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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Porto / Oporto
Porto's Ribeira


Location of Porto in Portugal
 - Mayor Rui Rio (elected) PSD
 - City 41.66 km2 (16.1 sq mi)
 - City 221.800(est.2008)
 Density 5,324/km2 (13,789.1/sq mi)
 Metro 1.700.000(est.2008)
Time zone GMT (UTC+0)
Historic Centre of Oporto*
UNESCO World Heritage Site

Porto des de Vila Nova de Gaia.JPG
Porto as seen from Vila Nova de Gaia
State Party  Portugal
Type Cultural
Criteria iv
Reference 755
Region** Europe and North America
Inscription history
Inscription 1996  (20th Session)
* Name as inscribed on World Heritage List.
** Region as classified by UNESCO.

Porto (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpoɾtu]), also known as Oporto in English, is Portugal's second city and the capital of Norte region. It is, along with Lisbon, one of Portugal's two global cities. The city is located in the estuary of the Douro river, in northern Portugal. Being the largest city in the region, it is considered its economic and cultural heart. With an estimated population of about 220,000 (est.2008), it lies at the centre of the political Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto, with a population of slightly more than 1.7 million (est. 2008),[1] and is the main agglomeration of northern Portugal.[2]

The city of Porto comprises 15 civil parishes. The historic centre of Porto was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. One of Portugal's most internationally famous products, Port wine, is named after the city because it is produced in, and shipped from the area[3] or, more precisely, from Vila Nova de Gaia, a city just across the river which belongs to the same conurbation.

The Latin name of Porto, Portus Cale,[4] is the origin of the name "Portugal" for the whole country. In Portuguese, the city is usually referred to with the definite article as "o Porto" (the port), hence the English name "Oporto".



Early history

Historic references to the city go back to the 4th century and to Roman times, although Celtic and Proto-Celtic remnants of ancient Citadels were found in the heart of where Porto now lies. In the Roman period the city developed its importance as a commercial port, primarily in the trade between Olissipona (Lisbon) and Bracara Augusta (nowadays Braga), but would fall under the Moorish invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. In 868, Vímara Peres, a Christian warlord from Gallaecia and a vassal of the King of Asturias, Léon and Galicia, Alfonso III, was sent to reconquer and secure from the Moors the area from the Minho River to the Douro River, including the city of Portus Cale, later Porto and Gaia, from where the name and political entity of Portugal emerged (see Portucale). In 868 Count Vímara Peres established the First County of Portugal (Portuguese: Condado de Portucale), after the reconquest of the region north of the Douro river.

In 1387, this city was the scene for the marriage of João I and Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt, symbolising the long-standing military alliance between Portugal and England, the world's oldest military alliance, which still holds via NATO.

In the 14th and the 15th centuries, the shipyards of Porto contributed to the development of the Portuguese fleet. In 1415, Henry the Navigator, son of João I, left from Porto to conquest the Muslim port of Ceuta in northern Morocco. This expedition led to the exploratory voyages that he later sent down the coast of Africa. Portuenses are referred to this day as "tripeiros", in reference to the fact that higher quality meat would be loaded onto ships to feed sailors, while off-cuts and by-products such as tripe would be left behind and eaten by the citizens of Porto. Tripe remains a culturally important dish in modern day Porto.

18th century

Avenida dos Aliados
Sculpture of Ângelo de Sousa at Avenida da Boavista, a services avenue
View from the Clerics Tower

Wine, produced in the Douro valley, was already in the 13th century transported to Porto in barcos rabelos (flat sailing vessels). In 1703 the Methuen Treaty established the trade relations between Portugal and England. In 1717, a first English trading post was established in Porto. The production of port wine then gradually passed into the hands of a few English firms. To counter this English dominance, Prime Minister Marquis of Pombal established a Portuguese firm receiving the monopoly of the wines from the Douro valley. He demarcated the region for production of port, to ensure the wine's quality; this was the first attempt to control wine quality and production in Europe. The small winegrowers revolted against his strict policies on Shrove Tuesday, burning down the buildings of this firm. The revolt was called Revolta dos Borrachos (revolt of the drunks) and became a symbol of the freedom spirit of the inhabitants of Porto.

Between 1732 and 1763, Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni designed a baroque church with a tower that would become its icon: the Torre dos Clérigos (English: Clerics Tower). During the 18th and 19th centuries the city became an important industrial centre and saw its size and population increase.

19th century

The invasion of the Napoleonic troops in Portugal under Marshal Soult is still vividly remembered in Porto. On 29 March 1809, as the population fled from the advancing troops and tried to cross the river Douro over the Ponte das Barcas (a pontoon bridge), the bridge collapsed under the weight. This event is still remembered by a plate at the Ponte D. Luis I. The French army was rooted out of Porto by Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, when his troops crossed the Douro river from the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (a former convent) in a brilliant daylight coup de main. In August 1820, Porto rebelled against the English presence, resulting in a civil war in Portugal. In 1822, a liberal constitution was accepted, partly through the efforts of the liberal assembly of Porto (Junta do Porto). When Miguel of Portugal took the Portuguese throne in 1828, he rejected this constitution and reigned as an absolutist monarch. Porto rebelled again and had to undergo a siege of eighteen months between 1832 and 1833 by the absolutist army. Porto is also called "Cidade Invicta" (English: Unvanquished City) after resisting the Miguelist siege. After the abdication of king Miguel the liberal constitution was re-established.

Known as the city of bridges, the first permanent bridge – the Ponte das Barcas (a pontoon bridge) – was built in 1806, but three years later, sabotaged. It was replaced by the Ponte D. Maria II popularised under the name Ponte Pênsil (suspended bridge) and built between 1841–43 and of which only the supporting pylons remain.

The Ponte D. Maria, a railway bridge inaugurated the 4th of November of that same year, considered by then to be a feat of wrought iron engineering and designed by no other than Gustave Eiffel himself. But this bridge is not to be mistaken for the later Ponte Dom Luís I, which was in turn to substitute the aforementioned Ponte Pênsil. This last bridge was made by Teophile Seyrig, a former partner of Eiffel, and its project won a governmental competition that took place in 1879. Building began in 1881 and it was opened to the public the 31st October 1886.[citation needed]

Unrest by Republicans led to a revolt in Porto on 31 January 1891. This would result ultimately in the creation of the Portuguese Republic in 1910.

A higher learning institution in nautical sciences (Aula de Náutica, 1762) and a stock exchange (Bolsa do Porto, 1834) were established in the city but would be discontinued later.

20th century

In 1958 and 1960, Porto's streets hosted the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix.

