Vila Nova de Gaia
Things to do in Villa Nova de Gaia
No visit to the Porto metropolitan area is complete without a trip to Vila Nova de Gaia, on the opposite banks of the Douro river from Porto itself.
Accessible by the famous Dom Luis bridge, Vila Nova de Gaia is a city in its own right and extends downriver to the Atlantic coast. And while it is home to historic buildings, museums and myriad riverside restaurants, it is know principally for one thing: Port. Since the 17th Century, all the Port in the world has originated from the hundreds of wine cellars dotted around the city, many of which are open to the public.
Although Port is the reason most people visit Vila Nova de Gaia, it is by no means the city’s only attraction and we recommend spending at least a day wandering around its maze-like streets. Here are some of our highlights.
1.World of Wine
An incredible redevelopment that really brings the WOW factor to the city, World of Wine includes seven different museums, 12 restaurants, an exhibition and events space and even a wine school dedicated to sharing the story of Port wine.
Visitors can explore the district, steep themselves in the wine’s history, drink in the atmosphere, soak up the experience and sample some of the finest examples of Port available. It is a fascinating journey through a world of wine taking in the huge diversity of grapes, soils, climates, landscapes and technical features of Portuguese wine production.
And if learning has stimulated your appetite, each of the 12 restaurants is certain to have something mouthwatering to tempt you. From seafood, steak, vegetarian and fine dining to traditional Portuguese dishes, desserts and brunch on a terrace with the finest views of the city, there truly is something for everyone.
If fine dining is your thing, you can do a lot worse than booking a table at the Yeatman Hotel restaurant, which has one of the best views of the city and is perfect for viewing the spectacular sunset as the Douro river turns gold. This is where high-end gastronomy meets classic comfort, silver service, a warm welcome and stunning views. Immerse yourself in the experience with the Michelin-starred chef’s special tasting menu with accompanying wines or dip your toe into the high life while sipping delicious cocktails. If you have a taste for the finer things in life, this is an unmissable experience.
3. Enoteca 1756
Without doubt one of the most visually beautiful restaurants in town, Enoteca 1756 is just a short hop from the river but has the ability to make you feel like you have been transported to another world. Incredible architecture combines with a varied menu, impeccable service, friendly staff and one of the largest wine lists in the city to deliver an unforgettable experience. Although it is on the pricier side for the area, if you want to treat yourself to a special occasion, it’s a must-visit.
4. Jardim do Morro
For stunning sunset vistas, there is nowhere better in Vila Nova de Gaia than the hilltop park of Jardim do Morro. Arrive by strolling across the upper level of the Dom Luis bridge or, for the more adventurous, via cable car and take in the spectacular views across the river and to the sea from the delightful palm grove at the summit. In the shadow of the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar, another of Vila Nova de Gaia’s attractions, Jardim do Morro enables you to witness the true beauty of Porto.