10 Reasons to make Porto your next destination
1. The history
The city that gives the name of the country dates back to the 4th century when, under the Roman occupation, it became an important commercial port, a status that has been maintained throughout the ages, when the city would start exporting port wine to England. But beyond all the guide books, the real history is discovered by wandering the streets. Porto is one of the oldest cities in Portugal and this is evident everywhere you go.
2. The architecture
From the old to the new there is much for you to learn and see about the vast and extremely interesting work of Portuguese architects. Our itinerary will provide an overview of rich architectural heritage of this city, and inspire you with its colourful houses and decorated with famous Portuguese azulejos (painted tiles).
3. The churches
Porto is home to many churches with an amazing facade and an even more beautiful interior. There even is a church (turned into a museum now) with the interior made of gold, SÃO FRANCISCO CHURCH, Porto’s most Extraordinarily Lavish Church. Another one not to miss is the Cathedral SÉ de Porto a 12th-century fortress-cathedral where Prince Henry the Navigator was baptized and where King John I married the English Princess Philippa of Lancaster in the 14th century.
4. It’s affordable
Portugal is very much a country that offers value for money and Porto is no exception.
5. The viewpoints
In Porto every street could lead you to a viewpoint. Some are more hidden, some are easily found, like the famous Don Louis Bridge (Porto’s iconic bridge that was completed in 1876, designed by Gustave Eiffel before he built the famous Paris tower, and named after King Luis I’s wife, it held the world record for the largest span for seven years. It remained in service until 1991 but today it stands as a national monument – it has also been designated an “International Historic Civil Engineering Landmark” by the American Society of Civil Engineers) that offers some fantastic views over the Ribeira (the waterfront, an UNESCO World Heritage Site).
6. The Lello Book Store
Porto is home to one of the most beautiful bookstore in the world. Yes, the one that inspired JK Rowling while writing the Harry Potter novels.
7. The food and the port wine. But mostly the wine
This is where you will fall in love with the famous port wine, made with grapes from the Douro Valley vineyards and aged in the wine cellars in Gaia. When it comes to food, on every menu you will find the Francesinha, a dish that should come with health warnings A sandwich with bread, all kinds of meat mixed together (steak, sausage, bacon), covered with melted cheese, dipped in a sauce made with beer and served with french fries.
8. The coffee shops
A must while visiting Porto is to enjoy a coffee and a cake at the Cafe Majestic, a classic European Art Nouveau cafe and city landmark.
9. The Atlantic
Take stroll by the sea and enjoy the ocean-front bars, cafes, clubs and restaurants in Foz, the most sophisticated district of Porto.
10. The Douro Valley
The Douro valley, the wine Mecca of Portugal, is just a stone throw away. Visit the valley up river with boat, helicopter, train or car. The scenery is amazing and you will experience some of the most beautiful wineries overlooking the Douro River.
Visit Porto & Douro Valley, it’s a beautiful city full of charm and the river Douro is breathtakingly pretty!
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