YOU CAN EDIT THIS PAGE! Just click any blue "Edit" link and start writing!

Difference between revisions of "Porto"

From Wikitravel
Jump to: navigation, search
Porto

Default Banner.jpg

Line 1: Line 1:
'''Porto''' [http://www.golisbon.com/portugal/cities/porto.html] is [[Portugal]]'s second largest city.
+
'''Porto''' [http://www.golisbon.com/portugal/cities/porto.html] is [[Portugal]]'s second largest city and the capital of the Northern region.
  
 
[[Image:PortoW.jpg|thumb|400px|North side of Douro]]
 
[[Image:PortoW.jpg|thumb|400px|North side of Douro]]
Line 5: Line 5:
 
==Understand==
 
==Understand==
  
Porto is Portugal's second largest city, and a very busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the near metropolitan area ranks some 1,800,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius.
+
Porto is Portugal's second largest city, and a very busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area ranks some 1,800,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius,with cities like Gaia,Matosinhos,Maia,Espinho,Vila do Conde,Povoa de Varzim.
  
 
The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded [[UNESCO World Heritage List|World Heritage status]] by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as ''Portus Calle''
 
The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded [[UNESCO World Heritage List|World Heritage status]] by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as ''Portus Calle''
  
Porto has a Mediterranean climate, although its strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other Mediterranean cities. However, temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC in August during occasional heat waves. Winters are mild and humid, with occasional cold nights where temperatures can drop below 0ºC.  
+
Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although its strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other Mediterranean cities. However, temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC in August during occasional heat waves. Winters are mild and humid, with occasional cold nights where temperatures can drop below 0ºC.  
  
 
Porto has always been a mercantile city, and this is evident in the style of buildings that front onto the ''Avenida dos Aliados'', the core of the downtown area.  The center of town, unlike other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental.  Residents of Porto are known as ''Tripeiros'' (tripe eaters) allegedly due to the fact that the city went withut meat in order to provision the the fleet that left to conquor Ceuta in North Africa in 1415 (which left from Porto) and had to subsist on tripe soup, still a specialty of the city.
 
Porto has always been a mercantile city, and this is evident in the style of buildings that front onto the ''Avenida dos Aliados'', the core of the downtown area.  The center of town, unlike other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental.  Residents of Porto are known as ''Tripeiros'' (tripe eaters) allegedly due to the fact that the city went withut meat in order to provision the the fleet that left to conquor Ceuta in North Africa in 1415 (which left from Porto) and had to subsist on tripe soup, still a specialty of the city.
Line 23: Line 23:
 
===By plane===
 
===By plane===
  
'''Sá Carneiro Airport''', ({{IATA|OPO}}), Pedras Rubras, (+351) 229 432 400,
+
'''Sá Carneiro Airport''', ({{IATA|OPO}}), Pedras Rubras,Maia (+351) 229 432 400,
 
[http://www.ana.pt/portal/page/portal/ANA/AEROPORTO_PORTO/]. Also known as '''Aeroporto do Porto''' or '''Aeroporto de Pedras Rubras''' this is the third busiest airport in the country and is about 15 km from the city centre, and there are regular flights from and to almost all major worldwide cities.  Just outside of the airport is the AeroBus which for 4 Euro - 2005 - takes you to Praça da Liberdade (city center) or will drop you off at the Pousada da Juventude.  A similar taxi trip will cost 20 Euro. the Metro line connects the Airport to the city centre, offering a fast and peaceful ride into the heart of the city, for 1,35 Euro.
 
[http://www.ana.pt/portal/page/portal/ANA/AEROPORTO_PORTO/]. Also known as '''Aeroporto do Porto''' or '''Aeroporto de Pedras Rubras''' this is the third busiest airport in the country and is about 15 km from the city centre, and there are regular flights from and to almost all major worldwide cities.  Just outside of the airport is the AeroBus which for 4 Euro - 2005 - takes you to Praça da Liberdade (city center) or will drop you off at the Pousada da Juventude.  A similar taxi trip will cost 20 Euro. the Metro line connects the Airport to the city centre, offering a fast and peaceful ride into the heart of the city, for 1,35 Euro.
  
