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Porto, Portugal

Porto is Portugal's second largest city and the capital of the Northern region, and a busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area has some 1,500,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius, with cities like Vila Nova do Gaia Gaia, Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim and Espinho.

The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th century when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle, which is the origin of the entire country's name.

Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although it's strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other... Read more

Porto, Portugal

Destination:

Porto is Portugal's second largest city and the capital of the Northern region, and a busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area has some 1,500,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius, with cities like Vila Nova do Gaia Gaia, Vila do Conde, Póvoa de Varzim and Espinho.

The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th century when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle, which is the origin of the entire country's name.

Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although it's strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other cities with this climate. Temperatures can rise as high as 40°C in August during occasional heat waves. Winters are mild and humid, with occasional cold nights when temperatures can drop below 0°C.

Porto has always been a mercantile city. This is evident in the style of the buildings lining the Avenida dos Aliados, the core of the downtown area. The center of town, unlike other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental.

Residents of Porto are nicknamed the Tripeiros or tripe eaters. This is based on the legend of the city's inhabitants going without meat in order to provision the fleet (which left from Porto) that left to conquer Ceuta in North Africa in 1415. As the story goes, they had to subsist on tripe soup, which is a specialty of the city.

Citizens of Porto, while definitely Portuguese, hold themselves apart culturally from the rest of the country, as is expressed in the often heard phrase "o Porto é uma nação" (Porto is a nation). Outsiders often consider Porto to be more crass and mercantile than the rest of the country, and the inhabitants to be somewhat lacking in social graces. This is likely because the city has historically been dominated by Portuguese bourgeoisie and English trading factions rather than the nobility. The Portuenses, to use the correct term for the inhabitants, of course, disagree, regarding themselves with some justification as being the economic heart of the nation. As the saying goes, "Porto works, Braga Prays, Coimbra studies, and Lisbon gets the money."

The city is officially styled "a muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto" (the very noble, always faithful, and invincible city of Porto). This is usually shortened to "a Cidade Invicta" (the invincible city) a title won because of Porto's unparalleled resistance against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular war.

The city is quite varied architecturally, with medieval as well as modern living side by side. Porto's geography is hard on the feet, but pleasant to the eye. The city is extremely hilly, with many buildings built into a cliff face that overlooks the river. Stairs cut into the stone run up and down the cliff face and offer a laborious but rewarding walking tour. Across the river from Porto proper, in the suburb of Gaia, are located the warehouses of notable Porto wine companies, such as Cálem, Ferreira, Fonseca, Sandeman, Kopke, and others.

While the local attitude is friendly, to outsiders it is worth noting that locals can respond literally to questions, which may seem slightly off-putting to the uninitiated. An example of this would be to ask in a bar if they have a menu (for food) and to receive a straight 'no' as a response. It's after further questions that one can find out that the establishment doesn't sell food. Such a response is not considered rude, it is merely direct and literal.


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Porto, Portugal: Port Information


Cruise ships dock at the Port of Leixões. 

The Port of Leixões (Portuguese language: Porto de Leixões) is one of Portugal's major seaports, located 4 km north of the mouth of the Douro River, in Matosinhos municipality, near the city of Porto. Leixões Sport Club, commonly known simply as Leixões, is Matosinhos' sports club.
The Port of Leixões is the largest port infrastructure in the Northern Region of Portugal and one of the most important in the Country.

There are hop-on-hop-off buses in the port that transport passengers to Porto. There's also the Matosinhos Sul Metro tram stop and a public bus stop near the port. 

Get around Porto, Portugal


By car

Porto, like most Portuguese cities, is a nightmare to drive in. Roads vary in conditions - from fully paved to cobbled lanes that can make even the shortest of distance seem like a go-kart rally. With that said, keep in mind that the touristic part of the city (the Ribeira and Baixa) are a never ending maze of narrow streets, short tempered drivers and snakelike alleys. Better to walk (despite the fact that it's very hilly). Also, drivers seem to have forgotten how to drive (apart from pushing the pedals) - therefore, they make their own rules of the road (however, this generally does not apply to young drivers). Be prepared to lose your patience several times whilst driving.

