Igreja do Carmo#18 in Best Things To Do in Porto
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The rococo Igreja do Carmo, or Church of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, built in the mid-18th century, houses numerous oil paintings and several elaborate gilt altars. The exterior boasts a tile mosaic, added in the early 20th century, depicting scenes relating to the founding of the Carmelite Order. (Another, older church, the Igreja dos Carmelitas, sits almost immediately next door, separated only by a very narrow residence, evidently intended to keep the monks and nuns from the respective churches from interacting in any untoward way. Popular destinations like Livraria Lello bookshop and Clérigos Church and Tower are also nearby.)
Visitors say the blue and white azulejo tiles adorning the outside of the church are particularly impressive. That doesn't mean you shouldn't venture inside, however, as the sculptures, altars and decorations are judged to be quite striking as well.
There is no charge to enter the Igreja do Carmo. The church is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily except Monday, when it opens at noon.
More Best Things To Do in Porto
#1 Dom Luís I Bridge
This iconic arching iron bridge straddles the Douro River, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Though Porto is known for having quite a few bridges, the Dom Luís I Bridge is especially renowned because it was designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the mastermind behind the Eiffel Tower in Paris. Plus, at the time of its completion in 1886, this bridge was the longest iron arch in the world. The bridge accommodates cars on its lower level and Porto's metro on its upper level; pedestrians can walk along the bridge on both levels. Stroll along the upper deck of the bridge and you'll be rewarded with spectacular views of the edifices built into the hillside cliffs that line the river.
Admiring the bridge's composition and the views it offers is something all visitors to Porto must do, according to recent travelers. "This bridge has got to be one of the most amazing pieces of architecture," swooned one TripAdvisor user. "Be sure to walk both top and bottom levels if you can, views are excellent!" A visit here would pair well with a stop at some of Porto's nearby wineries across the bridge in Vila Nova de Gaia. Another option would be to hop on a Douro River cruise or boat tour, which would allow you to see all six bridges in one go.
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