PORTO

Portugal

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million(2011) in an area of 389 km2(150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Porto Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, includes an estimated 1.8 million people. It is recognized as agamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon to be recognised as a global city.

Info Porto

introduction

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 1.4 million(2011) in an area of 389 km2(150 sq mi), making it the second-largest urban area in Portugal. Porto Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, includes an estimated 1.8 million people. It is recognized as agamma-level global city by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon to be recognised as a global city.

Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. Its combined Celtic-Latin name,Portus Cale, has been referred to as the origin of the name "Portugal", based on transliteration and oral evolution from Latin. In Portuguese, the name of the city is spelled with a definite article ("o Porto"; English: the port). Consequently, its English name evolved from a misinterpretation of the oral pronunciation and referred to as Oportoin modern literature and by many speakers.

One of Portugal's internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destinationby the Best European Destinations Agency.

info
POPULATION :- Population 237,591 
- urban 1,474,000
- metro 1,762,524
FOUNDED :  
TIME ZONE :- Timezone WET (UTC0)
- summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
LANGUAGE : Portuguese (official)
RELIGION : 
AREA :- Area 41.42 km2 (16 sq mi)
- urban 777 km2 (300 sq mi)
- metro 2,040 km2 (788 sq mi)
ELEVATION : 104 m (341 ft)
COORDINATES : 41°9′43.71″N 8°37′19.03″W
SEX RATIO : Male: 48.5%
 Female: 51.5%
ETHNIC : 
AREA CODE : 22
POSTAL CODE : 4000-286 Porto
DIALING CODE : (+351) 22
WEBSITE :www.cm-porto.pt

Tourism

Porto is a mysterious city that reveals its charm to the visitor through time. Take your time, wander 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 its old traditions, something that is being forgotten in Europe today.

If you want to visit several museums, consider the Porto Card which provides free access to several museums and further discounts, optionally also free public transport access.

For shopping, Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping and Mar Shopping (the biggest IKEA group shopping in Europe). Apart from these you also have less populated shops that are smaller but still great ( Shopping Cidade do Porto, Via Catarina, etc.).

Porto is home to port wine of course, and there are many wineries around the city where port wine is brewed. Strictly speaking, port wine can only be called port wine if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is produced and bottled in Porto. Port wines come in many styles, with vintage port being the most expensive.

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal. It is said that if you like to eat, you should go to Porto because it is a place where you eat well in terms of quality and amount (even Lisbon citizens say that in Porto is where they eat the best food). The best restaurants of the city are mainly located in Matosinhos near the beach and the seaport called "Porto de Leixões". You can take the blue metro line A to get there which takes about 30min.

History

Early history

The history of Porto dates back to around 300 BC with Proto-Celtic and Celtic people being the first known inhabitants. Ruins of that period have been discovered in several areas. During the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula the city developed as an important commercial port, primarily in the trade between Olissipona (the modern Lisbon) and Bracara Augusta (the modern Braga).

Porto fell under the control of the Moors during the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula in 711. In 868, Vímara Peres, a warlord from Gallaecia, and a vassal of the King of Asturias,Léon and Galicia, Alfonso III, was sent to reconquer and secure the lands from the Moors. This included the area from the Minho to the Douro River: the settlement of Portus Cale and the area that is known as Vila Nova de Gaia. Portus Cale, later referred to as Portucale, was the origin for the modern name of Portugal. In 868, Count Vímara Peres established the County of Portugal, or (Portuguese: Condado de Portucale), usually known as Condado Portucalense after reconquering the region north of Douro.

In 1387, Porto was the site of the marriage of John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster, daughter of John of Gaunt; this symbolized a long-standing military alliance between Portugal and England. The Portuguese-English alliance, is the world's oldest recorded military alliance, which inspired the formation of NATO.

In the 14th and the 15th centuries, Porto's shipyards contributed to the development of Portuguese shipbuilding. It was also from the port of Porto that, in 1415, Prince Henry the Navigator (son of John I of Portugal) embarked on the conquest of the Moorish port of Ceuta, in northern Morocco. This expedition by the King and his fleet, which counted among others Prince Henry, was followed by navigation and exploration along the western coast of Africa, initiating the Portuguese Age of Discovery. The nickname given to the people of Porto began in those days; Portuenses are to this day, colloquially, referred to astripeiros (English: tripe peoples), referring to this period of history, when higher-quality cuts of meat were shipped from Porto with their sailors, while off-cuts and by-products, such as tripe, were left behind for the citizens of Porto: tripe remains a culturally important dish in modern-day Porto.