 
Ryanair run the cheapest flights from [[London|London Stanstead]] and [[Liverpool]] as well as other European hubs such as [[Marseille]] or [[Girona]].
 
Ryanair run the cheapest flights from [[London|London Stanstead]] and [[Liverpool]] as well as other European hubs such as [[Marseille]] or [[Girona]].
  
TAP flies from most European airports but is more expensive.
+
TAP flies from most European airports but tends to be more expensive.
  
 
===By train===
 
===By train===
  
The city is served by two major train stations, the "S. Bento" (Saint Benedict) station, and the "Campanhã" station. Trains from and to Madrid and Paris are regular, other non-domestic destinations vary according to demand and time of year. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time. 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 me €5) to Tui to connect.
+
The city is served by two major train stations, the "S. Bento" (Saint Benedict) station, and the "Campanhã" station. Trains from and to Madrid and Paris are regular, other non-domestic destinations vary according to demand and time of year. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time. 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 me €5) to Tui to connect.Sao Bento station in right in the city center.
  
 
===By car===
 
===By car===
Line 93: Line 93:
  
 
*'''Fundação de Serralves''', [http://www.serralves.pt]. A contemporary Art Gallery, with a huge garden.
 
*'''Fundação de Serralves''', [http://www.serralves.pt]. A contemporary Art Gallery, with a huge garden.
 
+
Foz do Douro,at the mouth of the river Douro,along the Atlantic Ocean.
 
==Do==
 
==Do==
  
Line 106: Line 106:
  
 
==Buy==
 
==Buy==
For shopping, take a stroll around  the Mercado do Bolhão which has a food market and handicrafts stores, and Santa Catarina street, which is near Bolhão. Cedofeita street is also a busy shopping street. Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Cidade Bom Sucesso, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping etc. These are open every day, but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.  
+
For shopping, 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 Boavista. Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Cidade Bom Sucesso, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping etc. These are open every day, but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.  
  
Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it.
+
Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it,in the city of Gaia,just south of the Douro river.
 
You can also find great deals in clothes and shoes, especially during discount seasons.
 
You can also find great deals in clothes and shoes, especially during discount seasons.
  
Line 114: Line 114:
  
 
==Eat==
 
==Eat==
 
+
Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal.
Eating at Porto is no different than elsewhere in Portugal. Expect sturdy 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.
+
Eating at Porto is no different than elsewhere in Portugal. Expect sturdy 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 a typical 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 although in many other Portuguese cities on the north you will be able to find a low quality version of it. Basically you can call it a toast with a lot of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...), all covered with cheese and a spicy sauce. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by a beer and not wine.
 
Also try a typical 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 although in many other Portuguese cities on the north you will be able to find a low quality version of it. Basically you can call it a toast with a lot of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...), all covered with cheese and a spicy sauce. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by a beer and not wine.
  
 
Another "must eat" is "bacalhau" which is actually salted codfish. It is cooked in various ways but you should try "Bacalhau com Natas".
 
Another "must eat" is "bacalhau" which is actually salted codfish. It is cooked in various ways but you should try "Bacalhau com Natas".
 
+
Tere are also several cafes and pastry shopps that often serve "light"meals.Sometimes,seatind or standing at the counter(balcao0is less expenssive than seatting down.
 
===Budget===
 
===Budget===
  
Line 150: Line 150:
  
 
==Dance clubs==
 
==Dance clubs==
Dance clubs herer always start very late, around 1AM-2AM, and end up from 6AM-7:30AM. You have a nice choice to pick up from:
+
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 up from:
  
 
*'''Industria''' Avenida do Brasil nº 843, Foz, [http://www.industriaporto.com]. "local heroes and international superstars" - going since 1987, this plush nightclub on the sea-front in Foz would benefit any city. It's around 4AM.
 
