Porto - 'Portugal's second city', set picturesquely astride the River Douro in Northern Portugal. It’s traditional Portugal at its finest, without the crowds of Lisbon and the Algarve. This fascinating and vibrant city is rapidly becoming one of Western Europe’s most respected tourist destinations. The city boasts an extensive history, interesting tourist sites, buzzing nightlife and outstanding tourist facilities. There is a lot to see and do in Porto, and the city will appeal to a wide range of different visitors.
The ultra-modern 'Francisco de Sa Carneiro' airport has excellent connections to a number of major European cities and destinations. Fly direct from major international hubs including London, Brussels, Madrid, Frankfurt and Toronto. Situated around 16km northwest of the city centre, there is a regular metro link from the airport into the centre with a journey time of around 30 minutes.
Porto has a mild, oceanic climate and is cooler than Lisbon and the Algarve. The average temperature in winter is about 14ºC and in summer it's around 25ºC. Nevertheless, in dryer periods, it can quite easily reach above 30ºC in summer and drop to between 5 and 0ºC in winter.
What to see & do
Douro River Cruise - the Douro is one of Europe's most photogenic river valleys and a river cruise is a 'must do'. Allow a full day to thoroughly enjoy this wonderful experience. Sail upstream - Porto to Regua then catch the train back or Sail downstream - travel by train first and return by boat. Either way you will not be disappointed, on board you can enjoy a 3 course meal with wine included in the ticket price of around £70 per person. Cruises are available April - October.
Wine Cellar Visit - Porto is a city famous for wine as well as for Port. Where Port is produced in the Douro Valley, Vinho Verde wine is made closer to Porto (and north of the city, too). If you're in Porto and haven't planned a trip but find yourself in the mood for a Port wine tasting, there are plenty of choices, some of the best, like Graham’s Port Lodge and Taylor’s Port can be found in Vila Nova de Gaia.
Livraria Lello Book Store - is consistently named as one of the world’s most beautiful bookstores. Its architecture is so stunning, it's rumoured to have inspired author J.K. Rowling’s depictions of Harry Potter’s Hogwarts (J.K. Rowling once lived in Porto). Over 100 years old, its Art Nouveau façade hides a beautiful Neo-Gothic interior, with a stained glass ceiling, carved wood panelling, and a breathtaking, curvaceous staircase that stretches across the store. While you are there, stop by the small coffee shop and enjoy a selection of coffees, port wine and cigars. A great place to escape from the world, or quietly read your new book.
Sao Bento Railway Station - was opened to the public in 1916 and is well known for its walls covered with 20,000 splendid Azulejo ceramic tiles portraying scenes of Portuguese history. It took the artist, Jorge Colaço 11 years to complete this building. The railway station is located in the Almeida Garret Square, it’s been voted one of the world’s most beautiful railway stations. Catch a train from here to nearby towns such as Miramar (with its beautiful beaches and mansions), Braga or Guimarães.
Foz do Douro - Affluent Foz do Douro is a seafront area known for its sandy beaches and is one of the most beautiful areas of Porto. In the nineteenth century it was a seaside resort where Brits and well-heeled Porto residents went on holiday. Nowadays, visit it for its beaches (several of them have a blue flag), sea-side outdoor cafés located among the rocks, or a stroll in the sun along the 'Avenida do Brasil ' with its view of the Atlantic Ocean.
Why buy here?
Thanks to cheap flights, the growing appeal of Porto as a weekend destination is encouraging buyers to contemplate city life instead of the Algarve and with property prices lower than Lisbon, place it on Airbnb and get almost the same nightly rate, so a much better yield. City life also draws many of the investors who sign up to one of Portugal’s two residency schemes The Golden Visa scheme and Non Habitual Residents (NHR) scheme.
What you can expect for your Euros
Buy Portugal have a good selection of property in Porto, apartments range from €130,000 for a small city-centre flat – to €1 million for large, luxury apartments. Houses just outside central Porto, with river views, start at around €325,000, rising to over €2 million for a country estate overlooking the Douro or a large detached villa in Foz do Douro.
Where is it?
Lying slightly north of Lisbon, the Silver Coast, Portugal's Costa de Prata is one of the treasures of Portugal.
Buy Portugal has been helping buyers from around the globe find their dream properties in the Portuguese sun for 12 years now.
Portugal is becoming more and more popular for UK residents seeking to migrate abroad.
Whether you are visiting Portugal or moving to the sun drenched country indefinitely, there is without a doubt no shortage of things to do whilst there.