What to see
Casa da Música
Building designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, Casa da Música was inaugurated in 2005 and since then has become an icon of contemporary architecture, attracting visitors from many different parts of the world.
The programming, which is both dynamic and innovative, ranges from classical music to the forefront of urban trends, benefiting greatly from their four resident groups: Symphony Orchestra, Remix Ensemble, Baroque Orchestra and Choir. The institution also plays an important role in education, promoting concerts, workshops and various activities for families with children and schools. Daily there are guided tours to the building, which has several bars and a restaurant located on the rooftop, with a magnificent view over the city.
This baroque work by Nicolau Nasoni was built in the first half of the eighteenth century. The Clérigos Tower is one of the most emblematic monuments of the city of Porto.
The panoramic view over the city and the river Douro which can be seen from the top of the tower makes the 240 step climb worth the effort.
Capitalising on the recent work to renovate and reconvert one of the most significant buildings in the city of Porto, based on a project which rapidly resolved the restrictions on accessing the complex, a multi-sensory facility has been created which simulates the experience of climbing up the Torre dos Clérigos, which is accessible and available to all visitors. In the building of the Torre dos Clérigos, you’ll find a part of the Brotherhood’s holdings and the Christus Collection, taking you back to a time and space where art and religion complemented each other. Porto is served by international trains, Alfa Pendular (high-speed train), intercity, inter-regional, regional and urban trains, connecting the city to several destinations inside and outside the country. The Campanhã train station is the busiest in the city and the S. Bento railway station is the most central one.
Construction dating from the twelfth/thirteenth century, in Romanesque style, that has been enlarged and renewed over the years up to its final setting, in the twentieth century, resulting in an idealized reconstitution of the medieval cathedral. Special mention goes to: the Gothic São João Evangelista Chapel and the cloister, from the fourteenth century; the enlargement of the main chapel, the Santíssimo Sacramento Chapel and its silver altar, from the eighteenth century (mannerist); the eighteenth century Baroque frescos in the main chapel and the sacristy, by Nicolau Nasoni, and the tiles in the cloister, by Vital Rifarto; the sculpture in the Baptism Chapel, by Teixeira Lopes (father) from the nineteenth century.
São Bento Railway Station
The S. Bento Railway Station was built at the beginning of the twentieth century on the exact location of the former Convent of S. Bento de Avé-Maria. The glass and iron structure was designed by the architect Marques da Silva. The vestibule is adorned with twenty thousand tiles painted by Jorge Colaço that illustrate the transport evolution and events of Portuguese history and life.
Palácio da Bolsa
In the historic centre of Porto, World Heritage Site, Palácio da Bolsa or Stock Exchange Palace, is the city and region’s crowning jewel. The building is designated a national monument and is the headquarters of Associação Comercial do Porto. It was built in the second half of the 19th century.
Of neoclassical style, some of the biggest names in Portuguese architecture were involved in the different stages of its construction, including Marques da Silva and Tomas Soller. Painting and sculpture involved figures such as Veloso Salgado, Henrique Medina, Teixeira Lopes and Soares dos Reis.
Palácio da Bolsa is one of the most privileged venues for holding political, economic, cultural and social events – from ceremonies to conferences and exhibitions to concerts, congresses and parties. Providing excellent conditions, the Palace stages most of northern Portugal’s official receptions and its many rooms mean that it is highly versatile and able to hold a wide range of events.
The Casa de Serralves, the Serralves Foundation headquarters, was built in the 1930s and is one of the best examples of the Art Deco movement in Europe. Rigorously respecting Marques da Silva´s project, the house hosts exhibitions and events. The house is located in the Park of Serralves, a unique landmark of Portuguese landscape, which spreads harmoniously throughout eighteen acres of magnificent gardens, a traditional farmhouse and even a wood. Created by a project by the architect Jacques Greber, the Serralves Park is one of the few Portuguese gardens built in the half of the twentieth century. Located in the heart of Porto, Serralves brings together in one place, the Museum of Contemporary Art, the Art Deco House, House of Cinema Manoel de Oliveira and Park, as well as leisure facilities, shops and restaurant.
Gardens of Palácio de Cristal (Superbock Arena)
The Romantic Gardens of Palácio de Cristal occupy an area of 8 hectares in Porto´s centre and they were designed in the 19th century by the German landscape architect Émille David, in the context of constructing the building of Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace). Currently, the following still remain preserved in accordance with the original project: Jardim Émille David at the main entrance, Avenida das Tílias, the forest and the balconies´ design over the river Douro. We can also contemplate magnificent panoramic views over the river and the city that the viewpoints in strategic places offer to us. It is to be noted that these gardens, making a good use of the botanic heritage and of the ludic-cultural dynamics, is home to an Environmental Education Centre. It has since 2019, a new pavilion that reinforces the city capability to receive Conferences, Symposiums and also Cultural events, such as exhibitions, musical shows and sports.