great way to take in some of the main sights of the city; the Dom Luis bridge, the Se and Bishop's Palace all stand out above the patchwork of terracotta roofs below.

    What makes the Miradouro da Vitória particularly appealing is the fact it is free. There are other great views of Porto, for example from the top of the vertiginously tall Clerigos Tower, or across the river from the terrace of the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar...

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  • Igreja de Santa Clara interior
    Igreja de Santa Clara interior
    António Amen | BY-SA

    Porto's Igreja de Santa Clara is a fine example of my favourite kind of historic Catholic church; these are the one that are fairly austere and humble on the outside, but when you pass through the doorway you are almost overwhelmed by the opulent decor.

    The exterior of the church is largely 15th century in origin and built in the Gothic style. The exception is the main entrance which was remodeled in the Baroque style. Sitting in a courtyard, just off a leafy square, the church has a very peaceful feel to it. You wouldn't know you were only minutes from Porto's famed Ribeira and the...

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  • Igreja da Misericórdia - Porto
    Igreja da Misericórdia
    António Amen | BY-SA

    The Igreja da Misericórdia do Porto is located on the historic Rua das Flores in downtown Porto. The church does not stand alone but is instead sandwiched between the offices and shops that line this typical Porto street.

    Originally built in the 16th century the church's facade was redesigned by Northern Portugal's favourite Baroque architect, the Italian Nicolau Nasoni. He was responsible for designing a number of buildings in the city including the Clerigos tower and church, and the...

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  • Casa de Serralves
    Casa de Serralves
    Nmmacedo | BY-SA

    Also known as the National Museum of Modern Art, the Fundação de Serralves has an impressive permanent collection and regular exhibitions. The museum is set in the beautiful gardens of the Serralves park

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  • São Bento, Porto
    São Bento Station, Porto
    António Amen | BY-SA

    São Bento is Porto's central station, although the exterior of this grand building barely hints at its purpose. Completed in 1916 the station is built on the site of a 16th century Benedictine monastery - from which the name São Bento is derived.

    The monastery itself was almost destroyed by fire in 1783, and despite being rebuilt was barely standing at the end of the 19th century. 

    São Bento Railway Station was designed by a local architect, José Marques da Silva, with much of the influence coming from the French Beaux-Arts style. The first stone was laid by King Carlos I in...

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Ribeira

Ribeira travel guide »

Porto's riverside quarter, known as the Ribeira, is one of the city's oldest neighbourhoods and certainly one of its highlights. The area was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996 and it does not disappoint.

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