Porto A Beautiful City in Portugal
Famous for Port Wine
Over the years, I’ve heard wonderful things about Porto and now, I see why. Porto is an ancient port steeped in history and tradition. The river port city in northwest Portugal known for its impressive bridges and port wine production. Therefore, there are many Port Wine houses to visit in Porto that offer taste testing tours. Taylor’s , is in its 4th century of wine making. Visitors are given the opportunity to journey into the past and learn about the history of Port wine and it production today.
The 1886 double-decker Dom Luís iron bridge designed by Gustave Eiffel is an icon of the city of Porto. It has a double-decker walkway that crosses the Douro River to the port wine houses of Vila Nova de Gaia. My stay in Porto was enhanced by the warm weather and foggy Ribeira port which added to the alluring charm of this friendly metropolis.
Homey Guesthouse is in the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district. The rooms are tiny and some beds are located in a cosy loft that overlooks the riverfront.
The narrow-cobbled streets wind past merchants’ houses and riverfront cafes where locals and tourists dine on the specialties – freshly grilled octopus and sardines.
Rio Tinto Wine is red wine made from Cabernet, Sauvignon and Tempranillo grapes. Most importantly these wine varietals compliment Portuguese cuisine.
Palácio de Bolsa
A significant monument building is the palatial 19th-century neoclassical style palace, Palácio de Bolsa, formerly a stock market was built to impress potential European investors.
The presence of street performers in any city creates great atsmosphere. for example, Pupils Funk, a group of young musicians were very entertaining and provided moments of great animation. Large groups of people gathered to watch them perform in Liberty Park in the centre of Porto.
Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling
Clerigos Tower is the iconic baroque bell tower of Clerigos Church. Nearby is the Livraria Lello Bookstore with ornate art nouveau features and the birthplace of the world-famous fictional character, Harry Potter. Author J. K. Rowling was living in Porto as an English teacher when she started writing her first book. Ensure you purchase your entry ticket – a few doors up before queuing to get in. The 4€ entry fee can be redeemed against any book purchase you desire.
On the Atlantic coast is the fishing port of Matosinhos and is the main surf beach in Porto. At the northern end of the beach is an oil terminal and port for large cruise boats. To get to Matosinhos, there is a metro In Porto city opposite San Bento station. You will need to change trains at Trindade to get to Matosinhos Sul. The Vagas beachside cafe is a popular sunset destination and eating place to watch the sun go down. Matosinhos is renowned for its great restaurants, particularly seafood.
San Bento | Porto Train Station
Sao Bento, Porto’s main station walls have been adorned with exquisite azulejo tile panels depicting battles and rural life in Portugal. Over 20,000 tiles reflect the history of Portugal.
You can take a train to other picturesque towns and villages such as Braga and Guimaraes. Well worth a visit.
São Francisco Church
The lavish baroque São Francisco Church is located parallel to the Douro river. The church is known for its baroque interior and ornate gilded carvings. There is a museum housed in the catacombs below containing artefacts from the former monastery. Lastly, the church was declared a National Monument in 1910 and since 1996 the church together with the entire old city of Porto has been declared an UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Pilgrims walking the Camino look forward to reaching new destinations like Porto and Braga, not just for the architecture and spiritual enlightenment! On top of that, it is the Portuguese food, coffee and desserts. A espresso coffee with a drop of milk in Portugal is called a Pingo and the national dessert is called a Nata – Portuguese custard tart.
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