- Location: Northern Portugal at the estuary of the Douro river.
- Attraction Type: Historic City
- Significance: UNESCO World Heritage Site
- Best time to Visit: Any time except the very hot spells between July to August.
- Visiting Hours: Anytime during the day
- How to Reach: Porto is connected by train, road, and air to major cities in Portugal and abroad. Ryan Air flights and other low-cost carriers fly to this destination.
- Nearest Airport: Porto Airport.
Named as Portugal’s second most important city, Porto or Oporto is known as much for its port wine as for its history. Inhabited since Roman times, the historic center of Porto has been named am UNESCO world heritage site. The city has been held by Romans, Moors, and Christians and was the bone of contention between Portugal and English during the 14th century. Many important expeditions (most notably the one of Henry the Navigator) has set sail from Porto for Morocco and Africa.
However, the unique wonder of Oporto must lie in its old medieval quarter. This is the famed historic center of Oporto which still has a Roman wall surrounding it. The unique Greja de Santa Clara is covered by woodwork that was painstakingly carved by artisans in the 17th century. The original plans of the center of Oporto date back to the 12the century. The plans were revised by the 14th century. From Baroque to Neo-classical the different styles of architecture leave you in awe
Things to Do
Take a coach tour of Oporto to do full justice to it. There are a lot of places to visit. Some of the most notable are-
- Sao Francisco church which was rebuilt multiple times during the 13th,17th and 18th century,
- The Old stock exchange
- The Ribeira quarter. From here you can have a good view of the Douro river.
- No visit to Oporto is complete without tasting wine. A visit to the Vila Nova de Gaia in the historic center of the city will lift your spirits.
There are a host of festivals that go on throughout the year. Portuguese “fiestas” are well known. Porto is also known to be a cultural center. It was beautiful concert halls like Coliseu do Porto was listening to a classical composition is a treat. The Sao Joao National theater, the Batalha cinema, and the Casa de Musica all ensure that the cultural experience in Oporto is second to none.
Porto has been a tourist destination for its history for decades. Hence accommodation is not hard to find. A good place to book rooms before traveling is online. Some of the hotels are given below:
- Melia Gaia Porto
Diogo de Macedo
- Vila Gale Porto
Avenida Femao de Magalhaes
7 Porto, Portugal