Porto needs to be on your radar for a city break packed with culture, history and beaches.
North of Lisbon, Portugal's second city fits the bill thanks to its fascinating attractions, picturesque coloured houses situated along the River Duoro's banks, and handy location right by the coast.
The fact it has glorious sunshine and budget-friendly accommodation doesn't hurt either.
Home to the world's oldest wine regions, this major trading port since the 15th Century, has become famous for its Port and good vibes all round.
We take a look at some of the best things to see and do in the city – and to give you a helping hand we've also highlighted some of the websites where you can bag cheap breaks.
(If you're on a budget you may also want to check out our guide for finding cheap Portugal holidays or even cheap flights ).
Happy holiday hunting!
Best website for cheap Porto deals
- easyJet Holidays has tempting flight and hotel deals on Porto including some centrally located hotels.
- TravelSupermarket can be a good source for comparing cheap Porto packages if you can be flexible with your travel dates. You could bag a 5* stay for the price of a 3* one!
- British Airways offers Porto holidays and there are often deals and sales to be found.
- Expedia offers a wide array of hotel stays and flight/hotel deals to Porto.
- Lastminute.com , as the name suggests, is a handy source if you've booked some spontaneous days off and are after late deals to Porto .
Best things to see and do
1. Palace de Bolsa
Right in the middle of the Infante D. Henrique Square in the historical centre of Porto, the Palace De Bolsa oozes importance and regality.
Constructed in the 19th Century, this UNESCO World Heritage Site will certainly not fail to disappoint with sparkling chandeliers and mosaic tiled floors.
For eight euro per adult and 4.50 for students – you can find out more on the official website .
You can also take half hour guided tours around Portugal's stock exchange to learn about the country's exciting history and have your breath taken away by its stunning Neoclassical architecture.
2. Jardins do Palacio de Crystal
Get lost in the botanical gardens with views over the city and the River Douro.
The late summer season is one of the best times to go for a stroll – the flowers are in full bloom and it's pretty spectacular.
3. Luis I Bridge and Ribeira
Designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the unique design of the Luis I Bridge, with its double-deck metal arch connects Porto to its neighbouring city, Vila Nova de Gaia.
While the top bridge is for pedestrians, the lower allows cars and metro to drive through. Walk across the top for a great view of the old town, Praca da Ribeira down below.
Work your way down the medieval cobbled streets to the river bank and grab a beer or some traditional Portuguese tapas with a glass of cheap local wine, watching the boats lazily pass by.
4. Torre de Clerigos
Climb the 240 steps of the Torre de Clerigos, right at the highest point in the city, attached to the Baroque church.
The bell tower pokes out above the city's landscape and provides magnificent views over all the copper tiled roofs.
5. Livararia Lello Library
This library with plush red velvet carpets lining winding staircases and rows upon rows of books, is extremely unique.
It even inspired J.K Rowling when she imagined the Hogwarts library in her Harry Potter books.
Sadly photos are forbidden so soak in this magical spot with your eyes only.
6. Porto Cathedral
The oldest monument in the city, Se Do Porto, definitely does not fail to impress.
With free entry, you can see the lavish interior design coated in gold leaf and explore the eerie chapels and cloisters too.
7. River Boat Cruise
If looking to see a new angle of Porto, soak up the sun on deck and take a boat tour of the Douro.
There are heaps of cruises on offer but one that's quite popular is the Six Bridges Tour which takes about an hour's round trip – you can read the TripAdvisor reviews here .
A boat cruise can also be an easy way to do a whistle-stop tour of the sights and bookmark what you want to come back and visit at your leisure.
Source: Read Full Article