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Porto Travel Guide
Get Your Bearings in PortoWhere to Stay
Lodgings in Porto include a number of 3-star hotels and hostels, like Oporto Fado Hostel, located in central Porto, offering dorm-style and private rooms. Other hostels like Gallery Hostel Porto offer free breakfast and walking tours. The White Box House, on Rua de Santa Catarina, is located in a traditional Porto house, as is Alma Porto Hostel on Rua do Bonfirm.
Caution: Porto does have a camping site, but it's far from the city center.
What to Eat
Most of the good restaurants are located near the Porto de Leixões. Local dishes include bacalhau, a salted codfish dish, and francesinha, a layered pork and toast dish with cheese in a spicy sauce. Porto is also famous in Portugal for its tripe dishes. The city is filled with bakeries spread throughout the city, serving coffee and inexpensive baked goods.
Caution: There is only one completely vegetarian restaurant in Porto.
Things to See
Porto is known for its port wine, and there are many wine tours available in Vila Nova de Gaia, most of which include a guide and wine tastings. The area is also the main starting destination for river cruises offering great views of the landscape. Take in a game at the Dragão Stadium; the local club, FC Porto has won numerous league championships.
Hot Tips: Most port wine tours have English-speaking guides.
Places to Party
There are many late night clubs catering to all ages playing everything from hip-hop to techno. Most of the dance clubs start very late and only close at 6 or 7 am. Other nightlife options include groupings of pubs at Cais de Gaia and the Ribeira region. These vary from Irish pubs to restaurant/bars.
Caution: Many of the bars in Porto have a minimum amount you must spend.
Where to Shop
Porto has many large shopping malls, in addition to stores selling food and handcrafted items around Mercado do Bolhão. The Centro Comercial Bombarda on Rua de Miguel is a mall filled with art and fashion stores, while the nearby streets house galleries featuring jewelry and cosmetics.
Caution: The shops are very crowded on weekends.
Ready for Your Dream Vacation?
If for nothing else, history would remember Porto fondly as the place that lent its name to sweet Port wine. Of course, it has much else for which it will be remembered. It's the second largest city in Portugal and the capital of the northern region. It's also been dubbed the "Green Coast" because of its lush, grape-speckled setting on the Douro River. Tourists can cross over to Vila Nova de Gaia and visit the numerous port houses. Back in town — in the old district — the narrow, cobblestone streets that comprise the heart of the city have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Area. Popular attractions include the Roman Cedofeita Church, the Baroque Torre de Clerigos, as well as the home of Prince Henry the Navigator. At night, the coastal Foz area is hopping with entertainment.