Porto is best known for the fortified wines produced exclusively in the nearby Douro Valley – appropriately named Port. Cellars scattered below the city offer generous tastings and tours where you’ll learn about the drop’s unique history. But if port isn’t your particular tipple there are plenty of other locally produced wines and craft beers to be enjoyed from Porto’s abundance of laidback bars and rooftop spots.
Architecture & Attractions
You could easily spend a day, if not more, just exploring this city’s rabbit warren of cobblestone streets, with its undulating terracotta rooftops, balconies adorned with flower pots, vibrantly tiled facades and striking street art making for impressive Instagram fodder.
And for the architecture obsessed, Porto is also home to many monuments by renowned designers like Gustave Eiffel's Dona Maria Bridge, Nicolau Nasoni's Clerigos Tower, Rem Koolhaas' Casa da Musica and Siza Vieira's Serralves Museum. The Sé do Porto in the city’s UNESCO heritage listed historical centre is another must-not-miss landmark. The twin-towered cathedral features a blend of architectural details dating back to the 12th century with stunning Gothic stonework, a Baroque porch and Romanesque windows.
History & Culture
Porto’s origins date back to 300 BC with a history of Celtic, Roman and Moor inhabitation over the following centuries with notable influences from the French and English. Its citizens, which you’ll find are friendly but fairly blunt, are known as Tripeiros (tripe eaters) because in 1415 the city went without meat, subsisting on tripe stew, in order to support the army in the foreign conquests. While the population's long standing preference for animal innards may not win you over, the city's laidback but vibrant culture and enticing nightlife surely will.
This article previously appeared on 7 Travel.