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Porto Travel Guide - Travel S Helper


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Porto, Portugal’s second biggest city after Lisbon, is one of the Iberian Peninsula’s main metropolitan centres. Porto’s urban area, which extends outside the city’s administrative lines, has a population of 1.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi), making it Portugal’s second-largest urban area. The Porto Metropolitan Area, on the other hand, is expected to have 1.8 million inhabitants. It is the only Portuguese city other than Lisbon to be designated as a global city at the agamma level by the Globalization and World Cities (GaWC) Study Group.

Porto, located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, is one of the oldest European cities, and its historical center was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996. The western section of its urban area reaches the Atlantic Ocean’s shore. Its colony goes back several centuries, when it was a Roman Empire garrison. Based on translation and oral derivation from Latin, the combination Celtic-Latin name, Portus Cale, has been attributed to be the origin of the name “Portugal.” The city’s name is spelt with a definite article in Portuguese (“o Porto”; English: the port). As a result of a misreading of the oral pronunciation, its English name changed and is now known to as Oporto in contemporary literature and by many people.

Port wine, one of Portugal’s most renowned exports, is called after the city of Porto, since the metropolitan region, particularly the caverns of Vila Nova de Gaia, was responsible for the fortified wine’s packaging, transportation, and export. Porto was named The Best European Destination in 2014 by the Best European Destinations Agency.

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Porto | Introduction

Porto – Info Card

POPULATION : – Population 237,591
– urban 1,474,000
– metro 1,762,524
TIME ZONE : – Timezone WET (UTC0)
– summer (DST) WEST (UTC+1)
LANGUAGE :  Portuguese (official)
AREA : – Area 41.42 km2 (16 sq mi)
– urban 777 km2 (300 sq mi)
– metro 2,040 km2 (788 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  104 m (341 ft)
COORDINATES :  41°9′43.71″N 8°37′19.03″W
SEX RATIO :  Male: 48.5%
 Female: 51.5%
POSTAL CODE :  4000-286 Porto
DIALING CODE :  (+351) 22

Tourism in Porto

Porto is a fascinating city that gradually shows its allure to visitors. Take your time and stroll around the city’s mazes and alleyways. Take in the city’s ancient, bohemian vibe. Hike across the areas of Ribeira and Foz do Douro (the latter, at sunset). Porto may not be on every tourist’s Iberian Peninsula itinerary, but it’s definitely worth a visit if you want to see a city that has developed economically while maintaining its historic customs, which is becoming more rare in Europe.

If you wish to visit numerous museums, consider purchasing the Porto Card, which allows free admission to various museums as well as additional savings and, optionally, free public transportation.

Porto and its environs feature several retail facilities, including Norte Shopping, Arrábida Shopping, Parque Nascente, Gaia Shopping, and Mar Shopping (the biggest IKEA group shopping in Europe). Aside from them, there are less frequented establishments that are smaller but nonetheless excellent ( Shopping Cidade do Porto, Via Catarina, etc.).

Porto, of course, is the birthplace of port wine, and there are several vineyards across the city where port wine is produced. Port wine may be termed port wine only if the grapes are farmed in the Douro valley and the wine is made and bottled in Porto. Port wines are available in a variety of types, with vintage port being the most costly.

Porto boasts some of Portugal’s best restaurants. It is claimed that if you like eating, you should visit Porto since it is a location where you may eat well in terms of both quality and quantity (even Lisbon citizens say that in Porto is where they eat the best food). The city’s top restaurants are mostly concentrated in Matosinhos, along the beach and the harbor known as “Porto de Leixes.” You can reach there in around 30 minutes by using the blue metro line A.

Climate of Porto

Porto has mostly a Mediterranean climate. As a consequence, its climate is similar to that of the coastal south, with warm, dry summers and moderate, wet winters. In contrast to the south, chilly and wet North Atlantic interludes disrupt the dry season, and the season averages three dry months. The yearly precipitation is substantial, and Porto is one of Europe’s wettest cities. Even during the rainiest months, though, lengthy intervals of warm temperatures and sunny days are common.

Summers are normally sunny, with average temperatures ranging from 16 °C (61 °F) to 27 °C (81 °F), however temperatures may go as high as 38 °C (100 °F) during heat waves. The humidity stays very low during such heat waves, but adjacent forest fires may add smoke and ash to the air, making breathing rather difficult, particularly at night. Nearby beaches are often windy and typically colder than metropolitan areas. Summer rainy spells, on the other hand, might last a few days and are characterized by showers and chilly afternoon temperatures of approximately 20 °C (68 °F). Summer average temperatures, on the other hand, are a few degrees lower than those predicted in more continentally mediterranean influenced metropolises on the same latitude, such as Barcelona and Rome.