By metro

Porto Metro is a modern light rail/subway system, which was only constructed at the turn of the millennium and is still being expanded. It has several lines, that run across the center of Porto, and reach out to surrounding municipalities. It is quick, and probably the most efficient way to get around Porto. Some major areas of the city, however, are not that well served by the metro.

Tickets must be purchased beforehand. They can be bought at the machines in the station (note: if there are no tickets in the machine that day, take the metro to the next station and buy it there!). The ticket is stored on a card called Andante, and you can purchase as many rides (or travels) as you want. Andante is Porto's main ticket system and it is based on a somewhat unusual zone system. The city center is zone C1 and the airport is N10. To travel between places you need to know how many zones you need to cross. Within the same zone or up to another zone you buy Z2 ticket. Z3 for three zones and so on. The Andante card can be re-used/re-charged, so do not throw it away. You can also buy daily passes or Andante Tour tickets for 1 or 3 days, which may be more convenient.

There is also the option to buy a Porto Card for 24, 48, or 72 consecutive hours which, besides of providing unlimited access to public transportation, includes free access to several museums and further discounts.

If you plan on staying for more than three weeks, it is recommended you get the Andante Gold, Andante's monthly subscription. The card and will allow unlimited travel with your chosen zones. The Andante Gold, like the Andante Blue, can be used in all metro lines, the funicular, and all buses. When you are buying the Andante Gold, you must have a picture of yourself (your passport photo will do. They can amplify the image from the passport to the card in seconds).

An important note: Your Andante must be validated before you enter the metro, bus or funicular. There are no barriers to stop you at the metro, but the Metro police enter the cars and check your Andante to make sure you have validated it, and are traveling within your zones.

By bus

STCP is the best way to move around if you don't want to waste money on taxis. It's the public bus operator in the region, and the only one operating inside city borders. Suburbs are served either by STCP or private companies. STCP buses are the largest eco-friendly fleet in Europe, modern, comfortable, and lines cover the entire city, as well as major suburbs. Buses colors are white and blue. Line numbers are a 3-digit code. First digit is assigned according to the destination zone (2-west porto, 3-north porto, 4-east porto, 5-matosinhos, 6-maia, 7-valongo, 8-gondomar, 9-vila nova de gaia). For example, line nr. 906 has its destination in vila nova de gaia (9). You can use two kinds of tickets: Andante (see "Metro" above) or STCP own tickets. Andante tickets are recommended: you can also use them on metro and suburban trains, plus they're easier to buy and recharge on any metro station or newspaper seller with "payshop" symbol. Andante blue card can be charged with how many journeys you like. Every bus stop has at least a timetable and lines served. There's also a code so you can get a (paid) SMS showing minutes left to next arrivals updated in real time. The busiest ones have electronic displays with timetables and city maps. Every bus inside has a display showing the name of the next stop, so it's easy to keep track of them.

Route 500 is probably the most scenic STCP route as it runs along the river and the ocean front. STCP also possesses a fleet of old trams three of which are still in operation, mainly for tourist purposes. Route 1 runs along the river from Ribeira to Foz, route 18 runs from the river towards the city center and route 22 goes around the city center.

By taxi

A fast way of getting around the city, although traffic congestion near the city center might be a problem. However, be expected to pay a high price for these services, especially compared to the other public transportation such as bus and subway.

By boat

There are ferry boats that connect Porto to the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia, although you can easily walk or travel by car, metro or bus to the other side. Also, there are numerous tourist boats which travel up the Douro river, where you can get fantastic views of the green landscape the region has to offer.

By helicopter

Not exactly a public transportation, but it's a wonderful way to see the city from above. Near the Douro, there is a heliport with a helicopter available for people to use to get to know the city as a whole. Traveling accompanied will make the flight cheaper.

