The country of Portugal is a tourist destination that, along with the capital, represents the second-largest seaside tourist city of Porto, which is often compared by travellers to the capital of Lisbon, but because of its character, it is not placed second in Portugal's most beautiful and interesting cities. Despite its small size, Porto is the second-largest seaside town in the world, attracting over two million tourists a year. Tourist attractions, museums and galleries give the city a special cultural significance, showing the past and the history of the city's origins through its cultural diversity. Why every traveller would want to travel to Portugal's second-largest city is no secret. Traditional cuisine and Port wine, the lively Ribeira neighbourhood and the nightlife in the clubs and bars are the main attractions of Porto for tourists. Join us in discovering the Portuguese city of Porto and read the latest travel tips.
Porto is a small town that is easily accessible to tourists on foot. Public passenger transport allows you to get around both in the central part of the city and in the metropolitan districts in the suburbs. Connections to metropolitan districts and the central part of the city are possible by metro, tram, bus, taxi and Funicular dos Guindais. Walking or driving along the six famous bridges connecting the north and south banks of the Douro River is a very special experience for every visitor to Porto. You can cross the bridges Dom Luis I, Maria Pia, Ponte de São João, Ponte da Arrábida, Ponte do Freixo and Ponte do Infante, overlooking the city and the Douro River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The most famous bridge from the 19th century, Dom Luis I, leads to the lively neighbourhood of Ribeira and the Port Cathedral, near which there are open restaurants, bars and shops.
In addition to many traditional dishes, such as Tripas à Moda do Porto, Bolinhos de Bacalhau and Cachorrinho, Porto is of course recognisable by the Francesinha sandwich and Port wine, which is produced in the Douro Valley in northern Portugal. A special highlight of Porto are the Azulejos tiles that adorn the Port Cathedral, São Bento Railway Station, the churches of Igreja do Carmo, Capela das Almas, Igreja de Santo Ildefonso and many other buildings and streets in the city. The colourful Azulejos tiles come from the Arab world called al-zillīj, which means polished stone. In Portugal, they began to be used in the 16th century, when they were imported from Spain to Portuguese cities by King Manuel I. The diverse geometric shapes and genre motifs on tiles with historical and religious themes add to the unusual atmosphere, which is a characteristic of Portuguese cities.
Living in Porto and unwinding in nightclubs and bars is possible throughout the year. The city offers a variety of nightlife venues with disco and alternative genres of music, as well as a jazz and queer scene. Nightlife invites diverse groups of people and subcultures related to music, mindset, and a particular lifestyle. The oldest and most notorious nightclub in Porto is the Indústria club, where electronic disco music takes place. The Hard Club, located in the Mercado Ferreira Borges building from 1885, hosts concerts with rock, indie and alternative music, as well as exhibitions, fairs and smaller markets. Hotfive Jazz & Blues Club is a Port music venue with live music in the genres of jazz, blues, soul, and funk, while queer venue Zoom Porto and the LGBT+ scene in a gay nightclub reveal extravagant parties featuring drag queens and hot go-go dancers.
Porto's cultural scene is constantly evolving and, together with older and contemporary productions, expresses its distinctive Portuguese character in many musical genres, film genres and dramatic works performed in theatres and opera houses. With approximately 237,559 inhabitants of the central city, Porto is a cultural centre in which numerous museums, galleries, and cultural centres are established, with exhibition spaces and permanent and temporary collections of works. Entrance to all city museums is free every Sunday morning until two o'clock in the afternoon. With us, you can discover the cultural highlights of Portugal in the seaside city of Porto and see the current tourist hotspots, which are currently the most visited tourist attractions in the city. Tickets to the Clérigos Tower, Spiritus Multimedia Show, Immersive Audiovisual Exhibition, World of Discoveries, FC Porto and Dragão Stadium, Cálem Cellar and interactive museum presentation and Fado concert can be found here:
Built in the mid-18th century, the 75-metre-high Baroque Clérigos Church offers a multimedia show called Spiritus from the top of the tower and inside the church in the evening. The audiovisual exhibition at the Immersivus Gallery highlights the works of two great masters, Monet and Klimt. With an interactive digital exhibition, World of Discoveries recreates the odyssey of Portuguese seafarers as they discover an unknown world. A museum tour in FC Porto and Dragão stadium with 27 themed rooms shows the past successes of the UEFA Champions League. For gourmets, there is a wine tasting tour of the Cálem winery and an interactive museum showcasing the Douro Valley, where local Port wines with their typical aroma, colour and taste are produced. The good atmosphere and Portuguese temperament is created by the Fado concert at the Ideal Clube de Fado restaurant with live music.
You can book comfortable and affordable accommodation in the city through Hostelling International, which also ensures a good night's sleep in seaside Porto, where you will certainly be surprised by the beautiful panoramic view of the Douro River. HI Porto - Pousada de Juventude is a three-star hostel that includes breakfast when booking accommodation. Before exploring the city, we recommend you familiarise yourself with some of the local features and pick up the Lonely Planet Pocket Porto guidebook, which will be an indispensable companion on your journey to discover Porto. And make sure you have the Globetrotter online magazine with you to get ideas of all that Portugal and the seaside city of Porto have to offer. When travelling to Portugal in the city of Porto, we advise you to read the article Magical Porto, both in appearance and taste, with which you will get practical tips for your day in Porto.
Plan your overnight stay in HI accommodation with short excursions around Porto and a guided tour of the city centre. The first excursion offers a visit to three vineyard estates in the Douro Valley with an organised traditional lunch on a visit to another estate and tasting the wines produced on the visited vineyard estates. You can also choose a day trip to the medieval cities of Guimarães and Braga. You'll visit the medieval castle in the historic centre and explore the central part of the city, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since the beginning of the 21st century. In the afternoon, explore Braga and learn about the past influence of the Christian faith on the city with its cultural highlights. The last offer in Porto includes a tour of the city and monuments dating from the 12th to the 19th centuries, as well as the Lello bookshop, where J.K. Rowling was inspired to write Harry Potter.
Porto is a great choice for solo travellers in groups or a couple, as they discover a world of culture and entertainment by travelling to an extremely charming tourist destination. A safe city to travel to, with over 100 kilometres of coastline, the historic city centre and Ribeiro district, the famous Avenida dos Aliados and Praça da Liberdade, where the central squares are located, and fine cuisine, excellent restaurants and clubs, it is the right destination for all travellers who want to indulge their senses in the Portuguese temperament. The Costa Verde coastline with rocky and sandy beaches and strong waves from the Atlantic Ocean is suitable for surfing and sailing. The central beach for surfing and learning surfing for beginners is Matosinhos Beach. Porto's holiday activities can happen in winter or summer, with temperatures averaging a high of 14.5 degrees Celsius throughout the year, so get your backpack ready and visit the touristic city.
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