18th century

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).

Between 1732 and 1763, Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni designed a baroque church with a tower that became its architectural and visual 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 also brought war to the city of Porto. On 29 March 1809, as the population fled from the advancing French 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 Anglo-Portuguese Army crossed the Douro river from the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (a former convent) in a brilliant daylight coup de main, using wine barges to transport the troops, so outflanking the French Army.

On 24 August 1820, a liberal revolution occurred, quickly spreading without resistance to the rest of the country. In 1822, a liberal constitution was accepted, partly through the efforts of the liberal assembly of Porto (Junta do Porto). When Miguel I of Portugal took the Portuguese throne in 1828, he rejected this constitution and reigned as an absolutist monarch. A Civil War was then fought from 1828 to 1834 between those supporting Constitutionalism, and those opposed to this change, keen on near-absolutism and led by D. Miguel. 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 successfully resisting the Miguelist siege. After the abdication of King Miguel, the liberal constitution was re-established.

Known as the city of bridges, Porto built its first permanent bridge, the Ponte das Barcas (a pontoon bridge), in 1806. Three years later, it collapsed under the weight of thousands of fugitives from the French Invasions during the Peninsular War, causing thousands of deaths. It was replaced by the Ponte D. Maria II, popularised under the name Ponte Pênsil (suspended bridge) and built between 1841–43; only its supporting pylons have remained.

The Ponte D. Maria, a railway bridge, was inaugurated on 4 November of that same year;it was considered a feat of wrought iron engineering and was designed by Gustave Eiffel, notable for his Parisian tower. The later Ponte Dom Luís I replaced the aforementioned Ponte Pênsil. This last bridge was made by Teophile Seyrig, a former partner of Eiffel. Seyrig won a governmental competition that took place in 1879. Building began in 1881 and the bridge was opened to the public on 31 October 1886.

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 were discontinued later.

Unrest by Republicans led to the first revolt against the monarchy in Porto on 31 January 1891. This resulted ultimately in the overthrow of the monarchy and proclamation of the republic by the 5 October 1910 revolution.


20th century

On 19 January 1919, forces favorable to the restoration of the Monarchy launched in Porto a counter-revolution known as Monarchy of the North. During this time, Porto was the capital of the restored kingdom, as the movement was contained to the north. The monarchy was deposed less than a month later and no other monarchist revolution in Portugal happened again.

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.

Climate

Porto features mainly a Mediterranean climate . 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 North Atlantic interludes interrupt the dry season and the season's average length is shorter, with three dry months. The annual precipitation is high and Porto is one of the wettest cities of Europe. However, long periods with mild temperatures and sunny days are frequent even during the rainiest months.

Summers are typically sunny with average temperatures between 16 °C (61 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F) but can rise to as high as 38 °C (100 °F) 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 characterised by showers and cool temperatures of around 20 °C (68 °F) in the afternoon. However, summer average temperatures are a few degrees cooler than those expected in more continentally mediterranean influenced metropolises on the same latitude such as Barcelona and Rome.

Winter temperatures typically range between 5 °C (41 °F) during morning and 15 °C (59 °F) in the afternoon but rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) at night. The weather is often rainy for long stretches although prolonged sunny periods do occur.

Climate data for Porto

MonthJanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Record high °C (°F)23.3
(73.9)
23.2
(73.8)
28.5
(83.3)
30.2
(86.4)
34.1
(93.4)
38.7
(101.7)
40.0
(104)
38.5
(101.3)
36.9
(98.4)
32.2
(90)
26.3
(79.3)
24.8
(76.6)
Average high °C (°F)13.8
(56.8)
15.0
(59)
17.4
(63.3)
18.1
(64.6)
20.1
(68.2)
23.5
(74.3)
25.3
(77.5)
25.7
(78.3)
24.1
(75.4)
20.7
(69.3)
17.1
(62.8)
14.4
(57.9)
Daily mean °C (°F)9.5
(49.1)
10.4
(50.7)
12.6
(54.7)
13.7
(56.7)
15.9
(60.6)
19.0
(66.2)
20.6
(69.1)
20.8
(69.4)
19.5
(67.1)
16.4
(61.5)
13.0
(55.4)
10.7
(51.3)
Average low °C (°F)5.2
(41.4)
5.9
(42.6)
7.8
(46)
9.1
(48.4)
11.6
(52.9)
14.5
(58.1)
15.9
(60.6)
15.9
(60.6)
14.7
(58.5)
12.2
(54)
8.9
(48)
6.9
(44.4)
Record low °C (°F)−3.3
(26.1)
−2.8
(27)
−1.6
(29.1)
0.1
(32.2)
3.3
(37.9)
5.6
(42.1)
9.5
(49.1)
8.0
(46.4)
5.5
(41.9)
1.4
(34.5)
−0.3
(31.5)
−1.2
(29.8)
Source: Instituto de Meteorologia

