Porto is often a fascinating and vibrant city which is rapidly becoming among Western Europe’s respected tourist destinations. The city boasts a thorough history, interesting tourist sights, buzzing nightlife, and outstanding tourist facilities. There can be a lot to view and do in Porto, along with the city appeals to a number of different visitors.
Porto is really a historic and varied city, on the warren of narrow streets that comprise the ancient Ribeira district by means of the grand plazas with the Avenida dos Aliados. The region is famed for that production of Port, which can be still stored and matured inside the vast cellars that stretch across the banks on the Douro River. This guide provides an introduction to Porto by answer some in the common holiday planning questions and offer links to help promote detailed tourist information.
Highlights and Main Attractions of Porto
The Ribeira district - The oldest district with the city that is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars.
Port cellar and port tasting tours. These informative tours on the vast cellars produce an insight into the conventional brewing process as well as a chance to sample some from the finest Port vintages.
Nightlife of Porto
The great nightlife of Porto, catering for all ages and preferences; from night time restaurants serving fine food by way of trendy clubs that happen to be open prior to the sun rises.
The Douro River, which can be the scenic backdrop to Porto and is particularly crossed by magnificent bridges as well as the route take it easy boat tours. Historically, the port barrels were transported on the Douro Valley through the Rabelo boats.
Why Visit Porto for any holiday?
Porto is ideally explored as being a city break destination but is another convenient base out of which to explore northern Portugal. While Port wine remains Porto’s most popular export, life we have found anything but aged. The city is actually vibrant, and visitors could be assured of great nightlife, daring restaurants as well as a blossoming cultural scene. The city has an in depth history and that is reflected by its World Heritage protected old town, baroque churches, characterful winding streets and abundance of sightseeing attractions. The city is incredibly proud of its famed sweet alcoholic cocktail and Port continues to be matured and bottled within the vast cellars located across the riverside
How long to be Porto?
Typically, it requires two full era of sightseeing to discover Porto properly. This provides at some point for Ribeira district along with the historic centre, plus a second day for Vila Nova de Gaia, the Port wine cellars along with a short boat cruise. Porto is a perfect destintion like a city break, with varried sights and activities to simply fill a weekend away.
One day will not be enough time to travel to Porto, and then we suggest to always plan no less than one night and 2 days. During the heat on the summer, sightseeing maybe more enjoyable at a slower pace and take more time.
What with regards to a longer remain in Porto?
Porto is usually a wonderful holiday destination to get a week, and even longer. After checking out the city to get a couple of days there are various enjoyable day trips (detailed later in this posting), that is easily visited from Porto. Along while using day trips, you can find the beautiful beaches in the Costa Verde coastline along with the stunning scenery with the Douro Valley. As an extended holiday destination, Porto gets the added advantage of an in depth selection of restaurants, bars and shops, more than a conventional resort town.
When to see Porto?
The peak tourist season is between June and September, however the city is busy with tourism from April to October. Tourists do visit over the winter months (November- February), but there's always the high possibility the weather may ruin section of your trip. Porto has considerably more rain then Lisbon plus the Algarve, and March and April can be extremely wet months. As Porto is usually a major city, all restaurants, bars and hotels remain open over the winter months.
Is Porto suited to children and families?
Porto is usually a great destination for families seeking a town break within Europe. The Portuguese are extremely accommodating and supportive of households, and kids will be welcomed to all restaurants and places of interest. There is really a range of activities that can entertain children, including tram rides, boat rides plus the cable car. The main issues for small children are the numerous steep hills to climb and summertime heat.
Day trips and excursion from Porto
Porto reaches the centre of any region of ancient towns and exquisite natural scenery, all of that may be easily visited from Porto. Suggested day trips include Braga (religious centre of Portugal), Guimarães (historic town), Aveiro (a captivating canal town) or even a cruise across the Douro River on the heart in the vineyard growing region. Our suggested order for day trips if you’re using or buses are:
Douro Valley (nearly Régua),
Viana do Castelo,
With a car hire more with the region may be explored and multiple locations could possibly be combined in one day. Our suggested order for day trips having a rental car are: 1) Braga, 2) Douro Valley (nearly Pinhão) 3) Guimarães, 4) Ponte de Lima and Ponte da Barca, 5) Viana do Castelo and Barcelos 6) Aveiro and Costa Nova 7) Upper Minho (Monção, Valença and Cerveira).
Porto is situated down the Costa Verde, a dramatic coastline of rocky headlands, vast sandy beaches and powerful seas. Dotted along this coastline are traditional fishing towns and likeable beach resorts, including Espinho, Vila do Conde, Povoa de Varzim and Costa Nova. The fishing port of Matosinhos supplies the largest beach near to Porto, and it is only a short metro ride in the city centre. If you’re trying to find pristine beaches plus a more natural setting, head south on the coastline between Espinho and Francelos, which can be served from the Porto-Aveiro railway. Our favourite location for any beach tour is the charming area of Vila do Conde, again served because of the metro.
Porto for any backpacking trip
Porto is usually a popular backpacking or budget holiday destination, as there are several excellent hostels, inexpensive restaurants and a lot of similar worldly travellers. The nightlife with the city is lively and liberal, along with the city is often bustling.
Porto or Lisbon?
Even though both cities have their own own unique character and charm, visitors a new comer to Portugal should think about them much the same. Lisbon is larger, having an active artisan and technological scene, but both cities have pretty historic centres, lively nightlife, are near to beaches, and also have many enjoyable day trips. As a visitor, you simply won't be disappointed with a single one.
Getting to Porto
Porto along with the north of Portugal are served by Porto airport, that's 14km towards the north with the city. Porto airport is usually a major air-port and you can find direct flights since the whole of Europe. Porto is often a popular destination with all the low-cost airlines and bargain flights could be found, helping to make Porto great like a last minute or city break destination.
Travel through the airport for the city is extremely easy as it's connected to your metro network. There are departures every 20-30 minutes as well as the Line E (violet) metro line is direct to your city centre. A single fare costs €1.85, and also the metro fare is charged to your re-usable Andante card, which costs €0.60 for your initial purchase. A taxi fare on the airport towards the city centre is going to be €20-30.
Is Porto and expensive destination?
Porto is usually a great value destination; food and accommodation costs a fraction on the price of several popular city break destinations. Hotels are usually cheaper than other European cities but to secure the most beneficial prices accommodation really should be booked with plenty of forethought. Entrance fees to all in the major attractions are cost-effective and foods are good value. Overall, Porto provides a great value holiday destination but accommodation and flights should be booked well in-advance.
Will Language be an issue?
English can be widely spoken by those that work inside tourist industry. Tourists with only English vocabulary skills will not experience any language barriers. All transport hubs, including railway stations, metro and airports have full English translations and signposting. When dining out, most restaurants and cafes in Porto have English menus and, in any other case, waiters will always be happy to translate.
Porto is Portugal’s second largest city after Lisbon. The city is determined on the northern bank with the Douro River, giving rise on the dramatically undulated landscape and produces spectacular vistas. Whilst metropolis itself is located inland on the Atlantic, you can find also glorious beaches a short train ride away.