Discover the allure of Porto, Portugal’s second-largest city, renowned for its captivating history, vibrant architecture, and tasty regional dishes. This underrated gem is perched atop the hills, overlooking the banks of the flowing Duoro River. We delve into the things to do in Porto!
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Where to Stay in Porto
Review the map below for wonderful places to stay in Porto!
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Keep reading our guide to things to do in Porto and the experiences that await in this mesmerizing city.
Porto Wine (Port Wine) – A Sweet Part of History
Of course, you can’t go to Porto without trying its eponymous wine! Port wine is fortified with brandy, lending it a sweeter, thick taste. This famous wine got its start in the Middle Ages during a long period of war. The English traditionally purchased their wine from France but now preferred Portugal over their enemies.
There are three kinds of Port – white, ruby, and tawny.
The journey through the Duoro River was long and the unstable Portuguese wine often lost quality. Mixing the wine with brandy solved this problem and a new, stronger drink quickly won the Brits over. A true culture tie – centuries later, the British still enjoy a glass of tawny Port wine with Stilton cheese (especially on Christmas). The sweet, syrupy wine and strong, salty blue cheese beautifully complement each other.
Porto Cuisine & Drink – Not to Be Missed
The gastronomical culture in Portugal is unpretentious yet absolutely delicious and one-of-a-
kind. Dining out is all about the quality of the ingredients and the long conversations that linger over the table.
The best way to learn more about the history behind the food and wine is by taking a guided tour, like the top-rated 3-Hour Food and Wine Tasting Tour. This captivating food and drink tour in Porto starts off with a delightful coffee and Pastéis de Nata (Portuguese custard tart).
Explore Bolhão Market, where you’ll be immersed in a lively atmosphere filled with fresh produce and fish.
Indulge in a classic bifana (pork sandwich) and cold beer, savor traditional bolinho de bacalhau (cod fishcakes), and end the tour with a sample of Port wine at a beloved local wine bar. Experience the rich flavors and culinary traditions of Porto on this unforgettable guided tour.
Captivating City Streets of Porto (Try a Walking Tour!)
Porto exudes a timeless charm, transporting visitors to another era. Despite the steep hills,
visitors will want to spend hours seeking out the famous hand-painted tiles adorning its
buildings. Luckily, the beauty is saved from being torn down to make way for another fast-food joint, the entire historical city center of Porto is a UNESCO heritage site.
It’s easy to get lost with all the twists and turns, so make sure you don’t miss out on anything by joining a tour, like the fascinating Highlights and Hidden Gems of Porto Private City Walking Tour.
Walk the city’s streets while an experienced guide explains the history and culture behind city
landmarks like Clerigos Tower, Porto’s street art, the exquisitely tiled Sao Bento train station,
the Dom Luis I Bridge (a feat of engineering with double decks and metal arches), the famous
Livraria Lello Bookstore (with its famous staircase and ties to Harry Potter), and more.
Experience an Intimate Fado Show
Fado is a traditional folk music dating back to at least the beginning of the 19th century (but
many believe its oral traditions date back centuries further). You can’t leave Porto without
watching one of these moving shows.
As popular as fado is, it can be difficult to find a bar with any space left to sit and the
quality of the musicians can vary. Guarantee a spot at an authentic show, with space to sit
back and relax, by booking an experience in advance.
The Live Fado Show with Glass of Port Wine is a great option for visitors. Sip on a
complimentary drink while you immerse yourself in the world of Fado. You will be serenaded by talented musicians in either the Ribiera, a 19th-century cellar, or the Sé, a former guitar luthier workshop, both located in Porto’s historic center.
Porto is a perfectly sized city, you feel the culture and the history without being overwhelmed by its size. Make your trip easier by choosing a carefully curated tour where you can make lasting memories on your Portuguese adventure.
Read More About Portugal!
A Lisbon Holiday – Where the Ocean Meets a Captivating Capital
Lagos in Algarve: Portugal’s Breathtaking Southern Coastline
Coastal Beauty and Canals in Aveiro, Portugal
Coimbra Portugal: An Overlooked Gem in Central Portugal
Douro Valley Portugal – Wine Tasting with A Magnificent View
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