CITY OF PORTO
Arriving in Oporto, like any other traveler, the Douro stops. He knows that the Atlantic is there, that the long journey is nearing its end, and he is not in a hurry. He likes to slide slowly under the bridges made to measure, to reflect the lights of the city, which at night are duplicated in the slow waters. He likes rocking the rabelo boats that once brought the barrels with wines, from the Durian terraces to the cellars of Gaia, where the port wine takes shape, before spilling its soul for the world.
It pleases him to be a margin that limits the city, that slides by the hills until the wharves where sail ships depart, and from where now cruises leave to know the secrets. The testimony of the long history of a city of 25 centuries of existence is known. Undaunted, she attended the tragedies and the sieges, but also the first steps of Infante Don Henrique, the navigating prince, who at his side dreamed routes to conquer and lands to be populated.
What the Duero would like is to walk the streets and causeways, look at the narrow facades with wrought iron balconies, climb the Torre de los Clérigos and feel vertigo of emotion, relax in the gardens in the shade of the lime trees and araucarias, enter old haberdasheries and start a conversation with hospitable people who fell into luck. In those days, there are mists that envelop the city and give it a mysterious atmosphere.
That melancholy is part of its charm, but it does not last long. Because Porto has everything to make our days happy. It has churches lined with tiles, granite temples full of gilded carvings, markets full of life, secular cafes such as the elegant Majestic, dozens of antique and themed librarias whose jewel in the crown is Lello, one of the most beautiful in the world. It has frenetic streets, original shops, a neighborhood of art galleries, wonderful museums. And unique places, like the Arab lounge of the Stock Exchange Palace, and the terrace on the bank of the Palácio del Freixo river, which has an inn.
The baroque and neoclassical styles, as well as the architecture of the iron, evident in the bridges and framed, stand out in the monuments of the historic center, new buildings that make Oporto a reference in modern architecture. The House of Music, by Rem Koolhaas, the Museum of Contemporary Art of Serralves, Siza Vieira, are places to visit in a dynamic city that never tires of surprising us.
Contact the hotels by clicking on each of the images.
Points of interest
Historic World Heritage / Ribeira
The Historic Center of Porto, the oldest area of the city, was classified as a Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO in 1996. It contains the testimony of the medieval origins of the city, in an urban set that presents an image of extraordinary beauty.
Walking through the typical alleyways of this center is to stumble in each step with a monument of incalculable value, with the recognized hospitality of the people of the city and with a dazzling panoramic view over the hamlet and over the river Douro.
Gastronomy, artisanal products and trade offer a wide variety of proposals, from traditional offers, sustained by a past of great historical significance, to the most innovative challenges of the young creators of the city.
The break of this visit takes place in Praça da Ribeira, from where the cruise ships set sail and where you can appreciate the river and the landscape, a privileged meeting point of history and people and traditionally lively place.
The discovery of the historic center can be done in different ways and from here many paths lead to other areas of the city. On foot, by bus, tram, funicular, car, mini-train, boat or even subway, the choice is yours and the city too!
The gastronomy of Porto is a mirror of its cultural richness. There are several associated stories, several legends told from generation to generation and that today complete the customs of the people of the city. Among those who are most famous, typical Portuese dishes are characterized by the incomparable palate and the particularity of its preparation.
Tripas à Moda do Porto
Dish that gave name to the inhabitants of the city: “Tripeiros”.
Legend has it that when, in the 15th century, Infante D. Henrique left Porto for the conquest of Ceuta, the town, full of altruism, ceded all the meat to the troops, leaving only their guts. But the portugese irreverence allowed to dissipate such adversity: the guts are cooked in stew and this appetizing typical dish arose.
Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá
“João will be able to change anything because he is capable,” says Gomes de Sá when he gave the original recipe to his friend at the end of the 19th century. With a special touch and almost the same ingredients with which he prepared the cod buns, to the delight of his friends, this Porto cook eternalized the way to prepare such a tasty and original dish of cod.
It was in 1952 that Daniel da Silva, combining the concept of some French snacks and making the hot sauce of his authorship, created this idea, attributing his name in honor of the “most spicy woman” he knew, the French. The sauce that covers the combination of meat and filling is the secret of this tempting whim. Real portuense pleasure that can be enjoyed in large part of the restaurants and cafes of the city.
But the traditional does not define the limit of the cuisine of Porto. The city is also a sample of Chefs of recognized quality, some of international renown, who place it at the forefront of contemporary cuisine. Be sure to try it, it sure surprises you!
