Porto, the city where you will want to return to.

How can so much beauty, tradition, and taste fit into such a small place that can explore in a few hours?

The Portuguese know it, and it shows in their smile.

For romantic weekends, solitary explorations, or family holidays, Porto is the ideal destination. It offers pleasure and quality to everyone and is rightfully at the top of travelers’ preferences.

Famous for its red wine, football team, cork, and sardines, its historic centre was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.

Porto, beautifully adorned with colors, baroque-style temples, and traditional white-blue tiles (azulejos), draws you into its history and, before even leaving, makes you want to return.

Porto Itinerary

Historical Center

The day starts with a coffee and a pastel de nata, in one traditional patisserie of the city’s historic centre.

First stop is the majestic town hall of the city, Camara Municipal de Porto, with the city’s logo, where a picture here is a must, both in the morning and evening. 

In front of the building stretches Liberdade Square, full of restaurants, cafes, and luxury hotels.

Two steps away, we find the railway station – attraction Sao Bento, which entrance is adorned with the traditional tiles azulejos, representing events that marked the country.

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Cais da Ribeira

Descending towards the Douro river, we cross the pedestrian street Rua das Flores where we find street artists, elegant cafes, galleries, and shops with quality souvenirs. Visitors and locals coexist in a harmonious balance.

We pass in front of the Palacio da Bolsa Palace and discover Cais da Ribeira, the coastal pedestrian street of the Douro River, which is like a postcard with colourful preserved houses, restaurants with fresh fish, and much music: this is the heart of Porto.

At the setting, the impressive bridge Ponte Luis I connects Porto with the city of Vila Nova de Gaia, offering an exceptional view of both banks.

Beneath the bridge, pass the traditional wooden ship, Rabelo, which once carried the barrels of the famous wine.

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Crossing the bridge, we are now at the source of production of Port wine, the region Gaia, where we can enjoy the pretty pedestrian street, Cais da Ribeira de Gaia.

Here the past and the present compose a festive picture with modern restaurants, retro cable car carriages passing over our heads, and, on the bank, the original Rabelo boats inviting us on a short cruise.

Gaia is bustling with wineries, and a visit to their cellars reveals the secrets of Port’s production and sweetens us with its taste.

Buy a bottle of wine and climb the Jardim de Morro Park to experience the hidden secret of the locals; a unique view of the city from there at sunset.

Plan a trip to Porto

Everything you need to know before your travel.

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It is located on the Iberian Peninsula, in the northern part of Portugal, at the mouth of the Douro River towards the Atlantic Ocean.

Since the 4th century, it has had a significant role due to its geographical position, and it influenced the name of the whole country.

The first inhabitants were the Celts, then conquered by the Romains, Moors, Spanish, and British. Nowadays, it’s liberated and is the second-largest city in Portugal and one of the most beautiful in Europe.

Language : Portuguese.   Olá =hello Obrigado =thank you 

Population : 231,800

Currency : Euro

Climate : Mediterranean, mild temperatures even in winter

National Day : 10 June. Death of Luis de Camoes, national poet.

Emergency number : 112 police and medical 

Chargers : Common european charger type F

Porto is a very safe city with warm and friendly habitants. Even if you are traveling alone, there is nothing to worry about.

“The Chronicle of the Monastery” Saramago’s novel about the region of Sintra.

The traditional Fado music and the popular singer Rui Veloso.

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Porto is a small city, so we can easily explore it on foot even within two days. Ideally, visit it for three days to enjoy its beauty, two to cover your curiosity, and four to have time to visit one of the very nearby beaches or the beautiful area of Sintra.

Good destination for the whole year. In the summer you can swim on one of the nearby beaches, but it might be better during spring or autumn so that you would avoid the high temperatures and crowds.

By plane to the city’s airport with code OPO AIRPORT. 

You could also arrive by train via Lisbon or fly to a nearby Spanish airport.

After arriving at Porto airport, just outside the arrivals exit is the bus stop to the center of Porto.

The best choice is bus 601, departure every 30 minutes for 2 euros and a journey time of almost an hour.

Pay directly to the driver with cash or a bank card.

Otherwise, the metro (2.40 euros and the journey time is 30 minutes) or taxi / uber for 18 euros approximately.

Book your accommodation close to the Praça da Liberdade and Sao Bento station

Famous Personalities

Porto is the birthplace of many celebrities, artists, and athletes, such as Olympic gold medal winner marathon runner Rosa Mota and footballer Bruno Alves. Also, here is where they were born many great explorers, such as Silva Porto and Ferdinand Magellan.

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Special Events in Porto

The 23rd of June is the biggest event, the feast of St. John.

It started as a pagan holiday to honour the Sun, but then it switched to a Christian one.

On that day, the whole city, even the churches, is decorated colourfully, parades of disguised people dance in the streets, and thousands of balloons fly into the sky.

The smell of the sardine barbecues comes from all houses, and in the evening, the river gets illuminated by fireworks.

TOP 10 list of Porto

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What to see and what to do in Porto

Sightseeing, monuments and activities in Porto.

The two-level metal bridge that connects Porto with Gaia, created by Gustave Eiffel. When it was built, it was the longest in the world. Impossible to miss it. The areas at both banks are the grandeur of Porto. Cross it to admire the view and enjoy walking at the banks. In this spot, we can find plenty of restaurants and wine bars. Ideal for day and night.

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The grandioso building of city hall in front of the square Liberdade. The best spot to make some selfies.

The city’s historic railway station since 1904. A key attraction due to its mosaics with the authentic style of traditional azulejos tiles representing historical moments of the country. During the daytime, the station is full of visitors, but in the evening, it is quieter.