By Funicular dos Guindais

This is a cable railway system. Use this if you don't wish to walk up the steep streets of Porto. This system connects the Ribeira to the

Batalha square

, in the city center, it also has a panoramic view of the River Duoro. If your Andante card has been recently validated (in less than one hour), then you can ride it for free.

By Ascensor da Ribeira

This panoramic elevator runs from the Largo da Lada and is visible behind the buildings of the Ribeira, close to the Ponte D. Luís.

What to see in Porto, Portugal


Porto is a mysterious city that reveals its charm to the visitor through time. Take your time, wander through the mazes and alleys of the city. Take in the old, bohemian spirit of the city. Hike through the Ribeira and Foz do Douro regions (the latter, at sunset). Porto may not be in every tourist's Iberian Peninsula itinerary, but it's well worth a visit if you want to see a city that has changed economically, but that has kept its old traditions, something that is being forgotten in Europe today.

If you want to visit several museums, consider the Porto Card which provides free access to several museums and further discounts, optionally also free public transport access.

City center

  • Palácio da Bolsa

    (Stock Exchange Palace), Rua Ferreira Borges, 4050-253. It also contains the most impressive Arab room in the country. There is also a Port wine tasting room. It was built in the 19th century on the grounds of the destroyed old cloisters of the adjacent São Francisco church.
  • Sé do Porto

    (Porto Cathedral), Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573. This Romanesque cathedral was originally completed in the 13th century. Later on, Baroque alterations were made in the 17th and 18th century. The cathedral is located on top of a hill from where you also have great views over the city and the river. Free.
  • Port Wine Institute, Rua Ferreira Borges 27, 4050-253, ☎ +351 22 2071669. Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, Sat-Sun closed. A small exhibition about Port wine and it's certification process. Samples of a small variety of Port wines can be bought. Guided tastings and tours to the laboratories can be arranged. Free.
  • City Hall, Avenida dos Aliados.
  • Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) (adjacent to Palácio da Bolsa). A Gothic church with later alterations of the interior decorations in Baroque style.

Baixa (downtown)

  • Mercado do Bolhão, Rua Formosa. Sun closed. A traditional market of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.
West Baixa
  • Livraria Lello, Rua das Carmelitas (Near Praça dos Leões and the Universidade do Porto). It's an old bookshop with an amazing interior and spiral staircase, where you can also have a coffee or glass of port. Voted as one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe.
  • Torre dos Clérigos (Clerics' Tower), Rua São Filipe Nery, 4050-546, ☎ +351 22 2001729. Panoramic views from this baroque tower. 240 steps to the top. It is best to get there early since there is not a lot of space on the viewing platform. You might even have to wait for some time before you are allowed to climb up the stairs.
  • Centro Português de Fotografia (Portuguese Photography Museum), Edifício da Ex-Cadeia e Tribunal da Relação do Porto, Largo Amor de Perdição, 4050-008. Housed in a beautiful building in the center of the city. Free.

São Nicolau

South city center
  • Ribeira (Riverfront). The part of the city near the river, which is also a good place to start visiting the World Heritage area; to the other side of the river you will see the Ribeira de Gaia, a similar area from the city of Vila Nova de Gaia (the two are only separated by the river) and where you could find the Port Wine Cellars.
  • Museum of Sacred Art and Archaeology of The Higher Seminary of Oporto, Largo Dr. Pedro Vitorino 2, 4050-468 (Located in the Church of St. Lawrence (known as the Cricket Church (Igreja Grilo) after the nickname of the religious order that took ownership in 1780). Beginning at the riverfront, head north on R de Mercadores and look for the Igreja Grilo signs directing you into the delightfully narrow streets that lead to the church. Best approached on foot.), ☎ +351 223-395-020.
  • The 6 bridges connecting Porto to Gaia over the Douro river, many of them providing an excellent view to the river.

West of the city center

  • Museu do Vinho do Porto (Port Wine Museum), Rua de Monchique 45-52, 4050-394.
  • Pavilhão Rosa Mota. A multi purpose pavilion with nice gardens to rest, also known as "Palácio de Cristal".
  • Museu Romântico (nearby the Pavilhão Rosa Mota). A house where the king of Italy stayed while on exile.