Geography

In 1996, UNESCO recognised its historic centre as a World Heritage Site. Among the architectural highlights of the city, Porto 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.

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.

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

Economy

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).

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).

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. 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. 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, known by the world-famous labelPort. 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. 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. 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. The two studies are not directly comparable as they use different dependent measures.

The Porto metropolitan area had a GDP amounting to $43.0 billion, and $21,674 per capita.

Subdivisions

Administratively, the municipality is divided into 7 civil parishes (freguesias):

  • Aldoar, Foz do Douro e Nevogilde
  • Bonfim
  • Campanhã
  • Cedofeita, Santo Ildefonso, Sé, Miragaia, São Nicolau e Vitória
  • Lordelo do Ouro e Massarelos
  • Paranhos
  • Ramalde

Prices in Porto

PRICES LIST - EUR

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk1 liter€0.58
Tomatoes1 kg€1.10
Cheese0.5 kg€4.50
Apples1 kg€1.25
Oranges1 kg€0.95
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€0.88
Bottle of Wine1 bottle€4.00
Coca-Cola2 liters€1.55
Bread1 piece€0.80
Water1.5 l€0.38

PRICES LIST - EUR

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range)for 2€20.00
Dinner (Mid-range)for 2€32.00
Dinner (High-range)for 2
Mac Meal or similar1 meal€5.50
Water0.33 l€0.82
Cappuccino1 cup€0.90
Beer (Imported)0.33 l€1.50
Beer (domestic)0.5 l€1.50
Coca-Cola0.33 l€1.15
Coctail drink1 drink€7.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema2 tickets€11.00
Gym1 month€45.00
Men’s Haircut1 haircut€9.00
Theatar2 tickets€40.00
Mobile (prepaid)1 min.€0.18
Pack of Marlboro1 pack€4.70

PRICES LIST - EUR

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics1 pack€6.00
Tampons32 pieces€4.10
Deodorant50 ml.€3.60
Shampoo400 ml.€3.80
Toilet paper4 rolls€1.10
Toothpaste1 tube€2.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar)1€82.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M)€30.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas)1€72.00
Leather shoes1€77.00

PRICES LIST - EUR

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline1 liter€1.40
TaxiStart€3.20
Taxi1 km€0.50
Local Transport1 ticket€1.40

Tourist (Backpacker)  

39 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • meals in cheap restaurant
  • public transport
  • cheap hotel

Tourist (business/regular)  

122 € per day

Estimated cost per 1 day including:

  • mid-range meals and drinks
  • transportation
  • hotel

Transportation - Get In

Transportation - Get In

By plane

Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport (IATA: OPO), also known as Aeroporto do Porto or Aeroporto de Pedras Rubras, it is located in Pedras Rubras, Maia, about 15 km from the city centre of Porto. Porto Airport is the second-busiest in Portugal and sees quite many flights and passengers for one not serving a country capital in Europe.

This is due to Porto's particular economic importance coupled with growing touristic interest. As a result, Porto Airport sees intercontinental flights from Brazil and connecting flights to many European cities by the Portuguese flag carrier TAP Portugal, for which it is a secondary hub to Lisbon. Other major European airlines also increasingly offer flights to Porto from their main hubs. There is also a growing presence of low-fare carriers, most prominently Ryanair, providing low-fare alternatives. Porto Airport has connections to all other major airports in Portugal, both continental and insular.


Ground transportation from Porto Airport

The Metro line connects the Airport to the city centre, offering a fast and peaceful ride into the heart of the city, for €1.85 (Z4 ticket) + €0.60 for the rechargeable card. You can buy 24 hours pass for Metro and buses for €6.40 (Z4 - includes the airport). Note that Metro vending machines don't accept foreign debit or credit cards. The metro runs from around 06:00-01:00 daily and run roughly every 20-30 min.

