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Things to see in Porto

Tourist Offices

Central Tourism Office

Address: Ribeira, Rua Clube dos Fenianos 25, Porto, 4000-407
Telephone: (22) 339 3472.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-2000 (Jun-Sep); Daily 0900-1900 (Sep-Jun).

Website: http://www.visitporto.travel

The Central Tourism Office is one of several tourist information offices in the city. Information and leaflets can also be picked up at Ribeira Tourist Information Office, Rua Infante Dom Henrique 63, and Se Tourist Information Office on Terreiro da Se.

Tourist passes

The Porto Card gives free entrance to 11 museums and discounts at several other museums and monuments, plus a guided tour of the Casa da Música. Card holders can also get discounts at various shows, cultural institutions, cruises on the Douro River, city tours, restaurants, shops and other places of interest, including the Sea Life Centre. There are two types of card, the Porto Card 'walker', and the Porto Card + transport. The latter offers free travel on the metro, STCP buses and suburban trains, from Valongo to Espinho. The card can be bought for one, two and three days.

Attractions

Fundação e Museu de Serralves (Serralves Foundation and Contemporary Art Museum)

One of Portugal's leading contemporary art centres, the Serralves Art Museum is housed in a striking, airy building as well as a pink-hued, art deco structure designed by the renowned Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza. It is all set in a lovely rambling park that was originally designed in the 1930s to complement the galleries. The grounds encompass fountains, rose gardens and statuary, while the buildings displays national and international contemporary art and has a permanent collection of work from the late 1960s to the present. It also hosts a great number of cultural events, including concerts, discussions and workshops.

Address: Boavista, Rua João de Castro 210, Porto, 4150-417
Telephone: (22) 615 6500.
Opening times:

Tue-Fri 1000-1700, Sat-Sun 1000-2000.

Website: http://www.serralves.pt
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Casa da Musica

A masterpiece of contemporary architecture designed by world-famous Dutch architect Rem Kolhaas, the Casa da Musica is a gleaming sculptural modernist edifice. It has put Porto on the 21st-century map, both in terms of its architecture and its programme, hosting a stunning array of concerts and performances. It opened in 2005, four years late and cost €109 million, exceeding the initial budget by more than €80 million. The architecture is so modern and daring that it has proved highly controversial in Porto. Still, there is no disputing the originality of the vision behind the Casa da Musica, the city's new iconic music house. Few can complain about its acoustics, as the main concert hall is considered one of the best in the world.

Address: Boavista, Avenida Da Boavista, Porto, 604-610
Telephone: (22) 012 0220.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 1000-1900; Sun 1000-1800.

Website: http://www.casadamusica.pt
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Teleférico de Gaia

If you're heading over the Douro for a port tasting, the most exhilarating route to the plonk is via the Teleférico de Gaia. Dangling in glass gondolas, the 5 minute trip goes between Ponte Dom Luís I and the riverbank. It may be fast, but the cable car is a worthwhile ride for the astoundingly good views over the city and the river.

Address: Vila Nova de Gaia, Calçada da Serra, 143, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4430-236
Telephone: (22) 374 1440.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-2000 (May-Oct); Daily 1000-1900 (Mar-Apr); Daily 1000-1800 (Nov-Feb).

Website: http://gaiacablecar.com
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Centro Português de Fotografia

This former prison from the 18th century housed inmates until 1970s; today the fascinating building is home to photograph displays, which are exhibited in the cells. Turned over to the General Directorate of the Book of Archives and Libraries in 1997, Centro Português de Fotografia now hosts rotating exhibitions that showcase the country's photographic heritage.

Address: Ribeira, Campo dos Martires da Patria, Porto, 4050-008
Telephone: (22) 004 6300.
Opening times:

Tue-Fri 1000-1230 and 1400-1800; Sat-Mon 1500-1900.

Website: http://www.cpf.pt
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Catedral Sé

Porto's cathedral dates from the 12th and 13th centuries, but substantial parts of it were given a makeover some 500 years later in the baroque style. From the outside the cathedral resembles a fortress, but the interior is more genteel, and it contains some gems such as the 14th-century images of the Nossa Senhora da Vandoma, a gothic cloister, a silver altar, the São Vincente Chapel and an impressive collection of religious sculptures from the 14th and 18th centuries.

Address: Ribeira, Terreiro da Sé, Porto, 4050-573
Telephone: (22) 205 9028.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1230 and 1430-1800 (Apr-Oct); Daily 0900-1215 and 1430-1730 (Nov-Mar).

Website:
Admission Fees:

No (except for access to the cloisters).

