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 Once considered the edge of the known world in the Middle Ages, the industrious town of Porto clung to the side of Portugal, looking out across the endless Atlantic Ocean, before adventurers risked it all to head toward the new world.
The cliché that Lisbon shows off and Porto just works is a well-worn metaphor that fails to fully do justice to the latter one's real charms. With images of a past way of life hidden down in every bustling alley, Porto is a place determined to hold on to its own and distinct identity.

currency

1 Euro = 100 cents

phone

European Emergency Number: 112

newspaper

Jornal de Noticias – Porto based newspaper

hours

Shops are usually open from Mon-Fri from 10am to 1pm and 3pm to 7pm. On Saturdays, most shops close down at 1pm. Shopping centres tend to be open from 10am to 11pm or even until midnight all week.

population

Approximately 249.600

info

Central Tourist Information Office
25, Rua Clube dos Fenianos, Porto
+351 223 393 472

Opening Hours:
June 21st-September 21st: Daily 9am-8pm
September 22nd-June 20th: Daily 9am-7pm

Porto, Portugal old town on the Douro River. Sean Pavone/Shutterstock.com

The City

Time has seemingly failed to touch some of the hidden corners of Porto, with many of its typical winding alleys full of shops and restaurants looking like a scene straight out of a medieval history book. The city is so soaked in the past that the historic area of Ribeira has been deemed a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Considering the backdrop of wrought-iron balconies full of flowers, the daily washing and an array of fresh white and blue ‘azulejos’ tiles, you will have the perfect city for aimless wandering. However, the city does have a few key landmarks that are worth a visit, including the elaborately decorated Palacio da Bolsa (=the Stock Exchange Palace), the medieval Cathedral and Clérigos Tower.

The other big draw for tourists is the tour of the Porto wine cellars at Vila Nova de Gaia on the other side of the Douro River.

The surrounding suburbs of the city are also compelling: Matosinhos offers great seafood eateries and small beaches stretching down the coastline. Amarante invites to a particular colourful shape. Foz do Douro is known as the wealthier area, with nightclubs and restaurants just 5 kilometres northwest of Porto.

Porto with Dom Luis Bridge Zhukova Valentyna/Shutterstock.com

Do & See

In Porto there is so much to see and do, and its beautiful surroundings are particularly spectacular. Make sure to visit the port wine caves, different markets and many museums.

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Porto Cathedral

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Ribeira

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Clerigos Tower

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Port Wine Caves at Vila Nova De Gaia

saiko3p/Shutterstock.com

Soares dos Reis National Museum

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Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art

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Pedro Pitões Tower

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Nova Sintra Park

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Yellow City Cruises

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Aveiro

trabantos/Shutterstock.com

Stock Exchange Palace

Antonio P. Lencastre/Shutterstock.com

Dragon Stadium

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Sao Francisco Church

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Dom Luis I Bridge

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Church of Santa Clara

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São Bento Rail Station

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Guindais Funicular

Traditional Portuguese dish polvo à lagareiro studio f22 ricardo rocha/Shutterstock.com

Dining

The people of Porto managed to acquire the name ‘tripeiros’ or ‘tripe eaters‘, as they shipped out all their fine cuts of meat in order to feed their armies and traders abroad, conquering across the seas back in the 15th century. However, today there is a lot more on the Portuguese menus than just leftover offal of lower quality, and much port wine to wash it down with.

Being on the coast, seafood restaurants are both ubiquitous and delicious. The city also has a good array of Brazilian inspired restaurants, reflecting its former colonial links with the South American country – Brazilian barbecues are a carnivore’s heaven!

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Chez Lapin

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Churrascão Gaúcho

Natalia Mylova/Shutterstock.com

ODE Porto Wine House

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O Paparico

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Yeatman's Restaurant

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Cafeína

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Praia da Luz

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Mauritânia

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Mal Cozinhado

Two glasses of Madeira wine, two cups of fresh espresso coffee and traditional Portuguese honey and nut dessert bolo de mel in cafe Ekaterina Pokrovsky/Shutterstock.com

Cafes

There are many pleasant cafés in Porto where you can get a refreshing drink or coffee. Snack-wise, most cafés will serve you a ‘francesinha,’ which is a cholesterol-full delicacy made from meat, bread and cheese finished off with some spicy sauce.

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Café Majestic

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Café Guarany

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Praia Da Luz

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Lais de Guia

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Confeitaria Tavi

Porto and its old town Ribeira by night Yato Kenshin/Shutterstock.com

Bars & Nightlife

In central Porto, the liveliest place to head for is Ribeira, the vibrant historic heart of the city, which is also a popular students' haunt. For a flavour of traditional Portugal, go to a Fado bar where you can hear a form of Portuguese blues with melancholic artists singing of lost loves and regrets.

The distinction between bar and nightclub is slightly blurred, as most bars stay open until the early morning hours. However, if you want to dance the hours away, Porto has a lot to offer, from traditional ‘Fado’ evenings to dance clubs in converted warehouses.

