Porto's claim to fame as the second largest city in Portugal and the ancestral home of port have earned it a place on the tourism map, but it is the city's historical legacy that really engages visitors. The 400kg of pure gold decoration in São Francisco Church make this Porto's most impressive historic site, but the real charm of Porto comes from hidden gems, like the religious mosaics found in the Sao Bento train station.
In 1755 earthquakes destroyed much of Portugal's historic architecture; fortunately Porto was little affected and today the World Heritage Ribeira district is Portugal's most idyllic old town. If you are still feeling adventurous after strolling through the Ribeira's streets, why not climb the 225 steps of Torre dos Clérigos for panoramic views across the city, before relaxing with a glass of the local port at the Ribeira quayside?
In recent years Porto has undergone a vibrant rejuvenation with new buildings such as the Casa da Música concert hall, designed by Rem Koolhaas, springing up all over the city. The development of exciting new venues has brought a new lease of life to the city, which after dark in now home to a happening club and bar scene.