STCP buses 601, 602 and 604 (see STCP airport buses) also connect the airport with the city center. They operate between around 05:30 and 00:30 and run roughly every 25min. STCP also operates a night bus line 3M (Av. Aliados - Airport) every 60min between 01:00 and 05:00. Resende bus 120 and Maia Transportes bus 10 connect the airport with Matosinhos and Maia municipalities respectively.


Lisbon Airport

Alternatively, you may fly to Lisbon Portela Airport (IATA: LIS) and get to Porto by train from the Oriente station there, which is connected to the airport by metro and bus. The trains take between 2.5 and 3 hours to get from Lisbon to Porto and are very frequent (once or twice per hour).

Transportation - Get In

By Train

The city is served by two major train stations - São Bento and Campanhã.

To São Bento station

São Bento station is right in the city center and only served by local trains (Urbanos). Urbanos travel in four directions out of São Bento - to Braga,Guimaraes, Caíde and Aveiro, stopping at numerous destinations along the way.

To Campanhã station

The Campanhã station is about 3km west of São Bento on a high-speed line to Lisbon. The long-distance Alfa Pendular and Intercidadetrains arrive at Campanhã and take the following amounts of time to cover the distance, respectively:

  • Coimbra to Porto - 59 minutes (AP) to 69 minutes (IC)
  • Lisbon to Porto - 2h 46 min (AP) to 3h 09 min (IC)
  • Faro to Porto - about 5h 45 minutes (selected AP services only)

From Lisbon, you can board the train at Santa Apolónia, Entrecampos or Oriente. Travelling to Porto from Oriente in the north of the city, and close to Lisbon's Portela airport (within a 10-minute metro ride directly connecting Oriente and Portela) shaves 9 minutes from the travelling time. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time. Trains from and to Madrid and Paris are regular, other non-domestic destinations vary according to demand and time of year.

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 €5) to Tui to connect.

If you have a train ticket to or from Campanhã you can travel to or from São Bento on urban trains with that ticket at no extra cost. Trains between Campanhã and São Bento take about 5min.

Transportation - Get In

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 for timetables. Visit also Porto Bus Service, Renex, Rede Expresso,...

An international bus operated by the Spanish company ALSA leaves Madrid at 23:00 and arrives in Porto Casa Da Musica at 06:00. It costs around €50 from Madrid and also stops at (among others) Avila and Salamanca. The round trip leaves Porto at 20:30.

Transportation - Get In

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 latter three, sometime in the future. Generally speaking, the traffic is usually chaotic and very intense, especially during rush hours.

Transportation - Get In

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.


Transportation - Get Around

Transportation - Get Around

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.

Transportation - Get Around

By metro

Porto Metro is an modern light rail / subway system, which was only constructed at the turn of the millennium and is still being expanded. It has several lines, that run across the center of Porto, and reach out to surrounding municipalities. 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.

Tickets must be purchased beforehand. They can be bought 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 stored on a card called Andante, and you can purchase as many rides (or travels) as you want. Andante is Porto's main ticket system and it is based on somewhat unusual zone system [www]. The city centre is zone C1 and the airport is N10. To travel between places you need to know how many zones you need to cross. Within the same zone or up to another zone you buy Z2 ticket. Z3 for three zones and so on. The Andante card itself costs €0.60 and can be re-used/re-charged, so do not throw it away. You can also buy daily passes or Andante Tour tickets for 1 or 3 days, which may be more convenient.

There is also the option to buy a Porto Card for 24, 48, or 72 consecutive hours which, besides of providing unlimited access to public transportation, includes free access to several museums and further discounts.

If you plan on staying for more than three weeks, it is recommended you get the Andante Gold, Andante's monthly subscription. The card costs €6, and will allow unlimited travel with your chosen zones. The Andante Gold, like the Andante Blue 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.

