The city of Porto


In 2014, Porto was considered the best destination in Europe and in recent years, UNESCO recognized Porto historic center as a World Heritage Site. Among the architectural highlights of the city, the Oporto Cathedral is the oldest surviving structure, together with the small Romanesque Church of Cedofeita, the Gothic Igreja de São Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), the remnants of the city walls and a few 15th-century houses. The baroque style is well represented in the city in the elaborate gilt work interior decoration of the churches of St. Francis and St. Claire (Santa Clara), the churches of Mercy (Misericórida) and of the Clerics (Igreja dos Clérigos), the Palace of the Archbishop, and others. The neoclassicism and romanticism of the 19th and 20th centuries also added interesting monuments to the landscape of the city, like the magnificent Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), the Hospital of Saint Anthony, the Municipality, the buildings in the Avenida dos Aliados, the tile-adorned Sao Bento Train Station and the gardens of the Crystal Palace (Palácio de Cristal). A guided visit to the Palácio da Bolsa, and in particular the Arab Room, is a major tourist attraction.

Porto has several museums, concert halls, theaters, cinemas, art galleries, libraries and book shops. The best-known museums of Oporto are the Soares dos Reis National Museum (Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis), which is dedicated especially to the Portuguese artistic movements from the 16th to the 20th century, and the Museum of Contemporary Art of the Serralves Foundation (Museu de Arte Contemporânea). The city has concert halls of a rare beauty and elegance such as the Coliseu do Porto by the Portuguese architect Cassiano Branco; an exquisite example of the Portuguese decorative arts, it is seen by many as one of the best and most elegant concert halls in Europe. Other notable venues include the Rivoli theatre, the Batalha cinema and Casa da Música. The Guardian elaborated a list of world’s top bookshops, featuring Porto’s Lello in third.

Air connectivity

The Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport is located in the heart of the industrial north of the country, 11km from the city of Porto, making it a privileged access point to this valuable commercial area.  Having undergone intense renovation work, the Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport now receives passengers and other users in the greatest of comfort, taking up the role of primary travel hub for the north-western corner of the Iberian Peninsula.

Elected once again, in 2015, by ACI – Airports Council International – one of the five best European Airports, a distinction it has been enjoying since 2006, Porto Airport, that, in 2014, has processed a total of 6.9 million passengers, is increasingly reinforcing its role as a key contributor to the attractiveness of both the city and the region it servesIt is served by 15 airline companies to 28 destinations, such as the major European cities and New York.