A perfect day stroll through Porto must include a visit to at least one of its parks. After stopping by the famous Lello bookshop and before heading to have your dinner at Mercado Bom Sucesso, choose one of the best parks in Porto to chill among the centenarian trees, discover some of the supreme views over the city, and look for hidden artworks in some of the gardens.
With its 10 kilometers of walking paths, "The City Park" is the biggest one in Portugal and certainly the most famous park of Porto. It connects the city with Matosinhos, a major port and fishing town that borders Porto, and its western part goes straight to the Atlantic ocean. The Park features small lakes, sports fields, cycling paths, and a variety of flora and fauna. Although it's nestled right between the city's major roads, it offers a quiet and calm environment. Since 2012, Primavera sound music festival happens annually in the City Park, which gives to this event a truly unique atmosphere. Right now the area of the park is over 80 hectares, but shortly it will be enlarged.
These elegant and romantic victorian gardens with paths are famous for a breathtaking view over the city of Porto, Gaia, and the Douro River. There are several thematic gardens inside the park. The most remarkable one was named after the German architect who projected it - Emilio David. It has specimens of rhododendrons, camellias, and ginkgoes, among other trees, as well as fountains and statues that represent the seasons of the year. A restaurant and a terrace overlooking the lake, the perfect place to have a Port wine cocktail and take a break from the crowded city.
Serralves is equally famous for its gorgeous gardens and its precious museum, dedicated mostly to modern arts. Annually, on the last weekend of May or the first one of June, this foundation opens its doors for 50 hours long non-stop "party" that mixes contemporary art and outdoor activities. But don't worry - if you miss the "Serralves em festa" weekend, visiting this place is always a good idea. If not for its lush gardens, then for numerous cultural and artistic activities.
Cordoaria Garden, officially known as "Jardim de João Chagas" is a tree-shaded park with several sculptures in it, of which one is of the famous Spanish sculptor Juan Muñoz. It's right in the city center, next to the Hospital, the University, and the Clérigos tower. The park is quite small, but it's a perfect spot to take a break from walking around the city.
Make sure you include one or more of these gardens in your plans when visiting Porto. Get a bottle of wine in a nearby shop, take a picnic blanket or a beach towel with you, and enjoy one of the best things this city has to offer - its wonderful parks.
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