Transportation - Get Around

By bus

STCP is the best way to move around if you don't want to waste money on taxis. It's the public bus operator in the region, and the only one operating inside city borders. Suburbs are served either by STCP or private companies. STCP buses are the largest eco-friendly fleet in Europe, modern, comfortable, and lines cover the entire city, as well as major suburbs. Buses colors are white and blue. Line numbers are a 3-digit code. First digit is assigned according to the destination zone (2-west porto, 3-north porto, 4-east porto, 5-matosinhos, 6-maia, 7-valongo, 8-gondomar, 9-vila nova de gaia). For example, line nr. 906 has its destination in vila nova de gaia (9). You can use two kind of tickets: Andante (see "Metro" above) or STCP own tickets. Andante tickets are recommended: you can also use them on metro and suburban trains, plus they're easier to buy and recharge on any metro station or newspaper seller with "payshop" symbol. Andante blue card costs €0.50 and can be charged with how many journeys you like. Every bus stop has at least a timetable and lines served. There's also a code so you can get a (paid) SMS showing minutes left to next arrivals updated in real time. The busiest ones have electronic displays with timetables and city maps. Every bus inside has a display showing the name of next stop, so it's easy to keep track of them.

Route 500 is probably the most scenic STCP route as it runs along the river and the ocean front. STCP also possesses a fleet of old trams three of which are still in operation, mainly for tourist purposes. Route 1 runs along the river from Ribeira to Foz, route 18 runs from the river towards the city centre and route 22 goes around the city centre.

Transportation - Get Around

By taxi

A fast way of getting around the city, although traffic congestion 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 transportation such as bus and subway.

Transportation - Get Around

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 there 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.

Transportation - Get Around

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.

Transportation - Get Around

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. A single trip cost €2.50. However, if your Andante card (see "Metro" above) has been recently validated (in less than one hour), then you can ride it for free.

Transportation - Get Around

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.

Hotels

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Hotels

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Shopping

Almost all the shops are open every day, but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.


What to buy?

Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it, in the city of Gaia, just south of the Douro river.

The Norte region is also where the Portuguese apparel, footwear and accessory industries are mostly based. Therefore, you will find many flagship stores and factory outlets in and around Porto. Brands are numerous range from globally recognized, like Parfois, to stricly local ones, providing for a unique selection on any budget. Do note that many of the more affordable not produce in Portugal, the aesthetic value of their products notwithstanding


Specialist stores

  • MUUDARua do Rosário 294, 4050-522, e-mail: ."Art, food and design". This concept store offers a great variety of products signed by Portuguese designers. Fashion, objects, books, jewellery, 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.
  • Centro Comercial Bombarda (CCB), Rua de Miguel Bombarda 285.This is not the regular shopping mall. It's much smaller and with speciality stores related to art and fashion. Look for Portuguese design, organic cosmetics, or contemporary jewellery, and then head to the galleries down the street.
  • Aguas FurtadasRua Miguel Bombarda, 285 (CCB, Loja 4),  Tel. +351 968 237 139. [www] Looking for unique objects or original Portuguese design? This is the place for it. From a minimalist Barcelos cockerel to colorful ceramics, you won't find many of these pieces anywhere else.
  • Sogevinus Wine ShopAvenida Ramos Pinto 280, Vila Nova de Gaia (Right across the street from the lower cable car stop). At this shop you can buy all the Sogevinus Port wine brands such as Kopke, Burmester, Cálem, Barros and Gilberts. You get free samples of their Port wines.

Shopping streets

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.


Shopping centres

For shopping, Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping and Mar Shopping (the biggest IKEA group shopping in Europe). Apart from these you also have less populated shops that are smaller but still great ( Shopping Cidade do Porto, Via Catarina, etc.).

  • Via Catarina. A medium-sized shopping centre nestled in a building block between Via Sta Catarina and Rua de Fernandes Tomas, utilizing the difference in elevation between them for spectacular results. Inside you will find a slightly mundane selection of chain stores and food court filled with local fast-food options.
  • Shopping Cidade do Porto. An elegant shopping centre with upscale pretences and spacious atrium, but limited selection of stores compared to larger ones.
  • Norte Shopping. Large shopping mall just north of Porto, accessible by Metro(exit at Sete Bicas station. It's just a small walk away).
  • Vila do Conde The Style Outlets (Metro: Modivas Centro (take a free shuttle from the stop).). The biggest outlet in Northern Portugal.

Restaurants

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal.

It is said that if you like to eat, you should go to Porto because it is a place where you eat well in terms of quality and amount (even Lisbon citizens say that in Porto is where they eat the best food). The best restaurants of the city are mainly located in Matosinhos near the beach and the seaport called "Porto de Leixões". You can take the blue metro line A to get there which takes about 30min.