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Palaçio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)

Built in the mid-19th century, this temple to money was constructed in lavish neoclassical style, and shows evidence of the English influence on Porto architecture. It has to be visited via half-hourly guided tours, which allow an opportunity to explore its fantastical interiors. Inside it has an atrium covered by a huge glass and metal dome. The most impressive rooms are the Assembly or Golden Room with a gilded stucco ceiling, and the splendid Arab Hall, designed by Goncalves de Sousa and inspired by the Alhambra Palace of Granada. This hall, a dazzling combination of eastern and western influences, was completed in 1880.

Address: Ribeira, Rua Ferreira Borges, Porto, 4050-253
Telephone: (22) 339 9000.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1830 (Apr-Oct); Daily 0900-1230 and 1400-1730 (Nov-Mar).

Website: http://www.palaciodabolsa.pt
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Museu do Vinho do Porto (Port Wine Museum)

Housed in an 18th century former wine warehouse, the museum tells the story of the city's most important export, port, and how this dovetails into the growth of the city as a whole. Collections are varied, ranging from china and glassware to engravings and furniture, but the interactive displays are enough to keep visitors entertained for an afternoon.

Address: Foz do Douro, Rua de Monchique 45-52,, Porto, 4050-394
Telephone: (22) 207 6300.
Opening times:

Tue-Sat 1000-1230 and Sun 1400-1730.

Website: http://www.cm-porto.pt
Admission Fees:

Yes (except for Saturdays and Sundays).

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No

Torre dos Clérigos (Tower of Clérigos)

At 76m (249ft) high, this baroque tower from the 18th century is the highest city tower in Portugal. It is well worth climbing the 235 steps up to the top for breathtaking views over the old city. The tower was constructed by the architect Nicolau Nasoni in the 1700s and it is attached to the Clérigos Church, which is worth peeking in to for its baroque rococo gilt carvings.

Address: Ribeira, ua São Filipe de Nery, Porto, 4050-546
Telephone: (22) 200 1729.
Opening times:

Daily 0900-1830.

Website: http://www.torredosclerigos.pt/en
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Café Majestic

While it has become rather touristy over the years, there is still a strong air of authentic 1920s European cafe culture in Porto's Cafe Majestic. It opened in 1921 and is the last of its kind in the city. A true Porto landmark, it has a beautiful Belle Epoque decor, and it still offers the kind of refined atmosphere and service that made it the city's favourite more than 80 years ago.

Address: Ribeira, Rua Santa Catarina 112, Porto, 4000-442
Telephone: (22) 003 887.
Opening times:

Mon-Sat 0930-0000.

Website: http://www.cafemajestic.com
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Igreja de Santa Clara

Built in a Gothic style that dates from the 15th century, the truly special gift of Igreja de Santa Clara is its wonderful 17th-century interior artwork. The extremely ornate and superbly carved and gilded woodwork is some of the finest in all of Portugal. Baroque and rococo motives blend in a pictorial dance of saints, cherubs and angels, which will keep visitors awestruck for hours.

Address: Ribeira, LLargo 1º de Dezembro, Porto, 4000-404
Telephone: (91) 942 8271.
Opening times:

Mon-Fri 0930-1200 and 1530-1800, Sat 1500-1900, Sun 1100-1200.

Website:
Admission Fees:

No.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: Yes

Casa do Infante (House of the Prince)

Rumoured to be the birthplace of Prince Henry the Navigator, this building was actually a customs house that dates, in parts, to the 14th century. Located on the Ribeira riverbank, it now houses an archive of historic documents relating to the city's commerce over the centuries, plus other important historical collections. Look out for the mosaics, which were actually found during a recent excavation of the site.

Address: Ribeira, Rua da Alfândega 10,, Porto, 4050-029
Telephone: (22) 206 0435.
Opening times:

Tue-Sun 0930-1300 and 1400-1730.

Website:
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: No
UNESCO: Yes

Caves Calem port wine cellars

Porto's best known export is the fortified wine, which takes the city's name, and is made from grapes grown upstream in the Douro Valley. There are plenty of port wine cellars dotted around the Gaia area on the south bank of the river, and their prominent branded roofs are a distinctive sight from a vantage point across the water. Many of them offer guided tours, tastings and shops, including Caves Calém and Sandeman, plus other international household names. To visit is to understand and taste something of the essence of Porto - an experience not to be missed.

Address: Vila Nova de Gaia, Avenida Diogo Leite 344, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4400-111
Telephone: (22) 374 6660.
Opening times:

Daily 1000-1900 (May-Oct); Daily 1000-1800 (Nov-Apr).

Website: http://www.sogevinus.com/calem
Admission Fees:

Yes.

Disabled Access: Yes
UNESCO: No