*'''Industria''' Avenida do Brasil nº 843, Foz, [http://www.industriaporto.com]. "local heroes and international superstars" - going since 1987, this plush nightclub on the sea-front in Foz would benefit any city. It's around 4AM.
Line 225: Line 225:
  
 
==Cope==
 
==Cope==
 
+
Crowds.
 
==Get out==
 
==Get out==
  
*During the summer, try one of the many quality beaches located near Porto, in the cities of Gaia and Matosinhos. Gaia has plenty of beaches with blue flags, a certification of the quality of the beach.
+
*During the summer, try one of the many quality beaches located near Porto, in the cities of Gaia and Matosinhos. Gaia has plenty of beaches with blue flags(Miramar,Aguda,Granja), a certification of the quality of the beach.
  
 
*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 benn 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]].
 
*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 benn 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]].
Line 236: Line 236:
 
*Then go on to the other side of the river and enjoy some of the typical pub's and discos from Porto in [[Ribeira]].
 
*Then go on to the other side of the river and enjoy some of the typical pub's and discos from Porto in [[Ribeira]].
  
*And if you're really in a party mood, finish your night in one of the many clubs the city has to offer, most are located in the Industrial region and in the [[Foz]] area, or just visit some in the neighboring city of [[Matosinhos]].
+
*And if you're really in a party mood, finish your night in one of the many clubs the city has to offer, most are located in the Industrial region and in the [[Foz]] area, or just visit some in the neighboring cities of [[Matosinhos]],Vila do Conde,Espinho(beach and casino),Maia,Penafiel,Amarante,Povoa de Varzim(beach and casino).
  
 
* Don't forget to go on a fantastic boat trip up the Douro river, you'll be fascinated by the magnificent view. This area is certified by the UNESCO.
 
* Don't forget to go on a fantastic boat trip up the Douro river, you'll be fascinated by the magnificent view. This area is certified by the UNESCO.

Revision as of 06:56, 5 February 2008

Porto [8] is Portugal's second largest city and the capital of the Northern region.

North side of Douro

Understand

Porto is Portugal's second largest city, and a very busy industrial and commercial center. The city itself isn't very populous (about 240,000 inhabitants), but the Porto metropolitan area ranks some 1,800,000 inhabitants in a 50 km radius,with cities like Gaia,Matosinhos,Maia,Espinho,Vila do Conde,Povoa de Varzim.

The city was built along the hills overlooking the Douro river estuary, and its historical center was awarded World Heritage status by UNESCO in 1996. It has been continuously inhabited since at least the 4th Century, when the Romans referred to it as Portus Calle

Porto has a semi-Mediterranean climate, although its strongly affected by the Atlantic ocean, which makes it cooler than other Mediterranean cities. However, temperatures can rise as high as 40ºC in August during occasional heat waves. Winters are mild and humid, with occasional cold nights where temperatures can drop below 0ºC.

Porto has always been a mercantile city, and this is evident in the style of buildings that front onto the Avenida dos Aliados, the core of the downtown area. The center of town, unlike other major Portuguese cities, which tend towards the baroque, is granite and monumental. Residents of Porto are known as Tripeiros (tripe eaters) allegedly due to the fact that the city went withut meat in order to provision the the fleet that left to conquor Ceuta in North Africa in 1415 (which left from Porto) and had to subsist on tripe soup, still a specialty of the city.

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 less lacking in social graces. This is likely due to the fact that the city has historically been dominated by Portuguese bourgeoisie and English trading factions rather than the nobility. Tripeiros 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."

The city is officially styled "a muito nobre, sempre leal e invicta cidade do Porto" (the very noble, always faithful, and invincible city of Porto). This is usually shortened to "a Cidade Invicta" (the invincible city) a title won because of Porto's unparalleled resistance against Napoleonic troops during the Peninsular war.