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The largest cathedral in Porto, situated in the highest area of the city. With a 3 euros fee, we admire the traditional frescoes and the city view.

It’s a baroque-style temple with an impressive bell tower.

Nice illuminated in the evening, while in the morning, you can climb the 240 very narrow steps of the tower with an entrance fee of 6 euros and admire the view of the city from above.

Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas: Two twin Baroque-style temples with traditional mosaic frescoes. It’s hard to notice that these are two different churches, but still, they are separate from a one-meter house. There are various versions regarding its existence.

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Strictly for book lovers. It’s one of the oldest bookstores in Portugal (since 1906) and one of the most beautiful in the world. It was associated with the author of the book “Harry Potter” so fans from all countries are queuing to visit it. The entrance costs 6 euros but will be returned, in case of purchase of a book. Long waiting until you enter, but the interior of Art décor aesthetic will reward you for your patience. If interested, purchase a fast-entry ticket from the official website of the bookstore.

Estádio do Dragao / FC Porto museum: Obviously for football lovers. With a 12 euros entrance price, to the suburbs of Porto, you can visit the Dragao Stadium and the museum of the sports club of the local team. Even better to combine it with a football match.

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This park at the bank of Gaia is the best place to relax and enjoy the sunset. It’s a meeting point for picnics and hanging out with friends.

If you have extra time and are looking for some greenery, take a walk in these peacock gardens, where you will have another chance to see the city from above. Free admission.

Porto Gastronomy

What and where to eat in Porto


While we walk around, we immediately notice the plethora of patisseries with windows full of various sweets. The leading role belongs to the pastel de nata, tartlets of soft dough stuffed with cream.  

Pies in Porto are a necessary combination of the morning coffee and come in many versions with a salty or sweet filling.

Competitors of the patisseries are the shops with handmade ice cream.

Let’s move on to the main course. The local specialty beyond delicious is called francesinha. A combination of beef fillet, chicken, bacon, egg, and melted cheeses compose this traditional recipe, completed by a delicious sauce.

The national food in Portugal is cod. It is said to have 365 recipes for this fish, one for each day. Be prepared to find it in all its versions, in soup, croquette, or roast, often accompanied by braised musky risotto. 

If you like eating fish, you will love Porto since you can enjoy sardines, shrimp, octopus, or shellfish, all fresh and at prices so low that you will not believe it.

Porto is a gastronomic paradise with fresh fish, local specialties with meat, desserts, and, as expected, wine.


The delicious pastel de nata you can buy them everywhere but the best you will find them in the shops Fabrica da Nata, Nata Lisboa or Natas d’Ouro, with a price of about 1.40 euros.

In Amorino, ice cream is an art; the cone becomes a flower, and the petals of it can have a different flavor. Very practical to taste several flavors at once. The small cone at 3.5 euros. Another good option is the historic Santini, on the pedestrian street Rua das Flores, with the same prices.

The best Francesinha, according to the recommendations of all locals, you will find it in the restaurant Brasão Aliados. I loved both its cuisine and its warm atmosphere. Better to book to avoid waiting.

Many restaurants with traditional cuisine are worth visiting, such as the Jimao or the favorite tapas bar, Aduela.

On the banks of the Douro, you will find many restaurants with terraces and an excellent wine list. I choose the Grupo Desportivo Infante as it has a great view, amazing grilled shrimp, and fresh cod; Big portions and price that you will not believe. If you choose to eat there, take cash with you, they do not accept cards.

If you want something fancier, head to Gaia for the most elegant modern restaurants with international cuisine.

What to buy from Porto

Souvenirs and shopping in Porto

A key element of Porto, the cork, is offered for sale in all its forms as objects for everyday use or simply decorative. Handmade jewelry, bags, wallets, or even placemats: All in excellent quality, they are a perfect idea for a gift for everyone.

If you’re a fan of décor, you’ll probably prefer the traditional Azulejos tiles, used as wall decorations, placemats, coasters, and serving trays.

The colorful Barcelos Rooster: a national symbol of Portugal. According to the legend, he was resurrected and crowed to save an innocent man from hanging. It could not be missing from the magnetic and other cute decorations.

If you’d like something more specialized, although not so characteristic but quite traditional in Porto, buy a handmade soap. While crossing Rua das Flores, the retro Claus Porto store caught my eye. It has been operating since 1887 and has preserved until today its authentic vintage decoration and the original scent of handmade soaps and perfumes for men and women. I couldn’t overpass it. On the first floor of this preserved mansion operates the exposition of the store, and on the third one, seminars and exhibitions take place frequently.

Travel Essentials

What to pack for Porto

First of all, you will need your trainers. Porto has a lot of uphill roads, so you must have flat shoes to enjoy the city. Then, take some cash with you. Cards are not accepted everywhere.

Porto Travel Card

Before your trip, you can get the official tourist «City Card of Porto». The card provides free access to local transport, including the airport, discounted admission to the main attractions and other benefits. The price ranges from 13 euros for one day to 33 euros for four days. See the options and detailed information on the official page. For more info visit the official site www.portocard.city.

Interview with a local

Porto through the eyes of Catarina

“I couldn’t imagine Porto without the people (‘tripeiros’) and the river Douro”

Catarina, 30 years old

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From Porto with love x

“I usually prepare myself for my travels long ahead, doing research and studying. But it just so happened that this time that I woke up very early on the first day of my three-day off and found that the temperature suddenly dropped ten degrees. I’m not ready for winter, so why not go somewhere where the weather is still good? On 8.15, I’m looking for destinations that suit me for my outbound and return flights. At 9.00 choose a hotel.9.40 I pack a few things.12.10 On the way to the airport, I note information about the sightseeing. That’s how I found myself in Porto. And I fell in love with it at once!”

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