Porto, or Oporto, as Portugal's second largest city is often called, is located in the far north of the country, yet radiates such warmth and hospitality that it quickly seduces every visitor.

Thanks to its location on the hilly banks of the river Douro, which flows through the city, and its proximity to the Atlantic, Porto exudes the unmistakable charm typical of Mediterranean commercial cities. In the narrow and sometimes steep streets of the Old Town, which has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996, the colourful house fronts of the residential quarter and the beautiful buildings from the period when commerce blossomed in Porto are popular subjects for photographs

Churches also number among the many sights of the Baroque city, as does the São Bento station, the entrance hall of which is decorated with typical "Azulejos", ceramic paintings depicting scenes from Porto's history. A pleasant way to recover from the many impressions created by the lively city is to sit out on the terrace of one of the promenade restaurants to be found along the Cais da Ribeira on the bank of the Douro.

Here you can build up your strength with a "Francesinha", a meat-filled toasted sandwich topped with grilled cheese, whilst enjoying a view of the famous port wine cellars of the Vila Nova de Gaia district on the opposite bank of the river. A visit to these is, of course, a must - and one you are sure to enjoy. After all, the port wine from the fertile sloping vineyards around Porto is the local speciality par excellence.

City Facts

  • Location

    Portugal's second largest city

  • Population

    approx. 240'000

  • Size

    approx. 45 km²

  • Public transport

    Good underground and bus network, as well as historic tramway

  • Climate

    Maritime climate. Temperatures in summer are warm to hot. Tends to be cool and windy in winter.

  • Best time to visit

    Porto is a great destination all year round

  • Good to know

    Porto sells a convenient one, two or three-day Porto visitors' card. Two types of card are available (pedestrian/transport), providing access to 11 different museums (among other attractions), or allowing free use of public transport.

  • Nice to know

    The city on the Douro is frequently referred to as Oporto, which is its English name. The Portuguese, however, call their city Porto.

  • Underground

    The E line takes you from the airport into the city centre and takes around 30 minutes (Bolhao station

  • Bus

    The bus routes 601 and 602 take you into the city centre (Cordoaria station), travel time approx. 30 minutes.

  • Taxi

    The taxi stand is outside the arrivals hall. The journey into the city centre takes around 20 minutes depending on traffic.