Porto – A City Guide

Situated on the estuary of the river Douro in northern Portugal, Porto’s western suburbs extend to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. The city is around 420km from Madrid.

Porto is…

• The second largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon.
• A city with a long history; founded over 2,000 years ago, its historic centre was proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
• Home to around 215,000 citizens, though the metropolitan area has a population of 1.7 million.

• A port city which is one of western Europe’s most popular tourist destinations.
• Twinned with Shanghai, Bordeaux, Macau, Luanda, Nagasaki and Vigo, among others.

Moving Around
The centre of Porto is easy to navigate by foot.

Taxi: If a taxi has a green light, it can be hailed easily enough, and there are taxi ranks at some of the bigger hubs to make matters easier. All licensed cabs must have a visible meter to show charges, with rates calculated by time and distance travelled.

Public transport: The metro system is the most popular way to get around, but buses also serve the city and go all the way out to the furthest suburbs.

Bike: Bicycles can be hired easily from a number of locations in the city centre. ere are some great cycle paths along the Douro, from Ribeira to Foz, or from Vila Nova de Gaia to Afurada and beyond.

What to see

For culture: The 76m-tall Clérigos Tower is the most important feature of the Porto skyline; opened in 1763, it was conceived by Italian architect Nicolau Nasoni, and offers a brilliant panorama of the historic centre – provided you can face the steps.

Clérigos Tower, Porto

There are beautiful Masjid’s built in Porto which include Centro Cultural Islâmico do Porto , Hazrat Hamza Mosque and the grand mosque of Porto Nova

For atmosphere: Ribeira is the place to go. A maze of medieval alleys that zigzag up and down to the Douro river, it offers access to the Ponte de Dom Luís I and lodges across the river in Vila Nova de Gaia.

For fresh air: Designed in the 19th century, the gardens of the Palácio de Cristal (Crystal Palace) are close to the city centre, and offer eight hectares of luxurious greenery with astonishing views over the river.

Eating and drinking

Well unfortunately the world famous Port wine is not halal at the banks of Douro, but there is plenty of halal friendly food and drink to choose from. Do try the traditional Porto food such as Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, a casserole of salted cod, potatoes, eggs, olives and onion which is eaten across the country. There are plenty of Pizza restaurants and halal kebab haus’s dotted around the area.

Don’t miss…

Your quick to learn Portuguese phrasebook

Hello – Olá (oh-LAH)
How are you? –
Como vai? (KOH-moh VIGH?) Please – Por favor (poor fah-VOHR)
Thank you –
Obrigado (oh-bree-GAH-doh) Goodbye – Adeus (ah-DEH-oosh)

By Natasha Syed

Tags: accommodation, city guide, honeymoon, lisbon, porto, portugal

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