Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula.
It is recognized as a gamma+ level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon to be recognized as a global city.
Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its combined Celtic-Latin name, Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name “Portugal”, based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin.
Travel to Porto
Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport is located on the north outskirts of Porto, about 11 kilometers from the center of the city. It is serviced by some 20 airline companies which operate both business class and low cost flights, such as Luxair, TAP Portugal, Ryanair, Air Berlin, Air Transat and Aigle Azur. These airline companies establish connections between Porto and sundry national and international destinations, such as Lisbon itself, Brussels, Toronto, Montreal, Milan, Paris, Madrid and Frankfurt, Bordeaux and London.
Click here to access Porto International airport
Direct train connections to ⁄ from Porto:
Germany (via Münich, via Frankfurt)
Switzerland (via Zürich)
Austria (via Salzburg, via Villach, and via Graz, via Vienna)
Croatia (via Zagreb and via Rijeka)
Hungary (via Budapest)
Czech Republic (via Prague)
Italy (via Venice)
Serbia (via Belgrade)
Bosnia and Herzgovina (via Sarajevo)
Click here to access the Railways website
Things to Do in Porto
Ribeira is Porto’s biggest heart-stealer. Its Unesco World Heritage maze of medieval alleys zigzags down to the Douro River and a promenade lined with slender, pastel-hued houses and hole-in-the-wall tascas (taverns), with front-row views of the spectacular Ponte de Dom Luís I and the port-wine lodges across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia. Jam-packed with sights, shops and restaurants (and flocks of tourists), this historic neighbourhood is postcard Porto.
Ponte de Dom Luís I
Completed in 1886 by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the bridge’s top deck is now reserved for pedestrians, as well as one of the city’s metro lines; the lower deck bears regular traffic, as well as narrow walkways for those on foot.
Palácio da Bolsa
This splendid neoclassical monument (built from 1842 to 1910) honours Porto’s past and present money merchants. Just past the entrance is the glass-domed Pátio das Nações (Hall of Nations), where the exchange once operated.
From Praça da Ribeira rises a tangle of medieval alleys and stairways that eventually reach the hulking, hilltop fortress of the cathedral. Founded in the 12th century, it was largely rebuilt a century later and then extensively altered during the 18th century.
Igreja de São Francisco
Sitting on Praça Infante Dom Henrique, Igreja de São Francisco looks from the outside to be an austerely Gothic church, but inside it hides one of Portugal’s most dazzling displays of baroque finery.