Porto City Guide
Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal (after Lisbon), is one of the world's hidden vacation gems for those seeking world class food and fascinating culture. Porto, as its name implies, has long been a shipping port for a variety of commercial goods. The city situated at the end of the Douro River and the Douro Valley, which supplies the grapes used to make the wine for which it is famous. Here are some fun things to consider when visiting a city that exemplifies the standard of Old World class and culture.
The traditional wooden boats on the Douro River are hard to miss and, for those of a nautical persuasion, you can take a boat trip that lasts part of the day or several days. Tours depart from Porto, and longer trips will take you away from the buildings, expansive bridges, and businesses to the rural Douro countryside where a great deal of the grapes and other agricultural products originate. A boat trip is a great way to relax and see the sights and culture of Douro without having to walk or drive.
Porto has an incredible array of shops. In fact, you may want to set aside a whole day just to explore all there is to offer. Being a port town means that there is an eclectic variety of crafts and goods on display. Many items are unique and not something that you will be able to get at home.
If you are a book lover, then be sure to visit Livraria Lello & Irmão, one of the oldest continuously operating bookstores in the world. It was founded in 1869, with the current family that owns it taking ownership in the early 1900s. The beautiful interior of the bookstore is worth entering even if books are not one of your favorite pursuits. On the second floor, you can enjoy coffee and desserts.
Portugal has a reputation for producing some of the highest-quality wines and offering them at fantastic prices. The Douro Valley is famous for its beautiful terraced vineyards rising from the valley floor. These steep-sloped vineyards yield an outstanding amount of wine from the rocky terrain. Grape growing has almost always been a part of Douro life. Varieties grown include Touriga, Aragonez, and Alvarinho. Regional blends make up some of the most highly renowned wines in the region.
Just as a purist will say that the only real Champagne is made in the Champagne region of France, true Port is said to come from Porto. This style of wine became popular because it shipped well. Wine from the Douro Valley is transported down the Douro River to Porto, and here the wine is fortified and bottled. The additional alcohol made it possible for Douro grape products to find themselves in homes all over the world when fast shipping was unheard of.
Great dining options
Since Porto is on the seafront, it would be a shame not to try the plethora of seafood restaurants throughout the city. Be sure to try regional specialties such as salt cod. Asian fusion can be found at Shis Restaurant, which is located high above the beach, while DOP Restaurant is ideal for enjoying one of the best fine-dining experiences in the city. No matter what type of food you prefer, you will find something delicious in Porto.
Grabbing a map and exploring Porto can be a great way to spend a day with family and friends. Set your own pace and explore the small boutique shops. Stop for a refreshing drink in the heart of the city and observe the rich culture around you. Getting away from the more tourist-oriented areas will give you a better insight into the city’s culture, and you’ll soon get a good idea of what daily life is like for a resident of Porto. Talking to locals and immersing yourself in the culture will make your visit to Porto one to remember.
Architecture and accommodations
With many buildings dating back hundreds of years, the city’s architecture is certainly unique. What you see in Porto will harken you back to a time when people took their time building and had great pride in craftsmanship. This gives you the opportunity to immerse yourself in Porto’s history when you choose from one of the many vacation rentals on offer. If you would like to know in which neighborhood you should stay, and which apartment is right for your vacation needs, give World Escape a call today.
As the second largest city in Portugal, Porto offers a fine mixture of modern amenities and relaxing, laid-back pace of life. To experience it like a local, rent your holiday home in the city and immerse yourself in its colorful culture.
Porto exudes an old-time charm that can be felt everywhere. Stacks of picturesque, painted houses, laundry hanging on little cast-iron balconies, bridges veiled in mist, pomp baroque churches, and atmospheric fortresses speak of past ages, while the historic tram that has remained unchanged since the 1930s, still winds its way about many of these beautiful spots.
Porto Holiday Homes
Take your time to savor life in this charmingly chilled-out city at your own pace. Coming back to a bland and boring hotel room after exploring the majestic beauty of Porto would only steal away from the experience. Rent your Porto holiday home in a beautiful period house so you can feel the vibe of the city and immerse yourself fully in the atmosphere of this amazing destination.
Take your pick from holiday rentals throughout Porto. Stay in a riverfront apartment in Vila Nova de Gaia and you can admire the city on the opposite bank from your balcony and sample the fine wines produced in the region. Rent a flat in Foz and you can chill out in the numerous parks, explore the 16th-century fortress of Castelo do Queijo, enjoy lunches in riverside cafes and get around town on the historic tram.
Unlike hotels, holiday homes allow you great flexibility and comfort. There are properties for every taste in our rich collection of Porto holiday rentals. Choose from budget or luxury rentals and customize your stay by picking the range of amenities you would like to have at your disposal – from child-friendly facilities and parking spaces to modern cons such as Wi-Fi access and air-conditioning.
Staying in a spacious holiday apartment with distinctive charm and modern cons will make you feel less like a tourist and more like a local. Treat yourself and your loved ones to a Porto stay with the best accommodation and you will want to return time and again.