The historic centre of Porto was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The World Heritage site is defined in two concentric zones; the "Protected area", and within it the "Classified area". The Classified area comprises the medieval borough located inside the 14th-century Romanesque wall. [5]


In recent years, UNESCO recognised its historic centre as a World Heritage Site. Among the architectural highlights of the city, Oporto Cathedral is the oldest surviving structure, together with the small romanesque Church of Cedofeita, the gothic Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), the remnants of the city walls and a few 15th-century houses. The baroque style is well represented in the city in the elaborate gilt work interior decoration of the churches of St. Francis and St. Claire (Santa Clara), the churches of Mercy (Misericórida) and of the Clerics (Igreja dos Clérigos), the Episcopal Palace of Porto, and others. The neoclassicism and romanticism of the 19th and 20th centuries also added interesting monuments to the landscape of the city, like the magnificent Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), the Hospital of Saint Anthony, the Municipality, the buildings in the Liberdade Square and the Avenida dos Aliados, the tile-adorned São Bento Train Station and the gardens of the Crystal Palace (Palácio de Cristal). A guided visit to the Palácio da Bolsa, and in particular the Arab Room, is a major tourist attraction.

In 2001, Porto shared the designation European Culture Capital. In the scope of these events, the construction of the major concert hall space Casa da Música, designed by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, was initiated and finished in 2005.

Many of the city's oldest houses are at risk of collapsing. The population in Porto municipality dropped by nearly 100,000 since the 1980s, but the number of permanent residents in the outskirts and satellite towns has grown strongly.[6]

Porto is ranked number 3 in the Portuguese most livable cities survey of living conditions published yearly by Expresso.[7]


Porto city centre
A typical street in Porto
Casa da Música a Rem Koolhaas's concert hall

The first Portuguese moving pictures were taken in Porto by Aurélio da Paz dos Reis and shown there on 12 November 1896 in Teatro do Príncipe Real do Porto, less than a year after the first public presentation by Auguste and Louis Lumière. The country's first movie studios Invicta Filmes was also erected in Porto in 1917 and was open from 1918 to 1927 in the area of Carvalhido. Manoel de Oliveira, a Portuguese film director and the oldest director in the world who is still active, is from Porto. Fantasporto is an international film festival organized in Porto every year. Many renowned Portuguese music artists and cult bands such as GNR, Rui Veloso, Sérgio Godinho, Clã, Pluto and Ornatos Violeta are from the city or its metropolitan area. Porto has several museums, concert halls, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, libraries and book shops. The best-known museums of Oporto are the National Museum Soares dos Reis (Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis), which is dedicated especially to the Portuguese artistic movements from the 16th to the 20th century, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Serralves Foundation (Museu de Arte Contemporânea). The city has concert halls of a rare beauty and elegance such as the Coliseu do Porto by the Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco; an exquisite example of the Portuguese decorative arts. Other notable venues include the historical São João National Theatre, the Rivoli theatre, the Batalha cinema and the recent Casa da Música. The city has a magnificent, and beautiful bookshop, "Lello", that was featured in third place in The Guardian's list of world's top bookshops.[8] From the three top bookshops, Lello was the only one that was originally built to be a bookshop, as the other ones were, repectively, a church and a theatre.


Porto's most popular event is St. John (São João Festival ) on the night of 23–24 June.[9] In this season it's a tradition to have a vase with bush basil decorated with a small poem. During the dinner of the great day people usually eat sardines and boiled potatoes together with red wine.

Another major event is Queima das Fitas, that starts in the first Sunday of May and ends in the second Sunday of the month. Basically, before the beginning of the study period preceding the school year’s last exams, academia tries to have as much fun as possible. The week comprehends 12 events, starting with the Monumental Serenata on Sunday, reaching its peak with the Cortejo Académico on Tuesday, when about 50,000 students of the city's higher education institutions march through the downtown streets till they reach the city hall. During every night of the week a series of concerts takes place on the Queimódromo, next to the city’s park; here it’s also a tradition for the students in the second last year to erect small tents where alcoholic beverages are sold in order to finance the trip that takes place during the last year of their course; an average of 50 000 students attend these shows.[10]


On the waterfront, She Changes sculpture by artist Janet Echelman is the city's graphic symbol

In 2005, the municipality funded a public sculpture to be built in the Waterfront Plaza of Matosinhos. The resulting sculpture is entitled She Changes[11] by American artist, Janet Echelman, and spans the height of 50 × 150 × 150 meters.


Port wine is what the city is best known for

Porto is home to a number of dishes from traditional Portuguese cuisine.

A typical dish from this city is Tripas à Moda do Porto (Tripes Porto style), which still can be found everywhere in the city today.

Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (Gomes de Sá Bacalhau) is another typical codfish dish born in Porto and popular in Portugal.

The Francesinha (literally Frenchy) is the most famous popular native snack food in Porto. It is a kind of sandwich with several meats covered with cheese and a special sauce made with beer and other ingredients.

Port wine, an internationally renowned wine, is widely accepted as the city's dessert wine, especially being that the wine is made along the Douro River which runs through the city.


Roads and bridges

D. Luís Iron Bridge and Porto viewed from Vila Nova de Gaia
Tiled main hall of train station
Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport
The Metro do Porto

The road system capacity is augmented by the Via de Cintura Interna or A20, an internal highway connected to several motorways and city exits, complementing the Circunvalação 4-lane peripheric road, which borders the north of the city and connects the eastern side of the city to the Atlantic shore. The city is connected to Valença by highway A28, to Estarreja by the A29, to Lisbon by the A1, to Amarante by the A4 and to Braga by the A3. There is also an outer-ring road the A41 that connects all the main cities around Porto, linking the city to other major metropolitan highways such as the A7, A11, A42, A43 and A44. In the future a new highway, the A32, is to connect the city to São João da Madeira.

During the 20th century, major bridges were built: Arrábida Bridge, which at its opening had the biggest concrete supporting arch in the world, and connects north and south shores of the Douro on the west side of the city, S. João, to replace D. Maria Pia and Freixo, a highway bridge on the east side of the city. The newest bridge is Ponte do Infante, finished in 2003. Two more bridges are said to be under designing stages and due to be built in the next 10 years, one on the Campo Alegre area, nearby the Faculty of Humanities and the Arts, and another one in the area known as the Massarelos valley.[citation needed]

Nowadays, Porto is often known as Cidade das Pontes (City of Bridges), "Cidade Invicta" (Invincible City) and "Capital do Norte" (The Capital of the North).


Porto is served by Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport which is located in Pedras Rubras, Moreira civil parish of the neighbouring Municipality of Maia, some 15 km to the north-west of the city centre. The airport is a state-of-the-art facility, having undergone a massive programme of refurbishment due to the Euro 2004 football championships being partly hosted in the city.

Public transport


Porto's main railway station is situated in Campanhã, located in the eastern part of the city (connecting to the lines of Douro (Peso da Régua/Tua/Pocinho), Minho (Barcelos/Viana do Castelo/Valença) and Norte (on the main line to Aveiro, Coimbra and Lisbon). From here, both light rail and suburban rail services connect to the city centre. The main central station is São Bento Station, which is itself a notable landmark located in the heart of Porto.

