5 things you need to know about Porto

January 30, 2014

Porto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon. The city and its administrative units is home to about 2 million people. Together with Madrid, Barcelona, Lisbon and Valencia, the city forms the 5 cities on the Iberian Peninsula with a global status. Check out the list below for an overview of things you need to know about the city.

1. It is one of the Oldest Cities in Europe

Porto's history dates back to the 4th century during the Roman occupation of the Iberian Peninsula. However, there is evidence that the area was inhabited from as early as 275 BC. There are Celtic and Proto-Celtic ruins that can attest to this fact.

2. A World Heritage Center

Due to its ancient architectural marvels and its strategic location at Duoro River Estuary, Porto was registered as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. Whenever you are visiting the city, you need to make the visit count since you will be in the Precincts of a world heritage site.

3. A trip will never be complete without Port Tasting

Port is a wine named after Porto. Among all the wines in the world, none can rival Vila Nova de Gaia's white, ruby and tawny ports. Make sure you are accompanied by a local tour guide who can take you to the best wine tasting locations.

4. Climate

Porto features a climate that is largely Mediterranean. It is characterized with warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The city averages 16 °C (61 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F), which is quite warm for a city in Europe. Tourists to the city are advised to carry raincoats as the city is one of the wettest due to regular showers.

5. The city is a cultural center for the Portuguese

From festivals such as (São João Festival and Queima das Fitas to exotic cuisines such as Tripas à Moda do Porto and Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá, Porto is the only city in Portugal where you can really experience the authentic Portuguese culture and hospitality.

Tourists in the city of Porto have confessed time and again that this Portuguese City has been underestimated in tourist circles. I beg to differ, the city has been quietly marketed as an upmarket destination for those who are willing to spend top dollar for top class services and destinations. Make sure you save enough to visit the beautiful ancient city of Porto.