Time has stopped in the city of Oporto. Although boisterous and full of life, it is not difficult to imagine its medieval past when wandering in its side streets. From its origins in 139 AD, Oporto has participated actively in the economic development of Portugal. The citizens hard-working character, their tiles, forges and bridges, all imprint their particular characteristics upon this charming city.
We can begin our route by Oporto, known as the Mercado do Bolhao, a traditional market of English style that yet retains the flavor of years past. Go towards Rua Santa Catarina - the commercial street here - to appreciate the tiles of the facade of the Chapel of the Souls, and further down, savor a coffee in the charming art nouveau Majestic Café. Descending by Rua 31 do Janeiro allows you to observe other examples of art nouveau before arriving at the Iglesia de los Congregados (Church of the Congregated Ones), with its showy tile facade, and the 18th century Palace of the Cardosas. In order to contemplate the stately buildings, walk the Avenida dos Aliados until arriving at the City Council and the great clock tower. Or visit the soaring Torre dos Clerigos and enjoy the wonderful views of Oporto.
Stroll down Rua das Flores, one of the prettiest streets in Oporto, to see the bourgeois houses and jewelry palaces. Here you find the 19th century Palacio de la Bolsa (Stock Market Palace) with its lobby in metal and glass, and a beautiful Arabic Room inspired by the Alhambra, as well as the 13th century Church of San Francisco with its Baroque façade, the interior of which holds pieces of great artistic value. And then take pleasure in the view offered by the Duero River and enjoy, on foot or by boat, the colorful beauty of the Plaça do Ribeira, admiring the size of the 19th century Bridge of Luis I (constructed by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel). If you cross the river, you will arrive at Vila Nova de Gaia, where it is possible to taste the wine of Oporto in one of the numerous warehouses.
All thats left now are the Oporto cathedral, La Sé (built in Romanesque style, its appearance exudes strength) and the Station of San Bento, decorated with beautiful tiles that detail historical moments of Portugals past.