Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
Elected Best European Destination 2017 by the travellers from 174 countries, Porto is history, architecture, culture, gastronomy, trade, encounters and discoveries.
Located along the Douro River, Porto is one of the oldest European cities, and its historical center was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO, in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean.
Porto has all the charm of towns which happily cohabit with their river. You can stroll along the River Douro in the Ribeira, discover Porto’s architecture, its amazing landscapes and magnificent bridges by taking a cruise on this majestic river. Porto is also a sea city and in the briefest of times a tram will bring you to Foz do Douro’s gentle beaches face to face with the Atlantic.
Discover the best things to do and see in Porto: https://www.europeanbestdestinations.com/travel-guide/porto
In Oporto there are many hotels and temporary accommodation, for all tastes and prices. If you want to be in the same neighborhood of Universidade Católica, you have to choose hotels in “Foz do Douro”, from were you can walk to the University.
There are many other hotels and B&B options, located further away from the Universidade Católica, but with acess by bus. If you want to be in the more touristic locations you’ll have to search in “Cedofeita”, “Clérigos “, “Baixa”, “Praça da Batalha” y “Ribeira”.
Please, see more information about accommodation in Porto here
- There are many options for “city tours” with hop on/hop off system, making Porto sightseeing both easy and fun (between 11,70€, for a single day and 13,50€ for two days)
- You can make a river cruise (c. 50 minutes) beneath Porto’s famous six bridges during a “rabelo” boat ride (the “rabelo” boat is a traditional Portuguese wooden cargo boat that was used for centuries to transport people and goods, specially the Porto Wine, along the Douro River.
- Walk in Ribeira (Riverside) district –Ribeira is the oldest district of the city which is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars. Offers a magnificent view to Vila Nova de Gaia, in the left side of the river, were the wine cellar are located;
- Taste Porto wine and visit ancient wine cellars.
- Visit Porto Cathedral (Sé Cathedral) - A visit to Porto Cathedral is essential to understand the history of Porto.
- Torre & Igreja dos Clerigos - One of the symbols of Porto. Considered Porto’s ex-libris and designed by Nicolau Nasoni in the 17th century. More iconic than the church however, is its bell tower. Standing at 75 m (245 ft) high, the tower, with more than 225 steps, offers an amazing, panoramic view of the city, the Douro River and the Atlantic coast.
- Inumerous churches with magnificent gilded wood (talha dourada) decoration, and typical tiled facades (azulejos).
Casa Museu Marta Ortigão Sampaio – jewellery colletion
Saint Francis Convent Church and Museum – talha dourada (gilded wood), sculpture, silverware.
Museu de la Ordem Terceira do Carmo – silverware
Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis – painting, sculpture, silverware
Museu e Igreja da Misericórdia do Porto – painting sculpture, silverware, “Fons Vitae”
Casa-Museu Guerra Junqueiro – decorative arts
Museu de Serralves – contemporary art
Also don’t miss:
Livraria Lello, recognized as “one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world” by The Times and Guardian and the travel guide Lonely Planet.
Café Majestic, located in the Santa Catarina comercial área, is a Belle Epoque-era cafe with ornate interiors
Estação de são Bento, considered one of the most beautiful railway stations of the world;
Rua das Flores, was one of Porto’s most important streets, with a line of palatial manor houses for the city’s elite.
Palácio da Bolsa, a Neo-Classical building that’s home to Porto’s Chamber of Commerce.
Casa da Música. a concert hall designed by Rem Koolhaas
There are bus stops right in front of the Universidade Católica, as well as taxis and city tours.
English is widely spoken by those who work within the tourist industry. Tourists with only English language skills will not experience any language barriers. All transport hubs, including railway stations, metro and airports also have full English translations and signposting. When dining out, most restaurants and cafes in Porto have English menus and, if not, waiters are always happy to translate.