The travellers’ guide to Porto, Portugal

The coastal city set in northwest Portugal is a must see, with incredible 14th century churches, grand abandoned 19th century palaces to explore, the River Douro snaking its way past the city and shady green parks waiting for the weary tourist to rest in for the afternoon.  

Porto is the second largest city in the country after Lisbon but is not one that is well known for those visiting the area. Romantic and charismatic, it’s the perfect place for the travelling couple looking for a break away from the usual tourist trap.

With its very own, now expanded airport and a new state of the art metro system to get around on, it’s never been easier to see all the sights in the city. Architecture is one the city’s strongest offerings (as well as being the home of port wine), with its very own World Heritage Site taking pride of place from Avenida dos Aliados (central avenue) down to the riverbank. The 18th century bell tower, Torre dos Clèrigos is a great place to visit. Once you’ve climbed the 225 steps to the top you’ll enjoy a breath taking view of the city and its other stunning buildings.

Go inside some of these gorgeous buildings and you’ll discover eateries fit for royalty, serving up classic Portuguese dishes in romantic ambiences, with the riverfront a favourite spot for locals and tourists alike looking for good food. DOP restaurant is a popular destination, with an exciting show cooking area, an excellent wine list and signature dishes based on traditional Portuguese flavours.

Dom Tonho is another must visit restaurant in the city. Based on the riverside it’s considered one of the most beautiful places to eat and even features a 14th century wall from the city within its interior design, it also has 600 labels of wine to offer so if you like a tipple or two it’s a great spot to pay a visit to.

Porto is a place of art and culture, with its streets around the Galeria de Paris street offering a home to numerous cafes and terraces and its nightlife offers a plethora of bars and clubs for pretty much every taste. Piolho café is a much loved favourite for students in the town and inside you’ll find messages from former students of the university written on the walls, which is a fun element to discover.

Porto also has sandy beaches. These are very different to other shores around the country but are still pleasant to spend an afternoon walking along once you’re done exploring the winding streets of the city. It’s worth bearing in mind that Porto is a walkable city but you can also get public transport if you don’t fancy trudging around the area. Pick up something called an Andante ticket which allows you to jump on any train, metro or bus for three days for just €15.

It’s easy to see why Porto is the perfect destination for the urban traveler, with many people loving the location so much they want to call it home and contact professionals such as Portugal Property to help them secure a new holiday home or a place to relocate to in the future.