The second largest city in Portugal, after the capital Lisbon, Porto is located at the mouth of the Douro River in the north of the country. The wine trade, especially its famous port wines, has made the city very wealthy, and its historic center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The city is very easy to visit by foot and even if you only have one day, you will still be able to see a lot of Porto.
Start your morning by heading to the famous São Bento train station, known for the beautiful azulejos, blue tiles that adorn the walls of the station. From there, you can take a trip to the lively Bolhão market, where locals come to buy fresh produce. Then visit the main attractions of the historic center, including the beautiful Sé do Porto Cathedral, or the Torre dos Clérigos, the highest bell tower of its kind in the country. Don’t miss climbing the “few” steps that will take you to the top of the tower, where you will enjoy one of the most beautiful views of the old city, the Douro, and in the distance, the cellars of the great houses of Porto. Another must-see is the neo-gothic bookstore Lello & Irmão, which was built at the beginning of the 20th century (incidentally qualified as the 3rd most beautiful bookstore in the world by the Lonely Planet guide).
Then head to the Douro River and its quays, where you can take a break on one of the many terraces of restaurants and cafes. Continue on to the other side of the Douro, where Vila Nova de Gaia is located. You have two options: take a ferry or walk over the majestic Dom-Luís Bridge that spans the Douro. A visit to Oporto would of course be incomplete without a visit to Vila Nova de Gaia, where the wineries of all the major Port Houses are located. You will be spoilt for choice between Taylor Fladgate, Warre’s, Fonseca, Graham’s, Dow’s, Sandeman and other producers, all of whom offer tours with tastings.
Finally, if you are still thirsty, put your calves to the ultimate test and climb to the prestigious Yeatman Hotel. This five-star hotel has an exceptional view of the Douro and the city of Porto. You won’t find a more beautiful place to watch the sunset while sipping a well-deserved glass of wine. Wine lovers, The Yeatman has one of the largest cellars and collections of Portuguese wines in the country. Looking for a specific Portuguese wine? A specific vintage? Chances are you’ll find what you’re looking for!