A sparkling city on the Atlantic coast, Oporto (or Porto as it’s generally known in English) is a diamond in Portugal’s north.
With many similarities to Lisbon, it’s always been an epicentre of interesting culture and good food and drink – especially the fortified wine known as port, named for the city.
Porto wine tours are an integral part of any visit to the city, but it’s not all about free samples and enlightening guides. The city is laden with cultural treasures like the 12th-century Porto Cathedral, or the more modern Casa da Musica. With a mixture of styles, from Gothic to Baroque, as well as plenty of green spaces, a wander through the winding streets is an aesthetic delight.
Other unmissable highlights include a trip to the Livraria Lello, the famous bookstore often described as ‘the most beautiful in the world’ thanks to its palatial staircase and wonderful stained glass. There are also hundreds of gorgeous cafes and taverns dotted throughout the city, so you’re never too far from some incredible seafood, a delightfully crisp glass of white, or a hearty bowl of migas.
The nearby water means Porto is also one of Europe’s premier surfing destinations. If you prefer your beach trips to be a little more serene, you’re in luck too as there are several wonderful beaches within a short distance of the centre that are ripe for exploration. When you come to the city, you’ll see Porto holidays aren’t just about its incredible past, but its thriving present.
Not drinking port here is practically a sin.
Make sure you go on a tour and try the different types for the full experience, just make sure you pair them with a snack as well, since the strength of this wine can take you by surprise!
Despite being by the sea, there’s no doubt the dish most people associate with Porto is the Francesinha. This meaty, cheesy, tomatoey sandwich is a treat that can be enjoyed by all and, though it’s fairly simple, it is always delicious.
Codfish Casserole is a firm favourite of the locals here, and for good reason. Always fresh and always nourishing, it’s a must eat on any Porto trip.
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