Porto is the second-largest city of Portugal, with a population of around 215 000 inhabitants and combines a strong cultural heritage with growing research and development activities, offering visitors scenery with plenty to see. Porto is the centre of a metropolitan area of great vitality with a population of around 1,7 million and it is known for its unique combination of tradition and modernity as well as for its cuisine and wines (including the world famous port wines).
The city lies on the right bank of the Douro River and its historical centre (four main areas: Sé, Miragaia, S. Nicolau and Vitória) was awarded UNESCO World Heritage in 1996 due to its numerous Medieval, Baroque and Neo Classic monuments. But it is on the narrower streets where the unique atmosphere of old Porto is to be found, where “cultural heritage” is an everyday fact of life.
The people of Porto received in the 15th century the honourable nickname of “Tripeiros” (tripe eaters), since all the good meat was sent for the men who went to conquer Ceuta in 1415 and later to those who went in caravels to discover other lands. So the inhabitants of Porto only had the tripes of the cow to eat. That’s how the most typical dish – tripe Porto style – came into being.
Exactly 20 years ago, in 2001, Porto was the host for the European Capital of Culture that offered a great opportunity for the city to boost its cultural events and benefit from the social and economic advancements that came along. It is fair to say that there is a Porto before and after 2001 as this was the starting point of a cosmopolitan and culturally active city. As a result of holding this title, the city of Porto also witnessed an extensive renovation and rehabilitation projects involving a team of renowned architects and engineers.
Porto is also the starting point for exploring the Douro river in an unforgettable upstream journey where nature has been vigorous, solemn and profound. The Port vineyards are planted along the steep and spectacular hills overlook the Douro river. The Alto Douro Wine Region has also been considered as a UNESCO World Heritage site.
BEST EUROPEAN DESTINATION
Portugal is the Best European Destination 2020 for the 4th consecutive year and the city of Porto has been elected as the World’s Leading City Break Destination 2020 by World Travel Awards 2020. Travellers voted for their preferred destination, the one that gave them the “right” chills and a positive and lifelong experience, that is why Porto won, as it is that it place that offers both an urban and rustic atmosphere combined in a city whose origins are cemented with hard work and ingenuity. World Travel Awards were established in 1993 to reward and celebrate excellence across the tourism industry, including the sectors of travel and hospitality. In addition take a look at this promotional video of Porto from 2017 when it won the prize of European Best Destination 2017 (in addition to 2012 and 2014), awarded by Best Destinations in Europe, a partnership of more than 300 European tourism offices including 80 sustainable tourism destinations.