Ribeira Free Tour
Discover the Secrets of Douro
Porto was born with the Douro and the history of the city is inseparable from this wonderful river. That's why we created a guided tour that the city has been asking for and deserving for a long time: the Free Tour of Ribeira. From ancestral myths to political games worthy of a TV series, Free Tour of Ribeira tells the story of a people and its intimate relationship with the Douro and the sea. In our Free Tour of Ribeira we will talk about the origins of the city of Porto, the conflicts between bishops and merchants, the centuries of Portuguese expansion around the world, the foundation of the Companhia das Vinhas do Alto Douro, fishing and codfish, Port wine, unlikely legends and unforgettable heroes. In times gone by the Douro was a brave and stormy river and no less tumultuous is the history of the wonderful Ribeira do Porto and we hope that our Free Tour of the Ribeira will show you this. We will start where it all began, at the "Morro de Pena Ventosa", at the Cathedral of Porto. From here the city grew to the Ribeira and from the Porto Cathedral walls were built to protect the city and also to regulate trade. Power and trade are part of Porto's genetic code and our Free Tour of the Ribeira begins by recounting this history rich in disputes and quarrels. From the Cathedral we will descend through the oldest streets of the historic centre, many of them with names closely related to the commercial activities that took place there in medieval times. When we reach the Largo de São Domingos, leaving the narrow and labyrinthine streets of the Cathedral of Porto, we will talk about one of the most important dates in the history of the city, the day when the long struggle between the clergy and the bourgeoisie came to an end. Continuing downwards, we will arrive at the Church of São João Novo, where the friars of the Order of St. Augustine arrived more than five centuries ago. Did you know that inside the church there is a patron saint that highlights the commercial and spiritual closeness between the Augustinians and the Anglo-Saxons? Our Free Tour of the Ribeira could not fail to mention another commercial and spiritual relationship, this time the one the Portuguese have with a particular fish, cod. We will talk about trade treaties with England, Portuguese princesses in Denmark and one of the most famous cod dishes in the country, the bacalao à Gomes de Sá. We will take the opportunity to discover, after all, how many ways there are to cook cod. The Free Tour of Ribeira will then move on to Miragaia, one of Porto's most typical riverside neighbourhoods. In former times, Miragaia was the residence of sailors and ship captains on the routes to India and Brazil. On its beach, the King's shipyards were located and the Free Tour of Ribeira will take you back in time to remember this important period of Portugal's history. Near the Museu dos Transportes, the city of Porto opens up to the Douro River and with the river as a witness, the Free Tour of Ribeira will reveal some surprising curiosities about the Douro River and the famous Port Wine. Do you know which is the oldest Demarcated Region in the world? Do you know which is the rock that contributes most to the richness of the Douro wines? And how many producers and grape varieties there are in this region? There are answers that only the Free Tour of Ribeira could give you and some of them will surprise you. In the Rua do Infante we will change register and talk about one of the biggest tourist attractions of Porto "on land", the old trams, the first ones that circulated in the Iberian Peninsula. And before going up to Praça do Infante, the Free Tour of Ribeira will tell you a curious story of a clandestine wedding in the middle of the Douro River. At Praça do Infante we will have the opportunity to admire three memorable monuments of the city of Porto: the São Francisco Church, the Stock Exchange Palace and the Ferreira Borges Market. The Gothic church of São Francisco is one of the most beautiful in Porto, with a rich interior of gilded wood carvings. The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) is a monumental palace paid for by the merchants of Porto as an affirmation of their power. The Ferreira Borges Market is a building of unusual architecture typical of its time. In the Casa do Infante we will talk about Prince Henry the Navigator, born in the city of Porto, and his relationship with the city. And back on the banks of the Douro, the Free Tour of the Ribeira will take in one of the most controversial figures in Portuguese history, the Marquis of Pombal. Charismatic, authoritarian, bloodthirsty, the Marquis was crucial to the expansion of the region's wine industry and we'll reveal why. Long before roads existed, the Quintas that produced the prized Port wine were only accessible by the untamed and tempestuous Douro River. No Free Tour of Ribeira could fail to pay homage to the Rabelo Boats and their intrepid crews who daily tore through the rough and treacherous waters of the Douro, laden with barrels of Port Wine. We will finish our Free Tour of Ribeira near the D. Luís I bridge and we will also talk about tragedies, the extraordinary Dona Antónia Ferreira, and the enormous figure that was the Duque da Ribeira, a lifeguard on the river. The Free Tour of Ribeira is much more than a guided tour of the city of Porto. It is a path made of legends and revolts, of political games and commercial interests, it is the trail through the soul of a people that received and gave everything from a river. Join us and embark on a unique and unforgettable journey.
The Origin of Porto and the Cathedral
Casa dos 24 and Power Struggles
Rua das Bainharias and Medieval Expansion
Largo de São Domingos
Miragaia and the Portuguese Maritime Expansion
Museu dos Transportes and Tales of the River
The First Electrical Trams in Iberia
The Story of Codfish and Portugal
Church of São Bento
Henry the Navigator
...and much more!
Minimum number of participants.
Groups of 7 to 15 people are always welcome. In this case, we ask for a prepayment in cash of 10 euros per person (from 13 years old) and 5 euros per kid (6 to 12 years old) at the meeting point. Children under 6 years old are free of charge. This principle arises from the need to protect and value the level of quality and dedication that we demand from our Take Lisboa guides.
For group bookings of 16 or more people, contact us to arrange a private tour.
Please note that this Free Tour only takes place with a minimum of 4 adult participants.
How long does the Free Tour take?
In what language is the Free Tour?
The Free Tour lasts around 2h30.
The tour is exclusively in English.
What's included in the tour?
What's not included in the tour?
The tour includes a local English-speaking guide expert in our history and ready to give you great tips to make your stay in Porto unforgettable.
The tour does not include transportation, entrance to monuments or meals.
How do I book the Free Tour?
You can book your Free Tour by clicking the Book Now button on this page, then choose the date and complete the booking form. You will receive your confirmation immediately. If you have any difficulties please contact us by email, phone or Whatsapp:
firstname.lastname@example.org | +351 914 059 080
Is booking mandatory?
Booking is usually not mandatory you can just show up at our meeting point and join the Free Tour. Although it is recommended especially during public holidays and festivities, at such dates you should book as soon as possible to guarantee availability.
How do I get my ticket?
Once you book the Free Tour a Booking Confirmation is sent by email. If you do not receive the confirmation email check your spam or contact us.
You do not need to print the confirmation, you can present it to our team on your phone/tablet at the beginning of the Free Tour.
Is the Free Tour accessible?
No. This Free Tour is not recommended for people with reduced mobility.