Cais da Ribeira
The alluring district of Ribeira is made up of medieval streets and seedy alleyways. It is a crumbling but fascinating place, ending at a riverfront square (“Praça da Ribeira”).
With photogenic traditional boats floating at the quayside overlooked by colorful ancient houses, this is the most picturesque spot in the city and the place everyone loves — UNESCO did too, and declared it a World Heritage Site.
Have a refreshing drink and take in the unique atmosphere, and return at night when it is especially lively. There are dozens of cafés, bars, and restaurants sheltered under medieval arches, making it the most popular district in the city for eating and drinking.
The entire city seems to come by on feast days (especially on Saint John’s Day every June and on New Year’s Eve) to watch the major fireworks shows.
In the center of the square is a bronze cube surrounded by café tables, and just around the corner on Rua da Alfândega is “Casa do Infante” (or “House of the Prince”), where Prince Henry the Navigator was born in 1394.
Over the years the building also served as the city’s customs house, and now contains the city archives, including the document of Prince Henry’s baptism, and other articles and manuscripts related to the history of Oporto.
From Ribeira you can also see the series of Port Wine houses across the river, as well as the attractive Cais de Gaia riverfront.
Ribeira is also the most romantic district to stay in the city, and couples should consider Hotel Pestana Porto, or one of the great tourist apartments in the neighborhood.
How to Visit
Location: Riverfront/city center
Getting there: Walk down to the riverfront from city center.