Porto Guide

Last update: May 2023

Northern Region of Portugal

Porto cod. Port wine. The Capital of the North

World Heritage: One of the best destinations in Europe and the World

Best City Destination in the World at the World Travel Awards 2022

With its Historic Center declared World Heritage by Unesco, Porto, second most important city in Portugal, European Capital of Culture, was also chosen Best European Destination 2017 and Best City Destination in the World, by World Travel Awards 2022.


Paisagem do Norte e do Porto, Portugal © / Images of Portugal
Landscape of the North and Porto, Portugal © / Images of Portugal



There are many reasons to choose Oporto City to start your trip through Europe and start your tour through our Porto Guide!

The city of Porto, in addition to a lot of rich history, is one of the locomotives of Portugal. Visit this important destination in the lands of the north, a place of hospitable people, is a guarantee of successful holidays and many discoveries. In his classic book O Minho Pitoresco (1886-1887), José Augusto Vieira presents the city of Porto as follows:

"Giving the name to the bright ancient homeland gave, with blood, freedom to the beloved modern homeland. Son, no one gave more to his mother; nor is there such excellent quality, that it can be worth the last.





Glorious tabernacle, where the national soul is kept proud, unpolluted and chaste like the snowy camellias that adorn its city gardens saint of freedom, Porto, the unbreakable fighter of the great battles, in which generous causes are fought, exercises for a domain, almost converted into legend, our political hegemony, and it is by the conditions of its geographical position, as by the brilliant qualities of his character, the true capital of the north. (...)

As on Mondays the workers from the outskirts arrive in droves carrying the barôa in a linen bag, with which they feed a whole week, so twenty years ago I arrived from an obscure corner of the province with the adorable naiveties of belief - the heavy baroa of inexperience - to come to the city, whose name was a legend for me, to receive the light that illuminated my brain, to seek the joys that they dewed my youth."

It was also with this feeling that, a long time later, I arrived in this city that for me was magical. The Douro, which I had already had the opportunity to contemplate still in Spain, stopping the car to admire its waters running east. The beautiful set of Ribeira, the alleys that went up leading us to the Historic center. Porto is history. Porto is adventure. Porto is progress.


Historical and Cultural Heritage

With its Historic Center classified World Heritage, cradle of the nationality Portuguese (the Portucalense County), a rich and varied historical, religious and cultural heritage, the Cidade do Porto is a must-visit during your stay in Portugal.

Learn more: Porto tourist attractions


Always loyal


Brasão do Porto
Coat of Arms of Porto


Export port

The North - and in particular Porto - is Portugal's great export power. It accounts for about 40% of all exports from the country.

The dynamism of its people makes the city of Porto - Metropolis of the North Region, capital of the District of Porto, odo Municipality of Porto and the former Douro Litoral Region - always be ahead when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Porto Metropolitan Area

Its direct influence zone has repercussions on Porto Metropolitan Area, or Greater Porto.

On the left bank of the Douro River, Porto radiates its influence far beyond regional borders.

Barco rabelo, barco típico que transportava outrora as pipas do vinho do Porto © Ilustração
Rabelo boat, typical boat that once transported the barrels of Port wine © Illustration



Port and Wine

With its name associated with the famous wine for centuries, Porto attracts thousands of visitors, whether on vacation or on a business trip, who here they discover its charms and secrets.

Have you already tasted this famous wine straight from the barrel? This is a privilege reserved for few visitors. This and many others, the visitor will discover follow the paths that lead to the Douro. See Douro Litoral Region.


Codfish and Gastronomy

It is almost impossible to talk about Porto without mentioning Bacalhau Porto, one of the most icons of the region, which also crossed the seas and had its name associated with the city, like its wine. Prepared in many ways and fashions, Gadus morhua is one of the basic ingredients of traditional cuisine and Portuguese cuisine.

Find out more: Traditional Portuguese cuisine

Bacalhau, um dos pratos típicos mais populares do Porto © Ilustração
Bacalhau, one of the most popular typical dishes of Porto © Illustration



Dynamic city

The dynamism of its people makes the city of Porto - Metropolis of the Northern Region, capital of the Porto District, of the Council of Porto and the former Douro Litoral Region - ever be ahead when it comes to entrepreneurship and innovation.


Medieval Porto

Medieval Porto is the foundation of the city of Porto. And it all started on Morro da Sé, from where you could see, down there, the Douro River. "It was enough to go to the Castrum novum of the Romans, on the site of Penaventosa, today the old quarter of the Cathedral, to establish a guarantee, perhaps still debatable, but already sustainable, as legitimate, of the antiquity of Porto. It was there, when perhaps this castro was already a ruin, that the Suevi, the true settlers of the city, came to settle fifteen centuries ago, boldly fortifying the castle, and opening the bitesgas and alfurjas do Burgo, to which they gave such rapid development, that within a few years it became the seat of a Catholic bishopric" (José Augusto Vieira, O Minho picturesque, P. 697). More...

It was elevated to a diocese by the Romans, suffered domination by the Visigoths and the Moors. At the end of the 9th century it was reconquered by Vímara Peres.

First Walls

The first belt of city walls was built (from 1108 to 1110) by the archbishop of Braga, D. Gonçalo Pereira. Roughly speaking, it included the castle, "whose keep or citadel, strengthened by battlements and loopholes, was for a long time the old church of the Cathedral" (José A. Vieira), descended to the east by the Stairs of the Codeçal to the bank of the Douro. This section of wall still exists in perfect condition. From there, it cut west to Largo da Ribeira. Then climb to northeast along what is now Rua dos Mercadores to Portas de Santa Anna. It continued along Rua da Bainharia and ended at the Porta de Nossa Senhora de Vendome.

"Here is the primitive city of Porto, which was not the tenth part of Alfama, the Arab city of Lisbon" (José Augusto Vieira, O Minho picturesque, p. 700).


Vinho do Porto, o produto mais emblemático da Cidade do Porto © Ilustração
Port wine, the most emblematic product of the City of Porto © Illustration



Porto influence

On the left bank of the Douro River, Porto radiates its influence far beyond regional borders.

Porto and Wine - With its name for centuries associated with the famous wine, Porto attracts thousands of visitors, on vacation or on a business trip, which here they discover its charms and secrets.

Have you already tasted this famous wine straight from the barrel? This is a privilege reserved for few visitors. This and many others, the visitor will discover follow the paths that lead to the Douro. See Douro Litoral Region.





Top Cities

Greater Lisbon

In addition to the largest urban agglomeration in the country (Lisbon), Sintra, Cascais, Loures, Almada and Oeiras complete the podium of the Top 5 largest cities in Portugal.

Great Port

In the north of the country, in Greater Porto, other important cities are Vila Nova de Gaia, Braga, Matosinhos, Gondomar and Guimarães.

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