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Charming Old Town with Iconic Bridges, Historic Port Wine Cellars, and Vibrant Culture.

Porto

Porto, the second largest city of Portugal and the capital of port wine is a perfect blend of the classic look with a modern atmosphere.

The city of Porto is one of the largest in Portugal. It received the name Porto Calais in honor of the two Roman tribes Portus and Calais, which in ancient times lived on different banks of the Douro River. Despite the centuries-old rivalry with Lisbon, Porto is considered to be the real capital of Portugal in the north. The city is located on Pena Ventosa Hill near the Atlantic Ocean, boasting its beauty and an impressive number of attractions. The historical center of it has been preserved to this day in its original form. Since 1996, the city has been included in the UNESCO World Heritage List. 

In the 11th century, the Arabs were expelled from here, and Porto became a strategic point of the region. It was also the largest port, maintaining connections with England, Flanders, and the cities of the Hanseatic League. The future Henry the Navigator was born here.

The architecture of Porto is not as rich in palaces and cathedrals as Lisbon. At the same time, Porto tourist attractions are presented by monumental Baroque buildings, tiled churches, old factories, colorful roofs on gray stone buildings, trendy bars, informal shops, hidden picturesque streets, art venues, and contemporary art museums.

You can start your walk around the city from Avenida dos Aliados, where mansions from the late 19th and early 20th centuries have been preserved. Also here you can visit a bright example of Porto historical architecture - the Gothic Church of São Francisco, dating back to the 12th century. The cathedral served as a defensive structure along with the city walls. Nowadays it's open for visitors, showing the exquisite interior, bright frescoes, and stained glass windows.

The Clérigos Tower is one of the symbols of Porto, and also the tallest in the country (75 m). Previously, it served as a landmark for merchant ships entering the port. Today everyone can go up to the observation deck with a beautiful view of the entire city.

The Ribeira area with its small colorful houses on the hill is also a must-see. It’s good to walk along the narrow winding streets in any weather, enjoying the views and trying the cuisine in local cafes. And then you can make a trip on a ship or boat along the river with the colorful embankment of Cais de Ribeira.

Guimarães Castle is one of the most impressive buildings not only in the area around Porto but in all of Portugal. 4 towers, several gates, and a wooden bridge have survived to this day.

In your free time, take a stroll through the Porto Botanical Garden, the oldest in the country. It is divided into 3 parts: ponds with aquatic plants, flower beds, and greenhouses with tropical vegetation. Don't miss Porto art galleries and photography spots to make your experience of the city more complete. 

Among the museums, it is worth highlighting the Tram Museum, the exhibits of which are preserved in excellent condition. One more great place for family weekends: Crystal Palace Park with numerous playgrounds and areas for leisure activities. The park is decorated with all kinds of sculptures and installations made in modern and antique styles. Sports competitions, concerts, and other interesting cultural events for children and adults are regularly held here. The main entertainment for small visitors is feeding the peacocks, which stroll imposingly right across the lawns.

Modern Porto and its surroundings are developing dynamically. Nowadays it's one of the country's largest ports, and its residents are known for their patriotism and strive to emerge from the shadows of the capital's inhabitants.

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All About Porto

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When to Visit

The best time to visit Porto in Portugal is in spring or early autumn months, like April, May, September, or October. This time, you can enjoy pleasant weather ideal for strolling along the picturesque streets, exploring its historic landmarks, and indulging in its renowned culinary scene.

Unlike Lisbon, Porto rarely gets very hot, and usually, it's a few degrees cooler here. The coldest months in Porto are December, January, and February, with temperatures averaging around 5°C to 14°C, but the city still looks amazing and you can enjoy slow walks by its historic streets and riverside views.

On the other hand, the hottest months are July and August, when temperatures can rise from 25°C to 30°C with high humidity. However, with its coastal location, you might find relief from the heat with a refreshing breeze off the Atlantic Ocean. And don't forget to check the Porto weather forecast before you go out.