Wine of “Porto”
The famous and unique Porto Wine is a generous product made exclusively in the Douro Region and aged in vats, originally transported by the river in the typical Rabelos boats, whose replicas are displayed next to the Luís I Bridge.
This wine is distinguished from common wines by its great diversity of classes, with a richness and intensity of incomparable aroma, a very high persistence, it is left to be loved for its aroma, for its flavor, and its high content of alcohol (generally between 19 and 22% vol.).
The Institute of the Wines of the Duero and Porto is the entity responsible for the certification and control of the Denominação de Origem “Porto”. Its headquarters has a space for reception, laboratories, tastings, visits and sale of wine.
The history of this precious nectar is explained in a guided tour of the famous Porto Wine Cellars or the Porto Wine Museum, where various pieces document the city’s commercial history and its relationship with world-renowned wine.
Do not miss the opportunity to taste a glass of Porto in a wine shop that offers wine tasting and buying your favorite wine.
The flavors of Porto achieve their maximum expression in the Port Wine Ambassadors restaurants, which carefully select the wine that accompanies their gastronomic proposals.
Porto has established itself as an important commercial point for a long time. The money resulting from trade and the collection of taxes on wine became marks engraved on the urban landscape. The “Urban Route” emerges as a new suggestion to explore the city of Porto. Scroll down the route and get to know the places and buildings that make Porto a Wine City.
Tourist information to better ‘live’ the city
Porto, the city “Invicta”, invites you to discover through streets and alleys, the magic of the people, the customs and the beauty of its buildings. A very well updated city on the world without losing its historical identity and personality.
We leave here some useful information to your visit:
THE TIME IN THE CITY
WHAT TO VISIT
Instituto do Vinho do Porto – all about one of the most famous wines in the world (includes information about visits to the wineries)
Bodegas de Vino de Porto – visit the wineries, taste the wine, deepen your knowledge
Sandeman – famous wine cellar of Porto
Real Companhia Velha – famous wine cellar of Porto
Palácio da Bolsa – tourist attraction in Porto
Casa do Infante – an evocation to Infante D. Henrique, El Navegante
Estación de S. Bento – inaugurated on November 7, 1896
Torre dos Clérigos – cconsidered by many as the ex-libris of Porto
Sé do Porto – Igreja Catedral (Terreiro da Sé)
Majestic Café – historic café of Porto
Livraria Lello – a local book store tradition
Iglesia de São Francisco – construction in 1383 and was completed in 1410
Fundación de Serralves – museum, library, garden … space required for that go through here
Museo Nacional Soares dos Reis – exhibition of Portuguese painting and sculpture of the 19th and 20th centuries
Mercado do Bolhão – the most important market in the city
Jardín Botánico – areas of gardens and lakes with aquatic plants
Casa da Música – universe of music and concert hall
Palácio de Cristal – exhibition and events center
Business days from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm, but some stores are open during lunchtime. On Saturdays, from January to November, and in general, commerce closes at 1:00 pm, although some stores in the city center remain open during the afternoon.
In December, the trade operates from Monday to Saturday, from 9am to 1pm and from 3pm to 7pm. In shopping centers, the operating hours are longer, usually from 10am to 24h.
They work from Monday to Friday between 8:30 and 3:00
Business days from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm and from 3:00 pm to 7:00 pm
Saturdays from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm
All Pharmacies, when closed, have the indication of the nearest Guardian Pharmacy, which will be on call 24 hours a day.
The Post Stations are open between 8 am and 9 pm, on business days. Saturdays, Sundays and holidays open at 9 am and close at 6 pm. The central stations and those of the Airports are open on Saturdays. The Post Office on Avenida dos Aliados is open Monday through Saturday.
Emergency Services of Hospitals should only be used in serious situations (serious trauma, poisoning, burns, heart attacks, thrombosis, respiratory problems, etc.). To have access to health services, EU citizens, who do not reside in Portugal, must have their passport or identity card, the E112 model and the European Health Card.
TAP – official information about the Portuguese Air Company
ANA – Aeroportos – information about flights in Portugal
LowCost Portugal – information about the low cost flights from Faro, Fuchal, Lisbon and Porto
Brisa – information about the Portuguese highways.
STCP – itineraries and schedules of the buses public.
CP – itineraries and schedules of the trains.
Rede Expressos – itineraries and schedules of the national express buses network.
Babelfish – translation services, including English-Portuguese and Portuguese-English
XE – information on changes
Mappy – interactive maps
RTP – public television channel
SIC y TVI – private television channels
TSF, RFM y Rádio Comercial – most listened to radio stations in Portugal.
Service of Foreigners and Borders
Globalbagtag – a label associated with a secure database is all you need to find lost luggage