Main Attractions and Sights in Porto

Once you’ve had enough of strolling around lovely Ribeira and taking pictures, it is time for some sight-seeing.

Located within Parque de Serralves, Museu de Arte Contemporânea features two buildings: Art Deco Casa de Serralves and a minimalistic structure by local celebrated architect Álvaro Siza Vieira. The museum presents an interesting permanent collection of modern and contemporary artworks from the last 50 years.

However, the key attraction is its top-notch temporary exhibitions. Once you have finished with the museum, take a relaxing walk around the park’s rose gardens and little ponds.

Occupying a neo-classical former palace (Palácio das Carrancas), Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis carries an outstanding collection of Portuguese art, from Neolithic era to modern times.

Operating as an art museum since the 40s, its most fascinating exhibits embrace superb paintings and sculptures from the 19th century, including some by famous Portuguese artists Henrique Pousão and António Soares dos Reis.

Porto is famous worldwide for its port wine, a sweet and strong variety of red wine. Many wine-tasting bars and cellars are available, but the city took its wine heritage a step longer by lodging its very own wine museum, Museu do Vinho do Porto.

Occupying a 17th-century warehouse, which was once the wine deposit of General Company of Agriculture of the Alto Douro Vineyards, the museum houses interactive exhibits on port’s impact on the city’s culture and international relations.

The city’s modern Casa da Música, houses the local concert hall. Built in contemporary architecture, the asymmetrical concrete structure hides a grand interior and a gold leaf patterned auditorium. Designed as a part of a larger project in 2001 (when Porto run as the European Culture Capital), it has become a popular landmark of the city since the moment it was finished.

The former stock exchange palace, Palácio da Bolsa is now a popular city attraction due to its superb neoclassical design and grandly ornamented interior. The first hall you come across when entering is Pátio das Nações, a glass-domed chamber where the stock exchanges used to take place. To go further in you need to join a guided tour and it is highly suggested that you do so. Dazzling gold leaf covered rooms feature exceptional designs based on traditional Moorish patterns.

Se Do Porto is an original 12th-century fortress-cathedral. The cathedral underwent many restorations and alterations through history, with the only surviving feature of the initial structure being a gothic rose-shaped window. The rest of the building mostly dates back to 18th century, boasting baroque architecture and decorated with elegant white and blue traditional tile works.

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