Subway/Light rail

Currently the major project is the Porto Metro system. Consequently, the Infante bridge was built for urban traffic, replacing the Dom Luís I, which was dedicated to the subway on the second and higher of the bridge's two levels. Five lines are open: lines A (blue), B (red), C (green) and E (purple) all begin at Estádio do Dragão (home to FC Porto) and terminate at Senhor do Matosinhos, Póvoa de Varzim (via Vila do Conde), ISMAI (via Maia) and Francisco Sá Carneiro airport respectively. Line D (yellow) currently runs from Hospital S. João in the north to D. João II on the southern side of the Douro river. The lines intersect at the central Trindade station. Currently the whole network spans 60 km (37 miles) using 68 stations, thus being the biggest metro system in the country.


The city has an extensive bus network run by the STCP (Sociedade dos Transportes Colectivos do Porto, or Porto Public Transport Society) which also operates lines in the neighbouring cities of Gaia, Maia and Gondomar. Other smaller companies connect such towns as Paços de Ferreira and Santo Tirso to the town center. In the past the city also had trolleybuses.[citation needed]


A tram network, of which only a tourist line on the shores of the Douro remain, saw its construction begin in 12 September 1895, therefore being the first in the Iberian Peninsula.

Porto Light Rail opened in January 2003.[12]

Historical part of Porto and the Douro river


Porto City Hall in the Avenida dos Aliados

Porto has a cool-summer Mediterranean climate (Köppen climate classification Csb) with substantial winter rainfall. As a result, its climate shares many characteristics with the coastal south: warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Unlike the south, however, cool and rainy interludes can interrupt the dry season and the season's average length is usually shorter.

Summers are typically sunny with average temperatures between 15 °C and 27 °C but can rise to as high as 37 °C during occasional heat waves. During such heat waves the humidity remains quite low, but nearby forest fires can add haze and ash to the air making breathing somewhat uncomfortable, especially at night. Nearby beaches are often windy and usually cooler than the urban areas. In contrast, occasional summer rainy periods may last a few days and are characterized by showers and cool temperatures of around 22 °C in the afternoon.

Winter temperatures typically range between 5 °C during morning and 14 °C during afternoon but rarely drop below 0 °C at night. The weather is often rainy for long stretches although prolonged sunny periods do occur.

Climate data for Porto
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Record high °C (°F) 22.3
Average high °C (°F) 13.5
Daily mean °C (°F) 9.25
Average low °C (°F) 5.0
Record low °C (°F) -3.3
Precipitation mm (inches) 157.6
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia (1971-2000 climatology) [13]


One of the many shopping centers in Porto.
Port wine, what Porto is best known for producing.

Porto has always rivaled Lisbon in economic power. As the most important city in the heavily industrialised northwest, many of the largest Portuguese corporations from diverse economic sectors, like Altri, Ambar, Amorim, Bial, Cerealis, BPI, CIN, EFACEC, Frulact, Lactogal, Millennium bcp, Porto Editora, Grupo RAR, Sonae, Sonae Indústria, and Unicer, are headquartered in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto, most notably, in the core municipalities of Maia, Matosinhos, Porto, and Vila Nova de Gaia.

The country's biggest exporter (Petrogal) has one of its two refineries near the city, in Leça da Palmeira (13 km) and the second biggest (Qimonda, now bankrupt) has its only factory also near the city in Mindelo (26 km).[14]

The city's former stock exchange (Bolsa do Porto) was transformed into the largest derivatives exchange of Portugal, and merged with Lisbon Stock Exchange to create the Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa e Porto, which eventually merged with Euronext, together with Amsterdam, Brussels, LIFFE and Paris stock and futures exchanges. The building formerly hosting the stock exchange is currently one of the city's touristic attractions, the Salão Árabe (Arab Room in English) being its major highlight.

Porto hosts a popular Portuguese newspaper, Jornal de Notícias. The building where its offices are located (which has the same name as the newspaper) was up to recently one of the tallest in the city (it has been superseded by a number of modern buildings which have been built since the 1990s).[citation needed]

Porto Editora, one of the biggest Portuguese publishers, is also in Porto. Its dictionaries are among the most popular references used in the country, and the translations are very popular as well.

The economic relations between the city of Porto and the Upper Douro River have been documented since the Middle Ages. However, they were greatly deepened in the modern ages.[citation needed] Indeed, sumach, dry fruits and nuts and the Douro olive oils sustained prosperous exchanges between the region and Porto. From the riverside quays at the river mouth, these products were exported to other markets of the Old and New World. But the greatest lever to interregional trade relations resulted from the commercial dynamics of the Port wine (Vinho do Porto) agro industry.[citation needed] It decidedly bolstered the complementary relationship between the large coastal urban centre, endowed with open doors to the sea, and a region with significant agricultural potential, especially in terms of the production of extremely high quality fortified wines, today known by the world-famous label Port. The development of Porto was also closely connected with the left margin of River Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia, where is located the amphitheatre-shaped slope with the Port wine cellars.

In a study concerning competitiveness of the 18 Portuguese district capitals, Porto was the worst-ranked. The study was made by Minho University economics researchers and was published in Público newspaper on 30 September 2006. The best-ranked cities in the study were Évora, Lisbon and Coimbra.[15] Nevertheless, the validity of this study was questioned by some Porto's notable figures (such as local politicians and businesspersons) who argued that the city proper does not function independently but in conurbation with other municipalities.[16] A new ranking, published in the newspaper Expresso (Portuguese Newspaper) in 2007 which can be translated to "The Best Cities to Live in Portugal" ranked Porto in third place (tied with Évora) below Guimarães and Lisbon.[17] The two studies are not directly comparable as they use different dependent measures.


The city has a large number of public and private basic and secondary schools, as well as kindergartens and nurseries. Due to the depopulation of the city's interior, however, the number of students has dropped substantially in the last decade, forcing a closure of some institutions.[citation needed] The largest and oldest international school located in Porto is the Oporto British School established in 1894.

Porto has several institutions of higher education, the largest one being the state-managed University of Porto (Universidade do Porto), which is the largest Portuguese university with approximately 28,000 students. There are also a state-managed polytechnic institute, the Instituto Politécnico do Porto (a group of technical colleges), and privately-owned institutions like the Universidade Fernando Pessoa (UFP), the Porto's Higher Education School of Arts (ESAP- Escola Superior Artística do Porto) and a Vatican state university, the Portuguese Catholic University at Porto (Universidade Católica Portuguesa - Porto) and the Portucalense University at Porto (Universidade Portucalense - Infante D. Henrique). Due to the recognition, potential for employment and higher revenue, there are many students from the entire country and particularly from the north of Portugal, attending a college or university in Porto.

