Is it worth the effort (and the price)?
We think so, as well as 99% of people who have visited us. Is it for the fact that the arch of Arrábida Bridge is an iconic location with amazing views of Porto, Gaia and the Douro Estuary? Is it for visits being carried out safely in groups of up to 13 people, accompanied by a friendly guide? Or is it just for the surprise we have at the top? Come here and find out!
But is it a really must?
As far as we know, this is the only bridge in Europe where the arch can be visited. Worldwide there are only three more - in Sydney and Brisbane, Australia, and in Auckland, New Zealand - but it isn't so easy to get there ...
I've got other things to do in Porto...
Climbing the arch is THE new experience in Porto and the perfect complement to a bus circuit, a six bridges cruise, a tuk-tuk, tramway, bike or segway ride, or even walk by the river. It is open to the public for the first time since 1963!
Who can climb the bridge?
Anyone who can climb stairs autonomously and is older than 12 years.
HOWEVER, the insurance only covers visitors younger than 79 years and 364 days.
For this reason, visitors with more than 79 years have to sign a term of responsibility.
Up to how many people can climb the arch at a time?
Each tour is made with a group of between 1 and 13 people + 1 guide. If you have a larger group, we can divide it by the 2 parallel arches (that are 8 meters apart), allowing 26 simultaneous visitors, 13 in each arch.
We can also split larger groups into successive visits, in or outside of our usual schedule.
It is necessary to form a group to go up?
No, we do visits as long as there is one person interested in climbing
Which languages do you speak?
All members of the team speak Portuguese and English; and in some days, also and Spanish, French, Italian and German (please confirm in advance, if necessary).
The exhibition at the bottom of the arch is bilingual: English and Portuguese.
How can I get in touch with you?
You can either visit us at the bottom of Arrábida bridge's arch (on the side of Porto) or call +351 929207117, and we will call you back if we cannot answer immediately.
Do you make visits on weekends?
Yes, we have visits every day except on 24th and 25th December (Christmas) and Easter Sunday; Monday to Sunday and holidays too. WE CLIMB THE ARCH 362 DAYS A YEAR!
Do you close in winter?
No, we will just stop the visits if there are no safety conditions to go up and down the stairs; in fact, we expect to have visits all year round.
Will you be there next year?
Yes, and in the following years as well; with time, we expect to connect the East and the West arches of the bridge, as well as enriching the exhibition with more content.
What is Porto Bridge Climb's schedule?
We are open to the public every day from 14:15 to shortly after sunset.
Throughout the year, we do between 5 and 9 visits per day: the first begins always at 14:30, and then we climb every 45 minutes until around sunset (the sun sets on one of the last two tours). See the Schedule tab for more details.
Do you also have visits at night?
Yes, we usually climb once a month on the full moon night; and every once in a while, we also climb to watch the sunrise on the top of the arch. These special visits are advertised on our Facebook and Instagram.
I have a confirmed reservation; should I arrive at that time, or is it better to come earlier?
We ask you to arrive 15 minutes prior to the time of your booking; after that moment, we may not be able to include you in the climb you have booked.
I will not be able to arrive on time to the visit we had booked. What should I do?
First we ask you to try to inform us by phone (call or SMS to +351 929 207 117)
Then we will try to put you in the next available visit, but we can not ensure that there are vacancies.
Do you climb outside of your regular schedule?
Yes, we can make visits at other hours by appointment, with an extra fee (according to the size of the group).
If you want to make a climb in a special hour, call us on +351 929 207 117 or send us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Where is the entrance to Porto Bridge Climb?
At the very arch of the bridge, along the North riverside of the Douro river, in Porto.
The access is up a granite staircase that exists 50 meters to the West of the bridge (on your left if you turn your back to the river).
The pin on Google Maps is in the exact position of the staircase!
Does the visit end on the same side of the river?
Yes, during the visit we walk up half of the arch, between Porto (north bank) and the top; then we go down the same stairs, and end just where we started.
What is the route of the visit?
