1. Cristal Palace Gardens
The Jardins do Palácio de Cristal are a beautiful 8-hectare green space of romantic inspiration located in the parish of Massarelos, from which you can enjoy stunning views of the Douro River and the sea.
Entering the main door of the Crystal Palace complex, we also enter the Émile David Garden, the author of the projection of these gardens in the context of the construction of the Crystal Palace building itself. In this garden at the entrance we can see specimens of rhododendrons, camellias, araucaria, ginkgos and beech trees, as well as fountains with allegorical statues for the seasons.
Avenida das Tílias is another important place because it is here that the buildings of the Almeida Garrett Municipal Library, the Concha Acústica and the Chapel of Carlos Alberto da Sardenha are located.
There are also several themed gardens scattered around the space: the Aromatic Plants Garden, the Medicinal Gardens, the Twin Cities Garden, the Bosque, Avenida dos Castanheiros-da-Índia, the Roseiral Garden and the Jardim dos Sentimentos. Nearby there are also seven magnificent examples of California palm trees.
2. Serralves' Park
Serralves’ Park extends from Serralves’ House and includes gardens, woods and a lake. It has 18 hectares and was designed by the architect Jacques Gréber in the 1930s, being a reference in the landscape heritage of Portugal.
In these gardens you can find a huge variety of plants and trees, including a rose garden, Jardim do Relógio de Sol and Jardim das Camélias, where you can buy aromatic herbs and other plants.
In September 2019, the Serralves’ Park started to have a wooden walkway raised to the top of the trees, called “Treetop Walk”. The route is 260 meters long, between 1.5 and 15 meters high, allowing an experience of observation and study of fauna and flora. The purpose of this walkway is to enhance the park's natural space and allow visitors to have access to a part of Serralves that they are not used to having.
A visit to the Park is a unique opportunity to be in contact with nature. In addition, the gardens and the Park are a museographic setting, as here you can see sculptures that are works of the Serralves Foundation Collection permanently exposed.
3. City's Park
The City's Park of Oporto is the largest urban park in the country, extending between the end of Avenida da Boavista, Castelo do Queijo and the promenade between Foz and Matosinhos. It is open from sunrise to sunset and has three entrances: Avenida da Boavista, Rua da Vilarinha and Estrada da Circunvalação.
The Park was designed by Sidónio Pardal, opened in 1993 and only completed in 2002. With more than 80 hectares here we can find walking places, spaces for sports, lakes and fountains.
It is a space with varied flora and fauna, integrated in the heart of Oporto, so all the natural elements created such as the land, stones and trees make the visitor not realize that he is in a densely populated area.
Within the park there is also the Water Pavilion and at the end of the enclosure, by the sea, you can also visit Sea Life.
4. Cordoaria's Garden
The Jardim de João Chagas, better known as Jardim da Cordoaria due to the strings (men who made or sold ropes) who worked there, is located in Campo dos Mártires da Pátria, initially called Campo do Olival.
It dates from 1924 and is by the German landscaper Emile David, the same author of the gardens of the Crystal Palace.
It is a garden with trees classified as of Public Interest, and it is also an art space for the various sculptures that are scattered around it. Examples are: “Abduction of Ganimedes” by Fernandes de Sá, “Flora” by António Teixeira Lopes, “Ramalho Ortigão” by Leopoldo de Almeida, “António Nobre” by Tomás Costa and “Thirteen laughing at each other” by Juan Muñoz , the most charismatic sculpture of the place.
Legend has it that in this garden there was a famous elm nicknamed "Tree of the Hangman" that lasted about 300 years, where the criminals were said to be hanged.