Know Porto!

Things to do in Porto. Visiting the Ribeira and gardens. Where to stay in Porto.

2 of May 2022

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Where to stay in Porto

In Porto we stayed at the hotel called Hotel Miradouro. Since its opening in the 1960s nothing has changed, you will literally find yourself in the atmosphere of those years, and only a modern TV spoils all the vintage. For only 60 euros per night we got a huge room on the penultimate floor with panoramic views. I really enjoyed this experience of traveling back in time, but if you’re used to five star hotels, you probably won’t feel comfortable here. A nice bonus was a free parking and breakfast included in the price.

Hotel Miradouro

Ribeira of Porto

The first thing you should do in Porto is to have a walk along Ribeira and taste wine in one of local vineyards on the other side of the river. You can cross the river through the Luis I Bridge, the symbol of the city of Porto.

There is something familiar about an architectural style of this bridge, which was designed by Gustave Eiffel’s student, Theophile Seyrig. Metal body of the bridge clearly reminds us of the Eiffel Tower in Paris. The bridge has two floors, the city metro passes on the upper floor and cars pass on the lower floor.

The history of the Luis I Bridge dates back to the XIX century, when Porto was experiencing a rapid commercial growth, which required improvement of communication between Miragaia, a fishing area of Porto, and Vila Nova da Gaia, on the other side of the Duero River. Thus, in the beginning of the century, a bridge was built from boats connected by metal cables, which temporarily solved the problem, but turned out to not to be a long-term solution. Thus, in 1879, the city authorities decided to build a metal bridge across the Duero River, which was opened in October 1886.

Luis I bridge

Once crossed the bridge you can easily go down using a funicular from this station. You can take beautiful photos of the bridge and its surroundings from the station. The price of the ticket (about 10 euros per person) included a wine tasting at Quevedo winery, so we went straight there. The winery is located in a cozy wooden hangar, and upon arrival we were entertained with a show of an unknown Portuguese fado singer. The wine we tried was delicious, we bought a bottle of red wine for 18 euros to take away, which I opened at home a month later. Even for this price, a port wine is excellent, as for me, the wine of any winery of the Alto Douro region simply cannot be poor.

Gardens of the Crystal Palace

On the way to the House of Music, I recommend you to walk into an interesting place that you must definitely visit if you are in Porto – the gardens of the Crystal Palace of the XIX century. There is no longer Crystal palace itself, but only its name: now there is a building called Super Bock Arena situated, concerts and public events of the city are held there. The Crystal Palace was built in 1865 by an English architect Thomas Dillen Jones, who used the London’s Crystal Palace as a model. In 1865 the International Exposition of Porto was held here.

There is a viewpoint that offers stunning views to the Arrábida Bridge in the gardens. The bridge was built in 1963 betting world records among reinforced concrete arch bridges. The Arrábida Bridge became the second bridge with most traffic in Porto after the Luis I bridge.

Arrabida bridge view from the gardens of the Crystal Palace
Garden of feelings

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