The city of Porto has undergone transformations in recent years and today is different from what it was fifty years ago. It is more cosmopolitan and lively the number of nightlife options and tourist accommodation has increased. The city is now open to the creative industries and is the venue for reputed cultural and artistic events, involving the Porto population.
You should definitely not miss out on this destination youll want to come back, at least for the sake of seeing what has changed.
Young dynamic people
There are many projects dedicated to the development of creative industries in Porto and in the north of the country, and business incubators have launched innovative businesses in the field of architecture, media or performing arts. These structures include public and public-private initiatives, with the great involvement of universities.
Entrepreneurship and innovation have taken over significant Portuguese economic sectors, but also street commerce, which makes visitors stop to have a look, buy and wish to return.
Stroll downtown. Buy urban crafts made by young designers. Visit a design gallery and take art home with you. Admire design furniture made in Porto.
What about fashion? Youre in the right place in town to buy the creations of young fashion designers.
Downtown Porto is also the hub of a revolution in terms of restaurants and nightlife, offering venues and atmospheres to suit all tastes and budgets. In five years, the numbers of bars in Porto, mainly in this part of town, has doubled.
There are several bars in downtown Porto offering an urban and social atmosphere. Here you can stand and talk in the middle of a nice square or sit at a picturesque and elegant terrace. These venues have brought in the habit of taking a break in the evening to have a glass of wine or a drink after work. Alternative music and indie rock can be heard well into the night.
Most of these bars can be found in old, rehabilitated buildings and, therefore, have very interesting features. Some of the projects have even incorporated elements of the business that once occupied the buildings, whether bookstores or tea or coffee shops.
There are quite a number of hip wine bars but the offer is quite eclectic: from the fashionable Champanheria to emblematic downtown coffee houses, such as Âncora DOuro, and including the cheaper places preferred by young people, discos and other live music venues.
Portugal has always been known for its cuisine, in particular in the northern region. However, Porto is proud of being a top notch gastronomy travel destination.
If you want to immerse yourself in traditional cuisine, choose a typical Portuguese restaurant, with its tripas à moda do Porto and the well-known stew. If youre into more sophisticated or fusion cuisine, you will be pleased to know that Porto has an interesting selection of signature restaurants and projects associated to well-known chefs in Portugal.
One of these chefs, Ricardo Costa, was at the helm of the 2 star Michelin restaurants in the hotels Casa da Calçada, in Amarante, and The Yeatman, in Gaia.
The DOP restaurant, owned by Rui Paula, and Salsa & Loureiro, owned by Hélio Loureiro, the chef who normally travels with the Portuguese football team and cooks for superstars such as Cristiano Ronaldo and Pepe, are also good choices.
Wine dinners, available at many restaurants, can be a good way to become acquainted with Portuguese cuisine and wines, in particular the famous nectars from Douro, whether table wines or the famous Port wine. Several hotels host wine dinners. Ask at your hotel if theyll be holding one during your stay.
How to get there
There are flights from Bremen, Düsseldorf, Frankfurt, Karlsruhe, Munich, Dortmund, Zurich, Liverpool, London, Bordeaux, Carcassonne, Dole, La Rochelle, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nantes, Paris, Rodez, St. Etienne Toulouse, Tours, Barcelona, Madrid, Palma de Mallorca, Valencia, Bologna, Milan, Pisa, Rome, Copenhagen, Brussels, Amsterdam, Eindhoven, Rio de Janeiro, São Paulo and New York.
The best way to go from the International Airport Francisco Sá Carneiro to the city centre is to take the underground. The trip takes about 30 minutes.
To reach the Douro and Vale do Côa, take the national road 108 to Entre-os-Rios and continue along the Douro River bank until you reach Régua alternatively, you can take the IP 4, linking the districts of Porto, Vila Real and Bragança, and then take national and municipal roads.