Oh…Porto! Why we’re in love with Portugal’s second city.

Mike from Pulped Travel gives us the low down on Lisbon’s little sister. A Porto City Guide:

You might already have checked out Mike’s guide to Lisbon – we can’t get enough of the Portuguese capital, but don’t overlook Portugal’s second city and the home of Port. Porto is an undiscovered gem sitting on the Atlantic coast – Mike explains why you should check it out this summer…


Porto Architecture EuroventureLooking across to Gaia (the focus of the port wine industry in Porto) it’s truly odd to be standing in the heat of a Portuguese city seeing a number of quintessentially English surnames such as Taylors and Graham peppered across the length of the river bank.  Though I’m not a big fan of encountering my fellow countrymen abroad, on this occasion I’ll make an exception. I can’t recommend enough a trip across to Gaia to these British Port wine-making giants to sample the drink from which this magnificent city takes its name.  Be sure to make a reservation for a tour in advance as the port houses are, understandably, very popular.

Much of what you will see in Porto will be on the other side of the river in the medieval Ribeira district and on first impressions, you may think Porto a little rough round the edges and of little interest. With the crumbling historic facades of buildings (a result of difficulty in meeting the expensive UNESCO reconstruction standards) and its relatively quiet cobbled streets, it is easy to dismiss Porto as a city with little to offer.  Make no mistake – Porto is to be explored; A genuine city playground ripe for an urban adventure!


Porto Dom Luis Bridge EuroventureSights And Attractions

The Dom Luis I Bridge – The Douro River cuts through the city of Porto, snaking its way to the Atlantic Ocean from the depths of the Douro Valley.  Connecting Porto’s Gaia district with Ribeira is the magnificent Dom Luis I Bridge. A symbol of the city, this double-decker arch bridge made from iron stands almost 45 metres above the river.  It is truly a fantastic sight, thanks to its scale and the beauty of its construction.  The bridge can be crossed by various forms of transport, but the best way is to walk across and take in the breathtaking vistas across both sides of the Douro and marvel at modern metro trams trundling across this 130 year old architectural wonder.

Free Tour – Regular readers of Pulped Travel will know how much I enjoy and value a free tour, and with Porto it’s a must do for any visitor.  For most people this city doesn’t have the familiar history and sights of, say, London, Paris or Barcelona, so taking a tour means you get a local’s insight into the city; its past, its personality and, of course, where the best place is to eat the legendary local sandwich, the Francesinha! (www.portowalkers.pt)

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