The city is quite variegated architecturally, with medieval as well as modern living side by side. Porto's geography is hard on the feet, but pleasant to the eye. The city is extremely hilly, with many buildings built into a cliff face that overlooks the river. Stairs cut into the stone run up and down the cliff face and offer a laborious but rewarding walking tour. Across the river from Porto proper, in the suburb of Gaia, are located the warehouses of notable companies dealing with Port Wine, such as Cálem, Fonseca, Sandemans, Kopke, and others.

Get in

By plane

Sá Carneiro Airport, (IATA: OPO), Pedras Rubras,Maia (+351) 229 432 400, [9]. Also known as Aeroporto do Porto or Aeroporto de Pedras Rubras this is the third busiest airport in the country and is about 15 km from the city centre, and there are regular flights from and to almost all major worldwide cities. Just outside of the airport is the AeroBus which for 4 Euro - 2005 - takes you to Praça da Liberdade (city center) or will drop you off at the Pousada da Juventude. A similar taxi trip will cost 20 Euro. the Metro line connects the Airport to the city centre, offering a fast and peaceful ride into the heart of the city, for 1,35 Euro.

Ryanair run the cheapest flights from London Stanstead and Liverpool as well as other European hubs such as Marseille or Girona.

TAP flies from most European airports but tends to be more expensive.

By train

The city is served by two major train stations, the "S. Bento" (Saint Benedict) station, and the "Campanhã" station. Trains from and to Madrid and Paris are regular, other non-domestic destinations vary according to demand and time of year. Domestic trains are very frequent and usually on time. 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 me €5) to Tui to connect.Sao Bento station in right in the city center.

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

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.

By boat

There is a cargo and recreational harbor called Leixões in the neighboring city of Matosinhos. 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. You can use the boat however to go up the Douro River, one of the most fantastic trips you'll ever make.

Get around

Porto Valley

Metro

The Porto Metro is an incredibly advanced, state of the art light rail / subway system. Developed in 2004 (for the Euro 2004 games), the metro is still under construction. It has 5 lines, that run across the center of Porto, and down to some suburban areas. 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, although a new lines will be opening "soon" (circa 2010!). Tickets must be purchased beforehand. They can be sold 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 printed in a card called "Andante", and you can purchase as many rides (or travels) you want, in the zone you are staying in (Porto and surrounding are Z2. Matosinhos Z3. Airport Z4). One travel will take you anywhere your zone, and you can travel as many times as you want within one hour. If you plan on using it again, Do Not throw away the card! The card can be re-charged (the card itself costs around €0.50). You can also buy daily passes, which is more convenient. If you plan on living in Porto, or staying for more than three weeks, it is recommended you get the "Andante Gold". The card costs €5, and will allow unlimited travel, without time limit. However, the zoning system is a lot different in the "Gold" version then in the "Blue version". There around around 11 zones in Andante Gold (C1, C2, S11, etc.) The centre is C1. When you buy the card, you must purchase another zone (C1 is automatically included). The Andante Gold 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. More info at Metro do Porto

Bus

STCP Porto has many lines and buses, which are modern and comfortable. However, they are not very reliable in terms of timetable, and the bus drivers tend to go on strike from time to time, which can leave you waiting for a bus up to an hour!. However, the lines serve every alley in the city, so you can be sure that wherever you are, there is a bus stop. If you do not have the Andante (see "Metro" above), then the tickets can be purchased on board, for €1.30 or cheaper on most any newspaper seller.

Taxi

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

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 the 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.

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.

Funicular dos Guindais

This is a cable railway system. Use this if you don't wanna walk up the steep streets of Porto. This system connects the Ribeira to the Batalha square, in the city centre. It also has a great view of the River.

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.

See

The first place to begin with is the Ribeira, 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. Next go up to the São Francisco church and the Stock Exchange palace nearby, where you can visit the most impressive Arab room in the country. The world known Modern Art museum at Serralves and the Casa da Música (House of Music) concert hall live in the area known as Boavista. From there you can reach the amazing ocean front drive, known as "Foz". Go back to the center of the city and visit Mercado do Bolhão, a traditional market of fruits, vegetables, fish and meat. Next the Aliados and the City Hall and finally the 6 bridges connecting Porto to Gaia over the Douro river, many of them providing an excellent view to the river.