In most of the tours, we start at the foot of the arch on the Douro's north bank (Porto's side), and go up the stairs in the East arch of the bridge (the side that is closer to Ribeira). We do not pass to the South side of the bridge (Gaia's side) or to the West arch, that is closer to the river mouth; however, we have good views over that area.
Sometimes, we climb the West arch (the one closest to Foz and Afurada), that offers a more natural landscape. This happens when there is a group greater than 13 people that want to climb simultaneously, on special events or when the sunset tour on the East arch is already full.
Can we use the visit to cross the river Douro
No, because we only have the security system installed on Porto's side of the bridge; we only reach the middle of the arch, not crossing to the South side (Gaia). However, there are boats that do that just 600 meters West of the bridge.
Is there any access to Porto Bridge Climb in the South riverside (Gaia)?
No, for now visits begin and end in the North bank (Porto).
Do you recommend booking the visit?
Yes, as it is the way to make sure you can climb on the day and at the time you want; the important thing is to arrive 15 minutes before the time of the climb, because after that moment we cannot guarantee your places. Use the booking form and get the confirmation immediately.
And for large groups?
If your group has more than 13 people, please contact us (+351 929 207 117 or email@example.com) and we can make a reservation that also includes the West arch, letting up to 26 people to climb together.
A group of 100 people can enjoy the experience in just over 2 hours!
What if I do not have a reservation?
In that case, plase show up at our reception and just wait for your turn; in the summer we have places in 90% of the climbs; in winter, there are vacancies in 99% of visits.
Do you have to pay at the time of booking?
No, payment is made just before the visit, at our reception; you can pay with cash or with debit or credit cards. Only large groups have to pay in advance.
I have a booking; is it enough to arrive at the time of the climb, or is it better to come earlier?
We ask you to arrive 15 minutes before the time of your reservation; after that moment, we may not be able to guarantee that you make the visit at the scheduled time.
I will not be able to get there in time for the time I had booked. What should I do?
First we would like to ask you to try to notify us by phone (call +351 929 207 117). We'll do our best to book places for you on the next visit, but we cannot guarantee that there are places.
Do I need special clothing or equipments to climb?
Just bring comfortable shoes and clothes, the rest is on us
- Slippers and heeled shoes are prohibited; we recommend shoes and sneakers.
- We do not recommend skirts or dresses, for its bad compatibility with the harness.
Can I take my phone or camera during the way up and down?
No, all mobile phones and cameras are taken up in the guide's backpack, and returned at the top of the arch to let you photograph. Before starting the descent, every camera and mobile phone must be collected in the backpack, to be returned again at the foot.
The reason for this is to ensure that all climbers have their hands free to hold the handrail and steel cord, in order to avoid a stumble.
Is there any exception to this photographic restriction?
Yes! All machines that operate independently (similar to go-pro) and that are well attached to the harness, arm, head or chest can be used during all the visit.
Fears (there is no reason to have!)
I'm afraid I cannot climb; what should I do?
We suggest you to visit the bottom of the arch and watch a visit; you can also talk to those who have just gone up and down safely.
For those who are afraid, the experience is even better, because besides the beautiful scenery and the impressive building, there is also a great feeling of overcoming fear!
What scares me most is to have a vertical perspective of the water; is it a problem?
Throughout the visit we never have a vertical view of the water, as there are always at least three meters of reinforced concrete to the left and right.
The climb is difficult? Will I make it?
It is much easier than climbing the Clérigos Tower (another landmark in Porto)!
The visit requires only a moderate physical effort: half of the 262 steps are smaller than 15 cm.
Moreover, the way up and down is done in stages, to respect everyone's rythm; we go up and down as a group!
Those who are afraid of heights or have vertigo can climb?
The feeling of security is high throughout the visit, according to all people with these concerns that have visited us. The arch is 8 meters wide, the same as a two way street
Even so, people who have less confidence are placed next to the guide, for a closer monitoring.
Is it dangerous?
No, the visit is safe. We walk on a 8 meters wide concrete arch, in a stair that has at least two meters of concrete to both sides. On the left side we have a handrail and two steel cables on the right. We are linked to a Lifeline (EN 795) + harness (EN 361).