Studying in Porto is a great opportunity to get to know a charming, colourful city with a unique style that enchants explorers, weekend visitors, and artists.

Get ready to enjoy walks along the Douro River, new discoveries in the cobbled streets of the Ribeira neighbourhood, and the iconic tiles that adorn the historic buildings. Learn about everything you can see and do with your friends as students in Porto!

Enjoy an afternoon in the Porto’s Ribeira

Ribeira is the perfect place to start getting to know Porto as a student. This area is distinguished by its narrow, steep, zigzagging streets that are worth the walk.

Along the Ribeira promenade, you will see ancient arcades and multi-colored façades dating back to the Middle Ages. Something characteristic of the riverside district is that the houses are painted with pastel colors that look worn; and because of their architecture, they appear to be stacked like bricks.

This picturesque neighborhood was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In addition, its main attraction for students in Porto are its cafes, bars, restaurants, and spectacular views.

Enter the Cathedral

The Porto Cathedral is the main religious building in the city. Its construction dates back to the 12th century and although it had some modifications in the 18th century, it still retains traces of its original Romanesque style.

However, inside the cathedral is where the true architectural wealth of the building is hidden. The tall ornate columns, gilded altar, and tiles that decorate the cloister are expressions of the Baroque and Gothic style that reigned at the time of its remodeling.

Tour the Palácio da Bolsa

This historic building is one of the most impressive in the city. In centuries past, it functioned as the city's stock exchange, and today its spacious ornate halls give an account of the economic power that Porto had between the 19th and 20th centuries.

When visiting, you will see massive staircases, a library, a large vaulted hall where stocks were traded, and a portrait gallery decorated in the style of Louis XVI.

Relax at the beach

To have fun with your university friends and disconnect a bit from your studies, visiting the beach is a great plan. Like all Atlantic beaches, the water is quite cold, but during the summer they are excellent for cooling off and sunbathing.

We recommend you visit the beaches of Foz do Douro and those of Vila Nova de Gaia.

Admire the Dom Luis I bridge

The majestic Dom Luis I bridge is another of the main points of interest in Porto. In addition, it is one of the best known structures in Portugal. It is one of the three bridges that cross over the Douro River and link this city with Vila Nova de Gaia.

The lower deck functions as a road while the upper deck is exclusively for the passage of a train. When looking at the bridge from below, you will have Ribeira in the background, so the view is impressive.

Fall in love with Lello bookshop

By itself, the neo-Gothic style of the façade draws attention, but the most charming thing about this place lies inside: Art Nouveau in all its glory. Wooden walls and stained glass ceilings make this bookstore one of the most visited places in Porto.

Furthermore, its popularity is also due to the fact that JK Rowling wrote some of the Harry Potter books there. The author lived in Porto from 1991 to 1993 while she was an English teacher in the city. Making it a place a lot of fans of the saga like to visit.

Taste local delicacies

It is impossible to visit Porto and not eat well. The gastronomic scene is among the best in the country and the restaurants serve all kinds of recipes, from the most traditional to the most modern and sophisticated.

To end a day of sightseeing in the city, there is nothing like trying some of the traditional dishes of Portuguese cuisine. We suggest you order:

  • Tripas à Moda do Porto, a dish that is cooked with tripe and meat fat.
  • Francesinha, a famous sandwich layered with pork, smoked sausage, bacon, a fillet of beef, melted cheese, and more. The best option to satisfy hunger.
  • Bacalhau, the popular salted, dried cod of Portuguese cuisine

Admire the art of tiling

Not admiring the tiles on the building façades is impossible when walking through the streets of Porto. These handmade pieces are the clearest representative of the architectural heritage of the country.

They are found both on façades and on the floor and walls. In addition, you will not only see them on old buildings, but also inside bars and restaurants.

For all this, students in Porto not only live a great university experience but also an enriching cultural experience. This city is one of the charming cities in Portugal, and it is waiting for you!

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