In Porto, colourful houses are stacked on top of one another on the banks of the River Douro. Crumbling buildings and medieval church towers seem to defy gravity in the city’s Ribeira district – a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In this unique city you’ll also find fine dining and exclusive boutiques. And, of course, no visit to Porto is complete without sampling the drink that bears its name.
A striking skyline and riverside charm in Portugal’s romantic second city.
Things to do
The fortified wine that takes its name from the city is ever-present in Porto. With exclusive cellars and some of the world’s most distinguished varieties to sample, you could spend a whole city break sampling this delicious drink. Wines from along the Douro Valley are a similarly spectacular accompaniment to Porto’s plentiful fine dining.
With Celtic, Roman and Moorish history, Porto has a vibrant heritage. Situated at the mouth of the River Douro, the settlement at Portus Cale (modern day Vila Nova de Gaia) gave its name to the country that grew up around it. Its ability to produce some of the world’s most exclusive wines and remarkable historic centre make Porto an excellent destination for city breaks.
Despite being relatively small, Porto can match many of the world’s biggest cities in terms of culture. A former European Culture Capital, it’s home to a Romanesque cathedral, world-class museums and one of Europe’s most prestigious architectural schools. The bookshops here are also considered some of the world’s best.
Cross the river on a private wooden Rabelo boat – you can pass under the Dom Luís Bridge and visit the exclusive riverside port cellars.
Top tip from SLH