Porto is the second largest city in Portugal. It is located along the northwest coast of the country and has a population of around 249,633 in the actual city, and then another 1,300,000 in the surrounding areas. Porto has a rich history, and this is reflected in the city’s architecture – one of the standout buildings is Porto Cathedral.
Before visiting any town or city make sure you know the basics. General details and important information.
- Emergency Services: 112
- Language: Portuguese
- Currency: Euro
- Country Code: PT
- Travel Visa: None required
- Population: 1,316,445
Researching various official sources, we perceive the risk to holiday makers and travellers are as follows;
Top travel advice and interesting tip bits of information from experienced travellers.
- Whilst Lisbon is a more modern and lively city than Porto, Porto is seeped in a rich history and culture that you absolutely have to explore further.
- Caldo Verde is a famous Portuguese soup consisting of cabbage, chorizo and potatoes. The soup is particularly popular in winter, but is widely available all year round.
- On the metro or trains try to sit with other people and avoid the empty or quiet carriages. Pickpocketing is one of the most common crime, keep your belongings secure at all times.
Where can I keep up with local news?
What are sine safety tips for visiting Porto?
Be alert at all times and be aware of your surroundings. Take the usual safety precautions so you do not become a targets for pickpockets. Don’t put your wallet or mobile phone in your back pocket. Put any valuables items in a dark colour shopping bag when going out to avoid attention.
On the metro or trains try to sit with other people and avoid the empty or quiet carriages. Pickpocketing is one of the most common crime, keep your belongings secure at all times.
When withdrawing cash from ATM try to go inside the bank. Beware of withdrawing cash from cash points on pedestrian walkways. Try to withdraw small sums and don’t flash your cash around even in the bank.
Are there any areas that I should avoid?
Not far from the Tourist Information Office near the cathedral and the steps is a known area for intoxicated people to hang out, be cautious around the area and avoid if possible. Take extra care from the cathedral taking the shortcut to the tourist information centre, many incidents have occurred near there.
Improve Your Personal Safety
Knowledge – the more you have the better equipped you are.
Awareness – the more you see the safer you become.
Response – the right reaction can change a situation.
Annual events allow a city come together for some amazing experiences. If visiting at this time, make sure you have your accommodation booked and are always aware of your surroundings when travelling around.
Fantasporto is a relatively new film festival beginning in 1981 that showcases around 200 films every year, most of the films are internationally known and the event attracts over 10,000 people and is held in Rivoli Teatro Municipal. Many celebrities can be seen during the festival.
What are some other notable highlights in Porto?
The Porto Cathedral is located in the heart of the city and one of the oldest monuments and the most important Romanesque monuments in the country. The cathedral has two towers either side supported by two buttresses and topped with a cupola. Its one of the great old sights in the city and an impressive building, there is plenty of information giving visitors an insight in to the city, culture and history.
Casa da Música in English the House of Music is a wonderful concert hall that was opened in 2005. It was designed by Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas and is a beautiful modern design, the sound quality inside is amazing and gives the audiences a fantastic and complete experience. There are many shows and performances with amazing world-class performers and orchestras.
The Estádio do Dragão (Dragon Stadium) is a football stadium which holds around 50,000 people, it was built in 2003. It is currently home to F.C. Porto. For all football fans it is a must see, well worth going if there is a match on, take in the atmosphere and hope that the home team win.
What are some good places to visit in Porto?
Castelo do Queijo, known in English as the Castle of the Cheese is located next to the sea, the name stems from the fact that it sits on top of a rock which looks like a giant piece of cheese. It’s a great place to visit and tourists can get great views of the sea and extending coast line below.
In 1877 The Maria Pia bridge (Ponte Maria Pia) which is a railway bridge was constructed by Gustave Eiffel. Constructed from wrought iron its main purpose was to carry the trains from Porto to Lisbon. When the bridge was finished it was the longest single arch span in the world. Today it is no longer used; a replacement was built in 1991.
The Douro Valley is where the city of Porto is, the North of Portugal. Take a look around, it is a spectacular part of the world which contains amazing scenery and views, the area is acknowledged by UNESCO three World Heritage Sites. The city of Porto itself has many buildings for wine and beer production. Also near the river Douro the city of Vila Nova de Gaia is located which is known for its Port wine cellars. A beautiful area with world class produce.