Porto

Porto

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About Porto

Exuding an elegance, energy and charm seducing even the most seasoned traveller.

For a city-break where you can drink in the character and beauty of Portugal, Porto is not to be missed. In addition to being Portugal’s second largest city, Porto exudes an elegance, energy and charm that will seduce even the most seasoned traveller.

A particular attraction is the world heritage site in the centre of the city where visitors can step back in time to walk along the historic winding lanes, or go on to explore the rich variety of quirky independent stores or high-end boutiques.

As the birthplace of port, Porto sees a regular stream of passionate visitors dedicated to expanding their love of fine wine, while also taking advantage of the city’s excellent selection of premium restaurants. Be sure not to miss out on the local speciality seafood dishes, famous for their innovation and variety.

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Porto exudes an air of intrigue and romance thanks to its UNESCO-listed heart on the banks of the Douro River that throws up a colourful blend of bell towers and winding lanes. This contributes to a selection of great accommodation, which varies in style and size from the White Box House (Rua de Santa Catarina 575) that offers six charming rooms, to the InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas (Praça da Liberdade 25), which is set in a converted 18th-century palace and lays claim to 105 rooms. For something a little more modern try the four-star Hotel Teatro (Rua Sá Da Bandeira 84), while the Hotel B&B Porto Centro (Praca da Batalha 32-34) is a good choice for the tighter budget.

The multi-faceted nature of Porto means that all kinds of shopping opportunities are available, from quirky independent stores to stylish malls. Head to the Via Catarina Shopping Centre (Rua de Santa Catarina 312-350) to browse close to 100 shops. Bookworms should seek out the Livraria Lello (Rua das Carmelitas 144), which boasts an attractive neo-Gothic interior and a first-floor cafe, or for fresh produce the wrought-iron Mercado do Bolhao is well worth a visit, which has sold olives, cheeses and flowers since the 1800s.

Despite many a visitor coming to the city intent on broadening their horizons on port, the city’s food is nevertheless a real attraction. Cover both bases at an upmarket haunt such as the Wine Quay Bar (Muro dos Bacalhoeiros 111-112), which is great for tapas and wine, while the ODE Porto Wine House (Largo do Terreiro 7) also offers a superb menu. Seafood and fish are prominent in local dishes, which can be sampled at Restaurante Don Tonho (Cais da Ribeira 13-15), renowned for its bacalhau, Portuguese dried, salted cod.

Fantasporto

February-March

This film festival has been a part of Porto’s annual calendar since the early 1980s, with a focus on horror, fantasy and sci-fi movies. Each year over 50,000 movie-lovers attend the screenings, concerts, exhibitions and workshops.

Porto a Subir

June

This extreme inner-city race roughly translates as ‘Porto on the Ascent’, as a select group of runners compete along a route that leads up the stone stairs of Guindais and Codecal towards the cathedral.

Serralves em Festa

June

This festival first took place in 2004 and is now a hugely popular annual event thanks to a continuous 40-hour programme of music, dance, theatre, film and performing arts. Serralves em Festa incorporates everything from hip hop concerts to photography workshops through its non-stop duration.

Festa de São João

June

The Festa de São João, or St John Festival, is the main annual celebration in Porto, and an evening of music, food stalls and fireworks complement the party spirit that seems to envelop the whole city.

Porto Marathon

November

Porto’s annual marathon may be less intense than Porto a Subir, but it is a much longer route that takes in many of the city’s major sights. Competitors are aided by the November date that avoids the heat of summer.

Useful Information

Key facts

Language:Portugese
Currency:Euro
Time zone:GMT
Flight time:2 hours 20 mins
Airport code:OPO
Holiday type:City Break / Sightseeing / Summer Sun

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