For foreigners wishing to study Portuguese in the city, there are a number of options. As the most popular city in Portugal for ERASMUS students, most universities have facilities to assist foreigners in learning the language. There are also several private learning institutions in the city, such as the Fast Forward Language Institute

Public health

Porto district has the highest rate of tuberculosis positive cases in Portugal. Porto tuberculosis rates are at Third World proportions (comparatively, London faces a similar phenomenon [18]). The incidence of positive cases was 23/100 000 nationwide in 1994, with a rate of 24/100 000 in Lisbon and 37/100 000 in Porto. Porto area represented the worst epidemiological situation in the country, with very high rates in some city boroughs and in some poor fishing and declining industrial communities. Epidemiological analysis indicated the existence of undisclosed sources of infection in these communities, responsible for continuing transmission despite a cure rate of 83% in the district.[19] In 2002, the situation was not better with 34/100 000 nationwide and 64/100 000 in Porto district. In 2004 the situation improved to 53/100 000.[20]


Estádio do Bessa XXI (Bessa's Stadium), home of Boavista FC until it was taken from the team

Like most Portuguese cities, football is the most important sport in the city. There are three main teams in Porto. The first one is Top division champion FC Porto. The second one is Boavista which was once a team from the top division , but due to problems it went from the top to the lowest division. The last one is Salgueiros, it was one of the most regular first division clubs during the 1980s and 1990s , but they felt into heavy debts and now they play in the regionals. The major ground on the city is the Estádio do Dragão , while Estádio do Bessa, which was also a major ground was taken from Boavista FC. Both stadiums were used for some Euro 2004 games which took place in Portugal. Salgueiros, who sold their Vidal Pinheiro ground to the Porto Metro company planned to build a new one in the Arca d'Água zone, few hundred meters away from the old grounds, but due to a large underground water pocket, it is impossible to build there, and so they moved to the Estádio do Mar in Matosinhos, owned by Leixões. There are other football grounds, with sand or dirt surfaces, owned by clubs in the amateur league, with the exception of FC Porto's old stadium, the Campo da Constituição, which is now a footballing school. FC Porto won the UEFA Champions League in 1987 (then known as the European Cup) and in 2004. Their long time president, Jorge Nuno Pinto da Costa, is one a major figure in Portuguese football. He managed to establish FC Porto as one of the most powerful European football clubs and reduce the influence of the Lisbon clubs. José Mourinho coached Porto to a victory in the 2003 UEFA Cup (beating Celtic in the final in the Estadio Olímpico de Sevilla) and their 2004 Champions League win which was clinched with a victory over Monaco. FC Porto also won the Intercontinental Cup (also known as the Toyota Cup) in 1987 and once again in 2004.

There are other sports arenas in Porto, notably the city-owned Pavilhão Rosa Mota (now unused due to a bad relationship between the mayor and the FC Porto board), swimming pools in the Constituição area, between the Marquês and Boavista, and other minor arenas, such as the Pavilhão do Académico.

Porto is also home to the North of Portugal's only cricket club, the Oporto Cricket and Lawn Tennis Club. Every year, for more than 100 years, a match, the Kendall Cup, has been played between the Oporto Club and the Casuals Club of Lisbon, as well as various games against touring teams, mainly from England. The Club and pitch are located off Rua Campo Alegre.

In 1958 and 1960, Porto's streets hosted the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix on the Boavista street circuit. Now every year , they do reenactments of the races. Circuito da Boavista also hosts a race of WTCC.

In Athletics competitions, every year in October is the Porto Marathon in the streets of the town.


International relations

Twin towns — Sister cities

Porto is twinned with:[21]

Partner towns

Within the context of development cooperation, Porto is also linked to:

Famous inhabitants

See also



  1. ^ Área Metropolitana do Porto - Official site
  2. ^ Fernando Nunes da Silva (2005), Alta Velocidade em Portugal, Desenvolvimento RegionalPDF (2.27 KB), CENSUR, IST
  3. ^ "Port Wine". Retrieved 6 October 2006. 
  4. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". Retrieved 18 December 2006. 
  5. ^ "Porto UNESCO Classification". Retrieved 2 October 2008. 
  6. ^ A Porto University document/study in PortuguesePDF (478 KB)
  7. ^ Classificação Expresso das melhores cidades portuguesas para viver em 2007, Expresso
  8. ^ "Top shelves".,,2239172,00.html. Retrieved 22 January 2008. 
  9. ^ Portugal. "São João Festival (St John Festival) | Porto Events | World Events Guide". World Events Guide<!. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  10. ^ "Federação Académica do Porto". Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  11. ^ Janet Echelman's She Changes Sculpture Magazine July-August 2005
  12. ^ "Porto Light Rail Project, Portugal". Railway Technology. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  13. ^ "Monthly Averages for Porto, Portugal". Instituto de Meteorologia (in Portuguese). 
  14. ^ "Petrogal domina exportações". Retrieved 9 July 2008. 
  15. ^ - Índice de competitividade coloca Évora no topo e Porto em último Pedro Ribeiro - 30 September 2006
  16. ^ Coentrão, Abel Quanto vale o Grande Porto? —
  17. ^ Expresso - Ranking of "Best Cities to Live in Portugal" where Porto was ranked in third, below Lisbon and Guimarães and tied with ÉvoraPDF (66.5 KB)
  18. ^ "London tuberculosis rates now at Third World proportions". 6 December 2002. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  19. ^ "View Article". Eurosurveillance. Retrieved 6 May 2009. 
  20. ^
  21. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "International Relations of the City of Porto". © 2006-2009 Municipal Directorateofthe PresidencyServices InternationalRelationsOffice. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 
  22. ^ "Bristol City - Town twinning". © 2009 Bristol City Council. Retrieved 17 July 2009. 
  23. ^ "Sister Cities of Nagasaki City". © 2008-2009 International Affairs Section Nagasaki City Hall. Retrieved 10 July 2009. 

External links

Coordinates: 41°9′N 8°38′W / 41.15°N 8.633°W / 41.15; -8.633

Travel guide

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikitravel

Porto is Portugal's second largest city and the capital of the Northern region.

North side of Douro
North side of Douro


Porto is a busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area (Big Porto) ranks some 1,500,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius, with cities like Gaia, Matosinhos, Maia, Gondomar and Espinho.

The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle

Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although it's strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other Mediterranean cities. However, temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC in August during occasional heat waves. Winters are mild and humid, with occasional cold nights where temperatures can drop below 0ºC.

Porto has always been a mercantile city, and this is evident in the style of buildings that front onto the Avenida dos Aliados, the core of the downtown area. The center of town, unlike other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental. Residents of Porto are known as Tripeiros (tripe eaters) allegedly due to the fact that the city went without meat in order to provision the the fleet that left to conquer Ceuta in North Africa in 1415 (which left from Porto) and had to subsist on tripe soup, still a specialty of the city.

Citizens of Porto, while definitely Portuguese, hold themselves apart culturally from the rest of the country, as is expressed in the often heard phrase "o Porto é uma nação" (Porto is a nation). Outsiders often consider Porto to be more crass and mercantile than the rest of the country, and less lacking in social graces. This is likely due to the fact that the city has historically been dominated by Portuguese bourgeoisie and English trading factions rather than the nobility. Tripeiros of course, disagree, regarding themselves (with some justification) as being the economic heart of the nation. As the saying goes, "Porto works, Braga Prays, Coimbra studies, and Lisbon gets the money."

