Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace)#13 in Best Things To Do in Porto
One of the most-visited sites in Porto, the Palacio da Bolsa is renowned for its exquisite neoclassical facade and ornate gilded Arabian Hall. This massive building – located in the historic center of Porto – once acted as the city's stock exchange, wooing European bankers and investors alike. Today, you can tour the interior with a guide and see the glass-domed Patio das Nacoes (Hall of Nations) and the magnificently golden Salao Arabe (Arabian Hall, which was designed to mimic the Alhambra Palace in Granada, Spain), as well as the numerous portraits that adorn the walls.
Travel experts and publications consistently laud the Palacio da Bolsa as a must-see stop in Porto. Some travelers say the tour price is a little high, but others note the sheer splendor of the interior and say learning the history behind the building is worth the price.
While you can admire the palace's exterior for free, the only way in is through the guided, half-hour tours, which are available in Portuguese, English, French and Spanish. Tickets cost 11 euros (about $12) per adult and 7.50 euros (about $8) for students and seniors; children younger than 12 can enter for free. The Palacio da Bolsa is open from 9 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. every day from April to October, and from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. every day (with a brief mid-day closure between 12:30 and 2 p.m.) from November through March. The Palacio da Bolsa is located on Rua Ferreira Borges and can be accessed via the Sao Bento stop on the D (yellow) metro line; the Palacio is about a half a mile walk southwest of the metro. It can also be reached via bus (lines 1, 23, 49, 57 and 91 stop nearby). For more information on the Palacio da Bolsa, visit the website.
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 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.
Explore More of Porto
If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.