Boavista

North-west of the city center
  • Casa da Música (House of Music), Avenida da Boavista 604-610, 4149-071 (Take the metro lines A, B, C, E or F and get off at "Casa da Música"), ☎ Box office: +351 220 120 220FORMATNOCC, tour enquiries: +351 220 120 210FORMATNOCC. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA. Guided tour available in English at 11:00, 16:00 and 17:00.
  • Fundação de Serralves (Modern Art Museum), Rua D. João de Castro 210, 4150-417 (Take bus 201 (from 06:00-21:00) Sá da Bandeira -> Viso, bus 203 (from 06:00-21:00) Marquês -> Castelo do Queijo, bus 502 (from 06:00-01:00) Bolhão -> Matosinhos Mercado, or bus 504 (from 06:00-00:45) Boavista -> Norteshopping). A contemporary museum designed by the famous architect Álvaro Siza, with a huge garden/park and an Art Deco Villa. When visiting this foundation you can visit the exhibitions, relax at the park, have lunch at the restaurant, bar or tea house and explore the shops or the library. There is also a farm at the southern end of the park. Free on Sundays 10:00-13:00 for students and under 18.

Foz do Douro

This is the area around the oceanfront just north of the mouth of the Douro River. You can rent a bike and cycle along the riverfront and then the beach to that area.

What to do in Porto, Portugal


  • Take a cruise upriver (here is one operator) - takes about 50 minutes, or you may also choose a day-long cruise for a higher price. Go at least as far as Pinhão - the landscape is absolutely stunning. If you choose to do this in the summer, don't forget your factor 50 sunscreen! Look for cruises picking up on the Vila Nova de Gaia side (the same as where the port caves are located), as some of them may offer discounts for cave tours or port purchases.
  • Take a port wine tour and visit the various wine caves! This is a must as Porto is the port wine capital. The cellars are in Vila Nova de Gaia, a 5-minute walk from Ribeira across the Douro river, and there are extremely convenient bus pick-ups from easily accessible areas to take you up the winding hills to the cellars. Tours vary in price. Most all have English speaking tours along with Spanish, Portuguese, and French. There are also quite a number of cellars offering free tastings. See the drink section of the main Portugal page for more information about Port wine in general.
    • Cálem, Avenida Diogo Leite 344, 4400-111 Vila Nova de Gaia. Their tour lasts around 20min and is quite informative for beginners. It is followed by a tasting of two Port wines. They sell their old empty oak casks to Glenfiddich. Calem is owned by Sogevinus, which also owns other well-known brands such as Kopke, Burmester, and Barros.
    • Taylor, Fladgate & Yeatman, Rua do Choupelo 250, 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, ☎ +351 223 772 956, +351 223 742 800. They are further uphill and have a terrace with great views over Porto. You can also enjoy their Port wine in the adjacent garden. You can buy samples by the glass which are cheap and you get generous portions. Tours are also available and start every 30-40min. Founded in and family owned since 1692.
    • Cockburn's, Rua Serpa Pinto 346, 4400-307 Vila Nova de Gaia (Further uphill), ☎ +351 913 007 950. The basic tasting consists of two Port wines. Other types of tastings are available including rarer and more fancy Port wines. 
  • Teatro Nacional São João (TNSJ), Praça da Batalha, 4000-102, ☎ For tour enquiries and reservations: +351 22 340 19 56FORMATNOCC, toll-free: 800 108 675NOCC. Porto's main theatre and opera production company and venue. There are also guided tours for access to the stage, rehearsal room, dressing rooms and the technical area (if they are not used during the time of the tour).
  • Dragão Stadium (Estádio do Dragão). Visit the Dragão Stadium, home of FC Porto. The team has a rich history, having won the World Club Championship or Intercontinental Cup twice, Champions League twice, UEFA Cup once and UEFA Supercup once - and the stadium is worth a visit on the architecture alone. If you are lucky you might get to see a game of the Champions League. Just across from the stadium you have a large shopping center, according to a joke built to block the wind from affecting the stadium.
  • If you feel creative and up to an artistic challenge, take this opportunity to participate in a workshop offered by local artists and craftspeople. Be sure to take home, not only the memory of the moment, but also the sense of accomplishment through the work produced.
  • Go out at night to the downtown. Three major hubs of bars are Piolho, Galerias Paris and Praça de Ceuta. Just follow the crowds and have a good time.
  • Taste Porto Food Tours. Explore the local cuisine with a food tour. Join the 3.5hrs tour showcasing some of the best treats of the region, beyond the obvious Port Wine and Francesinha. Learn about local delicacies, visit a market, try savory & sweet treats and learn a lot about Porto's people and lifestyle with a local guide.
  • Porto Exit Games (West Baixa; City center), ☎ +351 914 884 883, e-mail: hello@portoexitgames.com. Play an escape game in Porto Exit Games. If you love a good challenge you must go there. For 60 min you and your friends will be trapped in a room. Your goal is to get out in time!