The city is officially styled "a muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto" (the very noble, always faithful, and invincible city of Porto). This is usually lengthenedMedia:Example.ogg to "a Cidade Invicta" (the invincible city) a title won because of Porto's unparalleled resistance against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular war.

The city is quite variegated architecturally, with medieval as well as modern living side by side. Porto's geography is hard on the feet, but pleasant to the eye. The city is extremely hilly, with many buildings built into a cliff face that overlooks the river. Stairs cut into the stone run up and down the cliff face and offer a laborious but rewarding walking tour. Across the river from Porto proper, in the suburb of Gaia, are located the warehouses of notable companies dealing with Port Wine, such as Cálem, Fonseca, Sandemans, Kopke, and others.

Whilst the local attitude is friendly, to outsiders it is worth noting that locals can respond literally to questions, which may seem slightly off-putting to the uninitiated. An example of this would be to ask in a bar if they have a menu (for food) and to receive a straight 'no' as a response; it's after further questions that one can find out that the establishment doesn't sell food - such a response is not considered rude, it is merely direct and literal.

If you speak in Spanish to a local, you will be largely understood and as a rule they will freely converse with you, but from time to time, more so with the older generation, you may be politely reminded that you are in Portugal and the native language is Portuguese.

Get in

By plane

Sá Carneiro Airport, (IATA: OPO), Pedras Rubras,Maia (+351) 229 432 400, [1]. Also known as Aeroporto do Porto or Aeroporto de Pedras Rubras this is the third busiest airport in the country and is about 15 km from the city centre. Just outside of the airport is the AeroBus which for €4 - 2005 - takes you to Praça da Liberdade (city center) or will drop you off at the Pousada da Juventude. A similar taxi trip will cost 20 Euro. the Metro line connects the Airport to the city centre, offering a fast and peaceful ride into the heart of the city, for 1,45 Euro.

Ryanair run the cheapest flights from London Stanstead and Liverpool as well as other European hubs such as Marseille,Girona or Frankfurt/Hahn in Germany.

TAP flies from most European airports but tends to be more expensive.

By train

The city is served by two major train stations, the "São Bento" (Saint Benedict) station, and the "Campanhã" station. Trains from and to Madrid and Paris are regular, other non-domestic destinations vary according to demand and time of year. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time. Be careful on the train from Madrid. On at least one route, the computer systems will say you need to change trains at Guillarei in northern Spain. However, Guillarei has stopped trains through Portugal since 2004. Instead, you will need to transfer to a station named Tui which is a few miles from Guillarei. The computer system hasn't been updated even though this change occurred in 2004 for some reason. You can go into Guillarei but you will need to take a taxi (cost me €5) to Tui to connect.Sao Bento station is right in the city center.

By car

The city is served by five major highways: A1, which connects Porto to Lisbon, A29 which connects Porto to Aveiro, A3 connects Porto to Braga, A28 connects Porto to Viana do Castelo and the northern Portuguese border, and A4, which goes eastwards from the city towards Vila Real. The IC29 connects Porto to the neighboring city of Gondomar. The city is also served by 2 ring highways, the A41 (still incomplete) which is the outer ring, and VCI/IC23 or A20 which connects all the main places inside the city. The A20/VCI, A28, A29 and A41 are all free highways at the moment, but there are plans to install tolls in the the latter three, sometime in the future. Generally speaking, the traffic is usually chaotic and very intense, especially during rush hours.

By bus

There are many companies providing direct bus trips from major European countries and also for most of the northern cities of the country. Try Rodonorte [2] for timetables. Visit also Porto Bus Service [3].

By boat

There is a cargo and recreational harbor called Leixões in the neighboring city of Matosinhos. Modest-sized cruise ships can dock just outside a drawbridge to the inner harbor. Beneath the south approach to the bridge is a station for the light rail system (see "By Metro" below) that goes to Oporto.

There is also a very small recreational harbor in the river Douro. As far as a major method of getting to the city, however, sea transport is not really feasible. However, you can use tour boats based along the river (especially in Oporto) to go up the Douro River, one of the most scenic short trips you'll ever make.

Porto Valley
Porto Valley

By car

Porto, like most Portuguese cities, is a nightmare to drive in. Roads vary in conditions - from fully paved to cobbled lanes that can make even the most shortest of distance seem like a go-kart rally. With that said, keep in mind that the touristic part of the city (the Ribeira and Baixa) are a never ending maze of narrow streets, short tempered drivers and snakelike alleys. Better to walk (despite the fact that it's very hilly). Also, drivers seem to have forgotten how to drive (apart from pushing the pedals) - therefore, they make their own rules of the road (however, this generally does not apply to young drivers). Be prepared to lose your patience several times whilst driving.

By metro

The Porto Metro is an incredibly advanced, state of the art light rail / subway system. Developed in 2001 (for the Porto2001 - European Capital of Culture), the metro is still under construction. It has 5 lines, that run across the center of Porto, and down to some suburban areas. It is quick, and probably the most efficient way to get around Porto. Some major areas of the city, however, are not that well served by the metro, although a new lines will be opening soon. Tickets must be purchased beforehand. They can be sold at the machines in the station (note: if there are no tickets in the machine that day, take the metro to the next station and buy it there!). The ticket is printed in a card called "Andante", and you can purchase as many rides (or travels) you want, in the zone you are staying in (Porto and surrounding are Z2. Matosinhos Z3. Airport Z4). One travel will take you anywhere your zone, and you can travel as many times as you want within one hour. If you plan on using it again, Do Not throw away the card! The card can be re-charged (the card itself costs around €0.50). You can also buy daily passes, which is more convenient. If you plan on living in Porto, or staying for more than three weeks, it is recommended you get the "Andante Gold". The card costs €5, and will allow unlimited travel, without time limit. However, the zoning system is a lot different in the "Gold" version then in the "Blue version". There around around 11 zones in Andante Gold (C1, C2, S11, etc.) The centre is C1. When you buy the card, you must purchase another zone (C1 is automatically included). The Andante Gold can be used in all metro lines, the funicular and all buses . When you are buying the Andante Gold, you must have a picture of yourself (your passport photo will do. They can amplify the image from the passport to the card in seconds). An important note: your andante must be validated before you enter the metro, bus or funicular. There are no barriers to stop you at the metro, but the Metro police enter the cars and check your Andante to make sure you have validated it, and are travelling within your zones. More info at Metro do Porto [4]

By bus

STCP [5] Porto has many lines and buses, which are modern and comfortable. However, they are not very reliable in terms of timetable, and the bus drivers tend to go on strike from time to time, which can leave you waiting for a bus up to an hour!. However, the lines serve every alley in the city, so you can be sure that wherever you are, there is a bus stop. If you do not have the Andante (see "Metro" above), then the tickets can be purchased on board, for €1.45 or cheaper on most any newspaper seller.

