Things to do when visiting Porto Sao Bento
Sao Bento Railway Station: Begin your visit at the stunning Sao Bento Railway Station itself. Known for its beautiful azulejo (tile) panels depicting historical scenes, it's a testament to Portuguese craftsmanship. The closest transport link is the station itself, serving as a central hub. Local suggestion: Spare some time to admire the intricate details of the tiles, a perfect start to explore Porto's art scene.
Livraria Lello: Just a short walk from Sao Bento, Livraria Lello is rumored to have inspired J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter series. This enchanting bookstore is a must-see for its unique gothic façade and ornate interior. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Purchase your ticket online to avoid long queues and enjoy a discount on book purchases.
Clerigos Tower: Offering panoramic views of the entire city, Clerigos Tower is a short distance away from Sao Bento. Climb the steep stairs to reach the top of this Baroque masterpiece. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Best visited in the early morning or late afternoon for the most breathtaking views and less crowding.
Ribeira District: Explore the historic Ribeira District along the Douro River, known for its narrow streets, traditional boats, and vibrant waterfront. Ribeira is picturesque at sunset, offering stunning views against the backdrop of Porto's wine cellars. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Try the traditional dish, Francesinha, in one of the district's cozy restaurants.
Palacio da Bolsa: Near Ribeira, the Palacio da Bolsa is renowned for its neoclassical architecture and exquisite Moorish Revival interior. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Book a guided tour in advance to explore its ornate, historic trading rooms.
Porto Cathedral: This imposing fortress-like cathedral offers stunning views over the city. Located at a high point in Porto, it's a site of immense historical and architectural significance. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Arrive early for serene moments before the crowds.
Church of Sao Francisco: Known for its lavish Baroque interior with gilded carvings, the Church of Sao Francisco is near the Palacio da Bolsa. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Don’t miss the catacombs for a glimpse into Porto's history.
Jardins do Palacio de Cristal: These expansive gardens offer some of the best views of the Douro River and are perfect for a leisurely stroll. They are especially picturesque in the spring. Closest transport link: Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Visit during sunset for spectacular lighting over the river.
Mercado do Bolhao: Dive into local life at this traditional market, where you can find fresh produce, flowers, and traditional Portuguese items. A short walk from Sao Bento station. Local suggestion: Try the local delicacies from vendors for an authentic taste of Porto.
Douro River Cruise: Complete your Porto experience with a cruise down the Douro River. Offers a unique perspective on the city’s terraced vineyards and historic sites. Closest transport link: Ribeira District. Local suggestion: Choose a sunset cruise for stunning views of the city lights reflecting on the river.