Porto is located on the northwest coast, its capital, the City of Porto, is the second largest city in Portugal. Let’s find out about what makes Porto so vibrant and why you would want to live there.
As it is on the coast, the food in Porto has multiple influences: French, Mediterranean, the spice trade also led to touches from Africa and the Americas.
A celebrated local dish is the Queijo da Serra da Estrela, a runny mountain cheese made from sheep’s milk. If you love tasty food that leaves you feeling full, then you’ll be glad to live in an area where the Francesinha is a popular dish, a ham and steak sandwich with melted cheese on top.
If, along with your Francesinha, you adore fine dining, you will be glad to know that Porto has 24 restaurants featured in the Michelin guide. With two Michelin stars, The Yeatman is a firm favourite, known for its fantastic wine cellar and creative cuisine.
Yes. Port comes from Porto. It is produced in the Douro Valley. And yes. Port tastes the best in Porto. I can’t say why. The place and the wine are just so perfectly aligned. You can go on guided tours that involve wine-tasting (count me in!) and given that these are often in historical buildings and the methods used to make port date back centuries, you can sort of say that it’s a history lesson. Although, I don’t think history lessons in school tasted so delicious…
A riveting history
Okay, now for a bit of real history.
The city of Porto is one of the oldest centres in Europe. This was recognised by UNSECO in 1996 with naming it the “Historic Centre of Porto, Luiz I Bridge and Monastery of Serra do Pilar”. Additionally, it is a National Monument of Portugal.
The city has a long history of competing forces. It has been occupied by Celts, Romans, and Moors.
What all this history makes for is a fascinating location. There are so many places to visit! Built in the 12th and 13th centuries, Porto Cathedral is considered one of the most important monuments. There’s the magnificent Palácio da Bolsa, a 19th century building made in the Neoclassical style, right next to the ruins of a 13th century convent, St Francis of Porto. Additionally, there’s Casa-Museu Guerra Junqueiro, a former residence turned museum. For historians and architecture lovers looking to immerse themselves fully in their new country, there is more than enough to keep you interested. Porto is also perfect for those that just love to be surrounded by beauty and really just feel the energy of the city around them.
Porto boasts of many wonderful beaches to spend your days going for romantic walks along the sand, swimming, sunbathing, dining – and if you like your beach days to be activity packed, there are plenty of beaches for that too. Praia de Leça has strong waves, making it a favourite for surfing, bodyboarding, kite-surfing, and more. Nudists will find their spot of sand in Labruge Beach, Vila do Conde.
Being more northernly than the Algarve and Lisbon, temperatures are cooler in Porto. The winter sees average of 14 degrees while the summer goes up to 25, though it can climb higher.
If it is just you (or you and a partner), then you can find a lovely one-bedroom apartment from €100,00. The starting price for a family villa is €250,000.
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