What to visit in Portugal: 10 Secret Gardens in Porto ♦ If you’re a fan of Alice in Wonderland, Porto is the perfect city for you! With its magnificent and imposing architecture, you can’t even imagine what many doors – that sometimes just look like rabbit holes – hide behind them. For you, Secrets from Portugal will unveil some of the most paradisiac gardens that Porto hides. You’ll feel like you’re in a scene from Alice in Wonderland and, hopefully, you’ll love it!
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Rota do Chá means “tea route” in Portuguese, and, true to its name, this boho tea house carves a path through the world’s tea plantations with a selection of more than 300 teas from places like China, Laos and Kenya. The entryway has cute booth seating and a colourful dining area can be found upstairs, but the star of the show is the big shaded back garden. Here a crossed-legged Buddha sits tall in the centre while birds chirp in the trees, creating a calm inner-city paradise.
Address: Rua de Miguel Bombarda 457
The Casinha Boutique Café is conveniently located a five-minute walk from Casa da Música, Porto’s iconic concert hall. At first glance, it looks like a small deli with limited seating, but head down the corridor past the counter and you’ll find another room leading to a leafy garden. Beat the summer heat by plonking yourself under a tree with an açai bowl or cone of homemade ice-cream.
Address: Avenida da Boavista 854
Breyner 85 is a top spot for music lovers with weekly DJs and jam sessions held in the upstairs concert hall, while ad hoc events take place in the big backyard during summer. Regardless of the lineup, from around May until September you can chill on the lawn with a bevvy in hand or drop in for weekend brunch between noon and 3 pm.
Address: Rua do Breiner 85
Letraria is a new kid on the block in Porto and adds to the city’s burgeoning artisanal beer scene. The bar’s spacious back garden is already proving popular with locals and travellers alike, who swing by for late afternoon brews chosen from 20-odd taps. With big shady trees and a chilled out atmosphere, Letraria will be a sure hit this summer.
Address: Rua da Alegria 101
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Jardim das Virtudes
On the back of the Justice Palace, there’s a hidden garden, known by few. The Jardim das Virtudes is onw of the many hidden charming of the Undefeated city. A characteristic that distinguishes it from many others is that it’s vertical, which means it develops on terraces along the street.
With a panoramic view over Alfândega do Porto, the Jardim das Virtudes occupies the old Companhia Hortícula Portuense, bought by the Porto’s town hall. The garden was once known by its camellias and, among other secrets, in this place you can find the biggest Ginkgo Balboa from Portugal.
Address: Passeio das Virtudes 53-3
Palácio de Cristal Gardens
The Palácio de Cristal Gardens are a pleasant green space in Porto, from where you can enjoy dazzling panoramics of Rio Douro to the sea. Its gardens were projected in 1860 by the German landscaper Emílio David, surrounding the Palácio de Cristal. The romantic gardens have always been a privileged stage for many cultural and social events. Inside the garden, you’ll find the Almeida Garrett library, a restaurant and a terrace with views over the lake. Here, you will also find peacocks that walk in freedom.
Address: Rua de Dom Manuel II
Parque de São Roque
With over than 4 hectares, the Parque de São Roque is located a bit out of the touristic circuit of the city, but it deserves all our attention. It has a lot of green spaces and offers a breathtaking view of the Bonfim Church and Rio Douro. Full of corners, the Parque de São Roque has romantic gardens characteristics, with granite sculptures and benches, and even a chapel.
Address: Rua São Roque da Lameira 2040
Jardim do Passeio Alegre
The Jardim do Passeio Alegre is one of the most beautiful green spaces in the city. Its location is already breathtaking, in Foz do Douro. But there are many other reasons to visit this amazing garden. Like the Palácio de Cristal Gardens, this was designed by the German landscaper Emílio David and it has lots of different trees that dress up with new colours on every season of the year.
On one side is the palm grove and, on the other side, wonderful trees that give shade due on hot summer days. In autumn it’s a beauty to watch the leaves fall from the trees, with different shades. If you want to discover this garden, we advise you to take the electric that stops in front of the manor houses of Foz Velha.
Address: Rua do Passeio Alegre 828
Jardim do Morro
It’s on the other side of the river, in Vila Nova de Gaia and we can get there by crossing the upper board of the Ponte Luís I, or by metro (yellow line, direction Santo Ovídio, Jardim do Morro station) and it’s where we have one of the best views of the city of Porto, the Rio Douro and the largest vestige of the Fernandina Wall of the 16th century.
Address: Avenida da República, Vila Nova de Gaia
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