While the Port of Leixoes is not a major tourist attraction, it receives cruise vessels and passengers coming to see the city it serves, Porto. With 2000 thousand years of history and a city center that is a World Heritage Site, the City of Porto offers visitors an almost limitless supply of things to see and do. The city center contains many buildings of architectural and historic distinction.
Visitors to the Port of Leixoes’ Porto will want to see the medieval Igreja de Sao Francisco that was gilded with 400 kilograms of gold when constructed. In 1809 when Napoleon’s troops used the place as a stable, some of the gold came off. But it is still an astounding place to see. Mass is no longer held here and visitors can tour the church for a modest fee, including a fascinating ossuary below the church.
The Casa da Musica in the Port of Leixoes’ Porto city center is an amazing new concert hall. Designed in a modern style that defies both the senses and gravity, the concert hall opened in 2005 to the delight of the citizens. Like an Escher drawing, the exterior shape of the building is unique, and inside are steel staircases that seem to descend on a slant, warped windows, and a light-filled auditorium. Tours in English are available daily.
The Fundacao de Serralves is the city’s modern art museum, filled with sometimes baffling works that are well worth the visit. Also worth the trip is the park surrounding the museum with a beautiful rose garden, an arboretum, a lake, and a small farm.
Travelers who want to visit the Port of Leixoes and the City of Porto can find a list of scheduled cruises by searching for “Leixoes” on the Cruise Compete website.