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Pipa Velha Petisqueira

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Cafe Candelabro

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Plano B

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The Wall Bar

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Hot Five Jazz & Blues Club

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Baxia Bar

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Passos Manuel

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OnTop

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LABIRINTHO Bar

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Industria

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Instalação

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The Gin House

Tourist looking through a window in shop with traditional goods in Porto Mirifada/Shutterstock.com

Shopping

Porto’s main shopping street is the pedestrianised Rua de Santa Catarina in the city centre, including international brands as well as the large Centro Comercial Via Caterina shopping centre. However, the small streets off the main streets are also worth a visit, brimming with independent shops selling fresh bread, cheese or cakes, interspersed with bookstores and traditional shoe stores.

Porto’s open-air markets are also worth a visit, for getting a taste of daily Portuguese life. To pick up local delicacies such as chocolate and sugar almonds, the Arcadia patisserie on Rua do Almada, 63 is worth a try, as well as A Perola do Bolhao on Rua Formosa, 279.

Gold jewellery is another speciality of Portugal, a reflection of its colonial past and its conquests of gold-rich lands of South America. Recommended jewellers are David Rosas on Avenida de Boavista, and Elysee Joias on Praca Mouzinho de Albuquerque. Pedro A Baptista, in addition, is known for its collection of antique and modern jewellery.

António M.L. Cabral/Wikimedia.org

Rua de Santa Catarina

Manuel de Sousa/Wikimedia.org

Centro Comercial Via Catarina

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Open-air markets

Joehawkins/Wikimedia.org

Arcadia Patisserie

Jorge Franganillo/Wikimedia.org

A Perola do Bolhao

Kondor83/Shutterstock.com

Jewellery

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Stradivarius

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Massimo Dutti

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A Vida Portuguesa

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Portosigns

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Casa Da Guitarra

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O Arco Da Ribeira Gourmet

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Livraria Lello

Béria Lima/Wikimedia.org

Garrafeira do Carmo

António Amen/Wikimedia.org

Mercado Bom Sucesso

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Taylor's Port

Old tram in Porto Efired/Shutterstock.com

Tourist Information

Passport / Visa

Portugal can be visited visa-free for up to 90 days by citizens of most European countries, Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Malaysia, Israel, UAE and most countries in America. If you are unsure whether or not you need to apply for a visa, we recommend contacting the embassy or consulate in your country. International (non-Schengen) travelers need a passport that is valid for at least 3 months after the end of their intended trip in order to enter the Schengen zone. Citizens of Schengen countries can travel without a passport, but must have a valid ID with them during their stay.

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Best Time to Visit

Porto provides mild weather throughout the whole year, although especially the winter months can be be dominated by heavier rain – do not forget the typical coastal weather that can change quite fast. For experiencing the typical Portuguese life, however, the best time to visit might be in summer, as the open air markets will be crowded and festivals such as Serralves em Festa and Festa de São João will attract many visitors, Portuguese as well as many tourists.

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Porto Airport

The Porto Airport is called Aeroporto Francisco Sa Carneiro and is situated 11 kilometres north of the city. To reach the airport you can use the lightrail. It departs every 30 minutes:
www.metrodoporto.pt

From here you can also take buses number 601, 602, 604 and 3M into the city centre:
www.stcp.pt

There are also shuttle buses and taxis available at the airport:

www.goinporto.com
getbus.eu

Taxi Antral
+351 22 5353350
www.antral.pt

Address: Porto Airport, Porto

Email:

Phone: +351 229 432 400

Website: www.ana.pt

More Information:

Public Transport

Porto has a good bus and tram network with routes serving all the key tourist spots; it is operated by STCP. The city also has a Metro system that is still clean and efficient. A metro ticket can be bought at the station and in other sale spots.
You can buy tourist cards that allow you to get around Porto on all means of transportation: daily tickets and a 3-day tickets.

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Website: www.stcp.pt

More Information: www.metrodoporto.pt

Taxi

Taxis in Porto are very convenient and also great for airport transfer.

Taxis Invicta
+351 22 507 64 00
www.taxisporto.com

RadiTaxis:
+351 225 073 900
www.raditaxis.pt

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Post

To find a post office in Porto, look for the red sign saying CTT. Letter boxes are also red.

Post Office:
Praça General Humberto Delgado, Porto
+351 223 400 202
Opening hours: Mon-Fri 8:30am-21pm. Sat 9am-6pm

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Website: www.ctt.pt

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Pharmacy

Parmacies are normally open from 9am-1pm and from 3pm-7pm. All areas have one shop open all night or on Sunday. A white cross on a green background marks out the pharmacies.

Farmácia Sá da Bandeira:
R. de Sá da Bandeira 236/54, Porto
+351 22 207 4040
Opening hours: Mon-Sat 8:30am-7:30pm

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Telephone

Country Code: +351

Area Code: 022

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Electricity

230V, 50Hz, C/F

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