This city is an excellent mix of Portugal’s traditional and modern cultures. The Old Town contains winding, narrow streets and magnificent examples of ancient architecture. Yet Porto also has a highly urban feel due to its many attractions and events; the city was named ‘The European Capital of Culture in 2001.

Historical Sights

The medieval quarter, the Ribeira, once saw the first boats set sail to Africa as Portugal began its age of discovery. The Cases do Infante museum within Porto documents the explorations during this period. You may also want to visit Saint Francisco Church which is close to the Ribeira; the baroque style of the architecture and the gold exterior means that many tourists flock to the building to capture the awe-inspiring sight. The wine cellars are another great spot to visit; you can take tours underground and enjoy the tasting lessons establishments offer.

The Clerigos Tower is the tallest structure in Portugal and was completed in 1763. This baroque-style landmark echoes the design of its adjoining church; the intricate style and marble interior have resulted in the buildings becoming popular tourist spots. Visitors also flock to the tower as it provides people with aerial views across the entire city.

Natural Spots

There are several gorgeous beaches to take advantage of when holidaying in Porto. Miramar is the most famous stretch, as tourists and locals visit it. However, this is still a quiet place to visit as it is far from the noise and crowds of the city. There are also a few coffee houses and cafes along the promenade – these are perfect for a drink or a bite to eat as they provide people with breathtaking views across the expanses of sand and sea.

The Praia de Baia is close to Porto and one of Portugal’s most beautiful beaches. The sand is extremely clean, and a great surfing spot due to its perfect waves. The Vila do Condo is another exquisite beach you can reach by traveling along Porto’s metro line. The white sand stretches for 3km; this is a beautiful place to relax and enjoy your day.

Porto Festivals

A range of festivals and events take place within Porto throughout the year. The Night of King is a January festival with many festive music concerts and carolers. The Porto Interceltic Festival takes place in March for those traveling in the spring. Here you can enjoy traditional music from the different regions within Portugal and also around the world. As Porto is a Catholic city, Holy Week is greatly celebrated in March and April; locals perform religious rituals and re-enact past Biblical scenes.

There are also a variety of summer festivals for tourists to enjoy. The Festival of Sao Joao is a street festival where the night comes alive with dancing and music. The Rhythms Festival and Noites Ritual Rock is another vibrant event celebrating European and international modern music. Finally, the Porto in Fashion event is a great way to explore upcoming European designers. The fashion shows exhibit a range of styles and garments; the local university students showcase the experimental and unique trends they have been creating.