By taxi

A fast way of getting around the city, although traffic congestions near the city center might be a problem. However, be expected to pay a high price for these services, especially compared to the other public transportations such as bus and subway.

  • Porto Taxi Transfer [6]

By boat

There are ferry boats that connect Porto to the neighboring city of Vila Nova de Gaia, although you can easily walk or travel by car, metro or bus to the other side. Also the are numerous tourist boats which travel up the Douro river, where you can get fantastic views of the green landscape the region has to offer.

By helicopter

Not exactly a public transportation, but its a wonderful way to see the city from above. Near the Douro there is a heliport with a helicopter available for people to use to get to know the city as a whole. Travelling accompanied will make the flight cheaper.

By Funicular dos Guindais

This is a cable railway system. Use this if you don't wish to walk up the steep streets of Porto. This system connects the Ribeira to the Batalha square, in the city centre, it also has a panoramic view of the River Duoro. As of February 2007, a single trip cost €1. However, if your Andante card (see "Metro" above) has been recently validated (in less then one hour), that you can ride it for free

By Ascensor da Ribeira

This panoramic elevator runs from the Largo da Lada, and is visible behind the buildings of the Ribeira, close to the Ponte D. Luís.


The first place to begin with is the Ribeira, the part of the city near the river, which is also a good place to start visiting the World Heritage area; to the other side of the river you will see the Ribeira de Gaia, a similar area from the city of Vila Nova de Gaia (the two are only separated by the river) and where you could find the Port Wine Cellars. Next go up to the São Francisco church and the Stock Exchange palace nearby, where you can visit the most impressive Arab room in the country. The world known Modern Art museum at Serralves and the Casa da Música (House of Music) concert hall live in the area known as Boavista. From there you can reach the amazing ocean front drive, known as "Foz". Go back to the center of the city and visit Mercado do Bolhão, a traditional market of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. Next the Aliados and the City Hall and finally the 6 bridges connecting Porto to Gaia over the Douro river, many of them providing an excellent view to the river.

  • Pavilhão Rosa Mota, A multi purpose pavilion with nice gardens to rest which is calledalso known as "Palácio de Cristal". Nearby there is the Museu Romantico, a house where the king of Italy stayed while on exile. Also don't forget to see the views to the sea.
  • Museu de David, A fascinating museum tracing the origins of people called David. The museum traces ancient biblical Davids all the way through to modern day Davids - explaining the ubiquitous and prevalent use of this name for persons of all origins and character. The museum provides free entry for all people who can prove their name is David.
  • Livraria Lello,[7]", near Praça dos Leões. It's an old Bookshop, with an amazing interior, where you can also have a coffee. Voted as one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe
  • Soares dos Reis, [8]. for Art.
  • Photography Museum, [9].
  • Fundação de Serralves, [10]. A contemporary Art Gallery, with a huge garden.

Porto is a mysterious city that reveals it's charm to the visitor through time. Take your time, wonder through the mazes and alleys of the city. Take in the old, bohemian spirit of the city. Hike through the Ribeira and Foz do Douro regions (the latter, at sunset). Porto may not be in every tourist's Iberian Peninsula itinerary, but it's well worth a visit if you want to see a city that has changed economically, but that has kept it's old traditions, something that is being forgotten in Europe today.

  • Take a cruise upriver. Go at least as far as Pinhão - the landscape is absolutely stunning. If you choose to do this in the summer, don't forget your factor 50 sun screen! Cruises on the Douro River [11].
  • Go on a self-guided walking tour of the city of Porto. [12].
  • You might also want to visit the Dragão Stadium, home of FC Porto. The team has a rich history, having won the World Club Championship or Intercontinental Cup twice, Champions League twice, UEFA Cup once and UEFA Supercup once - and the stadium is worth a visit on the architecture alone. If you are lucky you might get to see a game of the Champions League... also, just across from the stadium you have a large shopping center, according to a joke built to block the wind from affecting the stadium.


Basic Portuguese language is very much appreciated. English, French, Galician, Catalan, Italian or Spanish may be spoken or understood at major hotels/resorts. For major tourist attractions such as river boat rides or Port Cellar tours, generally the chosen language for a given tour slot is granted on a first-come-first-served basis, if you want a tour to be guaranteed to be in your language, turn up early and request it.

The Fast Forward Language Institute[13], in the centre of town, offers a variety of courses in Portuguese language and culture including 3 hour "Portuguese for survival", aimed at foreign visitors to the city.


Porto is a business/financial centre. Some hotels have conference rooms, some with internet.


For shopping, take a stroll around the Mercado do Bolhão which has a food market and handicrafts stores, and Santa Catarina street(highly recommended, even if only to stroll), which is near Bolhão. Cedofeita street is also a busy shopping street, as well as Boavista. Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Cidade Bom Sucesso, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping, etc. These are open every day, but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.

Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it,in the city of Gaia,just south of the Douro river. You can also find great deals in clothes and shoes, especially during discount seasons.

MUUDA, Rua do Rosário, 294-4050-522, (email:, [14]. "Art, food and design". This concept store offers a great variety of products signed by Portuguese designers. Fashion, objects, books, jewelery, shoes, gourmet and arts. You can have lunch at MUUDA, experience a wine or sushi workshop, learn how to make tricot, the newest painting techniques, photography... and much more.


Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal.

Eating at Porto is no different than elsewhere in Portugal. Expect sturdy meals, and if you can, try "Tripas à moda do Porto". Be aware, however, that this is a tripe dish. Citizens of Porto are called tripeiros (tripe-eaters) on account of this dish.

Also try a typical dish called "Francesinha", which literally translated means little French lady. This city is just about the only place in the world where you can find it. However, in many other northern Portuguese cities you can find a low quality version of it. Essentially it is a toast with a lot of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...). It is covered with cheese and a spicy sauce. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by beer and not wine.

A good tip is taking the bus or subway to mathosinhos in July, there will be the fish festival. Meaning that freshly caught fish is being served the same day at bbq's lined up in the streets just a few blocks from the main beach. You choose a fish (only whole fish) en they prepare it on the streets for you. Not a fancy restaurant, but together with the local people you are eating the best tasting fish you ever had! Try a dourada, it is delicious.

Another "must eat" is "bacalhau" which is actually salted codfish. It is cooked in various ways but you should try "Bacalhau com Natas".

Porto is dotted with thousands of different bakeries (Pao Quente) and pastry shoppes (Pastelarias). Apart from serving delicious (and quite inexpensive) goods, they are also equipped with a side-cafe that serves all sorts of coffees (Pingo, Meia de Leite, etc.) and sandwiches (Tosta Mista-ham and cheese toastie). Note that, unlike the other river side cafes in the city, these establishments do not have picturesque views of Porto (that's expensive, and in the end, you'd be the one paying for that bill). Instead, they attract tourists by offering good food at very cheap prices.

Most locals drink black coffee (espresso).

