"Spring and Port Wine!" Top 5 Page for this destination Porto by suvanki

Porto Travel Guide: 1,035 reviews and 2,720 photos

Porto

Just caught a repeated episode of Anthony Bourdains A Cooks tour on TV this weekend, which featured Porto or Oporto - which reminded me of my visit to this fascinating city, and that I must get round to revisiting soon! Maybe after the Euromeet in May!!

'Years ago I'd planned a trip travelling by train from the North of Spains' coastline, down through Portugal, ending up in the Algarve. My plan didn't work out, but one of the places I'd planned to visit was Oporto.

Checking thro' the Ryanair website, I learned they were due to start flights from Liverpool to Porto. So when I found a flight for 1p each way for March 11-14th I was booked! I phoned a friend, who had said she'd be interested in visiting the area, so within a few days we had our flight and accommodation sorted.

My first view of Porto was from the plane as we descended over the city. I was surpised to see that the city was far larger than I'd imagined. I had a great view of the River Douro and the lights of Porto.

After a short journey by the Aerobus, we arrived at the Hotel Malaposta. However, due to renovation work, we were relocated to the Hotel Miradouro. Our room had a panoramic view over the lights of Porto!

Next morning we woke to find a mist covering the city below our 10th floor room, but as the sun broke through, we realised that we were able to see the Atlantic ocean, then follow the river upstream, gradually we could identify landmarks such as the wine lodges, the Cathedral, church towers and bridges.

OK, so we'd toured the sights from our window, time to get out, down to street level, enjoy the atmosphere of a Sunday in Porto, and explore!

Well, Porto proved to be an ideal city for a mini break -

Porto - some facts

Porto was known in Roman times as Portus Cale which means 'The sheltered port'

It is the 2nd largest city in Portugal. It is known as the Capital of Northern Portugal

1n 2001 it was named European Capital of Culture, a title it shared with Rotterdam.

The riverside bairro of Ribeira is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

It is found at the mouth of the River Douro - River of Gold.

The river is straddled by 6 bridges as it flows through the city, giving it the title "City of Bridges"

"Coimbra studies, Braga prays, Lisbon shows off and Porto works" is an oft quoted saying.

Porto stretches 11kms from the coast inland.

Festa de Sao Joao - St Johns Eve- the night of June 23-24 is the place to see celebratory crowds hitting each other over the head with plastic hammers!

Portos citizens are known as tripeiros - tripe eaters, due to their unselfish act of giving all their meat to Infante Dom Henriques expeditions to N.Africa, and keeping only the tripe for themselves.

Porto is famous for its Port wine trade, established in the suburb of Vila Nova de Gaia, which is reached by crossing Ponte Dom Luis 1

Portos 3 football teams are FC Porto, Boavista FC and SC Salgueiros.
FC Porto were once coached by the ever gorgeous Jose Mourinho!, winning the 2003 UEFA Cup!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Lovely city, plenty to see and do- near to the coast too!
  • Cons:Hilly, some uneven pavements.
  • In a nutshell:Get here before it becomes spoiled!
  • Last visit to Porto: Mar 2006
  • Intro Updated May 4, 2009
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Reviews (41)

Comments (13)

  • Paul2001's Profile Photo
    Aug 5, 2012 at 11:53 AM

    Very well written tips on Porto. I there very soon so they were very useful!

  • MalenaN's Profile Photo
    Oct 29, 2009 at 12:54 AM

    I'm looking forward to visit Porto for a couple of days next year. It looks like a lovely city! Thanks Sue for great tips!

  • angiebabe's Profile Photo
    Jun 20, 2009 at 4:19 AM

    Still have to get back here to see more than the views we quickly drove to Gaia to get over Porto!and lunch....thx for the lovely b'day wishes - was in fabulous Bulgaria with stunning sights for it!

  • Redang's Profile Photo
    Jun 16, 2009 at 1:45 PM

    One of my favourite cities!

  • Turska's Profile Photo
    Jun 14, 2009 at 1:28 PM

    Nice tips!I wonder if the metro is working,when we are going two weeks from now...We were so happy to know that our hotel is near the metro-line..

  • DAO's Profile Photo
    Jun 5, 2009 at 4:48 PM

    It is me. nathalie and I thought it funny at the time...

  • HORSCHECK's Profile Photo
    Jun 1, 2009 at 2:57 PM

    Sue, thanks so much for the fabulous Sheffield made spoon. My yoghurts now even taste much better with it. It was great meeting you in Portugal.

  • Yaqui's Profile Photo
    Apr 24, 2009 at 4:37 PM

    Such amazing buildings and history! Ribeira, lines the banks of the River Douro looks absolutely fabulous.

  • jumpingnorman's Profile Photo
    Feb 11, 2009 at 2:32 PM

    Wonderful Porto tips and pics --- I'll be in Lisbon this September and I'm looking forward to that trip! Norman :)

  • ZiOOlek's Profile Photo
    May 20, 2006 at 7:16 AM

    Nice photos and tips.:) Hope to visit Port when next time in Portugal... :)

suvanki

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