  • Pavilhão Rosa Mota, A multi purpose pavilion with nice gardens to rest which is calledalso known as "Palácio de Cristal". Nearby there is the Museu Romantico, a house where the king of Italy stayed while on exile. Also don't forget to see the views to the sea.
  • Livraria Lello,[10]", near Praça dos Leões. It's an old Bookshop, with an amazing interior, where you can also have a coffee.
  • Soares dos Reis, [11]. for Art.
  • Photography Museum, [12].
  • Fundação de Serralves, [13]. A contemporary Art Gallery, with a huge garden.

Foz do Douro,at the mouth of the river Douro,along the Atlantic Ocean.

Do

Take a cruise upriver. 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!


You might also want to visit the Dragão Stadium, home of FC Porto. The team has a rich history, having won the Champions League twice and UEFA cup 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... also, just across from the stadium you have a large shopping center, according to a joke built to block the wind from affecting the stadium.

Learn

Work

Buy

For shopping, 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 Boavista. Porto and the suburbs have plenty of shopping centers, including Norte Shopping, Cidade Bom Sucesso, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping etc. These are open every day, but are usually overcrowded during the weekends and rainy days.

Port wine, of course. This is the right place for it,in the city of Gaia,just south of the Douro river. You can also find great deals in clothes and shoes, especially during discount seasons.

MUUDA, Rua do Rosário, 294-4050-522, (email: [email protected]),[14]. "art, food and design". This concept store offers a great variety of products signed by Portuguese designers. Fashion, objects, books, jewelery, 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.

Eat

Porto has some of the finest restaurants in Portugal. Eating at Porto is no different than elsewhere in Portugal. Expect sturdy 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 a typical 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 although in many other Portuguese cities on the north you will be able to find a low quality version of it. Basically you can call it a toast with a lot of meat inside (beef, pork meat, ham...), all covered with cheese and a spicy sauce. Most importantly, this dish must be accompanied by a beer and not wine.

Another "must eat" is "bacalhau" which is actually salted codfish. It is cooked in various ways but you should try "Bacalhau com Natas". Tere are also several cafes and pastry shopps that often serve "light"meals.Sometimes,seatind or standing at the counter(balcao0is less expenssive than seatting down.

Budget

  • Âncora d'Ouro (the golden anchor), 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.

Mid-range

Splurge

Drink

Port Wine

A glass of tawny port wine

Porto is famous for the eponymous port wine, a fortified wine (20%) made by adding brandy to the wine before fermentation is complete. The end product is strong, sweet, complex in taste and if properly stored will last 40 years or more.

There are many, many grades of port, but the basic varieties are:

  • Vintage, the real deal, kept in the bottle for 5-15 years, can be very expensive for good years. It is nevertheless worth it.
  • Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV), simulated vintage kept in barrel longer, ready to drink. Nice if you are on a budget.
  • Tawny, aged for 10-30 years before bottling, which distinguishes itself by a more brownish red color and a slightly smoother bouquet and flavor. As with any wine, the older it gets, the more rounded and refined it will be.
  • Ruby, the youngest and cheapest, with a deep red "ruby" color.
  • Whiteport is a not-so-well-known variety, and it is a shame. You will find a sweet and a dry varietal, the latter of which mixes well with tonic water and should be served chilled (if drunk alone) or with lots of ice (with tonic).

Mid-range

  • Solar Vinho do Porto, Rua de Entre-Quintas 220, tel:+351 226094749. [email protected], A villa with port samples and a great view of the Douro. Open M-Sa 2 pm 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.

Vinho Verde

  • Another good choice is the ubiquitous vinho verde (green wine), which is made mostly in the region to the north of Porto (the Minho.) It's a light, dry and refreshing wine (approx. 9% -9.5% in volume), made from region specific grapes with relatively low sugar content. Mostly white, and sometimes slightly sparkling. Very nice, and very affordable.

