The first stop of a short holiday in Portugal, I though Porto was one of the most fascinating cities I have ever visited. Most of these pictures are of the Douro valley and adjacent Ribereira neighbourhood,which is definitely the most spectacular part of town. Outside of this central area, much of Porto-proper has a varied and sometimes derelict cityscape that is strangely reminiscent of Belgium. I would probably have posted the pictures I made there too if they had been in any other town, but here they would pale in comparison to Porto’s greatest asset. The Ribeira district was declared a Unesco World Heritage site in 1996, but nonetheless manages to feel authentic and inhabited by locals. A lot of tourists already visit Porto, and the number is increasing. Sadly, mass-tourism is probably the only way to fund the restoration of the area’s large number of dilapidated buildings (and for many, outside the Unesco zone, it is probably too late).

Outside Porto-proper, much of the urban area consists of clean Mediterranean-style suburbs, and some neighbourhoods with smaller, traditional-style houses.

View to the east from Ponte do Infante, with a railway bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel:
1 P1370800ddd1b P1370800ddd1c P1370800dddPonte do Infante (right) and Ponte Luís I (far left), with the eastern part of central Porto on the opposite bank (from the Vila Nova de Gaia bank):
2 P1370898def2b P1370898def3 P1370934bUnder Serra do Pilar monastery and Ponte Luís I:
4 P1380004bPonte Luís I, which was also designed by Gustave Eiffel:
5 P1370967b6 P1380029bView to the east from Ponte Luís I, with Serra do Pilar on the right:
P1380179bb-small8 P1380233ddView towards Serra do Pilar from the central side of Ponte Luis I:
9 P1380239bEscada dos Guindais from Ponte Luis I:
10 P1380189bbb

11 P1380181Ponte Luis I from Escada dos Guindais:
12 P1370544d1Escada dos Guindais:
13 P1370557bCentral Porto from Vila Nova de Gaia, with Ponte Luis I on the right:
14 P1380067cIgreja de São Francisco seen from Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique:
15 P1370367bThese houses on also have doors on their top floor, which are on street level at the back:
16 P1370337cThere are many narrow streets in central Porto, these are behind the houses on the last picture:
17 P1360838b18 P1360823b19 P1360904bThese streets lead down to behind São Bento station:
20 P1360807b São Bento station:
21 P1360803b (2)Next-to São Bento station:
22 P1360803b23 P1360747bSão Bento station:
24 P1370285dOpposite São Bento station:
25 P1370259bEntrance of Mercado do Bolhão
26 P1360645bArt Deco buildings in the newer part of the centre:
27 P1380454b28 P1380465b Art Deco by the Douro, on Rua do Ouro:
29 P1360982bPonte da Arrabida, near to where the Douro flows into the Atlantic:
30 P1370021b

Near Ponte da Arrabida:
31 P1370031

Lisbon, Portugal, 2015-03-01-04 (17 photos)
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