Destinations on the Rise: Porto, Portugal
Are you looking for the perfect travel destination within Europe? Well, think Porto in Portugal, one of the few yet to be fully discovered cities in Europe. Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and one of the most charismatic places to visit. This Portuguese city is well known for two things, its river, and its port. Porto is a historic hillside city that can form a perfect tourist destination with a wide array of features.
Porto is the home of Port wine, so make sure you go and visit some vineyards. Port wine is a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal.
Porto is well-known for its Douro River a very popular destination if looking for a cruise. Sometimes called Oporto, it is an age-old city with several ancient features that make it a must-visit destination. The city was centered at Ribeira and built on the hill overlooking the Douro River. Today, the city is named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site with several ancient features.
Why Visit Porto
The Sao Fransico church in Porto is one of the main attraction features with several other monuments. The Nicolau Nasoni’s Clerigos Tower, Gustave Eiffel’s Dona Maria Bridge and the em Koolhaas’ Casa da Musica are just but a few of the many reasons why you need to visit Porto.
At some point, the city was named Porto and is a home to world legendary figures like Prince Henry, the Navigator. The world famous fictional storyteller Harry Porter has his roots to Porto. There is a lot you can sample if planning to visit Porto ranging from the different Portuguese wines.
The city is a maze of narrow and steep streets that take you away from the normal wide and flat streets. The streets are usually lined with beautiful churches, plazas, and houses that have been beautifully colored by facades. The seaside suburbs are a renaissance of the cuisine and contemporary architecture. Much of the town remains undiscovered making it a true tourist destination. You can expect to see some of the oldest institutions like the Lello bookshop opened 1906; now resembling a Grand library with hand curved wooden shelves.
Porto might be short when it comes to the grand civic buildings but places like the Palacio da Bolsa; the former stock exchange places compensate well. Porto is a tale of two cities that have been separated by the Douro River. The Gaia area is where the port families stored and aged their wine.
Best time to visit
The best time is from April to September when the city is warm and sunny giving you the best weather conditions. You are likely to get the best fares from February to April and from October to November. Planning your trip to coincide with the Saint John Festival in mid-June will also be ideal as the city will be in a festive mood.