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 up from:

  • Industria Avenida do Brasil nº 843, Foz, [15]. "local heroes and international superstars" - going since 1987, this plush nightclub on the sea-front in Foz would benefit any city. It's around 4AM.
  • Bla-Bla A quite popular chill-out disco in the Industrial Area of Matosinhos. A more pleasing club for fans or 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.
  • 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, [16]. 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, know 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, [17]. 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.

Bars & Pubs

  • Ryan's Irish Pub, [18]. 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.

Sleep

There's residential homes all around the city. There's also a lot of 3-star hotels with very affordable prices. In the entire city there's only one camping site (Prelada), but it's a bit far from the center. There aren't many family houses to rent in Porto, so they'll be difficult to find.


Budget

  • Youth Hostel (Pousada de Juventude do Porto), Paulo da Gama Street, 551, 4169-006 Porto. (Reservations here: https://www.movijovem.pt/Reservas/), [19]. Located outside of the city centre, with several buses passing just by, opened 24 hours and a terrific view over the river. 14 to 16 euros per night (2006)
  • Hospedaria 1 de Janeiro, rua 31 Janeiro. Incredibly cheap (15 euros for a double) but dirty and dodgy.
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Gaia, Avenida Rua Martires de São Sebastião 247, (+351)772 82 00, [1].
  • Hotel Ibis Porto São João, Rua Dr. Plácido Costa, (+351)22 551 31 00, [2].
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Norte, Auto Estrada Porto Braga S. Mamede do coronado K11, (+351)22 986 76 00, [3].
  • Hotel Ibis Porto Sul Europarque, Espargo europarque, (+351)256 332 507, [4].

Mid-range

  • Hotel Mercure Porto Batalha ***, Praca da Batalha 116, (+351)22 204 33 00 (), [5].
  • Hotel Mercure Porto Gaia ****, Rua Manuel Moreira de Barros 618D, (+351)22 374 08 01 (), [6].
  • Hotel Novotel Porto Gaia ***, Lugar das Chãs Afurada, (+351)22 772 87 00 (), [7].

Splurge

  • Ipanema Park Hotel
  • Le Meridien Park Hotel
  • Sheraton
  • Porto Palácio Hotel
  • Infante de Sagres

Contact

Stay safe

112 is the number to call when you have an emergency. Be careful of pickpockets in heavily crowded areas and on public buses and tram. Porto is generally a safe place to be, if you take some precautions like walking in well-illuminated streets, keeping your money to yourself and don't show off.

There is one part of Porto that often has drunk people that could possibly be trouble, it is near the Tourist Information Office between the cathedral and the steps to the small church. It is best to avoid that area. 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. If you take a shortcut from the tourist information center down stairs, it's the alley near where there are a motley bunch.

Cope

Crowds.

Get out

  • During the summer, try one of the many quality beaches located near Porto, in the cities of Gaia and Matosinhos. Gaia has plenty of beaches with blue flags(Miramar,Aguda,Granja), a certification of the quality of the beach.
  • 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 benn 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.
  • Dining by the river in Cais de Gaia in one of the many restaurants available. The offer goes from Portuguese, modern food, Indian, Brazilian...
  • Then go on to the other side of the river and enjoy some of the typical pub's and discos from Porto in Ribeira.
  • And if you're really in a party mood, finish your night in one of the many clubs the city has to offer, most are located in the Industrial region and in the Foz area, or just visit some in the neighboring cities of Matosinhos,Vila do Conde,Espinho(beach and casino),Maia,Penafiel,Amarante,Povoa de Varzim(beach and casino).
  • Don't forget to go on a fantastic boat trip up the Douro river, you'll be fascinated by the magnificent view. This area is certified by the UNESCO.
This article is an outline and needs more content. It has a template, but there is not enough information present. Please plunge forward and help it grow!


Create category