Expect hearty 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 the salted codfish "Bacalhau" - in any way it is cooked - there are hundreds of different dishes with salted codfish!

Don't forget the traditional 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 layers of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...). It is covered with cheese and a spicy sauce, with the option of including french fries on top. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by beer and not wine. The "Francesinha" has been considered one of the 10 best sandwiches in the World.

A good tip is taking the bus or subway to Matosinhos in July, there will be the fish festival. Freshly caught fish is being served the same day at barbecues lined up in the streets just a few blocks from the main beach. You choose a fish (only whole fish) and 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.

Porto is dotted with thousands of different bakeries (Pão 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).

There is at least one fully vegetarian restaurant in Porto, Paladar da Alma (Rua de Santo Ildefonso 293/5), and some other restaurants which offer vegetarian dishes alongside non-vegetarian options, such as Capa Verde (Rua da Nossa Senhora de Fátima). Vegans may have to ask for dishes to be specially prepared for them, even in vegetarian restaurants.


Budget

  • O Terraço Vegan Spoton Rua Nova da Alfândega (go up on Escadas do Caminho Novo just before Rua da Armenia). Open Thur-Sat 3:30PM-12AM, Sun 3:30-7:30PM, closed Mon-Wed. A vegan restaurant with specialties of sandwiches, hummus and other spreads, mini pizzas, tartes, natural juices, smoothies, cakes, in-house-made fried snacks and more. Most ingredients are from local producers. From the terrace direct view of the Douro river.
  • NakiteR. de Breyner 396, Porto. Open Mon-Sat 12.00-15.00, 19.00-23.00. Vegetarian restaurant and health food store. Budget menus available including vegetarian "francesinha", day dishes featuring tofu, seitan and tempeh paired nicely with goat cheese, shiitake mushrooms and other fresh ingredients. Cozy atmosphere both inside as in the back garden. Try also the special beers they might have available.
  • Maus HabitosRua Passos Manuel 178 (at the 4th floor of an old parking garage opposite Oporto Coliseum). Open Mon-Fri 12.00-15.00.Vegetarian restaurant by day, youth culture clubhouse at night. Menu changes weekly and costs 9 euros (7.50 excl. dessert).
  • Paladar da AlmaRua de St Ildefonso 293/295. Open Mon - Wed: 12:00 - 15:00, Thu - Sat: 12:00 - 15:00, 20:00 - 23:00. The vegetarian food is based on Portuguese and Mediterranean cuisines with influences from other parts of the world. The owner is also the cook.
  • Âncora d'Ouro (The Golden Anchor), Praça de Parada Leitão 45(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 AdãoAvenida Ramos Pinto, 252, Vila Nova de Gaia. Located on the other side of the Douro river, is a restaurant that serves generous plates serving one hungry person or two who eat normal.
  • Tà-se BemLargo Sampaio Bruno 25, Vila Nova de Gaia. As one of the last restaurants along the river in the Gaia area,it was a great place to stop and have a lengthy lunch before heading out to do some port tasting. With delicious and hearty selections for a good price, it is also very popular with the local crowd—during lunch it was completely full of people who work in the area. Skip the touristy cafes and head here for an authentic experience.

Mid-range

  • Mauritânia GrillAvenida Combatantes Grande Guerra 50, Leça da Palmeira. Nice restaurant with excellent views over the Leça Beach. The space is very light with many windows and it has is own parking lot. The decoration varies along the year (one of the few restaurants that does that) for e.g. Summer, Christmas, Halloween, Easter etc. The employees are usually kind and funny. They care about the client. Sometimes they prank you, so don't be surprised if they simulate that are spilling coffee on you.
  • Casa Da FozRua Padre Luís Cabral, 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 BarraRua Paulo Gama 470, 4150-589 Porto. Great restaurant that serves traditional Portuguese, Italian and "International" food. Nice riverside view.
  • Galeria de Paris Restaurante Bar56 Rua Galeria de Paris.

Splurge

  • O FilipeAvenida Engenheiro Duarte Pacheco 36-r/c, 4450-110 Matosinhos. One of the best restaurants to eat fresh fish. Small but cozy, it can be expensive but depends on what you order. Parking is difficult to find in this area but you may park in front of the restaurant and they will take care of the car when needed (e.g. Parking Available, obstructing the road, etc.).
  • Marisqueira de MatosinhosRua Roberto Ivens 717, 4450-255 Matosinhos. Another great restaurant; if you like shellfish this is one of the best places in Porto.

