Baixa (City Centre)

Porto’s Centre lies at the heart of the city, surrounds its historic centre and is where businesses and services were traditionally concentrated. Although some services have moved out to more modern areas and some shops to the big shopping centres, it is in this central zone that you will find a range of activities in an area which you can easily traverse on foot but which is also served by metro, buses and the tram.

Here you will find the city’s civic centre, along the axis of the Avenida dos Aliados, with the city hall at the top end and it is here that cultural, sporting and leisure events all take place. These include concerts, themed fairs and even rallies that unite large numbers of locals and any visitors in town.

It is in the city centre that you will find the great traditional shopping streets like Rua de Santa Catarina, the traditional (Bolhão) and alternative markets and important monuments including civic buildings, churches and museums, some of which are clad, or decorated inside, in the type of magnificent tile panels that can be admired at various points around the city. The buildings here create a curious mosaic of different architectural styles, from the Neoclassical to Art Nouveau, amongst which the Livraria Lello stands out, one of the three most beautiful bookshops in the world.

In this neighbourhood a lot of traditional restaurants, cafés and bars, like Majestic, have survived and, today, eating places proliferate, with all sorts of cuisine on offer. Daytime and nightlife entertainment options, catering to all tastes and at all times of the day and night, also thrive here, filling the streets and turning the city’s central area into an enormous stage where the city puts itself on show.

There are a number of concert halls in the city centre which, in addition to their heritage value, also contribute to a varied calendar throughout the year. They are complemented by the events and cultural offerings of this area, from the concentration of art galleries in the Miguel Bombarda quarter to the street entertainment found at spots like the Praça Parada Leitão, the Praça D. Filipa de Lencastre and the Praça D. João I, amongst many others.

With its vast range of accommodation options, the City Centre harbours a thousand hidden delights and an intense experience that deserves to be shared.

Location: Porto
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