Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis (National Museum Soares dos Reis)#13 in Best Things To Do in Porto
Founded in 1833, the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis was Portugal's first public art museum. Art lovers will appreciate the expansive collection housed here, as well as the ornate building itself. Occupying a former royal residence, the museum features much of the work of its namesake, António Soares dos Reis, including his famous marble sculpture, "O Desterrado" ("The Exiled"). Inside the museum you'll find a vast selection of Portuguese paintings and sculptures from the 16th to 20th centuries created by a variety of artists. The museum also features furniture, jewelry, fabric work and glassware. Recent visitors noted they were pleasantly surprised at both the beauty of the extensive collections and the regal building, calling the museum "a real gem."
Tickets for admission to the National Museum Soares dos Reis cost €5 EUR (about $7 USD) for adults and €2.50 EUR (about $3.50 USD) for children, seniors and Porto Card holders. The museum is open Tuesdays from 2 to 6 p.m., and Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. (Admission on Sundays is free until 2 p.m.) You'll find the museum on Rua D. Manuel II, less than a mile northwest of the Church of Saint Francis and Stock Exchange Palace. The Aliados station on the D (yellow) line is the nearest metro stop; from the metro, it's a little less than a mile walk southwest to reach the museum. For more information on the National Museum Soares dos Reis, visit the facility's 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 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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