What to eat and drink in Porto, Portugal


Eat

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal.

It is said that if you like to eat, you should go to Porto because it is a place where you eat well in terms of quality and amount (even Lisbon citizens say that in Porto is where they eat the best food). The best restaurants in the city are mainly located in Matosinhos near the beach and the seaport called "Porto de Leixões". You can take the blue metro line A to get there which takes about 30min.

Expect hearty meals, and if you can, try "Tripas à moda do Porto". Be aware, however, that this is a tripe dish. Citizens of Porto are called tripeiros (tripe-eaters) on account of this dish. Also, try the salted codfish "Bacalhau" - in any way it is cooked - there are hundreds of different dishes with salted codfish!

Don't forget the traditional dish called "Francesinha", which literally translated means little French lady. This city is just about the only place in the world where you can find it. However, in many other northern Portuguese cities, you can find a low-quality version of it. Essentially it is a toast with layers of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...). It is covered with cheese and a spicy sauce, with the option of including french fries on top. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by beer and not wine. The "Francesinha" has been considered one of the 10 best sandwiches in the World.

A good tip is taking the bus or subway to Matosinhos in July, there will be a fish festival. Freshly caught fish is being served the same day at barbecues lined up in the streets just a few blocks from the main beach. You choose a fish (only whole fish) and they prepare it on the streets for you - not a fancy restaurant, but together with the local people, you are eating the best-tasting fish you ever had! Try a dourada, it is delicious.

Porto is dotted with thousands of different bakeries (Pão Quente) and pastry shoppes (Pastelarias). Apart from serving delicious (and quite inexpensive) goods, they are also equipped with a side-cafe that serves all sorts of coffees (Pingo, Meia de Leite, etc.) and sandwiches (Tosta Mista-ham and cheese toastie). Note that, unlike the other river side cafes in the city, these establishments do not have picturesque views of Porto (that's expensive, and in the end, you'd be the one paying for that bill). Instead, they attract tourists by offering good food at very cheap prices.

Most locals drink black coffee (espresso).

There is at least one fully vegetarian restaurant in Porto, Paladar da Alma (Rua de Santo Ildefonso 293/5), and some other restaurants which offer vegetarian dishes alongside non-vegetarian options, such as Capa Verde (Rua da Nossa Senhora de Fátima). Vegans may have to ask for dishes to be specially prepared for them, even in vegetarian restaurants.

