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Porto Travel Guide, Portugal

Porto Travel guide - Location

Located on the right banks of the Douro River, with the closest cities Santa Maria and Vigo, Porto or Oporto, is especially well known for the famous wines produced here.

Porto Travel guide - Geography

Porto is located in a hilly area mainly cultivated with vineyards and housing numerous cellars crammed with the famous Porto wine. The green slopes of the hills going down to the waters of the river offer magnificent scenery, characteristic for this side of Portugal.

The city is located in a Mediterranean climate area with some oceanic influences which bring a lot of moisture all year round. The average temperature here is about 15ºC with higher values in summer and spring and lower ones in winter. Summers are hot with little rainfalls while winters are mild, temperatures rarely going down bellow zero and it usually rains. Winds are quite frequent, especially in winter and autumn when they bring important masses of moist air.

The most important water flow here is the Douro River, which meets the Atlantic Ocean not very far west.

Porto Travel guide - Flora and Fauna

The local flora can be admired in the numerous green parks and gardens within the city. Some of the most beautiful parks that can be visited here are the Passeido Allegre, Arca D’Agua, Mata da Pasteleira and more. The city also has its own Botanical Garden which is administered by the University of Porto and where tourists can admire aquatic plants, Mediterranean plants, species of oaks, beeches and a green house with tropical species. One can also find here several species of flowers like the magnolia and tulips which enchant with their wonderful colors and smells.

Porto Travel guide - Transport

Porto is very accessible by all means of transport, the city having its own airport, railway station, bus station and is connected with its neighbor cities by modern motorways. The city’s airport is Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport connecting Porto with every other important city in the world. You can also arrive here by boat reaching Leixoes Port located just minutes away from the city, by train in one of the three available railway stations here, by bus or by car. There are three important motorways you can use to get to Porto if you arrive from inland, all of them shortening you journey and making it as comfortable as possible.

Within the city tourists can also travel, besides the common means of transport, by metro which offer a fast and comfortable travel from one side of the city to another.

Porto Travel guide - Population and Economy

Porto is the second largest and important city in Portugal and also one of the most dynamic and hard working ones. The city numbers about 220.000 inhabitants, most of them working for one of the large international companies that have established here, in agro industry, light industry, commerce and tourism. Porto is an important exporter of vine, olive oil and dried fruits, all cultivated in the surrounding area.

There are also numerous primary and secondary schools here as well as universities which attract an important number of students every year. Some of the most prestigious universities are the University of Porto, The Polytechnic Institute of Porto and the Portuguese Catholic University.

Porto Travel guide - Cuisine

Traditional cuisine in Porto is highly appreciated by all tourists that come to visit the city. Many traditional dishes are based on seafood and fish due to the presence of the ocean nearby, on lamb, pork and veal meat, diary products and many local vegetables and fruits.

Some of the most representative courses are the Tripa a Moda do Porto, which is a dish made of beef stomach or animal intestines sometimes combined with beans, Bacalhau a Gomes de Sa, which is a cod fish meal and many more. One of the fast foods here is the Francesinha, bread with bacon and delicious local cheese served with different sauces, served on the street or in small tascas.

Most Porto travel guides will recommend the most appreciated drink after a great meal which is Port vine.

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