Shopping and Food Tour in Porto (Self Guided), Porto

Porto is home to some amazing stores that sell a variety of unique products. You can find everything from books and perfumes to porcelain and traditional handicrafts. Buy a souvenir for yourself or get some memorable gifts for your friends and family back home. Porto is also a great place to find fashionable clothing and accessories. If you are looking for clothes by local designers, you should start your journey downtown on Rua da Santa Catarina, which is considered the main shopping street in Porto. Here you will find a large concentration of shops and boutiques selling clothes, footwear and accessories.

***Whether you’re in for a new pair of shoes, or simply want to sample the delicious local food, there are a wide range of traditional markets and modern malls to explore.***PH**
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Shopping and Food Tour in Porto Map

Guide Name: Shopping and Food Tour in Porto
Guide Location: Portugal » Porto (See other walking tours in Porto)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 5
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.7 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: ChristineS
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Rua Santa Catarina (St. Catherine Street)
  • Via Catarina Shopping Centre
  • Bolhão Market
  • Café Majestic
  • Cais da Ribeira (Ribeira Waterfront)
1
Rua Santa Catarina (St. Catherine Street)

1) Rua Santa Catarina (St. Catherine Street) (must see)

The Rua de Santa Catarina is a street layout located in the parishes of St. Ildefonso and Bonfim. It is the most commercial artery in downtown Porto, and a large part of it is now closed to car traffic and reserved for pedestrians only.

In 1662 there was a farm in Fradelos where there was a chapel invoking Catherine of Alexandria connected by a path to the Porta de Cima de Vila of the Fernandina Wall. In 1748 , in a document from the Misericórdia , this path is already identified as Rua Nova de Santa Catarina , with its alignment corrected in 1771 .

On the initiative of João de Almada e Melo in 1784 , the street was extended to Alameda da Aguardente, today Praça do Marquês de Pombal . This extension was named Rua Bela da Princesa.

Much of the land to the west of the road, particularly where later was erected the Grande Hotel do Porto in the first half of the nineteenth century were the 5th and land belonging to large lavradios businesswoman D. Antonia Adelaide Ferreira, the Ferreirinha of Port wine.

In 1896, Aurélio Paz dos Reis directed in this street what is considered the first film in Portuguese cinema , the Exit of Workers at Fábrica Confiança.

Rua de Santa Catarina is now home to clothing stores , haberdashery, shoe stores , the Via Catarina shopping center and numerous street vendors, less or more cool. Zara's first store outside Spain opened on this street in 1988.
Sight description based on wikipedia
2
Via Catarina Shopping Centre

2) Via Catarina Shopping Centre

In a sunny or rainy day, in the morning, at noon or even late in the evening, ViaCatarina is the beating heart of Porto's main shopping street.

You are passionate about fashion, decoration, you are looking for new race sneakers at affordable price, you want to buy organic and diet food, traditional and new brands? Welcome to the best place : ViaCatarina Shopping Mall.

This mall is in the centre of ​​the city, near the Café Magestic. It's a modern building that occupies an entire block, it has different accesses to the streets Santa Catarina Fernandes Thomas and Formosa. It has several floors and around 100 shops. There's underground parking which is very useful for this area, because it is all pedestrianized.

As in all malls, there are shops of all kinds, and the top floor is dedicated to restaurants. It really was my salvation in that sense, because I do not like Portuguese food and went to Via Catarina to eat a sandwich or something similar. This floor is decorated in a very original way because it simulates the Ribeira.

As for the stores, it was like being in any Spanish city.

***PH***
3
Bolhão Market

3) Bolhão Market

Located in the heart of the city, this noisy and exuberant market is a sight not to be missed. Bolhão Market is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, of the symbols of Traditional Shops and Stores in the city of Porto. Bolhão Market offers everything from fresh fruit to household goods.

Editor's Note: The market underwent an extensive renovation, that shall be completed in 2021.

Operation hours: Monday - Friday: 8 am – 8 pm; Saturday: 8 am – 6 pm.
4
Café Majestic

4) Café Majestic

The Majestic Cafe keeps the memory and splendour of old times. It follows the ideas of the original Modern style trace and “Belle Epoque”. Its magnificent design conquers visitor's eye with Indian marble, crystal mirrors from Antuerpia exhibits, fantastic pendant lamps, square tables with marble incrustations, making this cafe a comfortable sheltering place.
5
Cais da Ribeira (Ribeira Waterfront)

5) Cais da Ribeira (Ribeira Waterfront) (must see)

The alluring district of Ribeira – the focal point of historic Porto – is made up of medieval streets and seedy alleyways. It is crumbling yet fascinating a place which culminates in a bustling riverfront square, Praça da Ribeira. The 14th-century wall and its four gates flank the Cais da Ribeira; behind it, there are steep narrow streets which make up the Barredo district.

Since 1996, all of historic Porto is considered a World Heritage Site, and although there are some parts that are pretty grimy, the Ribeira remains within the acceptable bounds of cleanliness. An evening stroll by the Ribeira is a must for the lively nightlife in the area.

***
The Cais da Ribeira starts from the Westside of the Luis I wrought iron bridge and follows the riverfront until it meets the Ribeira square. This location must be on all tourists lists of things to see and do when visiting Porto. You should aim to come back at different times during the day.

Spend time walking along the riverfront and look at the products on sale in the shops. Although many are full of tourists trinkets, if you look hard, you will find some interesting high quality and unusual Portuguese products. Portugal is one of the worlds and exporters of Cork. You will find many craft items made from Cork. Some of them very unusual. You will find hats, wallets, pens, handbags , as well as traditional items like drinks mats.

The Cais da Ribeira is packed with cafes, bars and restaurants. They are not only to be found on the ground level, but there is also an upper walkway where you can also sit drink and eat, whilst looking at the ships going by on the River Douro.

The upper walkway is in fact the top of what remains of the original mediaeval city walls. This is where mediaeval Portuguese soldiers would have patrolled. Now houses have been built immediately on and behind the wall. Most have been turned into shops or bars. Find an eating or drinking establishment you like the look of. Sit down and order a Portuguese beer or glass of port. Just people watch, enjoy the atmosphere and follow with your eyes the boats gliding up and down the river. It is a lovely way to relax on holiday.
***PH***

Tip:
The restaurants on the riverside charge extra for the view and don't serve the best quality food... so choose wisely.

Walking Tours in Porto, Portugal

Create Your Own Walk in Porto

Create Your Own Walk in Porto

Creating your own self-guided walk in Porto is easy and fun. Choose the city attractions that you want to see and a walk route map will be created just for you. You can even set your hotel as the start point of the walk.
Historical Churches

Historical Churches

Portugal is one of the oldest countries in Europe, and is home to a number of historic worship sites. The Catholic religion has deep roots in this country, which is why you will see many chapels, churches and monasteries. Whatever your religion may be, you will not be disappointed by your visit to some of Porto's most beautiful places of worship.

Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.7 Km or 2.3 Miles
Porto Introduction Walking Tour

Porto Introduction Walking Tour

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Tour Duration: 2 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 3.8 Km or 2.4 Miles
Tour of Porto's Monuments and Statues

Tour of Porto's Monuments and Statues

Porto is home to a wide variety of landmarks, which the city has acquired over a long period of time. Today the city works hard to preserve these monuments and statues and keep them looking as they did when they were originally built.

** In Porto there are many statues and sculptures all over the city. Each one has its own story and some are very old, so go and discover them. Some are quite...  view more

Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 2.1 Km or 1.3 Miles