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  • Porto, Portugal
  • Porto Cathedral, Porto, Portugal
  • Vine Cellar, Porto, Portugal
  • Porto, Portugal

Porto, also known as Oporto, is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, situated on the Douro River estuary stretching to the Atlantic Ocean. Its historical centre has been recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage site. It is justly famous for its export of port wine. Porto offers many good reasons to visit it on a Portugal vacation. One feature of Porto is its Art Deco architecture which can be found in shops, private houses and other buildings. 

One of the best places to start on trips to Portugal is the historic Ribeira neighbourhood, one of the most attractive districts in the city. It is a maze of medieval streets and alleyways and has a promenade along the riverfront which is lined with pastel-coloured houses and out-of-the-way taverns from which you get views of the port lodges and distilleries across the river.  It is a lively place at night and the most popular district for eating and drinking with many bars and restaurants hidden beneath medieval arches. In this area is the wonderful Gothic Igreja de São Francisco (San Francisco Church) which, in its interior, has an amazing display of baroque treasures. The church museum has a fine collection of sacred art. You can visit the catacombs where important Porto citizens are buried. Another religious building is The Se, Porto’s cathedral with its mixture of architectural styles and ornate interior. 

For views of Porto, head to the Torre dos Clerigos (Tower of Ecclesiastics), a baroque-styled tower which offers the best views of the city as well as over the river. It is well worth the climb to the top. Serralves is an extensive and well maintained pleasant park which contains the Museum of Contemporary Art, one of the best in Portugal featuring works from the late 1960s to the present, and the delightful, pink Casa de Serralves a mansion which is a prime example of Art Deco design. 

Across the river is Vila Nova de Gaia with its 20 plus port-wine lodges which are open for tours and tastings, You can select from a huge port wine list and sip a glass on a terrace with stunning views across the city. Most of the world's supply of Port is stored and aged here and a visit to any of the warehouses should not be missed. In the alleys up the hill, you will find 19th Century manor houses and even more port lodges including the world-renowned Taylor's, especially worth a visit on a Portugal vacation.

Porto has some interesting sites and venues which should also be included in a visit when on Portugal trips. The Casa da Musica was designed by the Dutch architect, Rem Koolhaas and is outstandingly unusual and different. The concerts held here vary from classical to jazz and fado. The auditorium has perfect acoustics and the VIP room has hand-painted blue tiles, blending contemporary minimalism with traditional touches.  The Palacio da Bolsa (The Stock Exchange) is an outstanding neoclassical monument honouring Porto’s past and present merchants. The interior was decorated by several artists and there are a number of sculptures and frescoes to view.  The Jardim do Palacio de Cristal is a very attractive botanical garden complete with fountains, sculptures and stunning views of the city. 

So, on Portugal vacations, Porto will add colour to your visit.


Extend your Stay

Consider an additional stopover to your Portugal vacation at one of Goway's other European destinations. You can choose from  a Paris vacation, a London vacation or an Amsterdam vacation. This can be done stopping over en route to or from Portugal.

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Porto, Portugal

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