Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market)

#7 in Best Things To Do in Porto
Mercado do Bolhão (Bolhão Market) picture
Sunny Ripert/Flickr

Key Info

Rua de Fernandes Tomás

Price & Hours

Free

Details

Shopping, Free, Neighborhood/Area Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
4.1scorecard
  • 5.0Value
  • 4.0Food Scene
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Scents of sweet fruit, freshly baked bread and aromatic cheeses greet visitors as soon as they enter the Mercado do Bolhão. This open-air market is reminiscent of many you'll find in Europe, with vendors hawking a variety of fresh goods and homemade wares at very affordable prices. The market, which dates back to 1850, is housed behind a neoclassical facade in a two-story building in the heart of Porto. While some recent visitors say the building is in need of some renovations, they note the bustling energy of the market and delectable treats make up for the aging facility.

Bolhão Market is open Monday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and on Saturdays from 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. Entry is free, but you should bring along some cash to spend on the fresh food that may tickle your fancy. You can reach the market by taking metro line A, B, C, E or F (blue, red, green, purple or orange) to the Bolhão stop. For more information, visit the Porto tourism board website.

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Dom Luís I Bridge1 of 13
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Type
Time to Spend
#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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Enrique Aznar De Pedro / EyeEm/Getty Images
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