Budget

  • O Terraço Vegan Spot, on Rua Nova da Alfândega (go up on Escadas do Caminho Novo just before Rua da Armenia). Open Thur-Sat 3:30 PM-12 AM, Sun 3:30-7:30 PM, closed Mon-Wed. A vegan restaurant with specialties of sandwiches, hummus, and other spreads, mini pizzas, tartes, natural juices, smoothies, cakes, in-house-made fried snacks and more. Most ingredients are from local producers. From the terrace direct view of the Douro river.
  • Nakite, R. de Breyner 396, Porto. Open Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00, 19.00-23.00. Vegetarian restaurant and health food store. Budget menus available including vegetarian "francesinha", day dishes featuring tofu, seitan, and tempeh paired nicely with goat cheese, shiitake mushrooms, and other fresh ingredients. Cozy atmosphere both inside as in the back garden. Try also the special beers they might have available.
  • Maus Habitos, Rua Passos Manuel 178 (at the 4th floor of an old parking garage opposite Oporto Coliseum). Open Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00. Vegetarian restaurant by day, youth culture clubhouse at night. Menu changes weekly and costs 9 euros (7.50 excl. dessert).
  • Paladar da Alma, Rua de St Ildefonso 293/295. Open Mon - Wed: 12:00 - 15:00, Thu - Sat: 12:00 - 15:00, 20:00 - 23:00. The vegetarian food is based on Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisines with influences from other parts of the world. The owner is also the cook.
  • Âncora d'Ouro (The Golden Anchor), Praça de Parada Leitão 45 (between the Cordoaria park and the Praça dos Leões). The third oldest cafe in Porto, it is commonly known as "O Piolho" (the Louse). The cafe looks out on the street facing a faculty of the Universidade do Porto, and had been a meeting place for students since the 19th century. Plaques donated by graduating medical classes from the early 20th century onward decorate the walls. During the fascist period (1926-1974) it was a regular meeting place of "undesirables" (according to the regime's point of view) and was accordingly under regular surveillance by the secret police. On one occasion it was raided by the GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana) who have a post nearby, and they charged their horses into the cafe itself. It is uncertain if the place's current disorder results from this or more recent activities. Service is surly, the place isn't at all fancy, but it is usually stuffed to the gills with students. It's also quite cheap.
  • Casa Adão, Avenida Ramos Pinto, 252, Vila Nova de Gaia. Located on the other side of the Douro river, is a restaurant that serves generous plates serving one hungry person or two who eat normal.
  • Tà-se Bem, Largo Sampaio Bruno 25, Vila Nova de Gaia. As one of the last restaurants along the river in the Gaia area, it was a great place to stop and have a lengthy lunch before heading out to do some port tasting. With delicious and hearty selections for a good price, it is also very popular with the local crowd—during lunch, it was completely full of people who work in the area. Skip the touristy cafes and head here for an authentic experience.

Mid-range

  • Mauritânia Grill, Avenida Combatantes Grande Guerra 50, Leça da Palmeira. Nice restaurant with excellent views over the Leça Beach. Space is very light with many windows and it has its own parking lot. The decoration varies along the year (one of the few restaurants that does that) for e.g. Summer, Christmas, Halloween, Easter, etc. The employees are usually kind and funny. They care about the client. Sometimes they prank you, so don't be surprised if they simulate that are spilling coffee on you.
  • Casa Da Foz, Rua Padre Luís Cabral, 4150-461 Porto. Excellent Italian restaurant. Wide variety of dishes. Extremely small, so it's best to call ahead and reserve a table.
  • Varanda Da Barra, Rua Paulo Gama 470, 4150-589 Porto. Great restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese, Italian and "International" food. Nice riverside view.
  • Galeria de Paris Restaurante Bar, 56 Rua Galeria de Paris.

Splurge

  • O Filipe, Avenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 36-r/c, 4450-110 Matosinhos. One of the best restaurants to eat fresh fish. Small but cozy, it can be expensive but depends on what you order. Parking is difficult to find in this area but you may park in front of the restaurant and they will take care of the car when needed (e.g. Parking Available, obstructing the road, etc.).
  • Marisqueira de Matosinhos, Rua Roberto Ivens 717, 4450-255 Matosinhos. Another great restaurant; if you like shellfish this is one of the best places in Porto.

