The Portuguese coastal city of Porto charms the traveler with its stunning river views, atmospheric old town and delicious food. Porto’s tourist assets include the historic center, rich cultural heritage and the city’s title wine.
The beautiful red-brick-roofed houses of Porto are a relaxed holiday destination, where you can spend your trip sightseeing, enjoying Portuguese food or even shopping.
Culture and architecture from many centuries
Located in northern Portugal, on the banks of the Douro River, Porto is the country’s second largest city and has grown in popularity as a travel destination in recent years. The relaxed and varied city is an easy choice for a weekend getaway, but you can also explore it during your day in Portugal by car.
The heart and soul of Porto rest in the old town, which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The historic center, also known as Ribeira, has seen the city grow and change for more than 2,000 years. Numerous monuments and buildings ranging from the nearly thousand-year-old cathedral to the neoclassical stock exchange and the Portuguese-inspired church of Santa Clara exude the havin of the wings of history.
Other well-known attractions in Porto include the Serralves Museum with its art donation, the architecturally interesting Casa de Música and the city’s numerous churches. Livraria Lello , one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, is definitely worth a visit.
Hot in summer, otherwise rainy
Porto’s climate combines the influence of the Mediterranean with the moist cumulus clouds of the Atlantic. In summer, the largest city in northern Portugal, like the Mediterranean countries, bask in the sun, and rain does not pose a problem. Outside the summer season, the Atlantic Ocean makes itself known in the form of a rainstorm and Porto is one of the wettest cities in Europe.
Dry summers are the best time to travel to the city. Porto can also be enjoyed in the spring and autumn, when there are fewer tourists, and in the event of rain, you can escape to the shelters of museums, for example.
The Porto area is also known for its wines.
The hometown of port
Porto is known around the world for its port wine. The sweet dessert wine made in the Douro wine regions is a great gift from your Porto holiday. Wine lovers should also visit the region’s vineyards or cellars for tasting tours during their stay.
In addition to wine, you can also enjoy tasty food in Porto. The city eats a lot of fish and seafood, and portions made from cod, for example, are popular. One of the city’s specialties is the hearty francesinha , a layered sandwich stuffed with meat and glazed with cheese.
In addition to gourmets, Porto is also an interesting destination for shoppers. In the city you can buy traditional handicrafts as well as clothes, shoes and accessories. Lots of shops can be found on and around Santa Catarina Street, for example.
FLIGHTS, ACCOMMODATION AND MOVEMENT IN PORTO
Porto is a fascinating city destination with easy connections from Finland.
In summer, direct flights
Porto, located in northern Portugal, can be reached by direct flight from Finland during the summer months. Finnair flies from Helsinki to Porto twice a week and the prices of direct flights are from just over 200 euros and up.
In other seasons, you can conveniently fly to Porto in one shift, for example via the Portuguese capital Lisbon , which is less than an hour away. Lufthansa, for example, also has possible connections via Munich and Frankfurt. If purchased well in advance, alternative flights can be obtained at the cheapest price of 150-200 euros.
Porto Airport is approximately 10 km from the city center and can be easily reached by metro or taxi, for example.
Diverse accommodation offer
Porto has a comprehensive range of accommodation to suit every budget. The cheapest options are hostels and more modest hotels, where accommodation costs the cheapest twenty euros per night.
Even the most demanding customer will not be disappointed in Porto, as the city has numerous four- and five-star hotels that are quite high quality. In terms of accommodation, Porto is an affordable destination and if you make a reservation well in advance, you can also get a reservation for high-quality accommodation cheaply.
Good transport links
Getting around Porto is easy in Porto, as the public transport network is comprehensive. The city has buses, metro and trams, which are especially popular with tourists. If you plan to use a lot of public transport, you should buy an Andante Tour card. The card is valid for either 24 or 72 hours.
In its ease, a taxi is also a viable option for getting around Porto. Fares are reasonably priced for those accustomed to Finnish taxi bills.
ATTRACTIONS OF PORTO
Porto’s architecture and impressive buildings are part of the city’s charm.
Ribeira, or Porto’s historic center, is the city’s biggest attraction. The old town is like a huge open-air museum, with a scent of history in the air and enough to admire its atmospheric streets. There are also numerous cafés, restaurants and bars in the scenic area.
The old town, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, contains countless buildings from past centuries. In contrast, there is also a newer architecture that blends seamlessly with the older building stock. At least Porto’s 12th-century cathedral, neoclassical stock exchange building with its magnificent lobby, and the Periportian Church of Santa Clara are worth a visit.
Serralves Art Museum
The Serralves Art Museum is perhaps the best known of Porto’s art centers. The museum, which focuses on contemporary art, is already an architecturally impressive revelation that only enhances its perception of the admirer the deeper it gets lost in the museum’s secrets.
In addition to the visual arts, the museum, maintained by the Serralves Foundation, also serves as a stage for other types of art. A visitor who arrives at the right time can enjoy, for example, dance, music and film performances.
Porto Cathedral and Church of São Francisco
Porto has numerous historic church buildings, the most spectacular of which is the city’s cathedral. Construction work began as early as the 12th century, but later alterations were made to its interior. The cathedral is open daily and admission is free.
Another interesting church in Porto is the Church of São Francisco, which was completed in the early 15th century. The specialty of the church is the partially gold-plated interior.
A tour of the wine cellars
In a city that has given its name to one of the world’s most famous wines, it’s not worth noting how liquid gold is made.
In the Ribeira region in particular, there are many cozy wine cellars where, in addition to winemaking, you can get to know the sophisticated world of port wines with the help of experts. You can also get gift bottles at a discounted price from the basement door.
THE BEST OF PORTO
Porto has plenty of attractions and experiences for many tastes.
The best attractions
- Ribeira as a whole
- Dom Luis Bridge
- The wine cellars of the old town
- Serralves Museum
- Romantic Museum