Introducing the city

£1.00 | 1.19 €

GBP | EUR

3 * Hotel p/n £16.01 | 19.07 €

One-way ticket £1.09 | 1.30 €

Beer £1.26 | 1.50 €

Main Course £5.04 | 6.00 €

About Porto

Portugal’s second largest metropolis after Lisbon is one of the oldest European centres painting a charming picturesque image with colourful town houses climbing either side of the Douro River.

You’ll experience a true taste of Portuguese culture in the city of Porto. And if it tastes anything as good as the traditional Francesinha (a sandwich containing lots of meat covered with melted cheese and a hot thick sauce) then you’re in for a treat. With a population pushing 300,000, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and an incredibly charismatic alternative to Lisbon.

Medieval character meets modern living; Porto is a contrast of old and new. Its postcard perfect image is dominated by the Douro River bordered by the pretty town houses that sit among tiny cobblestone streets and soaring bell towers. Plus, it’s the birthplace of port and is home to an abundance of wine caves which are always a hit with incoming tourists. While the romantic charm and character of this city is never in doubt, it also throws up a nightlife scene in areas like Galerias de Paris. Trust us - there's plenty more than that sandwich to get your teeth stuck into.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

Far less tourists are present in June while the temperature is still very warm and there are 11 hours of sunshine a day.

Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate but experiences a cool sea breeze due to its location beside the Atlantic Ocean. Summers can get very hot and have very little rainfall with temperatures regularly reaching the mid 20’s. Autumn is slightly warmer than spring and winters are mild with temperatures reaching around 15 degrees Celsius. Most of the year's rainfall is between October-February.

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Travioor top tips

Explore
July Festival
Which Cruise?

Insider Info

  • The most fascinating attraction in Porto is the city itself. So bring your walking shoes, join the free walking tour with ‘Porto Walkers’ and stroll down the narrow cobblestone lanes, along the Douro River and amongst the early 20th century town houses.

  • If you’re here in July and love your food, head for Matosinhos where the local fish festival is lined with barbeques serving fresh seafood a stone’s throw away from the main beach.

  • If you’re getting a cruise along the river, pick one up along the Vila Nova de Gaia side where the port caves are situated – some may provide discounts for tours and port purchases.

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Food and drink

Main Course £5.04 | 6.00 €

3-Course Meal £25.19 | 30.00 €

Cappuccino £0.84 | 1.00 €

Beer £1.26 | 1.50 €

The Scene

Foodies will love Porto. From the delicious restuarants in Matosinhos to the thousands of bakeries and pastry shops lining the cobbled streets, there’s more than enough to satisfy your appetite. Traditional local dishes include Tripas a Moda do Porto (small intestines of farm animals) and the more appealing Francesinha (a toasted meat sandwich covered in cheese and spicy sauce). In fact, Porto is said to be one of the only cities in the world where you can enjoy an original high quality Francesinha sandwich. Fish is also extremely popular here with the salted codfish Bacalhau cooked in many different ways and served in an array of eateries.

The café culture booms with river side venues providing picturesque views across the water. And as for the alcohol, the city is home to port wine which is matured locally in many established wineries. Plus, if you want a lively night of dancing, there’s plenty of bars and a great nightlife scene too.

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History

Porto’s Story

Despite evidence of Celtic settlement, it wasn’t until the Roman times when Porto became an established trading port. The Moors then enjoyed a spell of dominance before a Christian warlord named Vímara Peres and his family became rulers of the region calling it the County of Portugal.

In 1095, Henri of Burgundy took control of the land and his son was behind the Reconquista which saw Portugal gain identity as an independent kingdom. The Middle Ages saw the city grow in stature with British wine merchants settling during the early years of this period and their influence can be seen today in labels such as Taylor’s and Graham’s.

The following years were to see a huge period of rebelliousness. Yet, the city’s trade improved considerably in the 18th century with the UK importing the port wine from the nearby Douro Valley in substantial amounts. From this period onwards, Porto has always been a huge trader of wine and today, is the country’s economic capital of northern Portugal.

Language

Oi | Hello
Obrigado | Thank you

Portuguese

Portuguese is the official language here but some people also understand Spanish. At the main tourist attractions, people may speak a number of languages. English is also spoken by a large portion of residents, particularly the younger generation, with many signs displaying English at main transport centres. However, perhaps it’s best to learn some basics if you want to interact with the locals:

  • Please: Por favor
  • Excuse me: Com licença
  • Do you speak English?: Você fala inglês

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Need to know

+351 Dialling Code
112 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • Tipping around 10% is generally expected in restaurants.
  • Portuguese food portions tend to be on the large side; ask for a meia doce if you want yours half size.
  • The coastline is under half an hour from the city centre.
  • The metro is a state of the art system and the best way to get around.


VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements for Portugal here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. City Views

Enjoy skyline views from Cais De Gaia.

2. Local Wine

Tour a wine cellar or cave - Porto is the home of port wine.

3. Sights and Museums

Visit the city landmarks and museums such as the Serralves.

4. Cais Da Ribeira

Take in the unique atmosphere of Cais Da Ribeira featuring bars, cafes and restaurants.

5. Try a Francesinha

Try a Francesinha (essentially a toasted sandwich full of meat, covered in cheese and sauce) – it’s a city speciality and you won’t find a better one anywhere else.


See What's On In Porto