Drink

Porto is home to port wine of course, and there are many wineries around the city where port wine is brewed. Strictly speaking, port wine can only be called port wine if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is produced and bottled in Porto. Port wines come in many styles, with vintage port being the most expensive.

If you'd like to try some of the bars of Oporto, there is a quite interesting route you can take from Ancora de Ouro, passing by Gestos (this bar has been closed). Then you can go to Pinguim, a bit down the street, and finish off with the huge variety of pubs and bars in the Ribeira.

Mid-range

  • Solar Vinho do Porto, ☎ +351 226094749, e-mail: solarporto@ivp.pt. Rua de Entre-Quintas 220. A villa with port samples and a great view of the Douro. Open M-Sa 2 PM to midnight. This is the perfect place to sit in soft chairs or outside in the garden and enjoy a few glasses of the finest ports. You can also have cheese with your port.

Beware however of the area, as it tends to be a haven for car break-ins.

Bars & Pubs

  • Ryan's Irish Pub. In the Ribeira, nice cozy atmosphere and friendly bar staff. Always a good place to start
  • Trintaeum In the Foz area near the lighthouse, quite small, cool decoration, and cool crowd and not too pricey. Open till very late.
  • Triplex On the Avenida Boavista in a big old house. Fantastic garden bar which is great in the summer. There's a restaurant upstairs too.
  • Praia do Ourigo Beach bar in Foz. Has to be the bar with the best view in town. Set on stilts over the beach. Has a restaurant too.
  • Cais de Gaia This is a bar region in riverfront area in the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia. It's a modern zone for bars and clubs, usually priced a little higher than normal bars. You have a great view of the river and the beautiful city of Porto.
  • Ribeira region This area is full of bars and pubs where you can have a pleasant time with an incredible view, before going to the bigger clubs around the city. Most bars are relatively close to each other, and in some, there is no entrance fee. Usually, most of these bars close from 3 AM-4 AM, after which the area becomes deserted. Be sure to go either home or to a club after, because when this area becomes deserted you may feel a bit insecure.
  • Prioridade Located in the Ribeira region, this bar is one of the cheapest in the area. It's probably the only decent place in the whole of the Ribeira region (and probably, in the city) where you can get a large beer for only a few euros. They also serve spirits and cocktails, at very cheap prices as well. My suggestion, if you are planning a night out, is to get loaded at this bar before clubbing, since the price of drinks in the clubs can be outrageously high and you may find yourself with no taxi fare money to return to your home, hotel, hostel, etc. It's quite tricky to find since it's tucked away in a rather isolated (but quite nice) place; it's near the D. Luis I bridge. Ask the locals, they'll know where it is.

Shopping in Porto, Portugal


For shopping, take a stroll around the Mercado do Bolhão which has a food market and handicrafts stores, and Santa Catarina street (highly recommended, even if only to stroll), which is near Bolhão. Cedofeita street is also a busy shopping street, as well as Boavista. Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping and Mar Shopping (the biggest IKEA group shopping in Europe). Apart from these you also have less populated shops that are smaller but still great ( Shopping Cidade do Porto, Via Catarina, etc.). Almost all the shops are open every day but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.

Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it, in the city of Gaia, just south of the Douro river.

You can also find great deals on clothes and shoes, especially during discount seasons.

  • MUUDA, Rua do Rosário 294, 4050-522, e-mail: Info@muuda.com. "Art, food and design". This concept store offers a great variety of products signed by Portuguese designers. Fashion, objects, books, jewelry, shoes, gourmet and arts. You can have lunch at MUUDA, experience a wine or sushi workshop, learn how to make tricot, the newest painting techniques, photography... and much more.
  • Centro Comercial Bombarda (CCB), Rua de Miguel Bombarda 285. This is not the regular shopping mall. It's much smaller and with specialty stores related to art and fashion. Look for Portuguese design, organic cosmetics, or contemporary jewelry, and then head to the galleries down the street.
  • Aguas Furtadas, Rua Miguel Bombarda, 285 (CCB, Loja 4), ☎ Tel. +351 968 237 139FORMATNOCC. Looking for unique objects or original Portuguese design? This is the place for it. From a minimalist Barcelos cockerel to colorful ceramics, you won't find many of these pieces anywhere else.
  • Sogevinus Wine Shop, Avenida Ramos Pinto 280, Vila Nova de Gaia (Right across the street from the lower cable car stop). At this shop, you can buy all the Sogevinus Port wine brands such as Kopke, Burmester, Cálem, Barros, and Gilberts. You get free samples of their Port wines.

