The city of Porto is known for its peculiar charm. It is a perfect combination of traditional and cosmopolitan, old and new. Below you will find a comprehensive list of ruas (streets) that you have to visit in the city of Porto, either if you want to go full tourist mode or experience how is it to be a local for one day.
The Santa Catarina street is the commerce of excellence of the city. Despite half of the street being now filled with Inditex clothing stores, for many years only local traditional shops and cafes could be found here. The street has a lot of movement, especially at the end of the day and on the weekends, which is exacerbated on holidays’ season. You can find the iconic Majestic Café here, as well as the Via Catarina Shopping Mall and several performers on the streets, displaying tricks, singing (the ‘Kurt Cobain mimicker’ is an icon already) and selling traditional homemade products.
This street’s name derives from cedo feita, which translates to “built early”. The first registers of this site existence date to the VI century. However, the street iself was open to the public as it is on the XVIII century. You can find several performers here, as well as very neat street art and paintings in several walls. It is dedicated to the commerce and by night it sees a lot of movement because of the bars in some of the streets nearby (such as 77).
The first reference to the street dates the year 1234. However, it is known that the street existed long before. You can feel the aura of the ages when you walk upon the old stones that were laid on the ground centuries ago. Many of the buildings still proudly display the scars of time, where once mainly blacksmiths forged the swords of knights and warriors. Yes, this street was dedicated to forging and the name itself is a reference to that (caldeireiros meaning “the forgers”). You can find old shops here, small bars where elderly people from the city meet. One of the secrets of this street is the small bar “Dar a Sola”, where sometimes you can catch Fado going on.
Cais da Ribeira
Surely one of the most beautiful places in Porto and probably the most internationally recognized. The Ribeira of Porto is on the riverside of the Douro River and has been proclaimed as UNESCO World Heritage Site. No cars are allowed here and you can understand why, since the street nowadays is filled with tourists trying to get the most beautiful pictures they can get with the D. Luís bridge in the background. You can find plenty restaurants here or even esplanades if you feel like collecting some Vitamin D during a glorious sunny day. Feel free to venture yourself through the small cobbled streets in the surroundings or to take a boat ride in the barcos rebelos, boats which have historical significance related to the wine production. Do bear in mind that Ribeira is nowadays a touristic site, and you can have some bad surprises regarding prices and quality.
The streets which surround the Sé are the oldest in the city of Porto. In fact, these are some of the few streets possessing that old charm of a long gone city, where neighbours knew each other and would gather on the streets to chat about the latest happenings while hanging the clothes to dry.
Rua de Miguel Bombarda
Miguel Bombarda is the artistic hub of the city. You can find several galleries and exhibitions on the street, alternative restaurants and trendy artistic concept stores. Adding to that, you can catch a glimpse of unique street art made by professional artists. We will share our secret gem: our favorite homemade cakes are located here, in the Miguel Bombarda Shopping Mall. The slices are huge, the price is tiny. Go there!!
This street hasn’t a very nice reputation. Its name literally means “Dark Street”. But do not be afraid: with the touristic boom in the city of Porto in the last years, more and more people began to venture through one of the oldest streets in Porto, right at the feet of the central Sé, where it all began. Constructed in the XIV century, its name comes from the fact that another street built in front of it, Rua da Pena Ventosa, blocked the sun from illuminating this street. It was associated the past with prostitution and narco traffic, but the situation is now under control. As you can see by the picture, many marks of the passing of time are still present to remind us of the gargantuan heritage resting upon our shoulders.
Rua das Flores
Rua das Flores is the most recent trend amongst streets and places for tourists to go in in the city center of Porto. It’s the perfect blend of old with contemporary, housing families for generations and concept boutiques. You can find as well old restaurants and more chic options. The electricity boxes are painted with urban art and every day different artistic performers roam the street to steal your coin with marvelous performances. You can find the Museum of the Marionettes, old bookstores with more than 100 years, a grocery store where you can find plenty of regional/biological products named Mercearia das Flores. However, our personal favorite is the number 221, an old tea saloon which is a jewelry on the second floor. You will recognize this one by the majestic flowers it displays on the top floor, turned to the street.
Foz do Douro
Porto has a special relation with the sea. It’s one of the most occidental cities in Europe, and it’s built in the margins of the Douro River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. Foz do Douro is the junction between the river and the sea, and the view is simply breathtaking. Venture yourself here for a walk in the afternoon on the beaches, watch the breathtaking sunset on the afternoon and admire the seaside by night after a revigorating day in this magic scenario. And you can record it all with our premium services, recording a professional video and photos’ session to capture forever these amazing moments of freshness.