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Porto is a quite a place, the areas around the Douro River in particular, but there’s lots to enjoy away from the river as well. The Ribeira district is colorful and historic with some of the architecture dating to medieval times. On the opposite bank is Vila Nova Gaia with the port wine cellars and viewpoints overlooking Porto and the Douro. The Dom Luis bridge joins Porto and “Gaia” and is a focalpoint in itself. It was originally conceived by Gustave Eiffel who hoped that his company could build it. The construction, completed in 1886, albeit by a different company, nevertheless was managed by one of his disciples and is very reminiscent of other Eiffel structures. Porto also has a number of examples of beautiful azulejos, ceramic tiles painted in blue, some decoratively and some narratively.  A number of churches as well as the main train station, Sao Bento, are quite amazing in this regard. Porto is best experienced on foot, each corner revealing a little more. You’ll feel the burn in your legs, but the views and experiences should make it worthwhile.

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