Porto City Center Walk is a 9.1 mile heavily trafficked loop trail located near Porto, Porto and the North, Portugal that features a river and is rated as moderate. The trail is primarily used for walking.

Distance: 9.1 miles Elevation Gain: 1,236 feet Route Type: Loop

walking

paved

river

views

city walk

historic site

fee

The center of Porto is not that big and therefore you can bridge all distances on foot. The problem is not so much the distance, or the continuous height differences. Almost no street is flat. The Douro offers an ideal gateway to the Atlantic Ocean. Along this river, tons of gold from the colonies were brought in. Gold that was used to build this thriving port city on the north bank of the river. The Douro, however, runs in a steep valley, so that almost all streets walk upwards with a pronounced slope. We marvel at the colorful tiled facades (azulejos for the friends). We immediately fell in love with the generous welcoming smile of the Portuguese population. At the top of the highest hill of the historic city center we reach the Sé Cathedral. The thirteenth-century building with battlements is more reminiscent of a fortress than a church. It seems so run away from an episode of Game of Thrones. The cathedral is located on a majestic square from where you have a fantastic view of the city. Inside there is not much to see, but for € 3 you can visit the adjacent monastery. There, especially the successful combination of beautiful tile walls and Gothic colonnades will make your camera work overtime. Not much further, we test our saturation limit for spiritual stops with a visit to the San Francisco church. For a ticket of a spicy € 7 you can marvel at a set of national baroque and rococo. From the floor to the ceiling, carvings list the walls of this special church. Could have been particularly beautiful, were it not that almost 400 kilograms of gold leaf have been stuck to these wooden sculptures. They have let themselves go in thousands of details. It is as if the golden walls are melting. The ticket also gives access to the adjoining rooms where an extensive collection of religious gadgets is collected. Including the most awful images we have ever seen. Also to visit is a creepy burial cellar. A lot of stairs bring us to the Miradouro da Vitoria. This private terrace against the hillside is generously shared with tourists by the owner. We enjoy a beautiful view over the terracotta roofs of the old city. We stop at Museu Romantico where you can see for € 2.20 how people lived at the end of the 19th century. The terrace next to the museum offers a beautiful view over the Douro Valley. Adjacent to the museum is a large city park: Jardins do Palacio de Cristal. The gardens are surrounded by lush romance and a tight French influence and are definitely worth a visit. The palace, after which the gardens are named, was demolished in the 1950s and replaced by an incredibly ugly sports hall. Nearby you will find another ugly modern building: Casa da Música looks like a crashed spaceship. When we return to the city center we decide to make haste. We see a romantic sunset on the upper deck of the Ponte Luis I. Although a lot of people gather here to enjoy this spectacle together, everyone can get a perfect spot. The sun slowly falls behind the hills of the Douro Valley. The picturesque façades of Ribeira show even warmer colors in the evening light. After sunset you have a nice view of the cozy city from the bridge.

hiking
4 months ago

We started walking this trail hoping it would take us through some neighbourhoods and streets we haven't seen yet as we've already explored parts of Porto on our own. While it did take us to some beautiful areas, we started venturing off the main trail as we saw streets that looked more interesting to us.

hiking
9 months ago

We walked most of this. Porto is very urban, so be prepared for noise, exhaust, and congestion. Also very crowded with tourists. The up and down nature did not bother us as much as the traffic. The city is also undergoing a great deal of renovation and construction, which doesn’t help. We just spent time in Lisbon, which was much better for walking.

hiking
1 month ago

hiking
5 months ago

hiking
8 months ago