Have you ever wanted to be part of a fairy-tale where anything magical is possible? If so, Porto is the place for you. Alice in Wonderland is not far out from the second largest city of Portugal. So once you get to the port, hop on the train and prepare yourself to go down some wonderful rabbit holes in the oldest European centre which is under the protection of UNESCO since 1996.
Discover the majestic cobbled streets, old houses and medieval architecture of the Ribeira district- the oldest one in town. Admire the baroque church towers and enter the gothic Church of S. Francisco to marvel its interior and take a stroll to Cordoaria- a beautiful garden filled with sculptures and surrounded by old churches. If you want to enjoy a panoramic view of the river Douro, the Crystal Palace gardens are the perfect spot as well as Clérigos Tower for a different view of Porto.
If you are not afraid of heights, then the astonishing double-decker Dom Luís Bridge, constructed between 1881 and 1886, which spans over the river Douro will leave you speechless. A neighbouring bridge, Dona Maria Pia which opened in 1876 is equally breath-taking and was designed by the one and only Gustave Eiffel.
As you walk down the streets of Porto, keep an eye out for the Episcopal Palace, built in a late baroque and rococo style which served as a former residence of the bishops of Porto. The Porto Cathedral cannot be missed either. Built during the 12th and 13th century in Romanesque style, the building is quite the attraction. Last but not least, Porto is famous for Palácio da Bolsa, which was built in the 1840s and is also known as the Stock Exchange Palace which will not fail to impress you.
As the name of the town indicates, Porto is mostly famous for its export of port wine. The cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia were mainly responsible for covering the process of exporting the sweet, strong wine. You can join a tour around the area and visit its fields and the nurseries of Cantinho das Aromáticas, a beautiful organic farm filled with over 150 plant species. There are tasting tours and port cellar tours that you can join which will provide you with all the information regarding the history of port wine, its brewing process and of course you will have the chance to sample some of the finest vintage port wines.
And if after all the sightseeing you want to have a little something, you cannot leave Porto without trying its signature dish, also known as francesinha. Francesinha is filled with ham, steak as well as sausage and is topped with melted cheese and filled with a hot tomato sauce…ladies and gentlemen, prepare yourselves!
Porto is truly a fairy-tale land, colourful, filled with life, cobbled streets and hidden beauty. So if you do find yourself wandering in its streets, do not be afraid of getting lost in Wonderland.