Fire up the Porto itinerary planner and visit the hometown of Port Wine.
The second largest city in Portugal, Porto is located on the banks of River Douro. The earliest mention of Porto can be traced back to the 4th century. The region served as a Roman garrison town and was named ‘Portus Cale’. This Latin epithet is believed to be the root word for the name ‘Portugal’. In the early 10th century, Porto was occupied by the Moors as part of the invasion of the Iberian Peninsula but was soon recovered by the Christian forces. The region had an indispensable part to play in the formation of the Portuguese-English military alliance that dates back to the 14th century. It was in Porto that John I of Portugal and Philippa of Lancaster were married in 1387.
When you plan your trip to Porto, make sure to include the abundant World Heritage sites. The general pace of Porto is relaxed and can prove to have a very soothing effect on those who choose to explore it. Today, it is a major city both economically and politically speaking. However it has actively nurtured its tradition and culture and simultaneously encouraged newer ways of life.
Porto is central to the culture in Portugal. The first Portuguese motion picture was filmed in the town and also screened here in 1896. The city also has a vibrant music scene. Porto is also the home of FC Porto, one of three main teams in Portugal and a prominent European team. Experiencing the awe-inspiring monuments of this city is sure to bring out the artist in you. If that is the case, you can take some time out for workshops conducted by local craftsmen and try your hand at sketching, glass fusing, tile painting, gilding and what not. Although guided tours of the city are readily available, it is also a good idea to explore Porto yourself on foot any good Porto vacation planner ought to be enough to facilitate you in this.
Apart from the exquisite fortified wine, Porto is also a major manufacturer of cork. The town is called ‘O Porto’ (The Port) in Portuguese.
- Porto Card: Any Porto trip planner will recommend that your get your hands on the Porto Card. It has a range of advantages for tourists. You can avail discounts on admission tickets and sometimes gain free admission at a number of attractions. The card also comes in handy at restaurants and guided tours around the city. Visitors have a choice between 1-day pedestrian card and 1/2/3 day standard card. Holders of the former cannot use it on public transports. The Porto Card is available at travel agencies, all tourist information centres and hotels.
- Adante Card: Porto’s public transport system accepts the multimodal Adante Card on all buses, trams, metros and funicular. The card can be bought and refilled at all tram stations and some newspaper kiosks. It needs to be validated at ticketing machines for each use. Prices vary depending on which zone you wish to visit.