A short journey from Leixões takes you into the heart of Oporto, with its fortress-like Cathedral and the Baroque Church of Clérigos. Head to the historic Ribeira District, where the narrow, cobbled lanes wind their way down to the Douro River. Don’t forget to visit one of the many wine cellars for a taste of the tipple named after the city, Port. On the ground floor of the Museu Romantico is the Port Wine Institute, where port is served with great ceremony.
Oporto sits deep in the gorge of the River Douro and on the riverside – dominated by the two-level Luis I bridge – it’s possible to look up at the narrow old town streets climbing out of the valley. Pastel-fronted houses with red-tiled roofs line the streets, mixed with neo-classical buildings and wonderful baroque churches. Dominating the centre of the city is the fortress-like Cathedral, which is worth visiting for the views alone.
Dom Luís I Bridge
This magnificent double-deckered bridge is one of the most iconic sights in Oporto and spans the River Douro, linking Porto with Vila Nova de Gaia, the location of the port wine cellars. The imposing bridge is thoroughly Eiffelesque, and it’s not surprising to learn that it was built by one of Gustave Eiffel’s students.
Looming over the Oporto skyline is the Clérigos Tower, the city’s most visible landmark. This impressive tower, which was built in the mid-18th century, stands over 75 metres high. Those who are feeling energetic may like to visit and climb over 200 steps to the top of the tower, to be rewarded with breathtaking 360-degree views of the old town, Douro River, the Cathedral and the city rooftops.