Get to know the six bridges of Porto that connect the cities of Porto and Gaia on the Douro River.
More than serving as a link between the two cities, the six bridges of Porto are unforgettable landmarks of the city’s history, being works full of stories and curiosities. In fact, the city of Porto is recognized as being the only European city with six bridges over the river. Although, of course, Vila Nova de Gaia have the same number of bridges, recognition falls on the city “invicta” because it is the one that deals with all the management and maintenance of them.
Maria Pia Bridge
The first railway link of the city was designed by Gustave Eiffel and built between 1876 and 1877. Under the orders of the engineer Eiffel, who would become known worlwide later by the Eiffel Tower in Paris, the Maria Pia bridge became an engineering landmark due to the complexity of the structure that supported the 354-meter rail board.
Due to the advances of technology and the rapid evolution of transport, the Maria Pia bridge begin to fail the needs for which it was destined, falling into disuse and closing at the end of the 20th century.
Luís I Bridge
Perhaps the best known of the six bridges of Porto, the Luis I bridge began to be built in 1881 and was inaugurated in 1886. Legend say that the Bridge would be called “Dom Luis I” but that due to the king’s absence at its inauguration, the unsatisfied population renamed it “Luís I” being denominated like that to this very day, although the inscriptions in the plates still add “Dom” to the name.
Being a symbol of the city and one of the main crossings, the bridge still supports the subway in the upper board, thus making the link between “S.Bento” station and “Jardim do Morro”.
Due to the increasing flow of traffic, a railway bridge started to not meet the needs of the population. Therefore, in the 1930s, the Arrábida bridge began to be designed, beginning its construction in 1957 and ending in 1963. At the time of its construction it was considered the largest reinforced concrete bridge in the world, being in 2013 considered a national monument.
São João Bridge
Like the Arrábida Bridge, the São João bridge was also designed by Edgar Cardoso in the middle of the 20st century and was inaugurated in 1991. It was named “São João” as a tribute to the most acclaimed popular saint in the city of Porto. Currently, its upper board serves the “North Line”, serving the train network towards the south of the country.
Ponte do Freixo Bridge
The Freixo Bridge was born in 1995 to continue to respond to the increasing needs of the population, to whom the bridges of Arrábida and Luís I were already beginning to be insufficient. Led by Professor António Reis, the Freixo bridge is the most peripheral of the six bridges of Porto, serving today as one of the main points of entry / exit of the city.
Infante D. Henrique Bridge
The most recent of the six bridges of Porto is the Infante D. Henrique bridge, inaugurated in 2003, being the person in charge of the work the Engineer José Ordóñez. At 371 meters long and 20 meters wide, this elegant bridge is the longest arch bridge with only one board (top) in the world.
Get to know more of the six bridges with Yours
Located in the historical center of Porto, our Yours Guesthouse & Bistro, which is just minutes from the iconic Luis bridge and Ribeira, has partnerships with companies that carry out cruises of the six bridges of Porto.
With boats inspired by traditional Rebelo boats, the Douro Azul runs daily cruises of 60-minute to six bridges with audio guides in 16 different languages!
Price € 10 per adult (+ € 2 if you wish to visit two emblematic Porto wine cellars) and € 5 per child (4 to 12 years old).
As well as crossing the six bridges, the Douro Acima also offers the opportunity to visit the Douro and Alto Douro vineyards, allowing to take a boat upstream or downstream until reach Douro or further up to Pinhão. Return trips included with typical Portuguese lunch.
Prices at week: 60 € / pax up Porto Régua, 55 € / pax down Porto Régua, 70 € / pax up port pinhão, among other options.
Come to us at Rua dos Caldeireiros 135, Porto, and know all the options and conditions available. We will be happy to help you choose the best option for you.