"A Fine Port" Top 5 Page for this destination Porto by antistar

Porto Travel Guide: 1,048 reviews and 2,787 photos

The picture above was the very last one that I took, from the south bank of the river Douro facing back across central Porto. It sums up pretty much everything that was striking for me about Porto. The tumbling, fading, flaky, multicoloured, red-roofed, balconied turn of the century buildings clambering up the hill from the Douro below. Everywhere in the city I walked I was constantly looking up at the buildings as they stretched up above me with billowing clothes hanging from cast iron balconies.

There's a big English connection in Porto, which can be felt in the architecture and in the legacy the British Port companies have left in the city. You can stand at one point on the banks of the Douro and look across to the south and see a very Latin scene, with warm languid air shimmering over warehouses that look like they have been transported from the docks of London, emblazoned with very English names like Offley, Croft and Taylor. The English connection can be felt elsewhere in the city, especially in the neo-classical architecture that abounds.

Porto is a relaxed friendly place where the locals seemed very welcoming to visitors. The pace is a lot slower than Lisbon and many cities of similar size in Europe, and the temperature is a fair bit cooler. It feels very provincial and a lot smaller than its million or so metropolitan population suggests. Unlike Lisbon it doesn't have a whole lot of things to do, and only one art gallery of note, but it does have the river Douro, great architecture, and great views. The Douro itself is unmissable, either as a train journey, a short boat trip to view the outstanding bridges, or a longer trek up the waters to the fantastic countryside in the hinterland.

  • Last visit to Porto: Jul 2005
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
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Reviews (32)

Comments (8)

  • Dec 27, 2007 at 9:56 AM

    The small alleys remind me of small streets of Split, where I was born, or Genova - one of my favorite cities. I'm sure I'm going to love Porto.

  • arlequin_g's Profile Photo
    May 13, 2007 at 5:14 AM

    Great page. Very good pics and tips. I hope to see it myself next month!!!!

  • magor65's Profile Photo
    Jan 19, 2007 at 7:24 AM

    I like your style of writing, so nice and vivid. Great page.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Sep 12, 2006 at 4:36 PM

    great tips!

  • Bwana_Brown's Profile Photo
    Jun 10, 2006 at 6:56 AM

    Very enjoyable reading and a great overview of your time in Porto! It was a place I too wanted to visit and almost made it there, but, in the end, had to settle for a drive along the Douro River to the village of 'Pinhao'!

  • bugulma's Profile Photo
    Nov 7, 2005 at 9:13 PM

    Wonderful views or Porto. The Ponte dom Luis I is very impressive views. I'd lie to see it one day

  • stevezero's Profile Photo
    Aug 16, 2005 at 2:21 AM

    Nice place - hope to visit one day

  • pepples46's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2005 at 8:42 PM

    a very fine port indeed. excellent page, good job Tim


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