Portugal’s second city, Porto, lies on the River Douro in the northern half of the country, just a few miles inland from the coast. The historic Ribeira part of the city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, famed for its stone buildings with colourful plasterwork rising up the steep river bank. Cross the stunning two level Dom Luis I bridge to the south side of the river to find the ancient port cellars where tasting sessions and tours can be enjoyed and you’ll be blessed with the best views of the city. After your fill of port meander your way through the grand streets of downtown Baixa to sample some of the cuisine that’s unique to the city, including the calorific Francesinha sandwich.
Areas & Neighbourhoods in Porto
Ribeira - A World Heritage Site full of narrow stone alleys, tall imposing buildings and the beautiful riverfront where you’ll find restaurants and market stalls selling artisan products.
Baixa - The downtown area of grand boulevards and the traditional Mercado do Bolhao, the perfect place to buy fruits, vegetables and fresh fish.
Boavista - Located just west of the city centre, and home to the Casa de Musica which celebrates Porto’s naming as European Capital of Culture in 2001.
Foz de Douro - Out west of the city towards the ocean, the area where the Douro meets the Atlantic is filled with bars, restaurants and some stunning stretches of beach.
West Baixa - Just next to the main downtown area, and on top of the hill, is West Baixa, where you can discover a number of the city’s main landmarks.
Things to See in Porto
Visit the incredible carved staircase and wooden shelves at the Livraria Lello, one of the most beautiful bookshops in the world and where JK Rowling was inspired to create her fantastical Hogwarts school. Stroll the hilly streets of Ribeira and along the waterfront, gazing out over the Douro at the port cellars lining the banks of the other side. Tour the Serralves modern art museum or catch the tram out to Foz de Douro, where the river meets the ocean. Walk across the upper level of the Dom Luis I bridge for some of the best views of the city or climb the 240 steps of the Torre dos Clerigos in the city centre.
Things to Do in Porto
Take in game at the Estadio do Dragao, home of Porto FC, one of the most successful teams in Europe. Or hop on a port boat and tour up the beautiful river Douro towards where the port wine is made. Then stop off at the cellars on the way back to sample the goods. With all the big names like Taylor’s and Sandeman located close to the river, it’s a great way to learn more about Portugal’s national drink, with tours available in English. Dine out on the freshest seafood along the coast in Matosinhos or sample some of the many cod dishes that are enjoyed across the country.
You can also book top Porto hotels and great Porto holidays right here on Expedia.co.uk.