Welcome to Porto, Portugal’s second biggest city that is starting to rival Lisbon as a desirable city break destination! Just 2 hours from the UK, it’s close enough for a long weekend, and because it’s still an up-and-coming destination crowds and costs are at a minimum. Steeped in history, Porto is an exciting mix of beautiful buildings, delicious food and intriguing museums, just waiting for you to discover.
Porto has a range of attractions to keep visitors busy – the only difficulty is deciding which to choose! Start with a bus or walking tour to get your bearings, or ride the 5-minute cable car up to the hilltop monastery for amazing panoramic views of the city below. Other views are from the iconic Clarigos Tower, or from a boat on a cruise down the river, which is framed by the impressive Don Luis Bridge.
The best place to get a sense for Porto’s past is in Ribeira, the waterfront old town that is bursting with medieval architecture, baroque churches, and quaint shops and cafes. It’s particularly busy at night, when the narrow streets and crumbling squares fill with people enjoying food and drink with friends. From old to new, the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art houses an impressive collection and is not to be missed by art fans.
Porto has a varied dining scene that covers everything from cheap local eateries to high-end cuisine! It’s also the birthplace of port wine, so tasting sessions and vineyard tours are popular activities for tourists. Local pastry shops are great for food on the go, or for a glimpse of everyday life in Porto you can stop by the Mercado do Bolhão market and pick up fresh fruit, cheese, smoked meats and bread for lunch.