Parque da Cidade
Porto’s “Parque da Cidade”
With 205 acres of green spaces, the “Parque da Cidade do Porto” is the biggest urban park in Portugal.
Besides having spaces that represent a valuable city refuge, its area extends all the way to the coastline. So when you visit it, you’ll be able to walk to Matosinhos, Porto’s most popular beach.
About Porto City Park
Although it was inaugurated in 1993, it was initially designed in the 1960s by the architect Robert Auzelle, a renowned urban planner of French origin. The final execution of the work began only in 1991, with the authorship of the landscape architect Sidónio Pardal.
The scenery was conceived using many Portuguese traditional rural construction techniques, which confer its atemporal character. There is an important use of granite stones from demolition of buildings and other structures. The construction of earth supporting walls, the existence of draining puddles (to retain rainwater) and other similar elements, give it a rural and countryside atmosphere.
What to see in “Parque da Cidade”
The Portuguese Society of Civil Engineers elected this parkland as one of the top 100 most remarkable works of the 20th century in Portugal.
Throughout its extension, the park has a wide network of paths almost 6,20 miles long, with several rest areas and lots of surrounding vegetation.
It is an ideal place to rest under its more than 74 tree species. In addition, you can observe the different insects and animals present on the site, such as: toads, frogs, reptiles, geese, swans, etc.
It also has a “rural area” to perpetuate the “Porto Rural” in the visitor’s memory.
On Saturday mornings there is a market with organic or biological products. You can buy vegetables, fruits and homemade products.
Pavilhão da Água
The “Pavilhão da Água” was originally presented at the Expo 98 in Lisbon. Its structure was moved here so that everyone can continue to enjoy it.
The building, by architect Alexandre Burmester, was designed in such a way that it creates the illusion of being suspended in the air.
The playful-scientific experiences that can be discovered by the visitors were conceived by physicist Nils Hornstrup and designer Peter Claudell at the Experimentarium, in Denmark.
Through the use of water, visitors can compose music, observe optical illusions, learn how a tornado forms, how waves behave and much more.
The perfect visit after touring the park, especially if you visit Porto with children.
Shows and concerts
Several events are held in its large green spaces throughout the year, including Primavera Sound Porto.
Sea Life Porto Aquarium
The Sea Life Porto Aquarium is located next to one of the park’s entrances, on the beach side.
Although it is not as big or as spectacular as the Lisbon Aquarium, it is recommended if you visit Porto with kids. Children love to meet the big turtle Mariza, its most popular resident..
How to get to “Parque da Cidade”
The main entrance (with parking) is on Estrada Interior da Circunvalação, 4100-083 Porto.
You can also access the park through the entrance at “Via do Castelo do Queijo”, the avenue by the sea, where several buses pass by. Routes 205, 1M, 500 and 502 are all valid options. A Porto tourist bus route also stops by.
More to see in Porto
In the vicinity of “Parque da Cidade” you can visit these places