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Porto at a Glance

Porto is a distinct combination of ancient and modern, meshed together to form an ideal waterfront city. Its historic city center has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and mixes Gothic and Baroque buildings tucked into hilly, narrow streets while, the neighbourhood of Foz is contemporary and home to a vibrant beach and entertainment scene. Between these two areas, museums, theatres, art galleries, boutiques and cafes wait with open arms.

Not to be missed When in Porto these are just a few of the attractions worth your while:

  • Ribeira: This is the historic centre of Porto, and named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
  • Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis: Showcasing Portuguese artistic movements between the 16th and 20th century.
  • Coa Valley Paleolithic Art Site: Outside of Porto, this open air Archeological Park is comprised of thousands of engraved drawings dated from 22,000 to 10,000 years BCE.
  • Vila Nova de Gaia: Across the Douro from Porto, this is where port wine-bottles and exporters are required to keep their warehouses. In the evenings this area comes to life, and its waterside promenade calls to wine aficionados. Tours of the warehouses can be arranged during the day.

Uniquely Porto Did you know that Port Wine can only be called Port Wine if the grapes are grown in Portugal’s Douro Valley, and the wine is brewed in Porto?

Produced exclusive in the Douro Valley, Port Wine is characteristically sweet and most often served as a dessert wine. The valley where it is manufactured is the oldest defined and protected wine region in the world, having been established as a protected appellation in 1756. Tours and tastings can be arranged for many of the Port Wine cellars.

Good to know about Porto You’ve set your sights on the unique and complex city of Porto, now it’s time to learn the practical details:

  • Climate: Porto is strongly affected by the Atlantic Ocean, causing it to demonstrate a semi-Mediterranean climate, meaning it is cooler than cities with this climate. Average summer temperatures are between 15° C and 25°C. Winters are mild and humid with a daily temperature of 15° C.
  • City Transportation: Porto offers both the Metro and a reliable network of Public Buses.
  • Accommodation: Hotels, homes, apartments and even villas are all available for rent in Porto. See Porto Hotels for more details.
  • Eating Out: It is said that Porto is home to some of the finest restaurants in Portugal and even Europe. As in Lisbon, many restaurants will bring a selection of bread, butter, olives and cheese to your table upon being seated. This tray is not free and you will be charged based on what you consume.

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