Porto is a special city that does not need words to describe it, a photo will tell you more about its people, architecture, landscape, lifestyle and charisma that any words put together will. However if I would want to describe my beloved hometown then there are no better words than the ones immortalised in the music "Meu Porto Sentido" by Rui Veloso:

"Quem vem e atravessa o rio
Junto à serra do Pilar
Vê um velho casario
Que se estende até ao mar

I was born and raised in Porto, a delightful and vibrant city located along the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean in the north of Portugal. Porto is one of the oldest European metropolis, and UNESCO proclaimed its historical core a World Heritage Site in 1996, where in each street we can witness a magnificent monument or just a marvelous house from centuries ago, some date back to the time when the Roman Empire was in these lands. The preservation throughout the centuries of its architecture sets a unique landscape that enriches culturally the city and conveys to its people old traditional values. Porto might be small in size but it’s big at heart: its people are warm and friendly, always ready to help a neighbour or a stranger, sharing and caring are the most common traits of the people of Porto and you can feel their kindness.

Blessed with stunning views, the colorful houses along the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean are one of Porto’s most photographed landscapes, including Dom Luís I Bridge. These pictures are usually taken in “Serra do Pilar”, a little hill with a church on the top where you can see Porto from the other side of the river (I have added a couple of photos taken from "Serra do Pilar" to the gallery). In Porto, we usually say that the best views to our city are from Vila Nova de Gaia, a city located just across the Douro River and where the port wine cellars are located.

Indeed, the city is alive in each of its corners and streets, with restaurants, bars and traditional “Tascas” where you can drink good red wine. But when it comes to wine there is nothing like the uniqueness of port: a Portuguese fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the northern provinces of Portugal. It is typically a sweet, red wine, often served as a dessert wine, though it also comes in dry, semi-dry, and white varieties.

When it comes to food there is no better city than Porto with its special dishes like “Tripas à moda do Porto” and “Francesinha”, both very famous for being very delicious fulfilling dishes. The later consists of two slices of toasted bread filled with wet-cured ham, German sausage, fresh sausage like chipolata, steak or roast meat and covered with melted cheese and a hot thick tomato and beer sauce served with french fries (I have added a picture in the photo gallery). There are many places where you can eat “Francesinha” but I highly recommend “Capa Negra II” in Campo Alegre.

There are so many other places to visit and explore, a never-ending list of activities from Surf to going on a cruise on the Douro River, from cultural museums exhibitions to instrumental Jazz bars ... a great diversity that perhaps highly contributed to Porto’s election as “The Best European Destination” by the Best European Destinations Agency, in 2014 and 2017.

If you need a place to stay with your friends or family you can check these amazing flats on Airbnb, located in Porto city centre in Santa Catarina Street, a well known comercial, pedestrian and busy street in the city. The flats are located next to "Bolhão" Metro Station that links you to the airport and to the best spots in town:

- https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/2444887

- https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/2483361

- https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/2483771

Or if you want to enjoy the great warm weather and stay in front of one of the finest beaches for surf with your friends or just to have fun with your family while still being just 20 min drive from Porto city centre of Porto, I recommend this flat in Leça da Palmeira Beach in Airbnb: https://www.airbnb.pt/rooms/571382

Don’t know Porto yet? What are you waiting for? :)