The second city
of Portugal, yet equally as glamourous and vibrant as its sister Lisbon
, Porto is a gem among luxury holiday destinations, promising something for everyone. From the booming nightlife to the UNESCO World Heritage Site of the city
’s historic core, whether you like a laidback stroll through culture and refinement or a fast-based getaway bursting with action, you’re guaranteed a holiday to remember in Porto.
, Porto is a global city
packed full of culture and life, yet its atmosphere is much more relaxed and less frantic than its southern twin, making it the ideal destination for escaping the hustle and bustle of modern living while remaining at the heart of the action. As the birthplace of Portuguese cinema, as well as a major centre of modern art and architecture, the city
offers plenty of museums and galleries to keep you occupied, while the history fanatics among you will love visits to the historic monuments that litter the city’s streets.
As the namesake and origin of Port Wine, as well as being home to plenty of other regional specialities, you’ll never be going hungry in Porto. The riverfront Ribeira district features dozens of cafés and restaurants where you can sit and people-watch for hours with a glass of a ginjinha cocktail or a heart plate of folar de chaves (bread stuffed with ham, cheese and olives). For those of you with a sweet tooth, try the arroz doce, a delicious rice pudding flavoured with cinnamon.
For sun worshippers, the nearby beaches
of Leça de Palmeira and Matosinhos are gorgeous expanses of golden sand offering views over the Atlantic that stretches away to the horizon. The city park to the west of the city centre is also a prime spot, with plenty of lush green grass to relax in with a loved one or with your family.
At the heart of the historic centre of Porto sits its cathedral, which is a stunning Romanesque and baroque masterpiece in itself. A particularly fascinating feature however is a monument to those killed defending the city
during the Peninsular War in the early 1800s, which is made of a hefty slab of magnetic rock, causing compasses to go haywire in the vicinity. This is no accident – it was designed like this so that no travellers visiting Porto could fail to remember the sacrifice of those brave citizens.
As a city
destination, Porto is sublime, offering activities and attractions to suit holidaymakers of all interests and ages. Whether you like to just sit back and take it easy, or prefer to spend your days exploring and adventuring, this UNESCO-listed city
is a gem that will provide you with plenty of happy memories for years to come.
WINGED BOOTS WISDOM
During the 90’s, renowned author J. K. Rowling taught English to students in Porto, and a bookshop that she frequented, the absolutely stunning Livraria Lello, is purportedly the inspiration of the Hogwarts Library in the Harry Potter series. Its exquisitely carved ceiling and staircases are totally enchanting, making it a must-see for any visitor to this wondrous city