Porto is Portugal’s second city but is no less lovely for it. Holding onto a medieval heart that Lisbon lost in its 1755 earthquake, Porto revels in its history and culture. That doesn’t mean that it means it lacks a sense of fun - Porto is one of the happiest, most laid back cities you’ll visit. Come to the birthplace of your grandfather’s favourite tipple (the hint is in the name) and we assure you, you’ll have a good time.
Where to go
Porto is a terrific city for walking - wander for hours through the medieval heart of the city, stopping for an ice cream or to browse an antique store. Enjoy millennia of Portuguese art at the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis. For those who enjoy baroque art and design, the Igreja de Sao Francisco is one of the most startling and striking churches in the world, hidden behind a plain facade. Stock up in the Mercado do Bolhão with the finest olives, cheese and sausage made in the region. Sit in a cafe overlooking the city with a glass of port, enjoying the enduring legacy of this wonderful city.
Food & Drink
As mentioned above, Porto gives its name to port wine, beloved the world over. Skip the region’s favourite dish - tripe - and instead focus on the wide range of seafood and grilled meats enjoyed here as everything from a snack to the main meal. To eat well in Porto, we recommend Flor dos Congregados (Travessa dos Congregados 11), a 162-year-old local institution that does a mean line in traditional sandwiches (much more of a meal than you’d think!). For something a little more refined, Pedro Lemos (R. do Padre Luís Cabral 974) is one of the city’s favourite eateries, with cooking and presentation that reflects the vibrant cultural heritage of the region.
Surprisingly, Porto hasn’t had a vibrant nightlife until quite recently. Now the city is making up for lost time, with bars, nightclubs and pubs opening everywhere. There’s a bit of a bohemian feeling to a lot of the places that have opened up. We recommend Porto Tónico (R. de Cândido dos Reis 96) for something completely different - the speciality of this of this funky little bar and pub is, funnily enough, port with tonic. Surprisingly refreshing and tasty! Otherwise, why not try Miradouro Ignez (R. Sobre-o-Douro 1A) for its laidback air and amazing views across the city from its terrace.
Where to stay
When in Porto, the Flattered Apartments
are an excellent self-catering choice for those visiting the city.How to get there
Ryanair, Easyjet, British Airways and TAP Portugal all fly to Porto from London daily.