Sights & Landmarks

Porto is a mysterious city that reveals its charm to the visitor through time. Take your time, wander 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 its old traditions, something that is being forgotten in Europe today.

If you want to visit several museums, consider the Porto Card which provides free access to several museums and further discounts, optionally also free public transport access.


City centre

  • Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace), Rua Ferreira Borges, 4050-253. It also contains the most impressive Arab room in the country. There is also a Port wine tasting room. It was built in the 19th century on the grounds of the destroyed old cloisters of the adjacent São Francisco church. €7.50 adults, €4 concessions.
  • Sé do Porto (Porto Cathedral), Terreiro da Sé, 4050-573. This Romanesque cathedral was originally completed in the 13th century. Later on Baroque alterations were made in the 17th and 18th century. The cathedral is located on top of a hill from where you also have great views over the city and the river. Free. Adjacent monastery €4.
  • Port Wine InstituteRua Ferreira Borges 27, 4050-253,  +351 22 2071669. Mon-Fri 11:00-19:00, Sat-Sun closed. A small exhibition about Port wine and it's certification process. Samples of a small variety of Port wines can be bought. Guided tastings and tours to the laboratories can be arranged. Free.
  • City HallAvenida dos Aliados.
  • Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) (adjacent to Palácio da Bolsa). A Gothic church with later alterations of the interior decorations in Baroque style.

Baixa (downtown)

  • Mercado do BolhãoRua Formosa. Sun closed. A traditional market of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat.

West Baixa

  • Livraria LelloRua das Carmelitas (Near Praça dos Leões and the Universidade do Porto). It's an old bookshop with an amazing interior and spiral staircase, where you can also have a coffee or glass of port. Voted as one of the most beautiful bookshops in Europe. To get in you have to buy a €3 voucher at the kiosk opposite the entrance, which can be used towards book purchases.
  • Torre dos Clérigos (Clerics' Tower), Rua São Filipe Nery, 4050-546,  +351 22 2001729. Panoramic views from this baroque tower. 240 steps to the top. It is best to get there early since there is not a lot of space on the viewing platform. You might even have to wait for some time before you are allowed to climb up the stairs. €3 (includes entry to a small exhibition at the lower levels of the tower).
  • Centro Português de Fotografia (Portuguese Photography Museum), Edifício da Ex-Cadeia e Tribunal da Relação do Porto, Largo Amor de Perdição, 4050-008. Housed in a beautiful building in the centre of the city. Free.

São Nicolau

  • Ribeira (Riverfront). 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.
  • Museum of Sacred Art and Archaeology of The Higher Seminary of OportoLargo Dr. Pedro Vitorino 2, 4050-468 (Located in the Church of St. Lawrence (known as the Cricket Church (Igreja Grilo) after the nickname of the religious order that took ownership in 1780). Beginning at the riverfront, head north on R de Mercadores and look for the Igreja Grilo signs directing you into the delightfully narrow streets that lead to the church. Best approached on foot.),  +351 223-395-020.
  • The 6 bridges connecting Porto to Gaia over the Douro river, many of them providing an excellent view to the river.

West of city center

  • Museu do Vinho do Porto (Port Wine Museum), Rua de Monchique 45-52, 4050-394
  • Pavilhão Rosa Mota. A multi purpose pavilion with nice gardens to rest, also known as "Palácio de Cristal".
  • Museu Romântico (nearby the Pavilhão Rosa Mota). A house where the king of Italy stayed while on exile.

Boavista

  • Casa da Música (House of Music), Avenida da Boavista 604-610, 4149-071 (Take the metro lines A, B, C, E or F and get off at "Casa da Música"),  Box office: +351 220 120 220, tour enquiries: +351 220 120 210. Designed by Rem Koolhaas and OMA. Guided tour available in English at 11:00, 16:00 and 17:00 for €6/person (free for children under 12) which take about 1 hour.
  • Fundação de Serralves (Modern Art Museum), Rua D. João de Castro 210, 4150-417 (Take bus 201 (from 06:00-21:00) Sá da Bandeira -> Viso, bus 203 (from 06:00-21:00) Marquês -> Castelo do Queijo, bus 502 (from 06:00-01:00) Bolhão -> Matosinhos Mercado, or bus 504 (from 06:00-00:45) Boavista -> Norteshopping). A contemporary museum designed by the famous architect Álvaro Siza, with a huge garden/park and an Art Deco Villa. When visiting this foundation you can visit the exhibitions, relax at the park, have lunch at the restaurant, bar or tea house and explore the shops or the library. There is also a farm at the southern end of the park. €8.50 museum and park, €4 park only. 50% discount for 65+ and Porto card holders. Free on Sundays 10:00-13:00 for students and under 18.

