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Are you trying to decide which city to visit in Portugal?
Daniel and I ended up in Porto, Portugal kind of as a fluke. We had bought roundtrip flights to spend Christmas in Berlin, and had three weeks in Europe we needed to fill. I decided to compare prices on flights with Skyscanner and I found that RyanAir flights to Porto were crazy cheap, so we decided to check it out.
Tuns out, Porto is an amazing, unique, beautiful, and interesting place! If you’re trying to decide which city to visit in Portugal, here are the top 6 reasons why you need to add Porto to your itinerary!
1. The Port Wine
Did you know port wine comes from Porto?
The river that runs through the city is lined with wineries who make and bottle their own port wines. The wine is sweet and the views are phenomenal, make these waterside restaurants the perfect place to spend an afternoon day drinking (I mean, wine tasting) in the sun. You can even take tours of the cellars and do paired tastings, so you’ll even learn a little something as well!
For any wine lovers reading this, choosing which city to visit in Portugal shouldn’t be too hard!
2. The Beaches
Porto is a beautiful European town set on a picturesque river, but it also has a nearby beach as well.
Daniel and I rented bikes and rode down the river, past the rocks, and onto a beautiful bike path along the beach. It was winter, so it was quiet and peaceful to watch the sunset over the waves. In the summer, the town lights up and the crowds come in to enjoy the sun and surf.
In any season, the beaches of Porto are beautiful!
3. The UNESCO World Heritage Site
For history buffs, Porto is a great city to visit in Portugal.
The historic center of the town is full of cobbled streets, quaint shops, and beautifully painted houses. The colorful homes are painted in bright yellows, pinks, blues, and every color of the rainbow. The center also features monuments and churches over 2,000 years old for the culture lovers, because the port city was founded in 1 BC!
4. The Seafood
The seafood game in Porto was insane.
I know Western Europe isn’t technically looked at as a backpacker or budget destination, but the seafood was plentiful and surprisingly the price wasn’t too high either. We enjoyed some delicious and fresh salmon, fish, and other seafood platters during our stay, and none of the meals broke the budget. Plus, we were right on the river and got to enjoy amazing views as we ate.
Usually places like that aren’t affordable, but in Porto they have options for every budget. I know the cuisine throughout the country is amazing, but if you’re trying to decide which city to visit in Portugal you should definitely take the seafood into consideration.
5. The Amazing Nightlife
Porto is seriously the last place I expected to find a hoppin’ bar scene, but I was so wrong. We arrived late at night and decided to go for a quick walk before we passed out. That quick walk turned into hours out drinking, partying, and dancing because the nightlife there is so crazy.
The streets were absolutely packed and all the bars were overflowing. Vendors rolled kegs and carts to pour beers and make mojitos for drunk passerby, and the street food options were topnotch. All of this while surrounded by the beauty of Porto’s historic center! It was surreal, amazing, and shouldn’t be missed.
6. The Duoro Valley
This is the one thing I missed while in Porto and I definitely regret it. Porto lies next to the gorgeous Duoro Valley, where a lot of Porto’s vineyards grow in the hillsides. There are options to take bus or boat tours through the valley to tour the wineries, and I know it’s lush, green, and a beautiful escape from the city. If I ever return, I definitely won’t miss this day trip from Porto.
Lisbon is usually the first city to come to mind when people are deciding which city to visit in Portugal, but Porto should be added to your itinerary as well.
It’s the home of port wine and has an amazing nightlife and seafood scene. It also has a nearby beach for the sun worshippers, a world heritage site for the culture lovers, and the Duoro valley for the outdoorsy. Whatever you want in a vacation, Porto has it. Add it to your Portugal trip today!
Ready to go? Click here to book your stay in Porto!
PS still not sure of your vacation plans? Consider exploring more off-the-beaten path destinations like hiking through the Accursed Moountains in Theth, Albania, relaxing in the idyllic Transylvanian town of Sibiu, Romania, or soaking up the sun in the Bulgarian beach town of Sozopol on the Black Sea.