  • Galeria de Paris Restaurante Bar, 56 Rua Galeria de Paris. A lovely little cafe/restaurant. A decor made up of retro antiques and bric-a-brac. No menus: the waitress explains what they have on offer that night. Generous portions and excellent value for money! Mid-range.  edit
  • Âncora d'Ouro (the golden anchor), between the Cordoaria park and the Praça dos Leões. The third oldest cafe in Porto, it is commonly known as "O Piolho" (the Louse). The cafe looks out on the street facing a faculty of the Universidade do Porto, and had been a meeting place for students since the 19th century. Plaques donated by graduating medical classes from the early 20th century onward decorate the walls. During the fascist period (1926-1974) it was a regular meeting place of "undesirables" (according to the regimes point of view), and was accordingly under regular surveillance by the secret police. On one occasion it was raided by the GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana) who have a post nearby, and they charged their horses into the cafe itself. It is uncertain if the place's current disorder results from this or more recent activities. Service is surly, the place isn't at all fancy, but it is usually stuffed to the gills with students. Its also quite cheap.
  • Casa Da Foz Rua Padre Luís Cabral - Porto 4150-461 PORTO

Excellent Italian restaurant. Wide variety of dishes. Extremely small, so it's best to call ahead and reserve a table.

  • Varanda Da Barra Rua Paulo Gama 470 4150-589 PORTO

Great restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese, Italian and "International" food. Nice riverside view.

  • O Gaveto Rua Roberto Inens, 826 Matosinhos

Located in Matosinhos (norther part of greater Porto), it's one of the best (and at the same time, expensive) restaurants in the city, and in the whole of Portugal as well. Fresh, authentic Portuguese seafood restaurant. Expect to pay around €30-€40 per person. But it's worth it



  • Solar Vinho do Porto, Rua de Entre-Quintas 220, tel: +351 226094749. [15]. A villa with port samples and a great view of the Douro. Open M-Sa 2PM to midnight. This is the perfect place to sit in soft chairs or outside in the garden and enjoy a few glasses of the finest ports. You can also have cheese with your port.

Beware however of the area, as it tends to be a haven for car-break ins.

Dance clubs

Dance clubs here always start very (very) late, around 1AM-2AM, and end up from 6AM-7:30AM. You have a nice choice to pick up from:

  • Industria Avenida do Brasil nº 843, Foz, [16]. "local heroes and international superstars" - going since 1987, this plush nightclub on the sea-front in Foz would benefit any city. It's open until around 4AM.
  • Bla-Bla A quite popular chill-out disco in the Industrial Area of Matosinhos. A more pleasing club for fans of rock and alternative pop.
  • Via Rápida A popular disco in the Industrial Area. The nightclub opens Fridays and Saturdays and it's always crowded. The music heard are the latest dance hits and the crowd is 20ish.
  • Vogue A trendy night club, with a young crowd. Usually plays commercial dance hits and hip hop /R&B. Located in the industrial area of the city. Probably the worst club in the city, with way overpriced drinks and terrible music. The birds are fit, though. You could do a lot better than coming here
  • Act if you're in your late teens, this is the place for you. Its in the industrial area of the city, and plays all the latest worldwide hits.
  • Bazaar, [17]. A design bar, that is also a clothing shop and book shop. It closes around 4AM.
  • Estado Novo It provides to its clients a wide range of music, from the 80's hits til today's dance hits. Every Thursday is a special night for ladies, called "wild wild woman". It opens from Thursday to Saturday and minimum consumption is €15.
  • Passos Manuel, Rua de Passos Manuel. A dance club/bar frequented by the arty crowd, with a varied but tasteful selection of music and a warm decór
  • Triplex A club that is located close to Boavista. Note that a three-storey house with a garden was transformed into a club.
  • HardClub Is going to be open in other place in 2007.
  • Maus Hábitos A very alternative bar, right in the center of the city, in front of "Coliseu".
  • Chic Trendy dance club in the industrial area of the city, mainly plays house music. Crowd is usually in their 20s.
  • Bela Cruz (currently closed) It used to be a caffee. It is at the end of Avenida da Boavista next to "Gonçalves Zarco" roundabout, know as "Castelo do Queijo" roundabout, because of the fortress next to it, by the sea. It now works as a caffe and as a restaurant with live concerts during the weekdays. On weekend nights, it is a restaurant, bar and disco. Minimal consumption is usually €10.
  • Plano B, [18]. Near Torre dos Clérigos, is a popular art gallery / bar installed on Porto's historic center.
  • Mau Mau Located in the Foz region, its a popular nightclub with varying musical styles, from house to pop to R&B.
  • River Caffé, near the River Douro. Young crowd, and normally plays the latest dance hits. Lately it has been known for some late night violence, so you'd rather not spend too long there.
  • Maré Alta Located on the river front, its a small place that's known for its after hour parties. Usually a young crowd. Music is normally electronic.

There are some glbt clubs/bars in Porto.Late nite scene.

  • Ryan's Irish Pub, [19]. In the Ribeira, nice cozy atmosphere and friendly bar staff. Always a good place to start
  • Trintaeum In the Foz area near the lighthouse, quite small, cool decoration, and cool crowd and not too pricey. Open till very late.
  • Triplex On the Avenida Boavista in a big old house. Fantastic garden bar which is great in the summer. There's a restaurant upstairs too.
  • Praia do Ourigo Beach bar in Foz. Has to be the bar with the best view in town. Set on stilts over the beach. Has a restaurant too.
  • Cais de Gaia This is a bar region in riverfront area in the neighbour city of Vila Nova de Gaia. Its a modern zone for bars and clubs, usually priced a little higher than normal bars. You have a great view of the river and the beautiful city of Porto.
  • Ribeira region This area is full of bars and pubs where you can have a pleasant time with an incredible view, before going to the bigger clubs around the city. Most bars are relatively close to each other, and in some there is no entrance fee. Usually most of these bars close from 3AM-4AM, after which the area becomes deserted. Be sure to go either home or to a club after, because when this area becomes deserted you may feel a bit insecure.
  • Prioridade Located in the Ribeira region, this bar is one of the cheapest in the area. It's probably the only decent place in the whole of the Ribeira region (and probably, in the city) where you can get a large beer for only a few euros. They also serve spirits and cocktails, at very cheap prices as well. My suggestion, if you are planning a night out, is to get loaded at this bar before clubbing, since the price of drinks in the clubs can be outrageously high and you may find yourself with no taxi fare money to return to your home, hotel, hostel, etc. It's quite tricky to find, since it's tucked away in a rather isolated (but quite nice) place; it's near the D. Luis I bridge. Ask the locals, they'll know where it is


There's residential homes all around the city. There's also a lot of 3-star hotels with very affordable prices. In the entire city there's only one camping site (Prelada), but it's a bit far from the center. There aren't many family houses to rent in Porto, so they'll be difficult to find.