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Getting Around

Porto has an efficient public transport system, which includes buses, trams, and the metro. The Andante Tour card is the perfect choice for those who don't want to spend time on the search for every type of transport. It comes in two types: 7 euros/24 hours, 15 euros/72 hours. It gives you the right to an unlimited number of trips on STCP city buses, the metro, the funicular, and the train.

Walking is ideal for exploring the compact city center, while iconic tram line 1 offers scenic rides along the waterfront. For more comfortable travel there are taxi services that provide convenient options. In warm periods there is one more popular option - cycling. 

Whether by foot, public transport, Porto river cruise, or bike, navigating Porto is convenient and enjoyable, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in its rich history and vibrant culture.

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Travel Information

You can get an unforgettable experience while traveling in Porto if you consider a few simple Porto travel tips:

1. How to make the first trip to Porto unforgettable?

Porto, Portugal's second largest city and the country's northern capital, is a unique combination of historical heritage and modern charm. A professional guide will help you make your trip unforgettable, skillfully showing the beauty of the city combined with its modern life.

There are many attractions here, including a picturesque river, opportunities to visit the ocean, and beautiful churches, some of which are very ancient. Due to the compactness of the city, all attractions are close to each other, which makes walking around Porto especially convenient. This is a magnificent and exciting place that will forever leave a vivid impression in your hearts.

2. What is a list of hidden treasures of Porto?

Do you want to appreciate the beauty of all the outstanding sights of Porto at once? Then, pay attention to the Porto off the beaten path routes. Take a walk along the Ponte de Dom Luis I bridge. There are many bridges in the city, and this one is not the most hidden, but only a few know that it offers a wonderful view of the city. This gorgeous free “observation deck” is visited not only by dedicated tourists but also by professional photographers.

An equally attractive way to appreciate the panorama of the city is to go on a helicopter ride. 

3. What dishes are the must-try in Porto?

Porto is one of Europe's most exciting food destinations, with its hearty traditional seafood, and pork dishes such as tripas à moda do Porto, strong influences from the spices of the Age of Discovery.

Petiscarias are Portuguese-style tapas bars that offer small snacks to accompany your drinks. Try squid, olives, cheese, octopus salad, and Portuguese sausages such as alheira.

The most popular local cuisine in Porto is francesinha: a tower of generous slices of bread topped with ham, sausage, cheese, and sometimes a fried egg, doused in a spicy tomato sauce.

Top Attractions Near Porto

Explore Porto's excellent selection of attractions, from ancient historic wonders to vibrant cultural sightseeing

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Explore nearby spots from Porto, choosing captivating destinations that guarantee unforgettable experiences and cultural abundance.

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Lisbon

The capital of Portugal is one of the oldest cities in Europe, filled with countless historical, architectural, and cultural attractions. Located on the picturesque banks of the Tagus River, Lisbon is a perfect spot to start the journey through Portugal.

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Obidos

The charming, wonderful open-air museum of white houses surrounded by a medieval castle is also home to a great religious spirit. Obidos' cultural heritage is expressed in its churches and shrines, emphasized by their scale and architecture.

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Sagres

The landmark is a monument of the Age of Discovery, rich in historical attractions and natural treasures. The main attraction of Sagres is its navigation school and observatory, whose foundation dates back to the 15th century.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Get clear and useful information for the most common queries about OneDayTours in Porto

Are there any regular Porto cultural festivals or must-see events?

Yes, there are. First of all, it's the São João festival in June. The visitors have an opportunity to dive into lively street parties, enjoying fireworks in the evening. As for all the wine lovers, they can't miss Porto Wine Fest celebrating the city's wine heritage.

Are there beaches around Porto, and if so, how to get there?

Yes, Porto has several beautiful beaches around. The most beautiful and famous among them are Matosinhos and Foz do Douro. It's possible to get there by public transportation or a short drive from the city center. There are also fancy Porto beach resorts to get the best beach experience in the region.

How to get the best experience of Porto's wine culture?

It's highly recommended to come for the first visit with an experienced guide. The guided Porto wine tours would demonstrate all the benefits of the Port wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia, where the visitors have a unique opportunity to visit exclusive port wine tasting in Porto.