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The second-largest city in Portugal, Porto is one of the Iberian Peninsula’s major hubs. Located in the northern section of Portugal along the Douro River, it is also one of the oldest European cities and is named a World Heritage Site by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). The history of the city dates back to 300 BC when the Celtics and Proto-Celtics lived there. There are still ruins in the area that date back to that time.
Outdoor activities in Porto are enjoyed year-round, with the temperatures ranging from 67 degrees for the average high and 52 degrees for the average low. You can find over a dozen parks and other outdoor recreational areas within 15 minutes of the city. One of the most recently procured is the Pasteleira Urban Park in the middle of Lordelo do Ouro. This forested area with wild pines and cork oaks interspersed with other flora covers 17 acres. A wide variety of wildlife calls the park home, including geese, ducks, and even some chickens and a cat.
Although not always a famous tourist town, the city has increased tourism due to the Ryanair hub at the Francisco de Sá Carneiro Airport. Adding to the city's ambiance and energy, the nightlife, shopping, and dining will keep you busy. From museums to shopping malls and restaurants, you will find all sorts of fun in Porto.
Top Things to Do
Running around Porto pulling your baggage is no fun. Luckily, Bounce has many convenient locations to leave it for safekeeping. Storing your luggage is as easy as downloading the app and booking a spot nearby. Local Bounce partners will store your stuff as long as you need so you can enjoy the city. Insured for up to $5,000 per booking, you can leave your bags with Bounce no matter how big or how many you have.
With 40 museums, memorials, and galleries in Porto, you can learn all you ever wanted about the city as well as the entire state of Portugal. Whether you are interested in finding out more about the culture, anthropology, art, science, transportation, or anything else, the museums here have all you want to know. From the military museums to the romance museum, and the photography museum to the tram museum, your experience in Porto can be educational as well as entertaining.
World of Discoveries Museum: Make learning fun at the World of Discoveries Museum. You don’t even have to have kids with you to have a blast here. Take a tour alone or led by the 16th Century time-traveling guides to visit each of the World of Discoveries rooms. The theme-park styled museum has 20 themed areas such as the Equatorial Forests, North Africa, and the Fearsome Sea, to name a few. They even have food from Brazil, Japan, China, India, Africa, and Portugal for you to sample.
Casa do Infante: Also known as the Prince’s House, this was the only royal building in the city, and the royal family stayed here when they were in town. Now it is a museum built in a sort of medieval customs house with artifacts, displays, and exhibits for all to see.
Museum of Transport and Communications: Do you like old cars? How about old phones and other communication devices? From telegraphs to cell phones and presidential cars, they even have an old customs building you can explore. Take a guided tour to learn about the history of this unique city.
One of the most popular items that people buy in Porto is port wine because it is made and shipped from the city, which is where it got its name. Visit a winery or specialty souvenir shop for some excellent deals on this delicious drink. Other popular shopping items in Porto include handmade jewelry, chocolates, artisan soap, and sardines.
A Vida Portuguesa: For completely unique souvenirs and gift ideas, A Vida Portuguesa has exclusive items only made and sold in Portugal. From bird sculptures to soaps and jewelry to candy, you don’t have to worry about giving your special someone a gift that they already have.
Mar Shopping: If you have a long list of things you want or just cannot decide, Mar has over 175 shops to choose from all in one place on Av. Dr. Óscar Lopes. They have everything from A to Z starting with Adidas and ending in Zippy Kidstore. They even have a McDonalds, Burger King, and several other eateries to grab a bite.
Caves Cálem: This wine cellar is more than just a dark cave where you can taste port wine. It also offers guided tours, an interactive museum, and a Fado show. On Avenida Diogo Leite in Vila Nova de Gaia, this special place should be the last place you visit on your tour because you may find it hard to leave.
The main staple in Porto besides port wine and chocolate is seafood. You can find a plethora of seafood restaurants, shops, and kiosks in the city. However, there are plenty of other tastes to choose from here. Another tasty favorite is Francesinha, which is a sandwich with toasted meat, cheese, and gravy served with fries. Sounds suspiciously like an American cheeseburger, right? Oh, but they are so much more. Porto also has places to get pizza and other Italian favorites, French and Asian cuisine, and practically anything else you can think of.
Farinha: Farinha is the place to go for fine Italian cuisine like Neapolitan pizza and many different types and flavors of pasta dishes. You can even get some port wine and chocolate for dessert. Farinha is on R. do Dr. Barbosa de Castro 74 near the banks of the Douro River.
Café Santiago: For that delicious Francesinha made by the experts, check out Café Santiago on Rua Passos Manuel 226. What used to be a pasture and barroom was rebuilt and renovated into a unique space to enjoy the Portuguese flavors of local food. With special sauce that is a family secret, you will never taste Francesinha like this again.
Restaurante Universal Porto: If you cannot decide what you want, go to Restaurante Universal Porto on R. de Aníbal Cunha 252. They offer traditional Portuguese cuisine as well as vegetarian dishes, steaks, cod, and more in a cozy and casual atmosphere. Music, televisions, and free Wi-Fi topped with great food always makes for a pleasant experience.
Where is the best places to stay and eat while in Porto?
The most popular restaurants to visit are Café Santiago, Adega São Nicolau, and Cervejaria Brasão. Additionally, the highest ranked hotels within Porto are Pousada do Porto Freixo Palace Hotel, MyStay Batalha, and Design Palacio Flats. When traveling on a budget, the best hostels in Porto are Yes! Porto, Albergue de Peregrinos do Porto, and Cats Hostels.
Where are the best parks and nature attractions in Porto?
Porto offers several scenic parks including Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, Garden Hill, and Jardim de João Chagas.
What are the best museums and historical attractions in Porto?
If you're looking for a good museum in Porto, we recommend Church of São Francisco, Stock Exchange Palace, and Serra de Pilar Monastery. If you prefer to be outside, you can give yourself a walking tour and see some of Porto's most popular historical attractions including Dom Luís I Bridge, Porto Cathedral, or Igreja do Carmo and monuments like Episcopal Palace of Oporto, Feitoria Britânica, or Tower of D. Pedro Pitões. Lastly, you can enjoy the local ruin of Ruins, Quinta de Baixo, or Pedra de armas da fonte de São Domingos.
Where can I store my luggage in Porto?
We've partnered with local Porto businesses around the city who offer a dedicated storage room or a designated area that's off limits for customers.
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