PORTO

PORTO
Once you cross through one of the many bridges on the Douro River, you will be caught by this fascinating city that will welcome you with a glass of Port wine! If Lisbon generally outweighs all the votes for a first visit to Portugal, it would be difficult to forget too quickly Porto, capital of the Northern region, a destination full of promises.
Porto location is already in itself a surprise: the city stands on high ground overlooking the Douro River, through which various bridges can be admired, one of them the work of Gustave Eiffel!
The architectural heritage of the city impresses in general: Old Porto is a treat for the visitor, with outstanding monuments such as the Sé Porto Cathedral, Sao Francisco and the Bolsa Palace. It is no coincidence that the entire historic center is a World Heritage by UNESCO!
According to the writer Ann Bridge, "The whole thing looks like a singularly dangerous spider's web flung across space."

DID YOU KNOW THAT...
  • one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world is in Porto?
Lello Bookstore is a Master Work. Just imagine an inverted wooden ship. Floor to ceiling are staged thousands of books, as in any bookstore, except that here we really feel the books are beating like hearts, in a cave of paper and waxed wood. It seems like a bookstore out of some fantasy-world!
  • The word "opportunity" is linked to the name of the Port Wine in a popular legend?
The word opportunity comes from the Latin term opportunitas, which is composed of two other terms: ob, meaning “toward”, and portus, meaning “port” that is the name of the portuguese famous wine. The legend says that there was a lady that had been looking for an old book in the late evening and she finally stopped by a library and asked the librarian if he has it. The librarian fall immediately in love by her beauty and invited her to go downstairs and look for the book. Minutes passed by and the librarian had an idea: he invited her a glass of Port wine while searching. That was the perfect excuse for staying with her longer and “have a good chance for advancement or progress for achieving a goal” (this is the meaning of the word). The book was not found but in the meanwhile she was seduced by him. His goal was to kiss her and so he did. Men like them are called op-Port-unists, those who, as this man, with a glass of Port wine, make up an op-Port-unity.

YOU SHOULD NOT MISS
  • Vila Nova de Gaia
A glass of Porto facing Porto from the other side of the River Douro? Just across a bridge you will find Vila Nova Gaia where all the internationally renowned Port wine cellars are located. Apart from visiting and tasting the emblematic drink you can admire spectacular views over Porto’s Riviera, its bridges and the traditional Barcos Rabelos.
  • Serralves Museum
The Serralves Museum is a showcase of contemporary art. It is the greatest cultural center in Porto. The Serralves Foundation has an area of 18 hectares where you can walk in a lovely garden and find disconcerting statues. If you do want to visit a museum, the Serralves Museum is paradoxically the one.
  • São Francisco Church
The São Francisco church is a typical example of the incredible display of wealth of the Baroque era. Nearly 500 kg of gold from Brazil were required to cover literally inside the church. Even forewarned, the ostentation of the Portuguese church will surprise you. Everything seems gold, pillars on the walls through the statues. While this may disappoint you, nothing is gold. This is a known method in Portugal "Talhas Douradas". Clearly, everything disappears under carved wood covered with gold leaf. It is of course within that attracts all the attention.