10 reasons why you should travel to Porto instead of Lisbon

Shamil Hasanli 23 December 2020 2226 views 5 min. read

Portugal is a wonderful travel destination for everyone. You must apply for a Portugal visa and travel to Portugal, especially if you love to visit amazing cities. When you travel to Portugal, you will find a place rich in culture, good food, great wines, and friendly hosts. In addition to the natural landscapes, you will admire the historical cities' architecture, for example, Porto. Where is Porto? Porto is a port city in the north of the country, on the Atlantic ocean's coast. What to do in Porto? There are a lot of places to see and activities to do during your travel to Porto Portugal. A charming walk in Porto's streets might be enough to understand its beauty and travel to Porto Portugal instead of Lisbon, the country's capital. How to travel from Lisbon to Porto? You can easily travel from Lisbon to Porto by car, train, bus, or flight. Is it safe to travel to Porto Portugal? Of course, yes. Like other cities in Portugal, Porto is safe, and most of the time Porto weather is wonderful. Why should you travel to Porto Portugal instead of Lisbon? Because of beautiful streets, historical buildings, wonderful coasts, delicious cuisine, and so on. Nowadays, everyone recognizes Porto as one of the most attractive tourist spots that maintain its genuine identity and admire even the most demanding travelers. There is a lot to do, and you will not ask what to do in Porto during your trip. Here you can find the ten most important reasons why you should travel to Porto Portugal. Additionally, I have covered some interesting questions like Porto, what to do in Porto, how to travel from Lisbon to Porto, how is Porto weather, is it safe to travel to Porto Portugal, etc. 

Where is Porto?

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Porto is the second-largest city of Portugal, with more than 200.000 population. With its medieval heart, contemporary buzz, magnificent gold-plated churches, and pleasant drinks, the city is worth a visit anytime when you travel to Portugal. Porto has attractions for the whole travelers. From boat trips on the Douro River to viewpoints with spectacular panoramas and wine tastings, there is more to do in the city, and those make it more extraordinary than Lisbon. What to do in Porto?

1. Ribeira

riberia

It is a historical region and one of the oldest neighborhoods in the city. It is on the banks of the Douro River and has a boardwalk full of bars and restaurants. Ribeira is an essential place to see. Besides being one of the best parts, it is also a nice place to stay in Porto, with an incredible view of the river and the bridge.

2. Luis I Bridge

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It is the Luis I Bridge that connects Porto's city to neighboring Vila Nova de Gaia, is one of the main tourist attractions in the region. It was introduced in 1888. In metallic structure, the bridge has 385 meters in length and has a maximum height of 45 meters. There are two platforms, with traffic on the lower platform being cars and pedestrians, and on the upper platform, pedestrians and trains pass.

3. Douro River

douro river

The famous Douro River starts in Spain and crosses all the north of Portugal, giving life to the Douro Valley, one of its main wine regions. After covering almost 900 kilometers, it arrives in full flow to Porto, which enables an advantageous and navigable riverbed and is wonderful sightseeing. A few kilometers ahead of the city, the Douro meets the sea where is also a beautiful place to see.

4. Clerigos Tower

clerigos tower

In the Historic Center of Porto, where some of the most beautiful buildings and main tourist points of the city are located, there is one of the city's biggest highlights, the Torre dos Clerigos, next to the church of the same name. At the time of its opening, in 1763, it was the tallest building in Portugal. The tower offers one of the best views in Porto, and you can visit it easily.

5. Sao Bento Station

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The beautiful architecture will draw your attention to the Sao Bento Railway Station building in Porto's Historic Center. And inside, the cultural richness is even greater: in the lobby of the station, hand-painted tile murals tell epic scenes from the history of Portugal. Built in 1916, the station is still in full operation. The visit is worth it, even if you do not need to take a train. If you want to understand a little more about the building, it is better to join a cultural trip, which covers the city's most symbolic places.

6. Gardens of the Crystal Palace

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If you like parks, unforgettable viewpoints, and landscaping, this is an essential place to visit in Porto. In the Gardens of the Crystal Palace, built in the 1860s, there are attractions such as the Quinta da Macieirinha Romantic Museum, the Almeida Garrett Municipal Library, and the Rosa Mota Pavilion. Besides, the gardens with different themes, such as Jardim dos Sentimentos, Jardim do Roseiral, and Jardim das Medicinais.

7. Must-see places outside of Porto

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In addition to Porto places, there are many other must-see spots outside of the city, which you cannot find near Lisbon. One of the most visited places by tourists is in the neighboring town, Vila Nova de Gaia. It would be more helpful if you crossed the Luis I Bridge until there. Right on the banks of the Douro River, there are the famous Port Wine Cellars. In almost all of them, it is possible to take a guided tour and taste different types of wines, including whites, ports, and tawny. The price of wine tours varies. On average, it is possible to pay and 14 euros for a visit with a basic tasting. Another attraction of Porto that is also in Vila Nova de Gaia is the Teleférico de Gaia.

8. Where to stay in Porto?

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The city is cool, but for those who go on tourism, I would say that there are three regions more suitable to stay in Downtown, Ribeira, Cedofeita. For those who are going, especially for the first time, the Center (Downtown) is the most suitable location, since it is there that 90% of the attractions of Porto are and all can be reached on foot. Ribeira is also very close to the center. If you do not bother to climb some slopes, it can also be a great option, even because Ribeira is precisely the main postcard of Porto, with all those colorful buildings by the river. Cedofeita is a newer part of the city, where Casa da Musica and Mercardo Gourmet de Bonsucesso are located. You will need to take the subway or other transport type to visit the other attractions since it is not easy to do everything on foot. However, for those looking to save a little, it is possible to get some more affordable options in this region.

9. Is it safe to travel to Porto Portugal?

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Like other European cities, Porto is a pretty safe place to travel. It has safe weather, friendly people, low crime rates. Nevertheless, you should always be careful and avoid taking dangerous steps during your trip.

10. How is Porto weather?

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Porto is not a beach city. It is always a good time to travel there. Porto has rather moderate temperatures all year round, but it rains a lot during the winter. You should also know about the weather in Porto because it is temperamental, in the sense that it can be a fabulous day today and completely foggy tomorrow. It is not that uncommon to have sudden drops in temperatures overnight. So, my first recommendation is that, regardless of the time to travel to Porto, always bring a waterproof jacket. It will be more useful than using an umbrella, as Porto is a very windy city. So, before deciding when to go to Porto, make sure you already have this jacket at home. If you have not yet decided when to go to Porto, you should first consider the autumn months. It is a great time to travel to Porto because you will enjoy high temperatures, but the city is not full of tourists.

How to travel from Lisbon to Porto?

porto city

It is pretty comfortable to travel between these cities. You can use different airlines, rent a car, take a train or bus. If you want to book a flight, it is better not to do it. I recommend trains which will take you through Porto. There are two train stations in Porto, Campanha and Sao Bento, which are worth visiting even if you do not take trains. If you want to take a bus, there are many express buses, such as Rede. The airport is called Francisco Sá Carneiro, which is 17 km from the tourist center, and it is also extremely simple to use transportation to reach the city center.

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