Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar

Vila Nova de Gaia

Watching over Gaia is this 17th-century hilltop monastery, with its striking circular cloister, church with gilded altar, and stellar river views from its cupola (it's one of the few places where you can glimpse the Ponte de Dom Luís I from above). Requisitioned by the future Duke of Wellington during the Peninsular War (1807–14), it still belongs to the Portuguese military.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Vila Nova de Gaia attractions

1. Teleférico de Gaia

0.08 MILES

Don't miss a ride on this aerial gondola that provides fine views over the Douro and Porto on its short, five-minute jaunt. It runs between the southern…

2. Jardim do Morro

0.08 MILES

The cable car swings up to this hilltop park, which can also be reached by crossing the upper level of Ponte de Dom Luís I. Shaded by palms, these gardens…

3. Ponte de Dom Luís I

0.21 MILES

Completed in 1886 by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the bridge’s top deck is now reserved for pedestrians, as well as one of the city’s metro lines; the…

4. Cais da Ribeira

0.25 MILES

This riverfront promenade is postcard Porto, taking in the whole spectacular sweep of the city, from Ribeira's pastel houses stacked like Lego bricks to…

5. Espaço Porto Cruz

0.27 MILES

This swanky port-wine emporium inside a restored 18th-century riverside building celebrates all things port. In addition to a shop where tastings are held…

6. Igreja de Santa Clara

0.32 MILES

Once part of a Franciscan convent, this church hides an opulent interior behind its unassuming facade. Gothic in shape, with a fine Renaissance portal,…

7. Praça da Ribeira

0.32 MILES

Down by the Rio Douro, narrow streets open out onto a plaza framed by austerely grand, tiled town houses overlooking a picturesque stretch of the river…


0.38 MILES

From Praça da Ribeira rises a tangle of medieval alleys and stairways that eventually reach the hulking, hilltop fortress of the cathedral. Founded in the…