"Always be on the lookout for the presence of wonder." - E. B. White
There is an undeniable beauty in city lookouts. Magical, some of them unknown, spots where you just stop to enjoy and contemplate landscapes and breathtaking views. Porto’s are simply unique and can´t be missed: inspiring gardens and bridges, impressive monasteries and surprising hidden streets or terraces, spread out all around the city.
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1. PALÁCIO DE CRISTAL GARDENS
Address: Rua de Entre-Quintas 20, 4050-240 Porto
Schedule: open every day from 8 AM – 9 PM
Located just 15-minute walking distance from Clérigos, these beautiful gardens are in the Palace area itself. Walk straight through “Porto” letters, and follow the “Miradouro” signs that will guide you towards the right side of the gardens. Walk down the stairs and be amazed with Porto´s famous bridge: Ponte da Arrábida.
We recommend you walk around the gardens, where you will probably see a lot of stunning and colorful peacocks, and stop for a coffee at the main terrace, simple, but with Portuguese musts: coffee and small pastry.
2. ALONG D.LUÍS BRIDGE AND CROSSING TO SERRA DO PILAR
Address: Serra do Pilar - Largo de Aviz - Santa Marinha, Vila Nova de Gaia, 4430-329
Some people say Gaia´s best thing is its view of Porto. Whether you agree with it or not, this incredible city lookout is surely a must. Walk along the D. Luis bridge upper deck and be delighted with the different angles, colours and lights. Be careful with the metro, as it crosses the bridge both ways.
Once you reach the other side, Serra do Pilar awaits you. Here, you have a couple of options, you can:
3. MIRADOURO DA VITÓRIA
Address: Rua de São Bento da Vitória 11, 4050-096 Porto
This lookout in the heart of the city centre is a recent discovery for visitors. The spot itself is not well taken care of, but the views over the historical part of the city are spectacular. Only 5 minutes walking from Clérigos - just take Rua São Bento da Vitória until the end and there you have it. Impossible to disappoint.
4. PASSEIO DAS VIRTUDES
Address: Passeio das Virtudes, Porto
Just down from Cordoaria square, levelled between the heart of downtown and the river, Passeio das Virtudes is a promenade with a very special feel to it. With an amazing view of the river, is also the perfect location to do a picnic and enjoy the sunset. On weekends, it can get full of young people which gives it a very cool vibe.
5. MIRADOURO DE SANTA CATARINA
Address: Largo Santa Catarina 71, 4150-425 Porto
Last, but not least, this hidden lookout is in the residential area of the city, further away from the centre, which makes it a very peaceful spot. Here, you can appreciate a completely distinctive perspective of the city with a view of both the sea and the river.
You can try and get adventurous by taking the bus and walk up there, but the easier way is by taxi or uber.