Best cities near Porto
You are visiting Porto but you're expecting to take some time to explore other northern Portuguese cities? Then you're in luck, we have a list of must-see cities near Porto. Are you ready? We're just a few hours away from our destination!
This city is often acclaimed as "The Venice of Portugal" because it is surrounded by its beautiful canals. Among these canals are the famous moliceiros, similar to the Venice gondolas, but with paintings of the history of Portugal. These are the most characteristic elements of Aveiro, but this city is like an open museum for those who love Art Nouveau or traditional Portuguese sweets, surely you have heard of the delicious ovos moles. Are you curious? Find the best activities to do in Aveiro.
Did you know that Braga won second place as "Best European Destination 2019"? This is an annual award promoted by the European Best Destinations in which a total of 20 cities were nominated. It seems to us a good start to convince you to visit Braga! Braga is, according to history, one of the oldest cities in Portugal, built in baroque, renaissance and neoclassical style. This is also one of the most devout Portuguese cities, over the years, several temples were built to contribute to all the religious heritage that you will find here. Visit the Cathedral of Braga, the oldest cathedral in the country, the beautiful Sanctuary of Bom Jesus do Monte and the Sanctuary of Nossa Senhora do Sameiro. It will be a day full of surprises!
Guimarães is the cradle of Portugal since this city played a crucial role in the formation of the country and it was there where D. Afonso Henriques born, the first king of Portugal. It's easy to understand why is this city so important to the country and how historic it is. Visit its historic center, considered Cultural Heritage of Humanity, the well-known Guimarães Castle and the Palace of the Dukes of Braganza. The streets of this city breathe culture!
This is perhaps the coziest city on this whole list. Amarante is perfect for those who like to appreciate ancient architecture, especially the Romanesque style. The church of São Gonçalo is the most emblematic monument of the entire city. São Gonçalo is the saint considered "matchmaker" and, as the legend goes, those who visit the church can contemplate the statue of the saint and pull three times the rope that surrounds the waist of the saint to ask for a wedding! There is even a typical sweet dedicated to the saint, the "Gonçalinhos". This typical candy is often a laughing matter and, if you have the opportunity to visit the city, you will understand why (sorry, we can't reveal everything!).
We are talking about the Portuguese municipality with more parishes! Of course, we are facing a city full of history and where a visit to the historic center is also mandatory. Behold the gothic medieval bridge of the 14th century and, if you're visiting the city on a Thursday, it's going to be a good idea passing through what is known as the oldest and best open-air market in Portugal! But the story doesn't end here, this city is the cradle of one of the country's most famous legends, the legend of the Rooster of Barcelos! You will find this symbol in several souvenir shops all over Portugal! Not surprisingly, the roast rooster is one of Barcelos' most traditional dishes, huum! Are you hungry now?
So what? Which Portuguese northern city did you identify with the most?