One of the best ways to truly appreciate the beauty of a city is to see it from its best angles. So here are some of the best viewpoints in Porto, which will open your eyes to the greatness of Portugal’s second largest city!
Hopefully, you’ll take the time to visit some of these viewpoints during your trip to Porto and experience them for yourself.
I absolutely adored Porto! And since this is my first blog post about the city, I thought showing it from its best sides would be a great tribute to it.
Now let’s get started! Here are the 9 best views you can find in Porto.
The 9 best viewpoints in Porto
Coming up in no specific order, here are some of the best viewpoints you can find in Porto!
1. Ponte Luís I
The most popular place where you’ll find a viewpoint in Porto is without a doubt on the Luís I Bridge! This magnificent bridge is the landmark of Porto and an absolute MUST-SEE attraction on your trip. Together with the historic centre of Porto and the Monastery of Serra do Pilar, it’s actually a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The bridge crosses the Douro River and connects Porto and Gaia with each other. It’s made of iron, it was built between 1881-1886, and it was designed by Théophile Seyrig. Do you also think the design resembles the Eiffel Tower in Paris a bit? Well Théophile Seyrig and Gistave Eiffel were actually business partners! However, the Luís I Bridge was built before the Eiffel Tower was ever constructed. Cool right?!
Now I’ll be honest. It can be rather scary to cross the bridge if you’re afraid of heights like me… because it’s 45 meters high. But please get yourself to do it! Because you truly get some of the best views over Porto from this magnificent bridge. Make sure to also experience the bridge at night when the city is full of lights and the bridge is deserted of tourists.
2. Clérigos Tower
Another popular tourist attraction, which guarantees great views over Porto, is the Clérigos Tower.
You can spot the beautiful, baroque tower from many places in Porto because it’s such a tall building. In fact, it stands at a 75 meter height over the city! The construction began in 1754, originally meant as a bell tower, but today the tower has been made into a museum.
From the top of the tower, you get to see Porto from all of its angles! Remember to book your ticket to Clérigos Tower before your visit. It’s one of the more popular tourist attractions in Porto, and the tickets do sell out quickly. Apart from enjoying the amazing views over Porto from the bell tower, you also get to visit the baroque church and the museum.
3. Sé do Porto
One of the lesser-known viewpoints in Porto is found at the Cathedral’s Tower. You wouldn’t think it – but this viewpoint was less crowded than the one at the Clérigos Tower! And even cheaper.
While the viewpoint is not as high above the ground as the Clérigos Tower view, the Sé do Porto Tower still offers great views over the city. For just €3 you get to experience the church, cloister, museum and tower at once! So make sure to stop by the cathedral on your trip to Porto.
Apart from the great views, you also get to visit one of Porto’s most historical and oldest buildings. The first history of the cathedral dates back to the 12th century! You can learn more of the history during your visit.
4. Monastery of Serra do Pilar
You’ll quickly notice the extraordinary building of the Serra do Pilar Monastery when you stand on Ponte Luís I. Head towards this beautiful building if you want to experience an incredible viewpoint of Porto (and especially the Luís I bridge).
Cross the bridge to Gaia, ascent the road towards the monastery, and just take in the views!
From here you can spot the Douro River, the Luís I Bridge, the Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower – you can basically see the whole city from here! Don’t miss this viewpoint on your trip to Porto.
5. Jardim do Morro
You can find another popular viewpoint of Porto at the Jardim do Morro in Gaia. You’ll reach the park right after you cross the bridge, so it doesn’t take a lot of effort to get here.
While it’s not one of the best viewpoints to enjoy Porto’s beauty (just my opinion), I still think that it’s a nice, scenic place to enjoy a small break before continuing your day in Porto.
6. Gaia Cable Car ride
Close to Jardim do Morro, you’ll find the Gaia cable car. Why not jump on the cable car and get some unique views over Porto?
The cable car cost €6 for a one-way trip or €9 for a round-trip. If you have difficulties walking, then it’s a great way to get to the waterfront in Gaia, which is also where all the port wine producers are located. Plus you get to enjoy some nice views on the way!
We never took the cable car because we preferred to walk down the hill to Gaia, so unfortunately I can’t share my own personal experience of this.
7. Marginal de Gaia
Another great place to enjoy some nice views of Porto is at the waterfront in Gaia – also known as the Marginal de Gaia.
This viewpoint is a bit different because you don’t get to see the city from above, you actually get to enjoy the scenery from sea level. Yet, you can still spot some of Porto’s most historical buildings from here!
Apart from the great views, Gaia’s waterfront is also where you’ll find all the port wine companies! So why not combine this viewpoint with a port wine tasting while you’re here.
8. Miradouro do Passeio das Virtudes
One of the lesser-known viewpoints in Porto is the Miradouro do Passeio das Virtudes. This is a great little viewpoint, which is tucked away from all of the tourists, yet it’s not far from the city center.
From this viewpoint, you actually see more of Gaia than of Porto. But maybe it’s nice with a bit of a change?
I would recommend you to grab a beer and go here before sunset to watch the colors in the sky evolve into the calm darkness of the night.
9. Crystal Palace Gardens
The Crystal Palace Gardens are a bit of a walk out of the historic city centre – you can still easily get here by foot – but it’s not as popular among tourists who are just spending a couple of days in Porto. However, I encourage you to go! Because you can find many gorgeous views over Porto and the Douro River from the Crystal Palace Gardens.
We visited the gardens on a grey day, so this picture really doesn’t do the place justice… but trust me, it’s a lovely area! Apart from the great viewpoints over Porto, you also get to walk in the beautiful gardens, which are full of peacocks. I mean, what’s not to like?
Hotels with great views of Porto
Another great way to find unique viewpoints in Porto is by staying at a hotel with great city views. That way, you also get to enjoy some nice views over Porto all by yourself! Some hotels offer balconies with city views or cozy rooftop terraces – just have a look around on booking.com.
If you’re interested in finding a hotel or an apartment with some great views for your trip to Porto, then here are a few suggestions that I would recommend after doing some research (notice that prices are subject to change). Full disclaimer: I haven’t stayed here myself, but I would absolutely love to the next time I’m in Porto!
- One Shot Aliados Goldsmith 12: Stay in the heart of Porto in this lovely 4-star hotel with access to rooftop included. Enjoy the view over Porto’s streets from a classic, old, historical building’s point of view. Prices start around €150 per night for a double room.
- Vincci Ponte de Ferro: A beautiful 4-star hotel located right by the Luís I Bridge. You can get an absolutely stunning view from this luxury hotel with prices starting around €300 per night for a double room.
- Douro Riverside Apartments: Fancy staying in an apartment with a view over Porto? Check out these small, cozy apartments located in Gaia with phenomenal views of Porto. Prices start at just €293 for a whole weekend.