Porto (also known as Oporto) is the second largest city in Portugal after the capital, Lisbon. This northern part of the country is often forgotten owing to many tourists choosing to holiday in the ever-popular Algarve. This stunning and colourful city boasts gorgeous architecture as well as an array of interesting historical buildings towering over the narrow maze of streets. Perfect for holidays and city breaks, this historical city has plenty to explore such as the Port Wine lodges in Vila Nova de Gaia, where you can admire the deep cellars open for wine tasting sessions. The centre of the city has evolved into buzzing cosmopolitan in recent years, yet still boasts a rich culture home to a number of rock and jazz performers as well as stunning galleries and museums such as the Museu de Arte Contemporânea. You can expect weather that’s typical of Mediterranean climate being generally warm and dry over the summer months with temperatures hitting the early and mid-twenties, whereas the winters tend to be the rainy seasons.
An economy car is perfect for nipping through the city streets as well as manoeuvring in and out of small spaces in a busy city.
Driving in Porto
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
Take care while driving in the city centre as the maze of narrow cobbled streets can be confusing to navigate and local drivers can drive somewhat erratically.
Exercise a good level of personal security in the city centre and tourist locations, as pick-pocketing and bag snatching can be common.
It’s recommended to take care while walking at night in the Ribeira district of the city. It’s generally advisable to only walk in well-lit areas of the city at night.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Ponte de Dom Luís I is the bridge stretching over the Douro river. Designed by a student of Gustave Eiffel, the bridge was completed in 1886, replacing the primitive bridge made from port boats.
Take a trip to the Vila Nova de Gaia to discover the history of port-wine making which originated in the city. This fascinating part of the city is worth exploring even if you don’t choose to go wine tasting. Port lodges and warehouses line the banks of the river Douro and climb the hillside above it.
The Museu de Arte Contemporânea is certainly worth a visit if only to admire the wonderful architecture of the building itself. Inside, you’ll discover a range of cutting edge and contemporary art. The grounds of the building are also worth taking the time to explore, especially the stunning rose gardens.
Avid golfers will be pleased to know that the Oporto Golf Club is located in Espinho – a mere 17km away from Porto. With a further two courses in Miramar and Amarante, you’ll really be spoilt for choice.
Porto Airport is located approximately 6 miles northwest of the city centre of Porto and is accessible via the A28 road.
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