  • Borges Mesquita, Rua de Álvares Cabral número 406 e 363, Cedofeita Porto It may be seem to b worth it at the first glance, but next you discover that the flats are full of cockroachs, holes in the roof through which water drops, many machines don´t work because they are very old like television, microwaves, washing and machine. Besides all that most of the staff is very rude, specially the owner. A terrible experience. They rent for 3 days up to one year and more (directions).  edit
  • Oporto Sky Hostel, Rua da Lapa, 33 (One minute walking from Lapa's subway station), (+351)222 017 069 (), [20]. Very comfortable hostel. Shared and Private rooms. Free Computer and WiFi. A couple of minutes from the city centre. Hosts speaks perfectly English and Spanish Prices Starting at 18.00 pp with breakfast included.  edit
  • Youth Hostel (Pousada de Juventude do Porto), Paulo da Gama Street, 551, 4169-006 Porto. (Reservations here: [21]). Located outside of the city centre, with several buses passing just by, opened 24 hours and a terrific view over the river. 14 to €16 per night (2006)
  • Hospedaria 1 de Janeiro, rua 31 Janeiro. Incredibly cheap (15 euros for a double) but dirty and dodgy.  edit
  • Hospedaria Novo Mundo, rua Conde de Vizela. Incredibly cheap (15-25 euros for a double), ok place for sleeping.  edit
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Gaia, Avenida Rua Martires de São Sebastião 247, (+351)772 82 00, [22].  edit
  • Hotel Ibis Porto São João, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, (+351)22 551 31 00, [23].  edit
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Norte, Auto Estrada Porto Braga S. Mamede do coronado K11, (+351)22 986 76 00, [24].  edit
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Sul Europarque, Espargo europarque, (+351)256 332 507, [25].  edit
  • Residencia Pedra Antiga, Rue de Santa Catarina, 830, (+351)222407467. checkin: 07/12/09; checkout: 11/12/09. Cheap, clean and friendly. Bathroom en suit. Free WiFi. Hosts speak no English though (French and Spanish work besides Portuguese) Starting at 13.75 pp.  edit
  • Grande Hotel da Povoa, Largo do Passeio Alegre, nº20, 4490-428 Póvoa Varzim (Near Povoa Casino), +351 252 290 400 (, fax: +351 252 290 401), [26]. Overlooking the beach in Povoa de Varzim, near the casino and 18km from the Oporto International Airport, 30 minutes from Oporto city. This historic hotel has 84 rooms and 2 suites, Restaurant, Bar, Meeting rooms.  edit
  • Hotel Mercure Porto Gaia ****, Rua Manuel Moreira de Barros 618D, (+351)22 374 08 01 (), [28].  edit
  • Vila Galé Porto, Av. Fernão Magalhães, nº 7 4300-190 PORTO, (+351) 225 191 800 (), [30]. The Hotel is right in the centre of Portugal’s “Invincible City” and you can shop at Porto’s best shopping district in the lively Rua de Santa Catarina, only a few metres away from the Hotel. Online Booking.  edit
  • Hotel Malaposta, Rua da Conceição, nº80, 4050-214, (+351) 222 006 278 / 947 (), [31]. Four floor hotel with contemporary décor located at Oporto’s historic and shopping area, close to Camara Municipal (City Hall), at the old part of Cedofeita, designed World Heritage by UNESCO because of its wealth in monuments and innumerous historical ruins. Online Booking.  edit
  • Pestana Porto, Praça da Ribeira, nº 1 4050-513 Porto, (+351) 22 340 23 00 (, fax: (+351) 22 340 24 00), [32]. *Ipanema Park Hotel *Le Meridien Park Hotel *Sheraton *Porto Palácio Hotel *Infante de Sagres * Tiara Park Atlantic Porto, Av. da Boavista, 1466. 4100-114 Porto (1.6km from Franco station by car.), +351 226 072 500 (), [33]. checkin: 15:00H; checkout: 12:00H. Luxury hotel with 232 guest-rooms with a highly decorated interior. Located in the city's centre.  edit  edit
  • The Yeatman Hotel [], R. do Choupelo, nº 250 4400-088 Vila Nova de Gaia, (+351) 22 015 15 65 (, fax: (+351) 22 374 28 93), [34]. Luxury wine hotel opening in June 2010 in the heart of the Historic Port Wine Cellars´District.   edit

Stay safe

Call 112 if you have an emergency.

Be careful of pickpockets in heavily crowded areas and on public buses and trains.

Porto is generally a safe place to be if you take some precautions like walking in well-illuminated streets, keeping your money to yourself and don't show off.

Carjacking occurrences are on the high, gangs being armed and dangerous. Be extra careful when driving specially at night time. If you are attacked do not react, give your personal belongings as your life is more important than they are.

One part of Porto, near the Tourist Information Office between the cathedral and the steps to the small church, often has drunk people that could possibly be trouble. It is best to avoid that area. If you take the main road from the bus station to the cathedral and tourist information center, walk back to the bus station after you're done and then walk from there to the other sites. Avoid the shortcut from the tourist information center down stairs because near there are many incidents there.

  • During the summer, try one of the many quality beaches located near Porto, in the southern part of Gaia . Gaia has plenty of beaches with blue flags(Miramar,Aguda,Granja), a certification of the quality of the beach.
  • If you'd like to try some of the bars of Oporto, there is a quite interesting route you can take from Ancora de Ouro, passing by Gestos (this bar has benn closed). Then you can go to Pinguim, a bit down the street, and finish off with the huge variety of pubs and bars in the Ribeira.
  • Dining by the river in Cais de Gaia in one of the many restaurants available. The offer goes from Portuguese, modern food, Indian, Brazilian...
  • Then go on to the other side of the river and enjoy some of the typical bars and discos from Porto in Ribeira.
  • And if you're really in a party mood, finish your night in one of the many clubs the city has to offer, most are located in the Industrial region and in the upmarket Foz area, or just visit some in the neighboring cities of Matosinhos,Vila do Conde,Espinho(beach and casino),Maia,Penafiel,Amarante,Povoa de Varzim(beach and casino).
  • Don't forget to go on a fantastic boat trip up the Douro river, you'll be fascinated by the magnificent view. This area is certified by the UNESCO.
  • Visit the net target array in Matosinhos. Local legend has it that this is where the Greek Minotaur fell from Avarine, a cloud formation some 17 miles above Greece, with the golden fleece. This led to the formation of the modern day Porto in circa 1970.
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!


Up to date as of January 15, 2010

Definition from Wiktionary, a free dictionary

See also porto, portó, and portò



Proper noun


  1. Oporto




Porto n.

  1. postage (charge)

This German entry was created from the translations listed at postage. It may be less reliable than other entries, and may be missing parts of speech or additional senses. Please also see Porto in the German Wiktionary. This notice will be removed when the entry is checked. (more information) May 2009



Proper noun


  1. Oporto

Simple English

Porto is the second biggest city of Portugal. It has about 1,600,000 inhabitants.

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