Foz do Douro

This is the area around the ocean front just north of the mouth of the Douro River. You can rent a bike and cycle along the riverfront and then the beach to that area.

  • Castelo Do Queijo (At the western end of Avenida da Boavista).

Things to do

  • Take a cruise upriver (here is one operator)- the cost is about €10 and takes about 50 minutes, or you may also choose a day-long cruise for a higher price. 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! Look for cruises picking up on the Vila Nova de Gaia side (the same as where the port caves are located), as some of them may offer discounts for cave tours or port purchases.
  • Teatro Nacional São João (TNSJ)Praça da Batalha, 4000-102For tour enquiries and reservations: +351 22 340 19 56, toll-free: 800 108 675. Porto's main theatre and opera production company and venue. There are also guided tours (€5/person) for access to the stage, rehearsal room, dressing rooms and the technical area (if they are not used during the time of the tour).
  • Dragão Stadium (Estádio do Dragão). 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. Just across from the stadium you have a large shopping center, according to a joke built to block the wind from affecting the stadium.
  • If you feel creative and up to an artistic challenge, take this opportunity to participate in a workshop offered by local artists and craftspeople. Be sure to take home, not only the memory of the moment, but also the sense of accomplishment through the work produced.
  • Go out at night to the downtown. Three major hubs of bars are Piolho, Galerias Paris and Praça de Ceuta. Just follow the crowds and have a good time.
  • Porto Exit Games (West Baixa; City centre),  +351 914 884 883, e-mail: . Play an escape game in Porto Exit Games. If you love a good challenge you must go there. For 60 min you and your friends will be trapped in a room. Your goal is to get out in time!

Nightlife

Porto is home to port wine of course, and there are many wineries around the city where port wine is brewed. Strictly speaking, port wine can only be called port wine if the grapes are grown in the Douro valley, and the wine is produced and bottled in Porto. Port wines come in many styles, with vintage port being the most expensive.

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 been 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.


Mid-range

  • Solar Vinho do Porto,  +351 226094749, e-mail: .Rua de Entre-Quintas 220. 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 from. Most clubs are located in the Industrial region and in the upmarket Foz area.

  • POPRua Padre Luis Cabral, 1090. One the best discos in the city. Consumption around €15. Open at Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Twins. Rua do Passeio Alegre 1000. One the best discos in the city. Consumption around 15€. Open at Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays.
  • Creme - Edifício Transparente, (between Castelo do Queijo and Matosinhos) Foz.
  • Pitch R. de Passos Manuel 34
  • Industria. Avenida do Brasil nº 843, Foz. "local heroes and international superstars" - going since 1987. It's open until around 6AM.
  • 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. Overpriced drinks.
  • 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. 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, known 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. 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.


Bars & Pubs

  • Ryan's Irish Pub. 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

Things to know


People

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 the inhabitants to be somewhat lacking in social graces. This is likely because the city has historically been dominated by Portuguese bourgeoisie and English trading factions rather than the nobility. The Portuenses, to use the correct term for the inhabitants, 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."

While 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.


Learn

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.

  • Fast Forward Language Institute (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.

Work

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

Safety in Porto

Stay Safe


Be aware that there may be pickpockets in heavily crowded areas and on public buses and trains; however, pickpocketing is not common in Porto. Travelling by bus or metro is generally safe and one of the best ways to go from a place to another.

Porto is generally a safe place to be if you take normal precautions like walking in well-illuminated streets at night. 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. There's no reason for alarm because many of them are inoffensive, but it is best to use some caution, as you would elsewhere.

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 downstairs because near there have been many incidents there.

Call 112 if you have an emergency.

Very High / 8.0

Safety (Walking alone - day)

Mid. / 5.3

Safety (Walking alone - night)

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