D.Luis bridge in Porto by night
Porto is the second largest city in Portugal and is located in northern Portugal with an estimated population of 300,000 and 1.6 million making up the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto. The city name derived from one of Portugal's most internationally famous products, Port wine which was originally shipped from the area.
In 1703 the Methuen Treaty was established. Trade relations between Portugal and England is said to be one of the longest established treaties of it's kind and in 1717 the first English trading post was established in Porto. During the 18th and 19th centuries the city became an important industrial centre and saw its size and population increase.
In August 1820 Porto rebelled against the English presence, resulting in a civil war in Portugal. In 1822 a liberal constitution was accepted, partly through the efforts of the liberal assembly of Porto.
Porto has several museums, concert halls, theatres, cinemas and art galleries. The best-known museums in Porto are the Soares dos Reis National Museum, which is dedicated especially to the Portuguese artistic movements from the 16th to the 20th century, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Serralves Foundation. The city concert halls rare and elegant, such as the Coliseu do Porto by the Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco, it is seen by many as one of the best and most elegant concert halls in Europe. Other notable venues include the Rivoli theatre, the Batalha cinema and the recent Casa do Música which houses the cultural institution of the same name with its three orchestras Orquestra Nacional do Porto, Orquestra Barroca and Remix Ensemble.
Downtown Porto and Porto City Hall
Porto is home to a number of dishes from traditional Portuguese cuisine. Typical dishes are Tripas à Moda do Porto best described as tripe stew which is usually served on a bed of rice and Bacalhau á Gomes de Sá, a dish made with salt cod, potatoes and onions. Both are popular with the cities restaurants and across Portugal. The Francesinha is the most famous popular native snack food in Porto. It's a sandwich with several meats covered with cheese and a special sauce made with beer and other ingredients!
Porto airport Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) is located 12km to the north west of the city centre and is named after popular President of Portugal, Francisco Manuel Lumbrales de Sá Carneiro, who in 1980 tragically died in a plane crash on his way from Lisbon to Porto. The airport is a state-of-the-art facility, having undergone a massive program of refurbishment due to the city hosting matches for the Euro 2004 football championships.
Direct flights are available to a growing number of major cities in Europe and the Americas. Low cost connections to London, Frankfurt, Liverpool, Dublin and Paris are also available from the airport which is said to be one of the best airports in the world.
Porto's main railway station is situated in Campanhã, a short metro ride away, on the main line to Lisbon. From here, both metro and suburban rail services go to the city centre. The main central station is at São Bento and is itself a notable attraction. Porto is said to be the gateway to the north of the country with road links to the Minho and Northern regions. The A1 motorway is the main link to Lisbon, Coimbra and the southern regions.
Read ‘Letting the train take the strain’ an article by one of our visitors, Beverley Reid:
‘As we relaxed and watched the Portuguese countryside slide by at 225 kph we wondered why we had been so reluctant to try the train in the past.’
Climate of Porto
Summers are typically sunny with temperatures between 16°C and 27°C but can rise as high as 40°C during occasional heat waves, which typically last between 5 and 10 days.
Winter temperatures typically range between 5°C during the morning and 16°C during afternoon, but can occasionally drop below 0°C at night.
Palácio de Cristal