Oporto is rich in history and its center is a World Heritage site and you will be amazed by how rich and diverse the heritage of the city is. The city is filled with a plethora of medieval wall, compact streets of the Ribeira district, Baroque churches, Romanesque Cathedral, and so on. The city is also rich in fortified port wine, beaches, and restaurants that you can explore. Let’s see some of the top landmarks to visit in Oporto.
Torre dos Clérigos
This is a tall tower which dominates Oporto’s skyline like a monumental needle. It is the most visible landmark in the city and it is about 75m tall. This landmark is an 18th-century granite-hewn rocket and visiting this landmark is among the top things to do in Oporto. To get to the peak of the tower, you are going to climb 240 steps and once you get to the peak, you will be rewarded with a mesmerizing panorama of the river, distant Douro valley, and the coastline. The tower was built between 1732 and 1750 and it was commissioned by the Brotherhood of the Clergy and Italian-born Nicolau Nasoni and it complements the adjoining Igreja dos Clerigos. The tower is the main highlight of the city and you can visit day or night.
This cathedral should be on the top of your bucket list while exploring the city and you will enjoy sweeping views from the terrace over the old town streets. This cathedral is an imposing 12th-century landmark and it looks like a fortress because of its shadowy façade. Some of the top features here are 13th century rose window which is set in the west front with serene Baroque cloisters that paneled the sky blue azulejo tiles. You should make sure you explore the building to enjoy the tranquil locale and the medieval ambience and there is a worn 18th-century granite staircase which connects chapterhouse and filled magnificent tile work. You can then complete the tour by seeing the cathedral’s dazzling hoard of gold and silver located in the Treasury.
Igreja do Carmo
This 18th-century church features blue and white azulejos and it also features a striking façade which is among the most recognized landmark in the city. You will be mesmerized by its immense panel with gilt carvings that are used to decorate its interior. The cathedral houses enchanting golden-brushed woodwork which is one of the finest examples of Portuguese Rococo. You can also visit the neighboring Igreja das Carmelitas although it is not as magnificent as its counterpart and there is a house built in the middle to divide the church because of the ancient law where no two churches share the same wall.
The coffeehouse has a magnificent Art Nouveau façade which features undulating motifs and curvaceous stonework. You will love its lavish interior which features originally carved wood chairs and marble-topped tables which leads to Majestic bohemian flavor. The café is the most celebrated café in Oporto and it is the best place to go if you want to try out lunch or dinner in a considerable style. Some of the top menu here is a mix of Portuguese and Mediterranean flavors. It is also popular for its cakes and pastries selection.
Music House (Casa da Música )
This is a magnificent international concert venue and you should ensure you enjoy a cultural program here during your stay in Oporto. It is popularly known for its radical design and the type of entertainment that it hosts. The venue was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and he created the building that would bring the city into the 21st century. The music house caters for all musical tastes like classical, jazz, hip-hop, and so on. One of the top acts that have performed here is Late Lou Reed. One of the best ways to view the interior of this building is to explore the top-floor restaurant.
You will get to enjoy menus that are Mediterranean influenced while enjoying magnificent views of Oporto’s busy Boavista neighborhood. Another top thing to try out here is to go on a guided tour of the building where you will get to experience a close-up and personal views.