Ribeira Square and district are the most vivid places in the city of Porto, Portugal. Other than being beautiful during golden hour, where the natural lights of the sky get reflected in all the colorful houses of this area, this place is also where most of the actions of the city take place. All these facts make it be one of the best neighborhoods in Porto. It´s a place you must add to your list when visiting Porto´s historic center and old town.
Sunrise at Ribeira square
Since we posted in our Instagram the photos of Ribeira square or “Praça da Ribeira” in Portuguese, people have been asking us about this place, how can it be so empty!? Although at sunset time this square has a beautiful light, the only way to see it empty is waking up very early. Usually, it will be enough if you get there before sunrise happens. If you are lucky, a little bit latter you will see some fisherman arriving with their boat and bringing the catch of the day, the owner of the restaurants at the square preparing everything… the life of the people in Porto with a colorful sky, it gets beautiful!
Breakfast at one of the Ribeira square´s restaurants
After waking up so early, you will probably be starving. Therefore, once they open, we totally recommend you having breakfast at one of the many restaurants in Cais de Ribeira. Although people will start to arrive, at that time of the day it still isn´t that crowded, and you will love enjoying your coffee by the Douro River. Some of the best restaurants in Porto are at the Ribeira square.
Walking around the Ribeira district
Other than taking hundreds of photos to the colorful houses of these Porto neighborhood, you will love walking through it. Once you get closer to the bridge, you will see the Alminhas da Ponte, which is a very famous tribute sculpture in Porto to remember the 4000 people (not confirmed) who died in the Bridge of Boats tragedy. Although it happened centuries ago in 1809, the locals still feel sad about it and it´s something they truly respect.
Views to Cais da Ribeira, Porto
Believe it or not, the best views to Cais da Ribeira aren´t from Porto. But don´t worry you won´t have to go very far to find them. When you get to the end of the district, you will be by Luis I bridge. Once you are there keep walking and cross the bridge. In the other side of it, you will find another town (which isn´t part of Porto city) called Gaia. There you will find one of the best Porto views. In one side, the view to the Ponte Luis I and in the other side, the view to all the colorful façades of Ribeira square and district.
How to get to Ribeira Square
Now that you are probably convince about visiting this charming place and you´re ready to visit it, you will be wondering how to get there, right? It´s very easy actually, as it´s in the middle of Porto old city. It´s less than 300 meters from many other famous places of Porto like Porto Cathedral, Casa do Infante or Igreja dos Grilos so you can just go walking from there. But if you are further away, you could just take the bus lines 1, 57, 91, 23 or 49. All of them will leave you there.
Ribeira Porto Hotels
Unfortunately, we didn´t get to stay at any of the hotels in Ribeira, but we would have loved to. Waking up in such a charming place seems like it would be a very nice experience. Therefore, for anyone who wants to stay here, although we can´t tell you how good or bad they are, we can tell you some of the hotels that are in this area: Hotel Ribeira do Porto, Pestana vintage Porto, Invicta Ribeira boat hotel… This are just some of them, but there are many more, so you have a wide range of options.