Winter temperatures normally vary between 5 °C (41 °F) in the morning to 15 °C (59 °F) in the afternoon, with nighttime temperatures seldom falling below 0 °C (32 °F). The weather is often wet for lengthy periods of time, while there are some bright spells.

Geography of Porto

UNESCO designated its historic center as a World Heritage Site in 1996. Porto Cathedral is the city’s oldest remaining building, along with the modest romanesque Church of Cedofeita, the gothic Igreja de So Francisco (Church of Saint Francis), portions of the city walls, and a few 15th-century residences. The city’s ornate gold work interior design of the churches of St. Francis and St. Claire (Santa Clara), Mercy (Misericórida) and the Clerics (Igreja dos Clérigos), the Episcopal Palace of Porto, and others exemplifies the baroque style. The neoclassicism and romanticism of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries also added interesting monuments to the city’s landscape, such as the magnificent Stock Exchange Palace (Palácio da Bolsa), the Hospital of Saint Anthony, the Municipality, the buildings in the Liberdade Square and the Avenida dos Aliados, the tile-adorned So Bento Train Station, and the Crystal Palace gardens (Palácio de Cristal). A guided tour of the Palácio da Bolsa, particularly the Arab Room, is a popular tourist attraction.

Many of the city’s oldest structures are in danger of crumbling. The population of Porto municipality has decreased by approximately 100,000 during the 1980s, while the number of permanent inhabitants on the outskirts and in satellite towns has increased significantly.

Porto is placed third in the Portuguese most livable cities study of living circumstances, which is published annually by Expresso.

Economy of Porto

Many of the largest Portuguese corporations from diverse economic sectors, such as Altri, Ambar, Amorim, Bial, Cerealis, BPI, CIN, EFACEC, Frulact, Lactogal, Millennium bcp, Porto Editora, Grupo RAR, Sonae, Sonae Indstria, and Unicer, are headquartered in the Greater Metropolitan Area of Porto, most notably in the core municipalities of Maia, Matosinhos, Porto, and Vila Nova de Gaia.

Petrogal, the country’s largest exporter, has one of its two refineries near the city at Leça da Palmeira (13 km), while Qimonda, the country’s second largest exporter (now bankrupt), has its lone facility in Mindelo, also near the city (26 km).

The city’s former stock exchange (Bolsa do Porto) was transformed into Portugal’s largest derivatives exchange and merged with the Lisbon Stock Exchange to form the Bolsa de Valores de Lisboa e Porto, which eventually merged with Euronext, along with the stock and futures exchanges of Amsterdam, Brussels, LIFFE, and Paris. The building that formerly housed the stock market is now one of the city’s tourist attractions, with the Salo rabe (Arab Room in English) being its main draw.

Jornal de Noticias, a popular Portuguese daily, is based in Porto. The building where its offices are housed (which has the same name as the newspaper) was formerly one of the city’s tallest (it has been superseded by a number of modern buildings which have been built since the 1990s).

Porto Editora, one of the most important Portuguese publishers, is also located in Porto. Its dictionaries are among the most widely used in the nation, and its translations are also widely utilized.

Since the Middle Ages, commercial links between Porto and the Upper Douro River have been established. They were, however, substantially expanded in the contemporary era. Sumach, dried fruits and nuts, and Douro olive oils, in fact, fueled flourishing trade between the area and Porto. These items were shipped from the riverfront quays near the river’s mouth to various marketplaces in the Old and New Worlds. The commercial dynamics of the Port wine (Vinho do Porto) agricultural sector, however, proved to be the most powerful interregional trade lever. It unquestionably strengthened the complementary relationship between the large coastal urban center, endowed with open doors to the sea, and a region with significant agricultural potential, particularly in the production of extremely high quality fortified wines known by the world-famous labelPort. The growth of Porto was also strongly linked with the left bank of the Douro River near Vila Nova de Gaia, where the amphitheatre-shaped hill with the Port wine cellars is situated.

Porto was placed last in a study of the competitiveness of the 18 Portuguese district capitals. The study was conducted by Minho University economists and was published in the Pblico newspaper on September 30, 2006. The study’s top three cities were Évora, Lisbon, and Coimbra. Nonetheless, the study’s validity was questioned by certain Porto significant personalities (such as local politicians and businesspeople), who contended that the city proper did not operate independently, but rather in conurbation with surrounding municipalities. A fresh list published in the Portuguese daily Expresso in 2007 titled “The Best Cities to Live in Portugal” rated Porto third (tied with Évora), behind Guimares and Lisbon. Because the two studies utilize different dependent measures, they are not directly comparable.

The Porto metropolitan area has a GDP of $43.0 billion and a per capita income of $21,674.



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