World famous for its production of fine port wine, the busy city of Porto sprawls along the hills overlooking the Douro River in northern Portugal, prized for both its natural and architectural beauty.
Well-connected to other major cities, Porto provides a good public transport system of buses, metro and cable railway. At the heart of Porto is the charming pedestrian zone, the Ribeira, an atmospheric place on the river, buzzing in live music, cafes, restaurants and street vendors. Dominating this popular tourist setting is the Ponte Dom Luis, a metal, double-deck arch bridge that links Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia, well-known for its port wine cellars.
Among Porto’s many architectural treasures are beautiful old churches with elaborate interiors, artistic works and gardens such as the Church of Saint Francis and Porto Cathedral. Other landmarks include the Cleric’s Tower and palaces like the Stock Exchange Palace with its remarkable Arab room.
In addition to sightseeing, Porto offers plenty other exciting things to see and do. Distinguished museums and concert halls offer quality arts and culture. The traditional marketplace of Mercado do Bolhão presents choices of fresh fish, meat, vegetables, fruits and handicrafts. Boat cruises on the river and walks along the garden-lined esplanade of the Foz bestow breathtaking views of the city’s natural beauty. Jaunts over to the wine cellars of Gaia award tours and free samples.