The city named after its country is surely a must visit when planning a trip to Portugal. A Unesco heritage site, Porto is the second largest urban center and maintained all the charms and traditions you would expect to find in the northern part of the country. The splendid Douro river and nearby valleys, part of the city’s history and allure, inspired fado songs and fostered the need for the many wonderful bridges characteristic of Porto. The historical Moorish influences in the region can still be evidenced in the architecture, our favorite being the marvelous azulejo tiles. Porto is internationally renowned for its wine, yet the city’s gastronomy does not fall short of expectations and there are plenty of excellent restaurants to try. It is no wonder that in the last many years Porto has been given various travel awards and is nowadays considered one of the best European destinations. Extend your trip to spend some days in the Douro Valley and you will be guaranteed a most lovable and memorable travel experience.
Where to Stay
Porto is full of hills and slopes, so climbs and descends are inevitable. The Ribeira is the most recognized area of town, widely depicted in postcards and photos, with its colorful riverside houses and Douro bridges. You can stay by the river, quite convenient to explore many of the city’s attractions, or in the nearby city center streets. For a quiet stay, but still close to the main attractions, try Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of Douro’s shores or going further on up the river. All our suggested hotels are in such areas.