11 Interesting Facts about Porto as a Exciting Traveler
It is a common misconception that Portugal has very few places to visit since it is a small country. Though Portugal is small, it has one of the best scenic views of the world. It is one of the least-visited parts of Western Europe. In a gist, you will find great architecture, peaceful beaches, and vibrant culture in Portugal. The place has a charm of its own and is calm and quite romantic. Lisbon is its capital. The second-largest city of this country is Porto and is located in Rio Douro (River of gold) and has the most exciting places to visit. Here are some Interesting Facts about Porto that you should know if you traveling there.
Interesting Facts About Porto
1. People speak excellent English
Yes, most European countries speak English as an alternative language, and Portugal is one of them. Besides Portuguese, people at Porto are well versed in English, which makes this place travel-friendly. The hotel staff, taxi drivers, and shopkeepers can speak English, making it simpler for you as a new traveller. Any tourist can reach out to anyone for help, and they’d all be glad to assist you. People here are extremely soft-spoken, and you will be listening to lots of ‘Thank you” and “Please”.
2. The City of the Bridges
Porto is not only famous for its Port and cultural richness but is also known for its beautiful bridges. Often the city is called as “City of Bridges”, having six iconic bridges making the city more attractive. These bridges start from Porto and go a long way to connect to another city Vila Nova de Gaia. Maria Pia, Dom Luis I, Arrabida, Infante D. Herique, Sao Joao, and Freixo Bridge all have unique characteristics that make Porto the only city with six bridges in Europe.
3. The most beautiful Coastlines
Porto is blessed with some stunning coastlines where land connects the sea. Even during sunny summer days, these coasts can offer breathtaking views with a lazy appeal. Travellers who are ready to ditch adventure and thrill to grab some soothing time for themselves should head to Porto beaches! Experience the most subtle yet enthralling views.
4. A budget-friendly city
You might have heard that some parts of the world are cheap and the best to travel; well, Porto is one such paradise. You are sure to get good food, stay, and transportation at reasonably priced, say 5 euros for a meal and 20 euros for a hotel room. Not every tourist place in Europe is easy on the budget and successful in offering scenic views and natural beauty.
Most hotels in Porto are affordable and exclusive in design and look. While the architecture in most hotels is ancient, they have their own charm. The in-house exhibition, cozy bars, and lounges will give you, all in all, a “luxury hotel” feel. You can even rent an apartment in case you are travelling with friends or family to get a great deal!
5. Porto’s ancient architecture is Unbeatable
The ancient architecture of Porto will give you a perplexed feeling of awesomeness. Porto accommodates many historic buildings – some have become a historic sites, and some still need to be discovered. The best way is to visit Ribiero do Porto, where you will find impressive ancient architecture located near the waterfront. This place offers shopping, dining, and exploring the contemporary interior of old buildings at once.
Porto also houses many pretty churches with great architecture. Clérigos Tower Church is documented as the oldest building in Porto, which is 75m high with 240 spiral steps worth climbing. Other notable church buildings include The Carmelite church, Cedofeita Church, Sao Francisco Church, and Se Cathedral remains attractive.
6. Porto Food will blow your mind
People believe that veggie dishes are challenging to locate in Porto. But the fact is Porto has many vegetarian-only restaurants that even serve vegan food. Caldo Verde soup, traditional bread items, baked Castanhas (Chestnuts), Portuguese Pastries, Bolo Rei (King Cake), Arroz Doce (Sweet Rice), Veg Salad and Vegan chocolate cake are some yummy veg dishes you can easily find.
The word Porto is derived from a term that means red, which symbolises the strong red colour in the fortified wine. It’s a must that you go on a wine tour. An interesting fact is that Porto has something called vintage year when a unique vintage port is made; this is a classy year with the best climate condition for port making. Consider yourself lucky if you are in Porto and the vintage year is declared. Besides, just take a wine tour to understand how port is made.
7. Porto is best explored in the month of September
In terms of Wine, September is the best time to take a tour around the wineries as it is their Grape harvest time in the Douro Valley. It is the oldest demarcated wine region in the world and has a showcase of gorgeous landscapes all around the year.
8. Porto can be explored in a Short Tour
You don’t need a week-long to explore Porto, just pull out 2-3 days from your schedule and go ahead. Just make sure you don’t miss out on River Douro, National Park, Old mansions/palaces, coastline, Vila Nova de Gaia, church towers, Livraria Lello & Irmao book shop, Parque de Cidade do Porto, Casa Da Musica and Clerigos Tower.
9. The city is Invincible
Yes! Even the nickname of the city is ‘Invicta’, which means being invincible in Portuguese. The reason it is called this is that during the Portuguese Civil War, the city survived a year-long siege and was never conquered. Hence the affectionate nickname!
10. Many major cities are easily accessible from Porto
When at Porto, you can have the option to reach some of the most beautiful places in a matter of just 1 or 2 hours’ worth of train journey. Few cities like Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, and Douro Valley are easily accessible for the perfect day trip from Porto.
11. Celebrate a one-of-its-kind street festival at Porto
Every city in Portugal celebrates their patron saint in the month of June. In Porto, they celebrate Saint John in Festa de Sao Joao do Porto. It is one of Europe’s liveliest street festivals with street concerts, dance parties, and even jumping over the fire! Food delicacies like barbecued sardines, Caldo Verde and wine drinking are also a part of it.
Porto may not be as big and rich as other amusing parts of the world, but is super travel-friendly and also budget-friendly. It is a place that can be visited in a short while and can still be enjoyed with no regrets and complaints. To all the passionate travellers, when are you putting Porto in your travel bucket? It’s never too late to enjoy the best of this beautiful place.
FAQs – Interesting Facts About Porto
What is Porto famous for?
If you looked up facts about Porto, you’d find that Porto is famous for being rich in history and heritage, dating back to Roman times in the 4th century.
Is a trip to Porto expensive?
One of the many unknown facts about Porto is that while it is a major city, it is not all that expensive to visit and stay in. You can find affordable accommodation and tours pretty much anywhere in the city.
What are the top attractions to visit in Porto?
You should definitely visit the historic city center of Porto, as well as the riviera. Try to pick up as many facts about Porto as you can while visiting them!
Which month is best to visit Porto?
As part of the facts about Porto, it has a Mediterranean climate, so you should ideally visit it during the summer.
What are the things I can do in Porto?
Any travel blogger would tell you facts about Porto when it comes to things to do. You can take a cruise on the river, go wine tasting or even visit the local stadium!