Clérigos Church
Ribeira District
São Bento Station

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City of Baroque Beauty

Porto is the city of wine and sampling at sunset, filled with Baroque beauty and colors on the banks of the Douro River. A vibrant destination, rich in history, it offers its visitors intense emotions and unforgettable memories.

From your MSC cruise ship, you can disembark at the port of Leixoes and from there you will have the opportunity to make a complete tour of the city, a unique excursion among its major architectural attractions, including Clérigos Church.
Here you can climb up the 75-meter high tower, and after getting to the top of the 240 steps, you will be rewarded with fantastic panoramic views of Porto. Another must-see of your holiday will be a visit to São Bento, considered one of the most decorative stations in Europe. Inside, in fact, the walls are adorned with beautiful terracotta-painted tiles (called azulejos) that recreate the most significant historical events of Portugal. The iron Dom Luís Bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel also deserves to be admired, as does San Francesco Church and Sé do Porto Cathedral, the religious center of the city.

An MSC Cruises excursion will then take you to Porto’s oldest and most colorful district: Ribeira. A World Heritage Site, it is a medieval area located on an impassable hill where narrow cobbled alleys and steep, narrow streets wind through a maze of dwellings with tall colorful facades overhanging the bank of the Douro River.

In Ribeira, your eyes will be filled with characteristic scenes and you will find many wine bars and restaurants to sample the local cuisine. Your MSC Cruises tour of Porto will continue with a walk through the most beautiful streets of the city center, such as Avenida dos Aliados, in memory of the Portuguese participation in the First World War, and Rua Santa Catarina, which is overlooked by beautiful buildings covered in azulejos.  

Must see places in Leixoes/Porto

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    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos
    Golden beaches and coloured azulejos

    Once a powerful seafaring kingdom that dominated the merchant routes to Africa, South America and the Orient, Portugal today is a friendly, low-key place with a laidback vibe and a fantastic coastline, much of it fringed by golden sands and endless dunes.

    Many of these beaches extend as far as the eye can see, and are rarely busy even in high summer, but as they face the full power of the Atlantic, they can be dangerous for swimming. 

    Its rolling interior is perfect for exploring on foot, by kayak, by bike or even on horseback – though a large part of the country’s charm comes from languorous days on the beach, dining on fabulously fresh seafood and kicking back with a beer to watch the sunset over the Atlantic. 

    During a holiday to Portugal legacy of its former wealth and power can be seen in its historic cities; Lisbon, superbly sited on the Tejo river estuary, is popular today for its grand Manueline monuments and medieval alleyways. 

    A cruise to Portugal is also a good chance to visit Funchal, the capital of the Portuguese island of Madeira in the Atlantic Ocean.