Lying at the southern end of Porto’s majestic Avenida dos Aliados is Liberdade Square (Praça da Liberdade), which started its life in the late 18th century when the city began to expand beyond its medieval walls. If you stand in the centre of the square, you’ll get spectacular views of some of Porto’s architectural symbols, which include the Baroque City Hall (Câmara Municipal).
Liberdade Square’s status as the cultural heart of Porto mean that it’s featured on the majority of city sightseeing tours. Travelers can visit the square as part of a walking tour, which typically cover the Church of São Francisco and Torre and Igreja Dos Clerigos, or during a combo tour that takes you to the Douro Valley, a UNESCO-listed wine region. As well as ticking off top Porto attractions on foot or by coach, some tours also include a cruise on the Douro River.
Things to Know Before You Go
- An integral part of the architectural scene in Porto.
- Stand beside the towering equestrian statue of King Pedro IV for a great photo.
- Liberdade Square is wheelchair accessible.
- Surrounding Liberdade Square, you can find plenty of cafes and restaurant that serve Portuguese classics.
How to Get There
There several ways of reaching Liberdade Square by public transport. You can take the metro line D to Aliados or Trinidade, depending on which part of the boulevard you want to start at, or ride tram line 22 to the Carmo stop.
When to Get There
Liberdade Square serves as the focal point for the celebrations of Festa de São João do Porto (Festival of St John of Porto), a religious, midsummer festival that takes over Porto every year on the evening of June 23. The festival involves colorful parades, dancing, and live music.
The World’s Most Beautiful McDonalds
Located just off of Liberdade Square on Avenida dos Aliados, you’ll find what is hailed as the most beautiful McDonalds in the world. Adorned with crystal chandeliers and stained glass, the Art Deco branch of the fast-food chain also serves delectable cakes beside classics such as burgers and french fries.