Livraria Lello & Irmão (Lello Bookstore)#12 in Best Things To Do in Porto
A bookstore may not seem like one of the most obvious things to see in a new city, but when the shop is consistently named one of the world's most beautiful, it's worth a visit. Situated among the cafes and shops along Rua das Carmelitas in downtown Porto, Livraria Lello easily stands out with its chalk white, neo-gothic facade featuring intricate carvings and two painted ladies (representing science and art). The early 20th century building's facade was fully refurbished in 2017. Step inside and you'll be even more impressed. The bookstore's interior is adorned with rich wooden paneling and colorful stained-glass windows, and boasts a regal ruby red staircase. As for the books, you can peruse an assortment of Portuguese fiction and nonfiction works, as well as a selection of books in English and French.
Travelers are often impressed by Livraria Lello's allure and say visitors should take a peek inside. Most visitors commend the charming atmosphere and exceptional artistry evident in the Livraria Lello's architecture (and judge it fully worth the small charge). The store also uses its basement space for readings, talks and conversations.
It costs 5 euros (about $5.50) to enter the bookshop, and vouchers can be purchased in advance online. The fee is deductible from book purchases. Livraria Lello can be accessed via the Aliados or Sao Bento metro stops on the D (yellow) line. The bookstore welcomes visitors every day (except for certain holidays) from 9:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. For more information, visit the official website.
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#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 Luis 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, travelers consistently attest. 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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