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Porto (or Oporto as it is known in English) is the second largest city in Portugal and there is a population of 2.4 million people. It is located on the Douro River Estuary in Northern Portugal.
It is a busy commercial location. Port wine is the key export of the city and is named after the city. In both 2014 and 2017 Porto was chosen as the city which deserved the title of The Best European Destination.
Porto has both medieval and modern architectural styles and is very beautiful to visit. The city is built on a hill, this enforces the need for stone staircases which are built into the sides of the rock faces overlooking the river.
For breath taking views over the city you should rise to the challenge of climbing to the top of the Torre dos Clerigos. This building is needle-shaped and rises 75 metres over the skyline. With over 200 steps to climb you will be able to see as far as the Douro Valley and river, which form a big part of the city.
The River Douro has a riverside quarter, which is very trendy with cafes and restaurants and the Praca da Ribiera. The Ribiera is a buzzing square for socialites and commercialists alike. For art enthusiasts you should go to the Serralves Museum, which proudly presents international contemporary art housed in a striking building designed by Alvaro Siza Vieira. Afterwards wander through the magnificent park where the museum is located.
Going below the surface of the city you can find some more macabre aspects, like the Igreja de Sao Francisco Catacombs which are found below the church (It once housed Napoleons horses during his conquering of Porto).
On the beach of Miramar there is The Capela do Senhor da Pedra which is a Pagan chapel. It has a marble and granite exterior and is placed on the sand with steps leading to the altar where pagan worshipping rituals took place in the 17th century. On Trinity Sunday there is a three day festival here, which is guided from the centre of the city to the mysterious coastline chapel.
With its whitewashed walls and picturesque location there are plenty of unique places to stay here. You can choose a beach city rental or rent a villa here depending on your needs.
With stunning views The Yeatman is a luxury option which overlooks the River Douro. With spa treatments and a Roman bath, complemented with the closeness of Old Porto and the Gothic Sao Francisco church, it is in an ideal location.
However, for the more conservative spenders there are many other options to choose from. Endeus have a good selection of holiday apartments.
To get the very best out of your budget you could always pick a campsite. The Parque de Campismo Dol de Vila Cha is in the heart of a fishing village not far from Porto centre. Here you have a place at the beach all to yourself.
• When considering going to see an artist at a performance venue you should think twice. Often musicians play in local restaurants and bars and you can save money on ticket prices. This means that your quiet evening might become a lot more lively, so please be prepared.
• Often we find ourselves shopping in all the small touristy shops and end up going home with something we didn’t really want. In Porto you just need to visit Santa Caterina, where all of the shops are of the highest quality and you can even come away with an antique.
• While you are out and about it is vital to keep an eye on your purse and belongings. This is a city with a fair few pickpockets, who are always on the look-out to steal from you as you marvel over the market stalls and trinket shops. Please use caution and think about the correct bag/jacket to wear.
• Think about getting a Porto Card, you can look online for information and to purchase one. They normally last for 1-4 days and give you access to unlimited travel within the city, discounts on cellar and port wines and also many restaurants in the city. It is well worth looking into this so you can save a decent amount of money while you are there.