Safety in Porto, Portugal


Be aware that there may be pickpockets in heavily crowded areas and on public buses and trains; however, pickpocketing is not common in Porto. Traveling by bus or metro is generally safe and one of the best ways to go from a place to another.

Porto is generally a safe place to be if you take normal precautions like walking in well-illuminated streets at night. One part of Porto, near the Tourist Information Office between the cathedral and the steps to the small church, often has drunk people that could possibly be trouble. There's no reason for alarm because many of them are inoffensive, but it is best to use some caution, as you would elsewhere.

If you take the main road from the bus station to the cathedral and tourist information center, walk back to the bus station after you're done and then walk from there to the other sites. Avoid the shortcut from the tourist information center downstairs because there have been many incidents there.

Call 112 if you have an emergency.

Language spoken in Porto, Portugal


If you speak in Spanish to a local, you will be largely understood and as a rule, they will freely converse with you, but from time to time, more so with the older generation, you may be politely reminded that you are in Portugal and the native language is Portuguese.

LOCAL TIME

4:48 am
November 20, 2019
Europe/Lisbon

CURRENT WEATHER

10.35 °C / 50.63 °F
moderate rain
Thu

11.66 °C/53 °F
moderate rain
Fri

12.56 °C/55 °F
heavy intensity rain
Sat

10.78 °C/51 °F
light rain
Sun

11.82 °C/53 °F
light rain

LOCAL CURRENCY

EUR

1 USD = 0 EUR
1 GBP = 0 EUR
1 AUD = 0 EUR
1 CAD = 0 EUR

Travelers recommend visiting the following places of interests



http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Dom Luis I Bridge, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 10 (10 votes)

The Dom Luís I (or Luiz I) Bridge (Portuguese: Ponte Luís I or Luiz I) is a double-decked metal arch bridge that spans the Douro River between the...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Estadio do Dragao, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.4 (10 votes)

The Estádio do Dragão (Portuguese pronunciation: (ɨ)ˈʃtadiu du dɾɐˈɣɐ̃w; Dragon Stadium) is an all-seater football stadium located in Porto,...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/ ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Casa da Musica, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.7 (10 votes)

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http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Palacio do Freixo, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

Palácio do Freixo is a historic Portuguese Northern Baroque palace in Porto, Portugal. It was built in the middle of the eighteenth century under the...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Church of Sao Francisco, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

The Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) is the most prominent Gothic monument in Porto, Portugal, being also noted for its outstanding...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Serralves, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.2 (10 votes)

Serralves is a cultural institution located in Porto, Portugal, and one of the most important of all the country. It includes a Contemporary Art...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Palacio da Bolsa, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.6 (10 votes)

The Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) is a historical building in Porto, Portugal. The palace was built in the 19th century by the city's...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Fort of Leca de Palmeira, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

The Fort of Leça da Palmeira (Portuguese: Forte de Leça da Palmeira), or alternately the Castle of Matosinhos (Portuguese: Castelo de Matosinhos) is...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 Clerigos Church, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.5 (15 votes)

  The Clérigos Church (Portuguese: Igreja dos Clérigos, pronounced: ˈklɛɾiɡuʃ; "Church of the Clergymen") is a Baroque church in the...
http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0 ||| Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Fort of Sao Francisco do Queijo, Leixoes, Portugal
Average: 9.1 (10 votes)

Fort of São Francisco do Queijo (Portuguese: Forte de São Francisco do Queijo), frequently shortened to Castle of the Cheese (Portuguese: Castelo do...

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