Why Visit Porto On Your Holiday To Portugal
02 March 2016
An up-and-coming city break destination, Portugal’s second largest city is filled with undiscovered beauty, culinary delights and world famous wines. Here are some of the more unique experiences that Porto offers visitors.
Port wine cellars
The city of Porto is built along hills of the River Douro estuary. Since the 13th century, wine produced in the Douro valley has been shipped from the city, along the river in flat sailing boats known as barcos rebelos. The Port wine cellars are mainly located in the Villa Nova de Gaia district and are open to visitors to come and enjoy a tasting of the local fortified Port Wines. A lazy boat cruise along the river is a terrific way to while away an afternoon, many of the cruise companies include a wine tasting as you sail.
There are numerous galleries and museums to choose from in Porto but if you are looking for something more modern then head to the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. The museum is now the most visited in Portugal and regularly holds music and theatre events. The surrounding gardens are truly magical and it’s worth a visit just to experience them alone.
Livraria Lello & Irmão is a bookstore located in the centre of Porto. Classed as the third best bookstore in the world by the Lonely Planet, Lello is equally worth visiting for its unique and quirky architecture. The building’s façade is decorated in Art Nouveau with some features of the Gothic Revival. As you enter the shop, you’d be forgiven for thinking that you’ve stepped straight into a Lewis Caroll book - the psychedelic staircase is reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland. Book shopping will take twice as long here as there are so many wonderful distractions including the intricate wood carved walls and the colourful stained glass ceiling.
Al fresco dining & special sandwiches
Porto’s proximity to the sea means that the seafood is fresh, plentiful and delicious. On sunny days you can choose from countless outdoor restaurants, cafés and tapas bars to enjoy some delicious bites and watch the world go by. Porto’s signature dish is the filling ‘Francesinha’ sandwich, stuffed with different meats and smothered in spicy sauce – it’s perfect for refuelling after a day of sightseeing or wine tasting!
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