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.
Top itineraries in Porto
From castles, palaces, fortresses and monasteries, Portugal's Pousadas are spread throughout the country. The Explorer Passport provides five nights accommodation and breakfast using 17 of the most famous Pousadas throughout the country.
Spend two nights in the majestic Pestana Palacio Do Freixo – an 18th century palace on the Douro River, just upstream from the historical old town of Porto and two nights in your choice of luxurious Douro valley hotel.
Spend two nights in the majestic Pestana Palacio Do Freixo – an 18th century palace on the Douro River, just upstream from the historical old town of Porto and two nights in your choice of quinta winery accommodation.
Top places to stay in Porto
Between private balcony views of the city and a Michelin-starred restaurant, it’s not difficult to see why the Yeatman is an exalted member of the Relais and Châteaux collection of luxury hotels.
Perhaps Porto’s most resplendent and theatrical hotel, the Infante Sagres exudes glamour and the feel of an old manor house. It comes complete with fine-dining restaurant and a World Heritage location to die for.
In fine dining, chandelier-lit rooms and a spectacular location, this is among Porto’s finest properties; it truly deserves its palace moniker.
When to go to Porto
Portugal’s national holiday, Portugal Day, falls on 10 June. To celebrate, we’ve chosen our favourite places to stay in Portugal's stunning regions of Porto, the Douro Valley and the Algarve to help you make the most of this region of rolling hills, riverside palaces and fantastic gastronomy.
Every year on 10th June, Portugal celebrates its annual national holiday, Portugal Day. In honour, we’ve picked our favourite routes through Portugal to immerse yourself in the historic pousadas, cobblestone villages and world-class gastronomy of this Iberian gem.
From wild coastlines and beach curves to mountain peaks and rolling countryside, the charms of the Iberian Peninsula are seemingly endless. To help point you in the right direction our destination experts have put together the following self-drive routes that showcase the best of it all.
From nectorial white wines to ambrosial game meats, we have hand-picked our favourite food and wine holidays around the world, including highlights from South Africa, Chile and France.
Meet our Porto experts
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