Porto is Portugal’s second city. Considered by some to be the capital of the north of Portugal. The city, famous for the wine that bears its name (vinho do Porto – translated commonly into English as port wine), is not actually the home of port wine. That honour is proudly claimed by Vila Nova de Gaia (aka Gaia) on the opposite side of the River Douro.

Solarium building on the banks of the River Douro

Solarium building on the banks of the River Douro

Gaia is where all the port wine companies store and distribute their wines, and Cais de Gaia is the place where tourists flock to visit the wine caves and take boat trips up the river. It is the Porto side, though, which enjoys more fame and more prestige throughout the world and within Portugal.

With a city population of less than quarter of a million, the larger urbanized area of Porto has more than one million inhabitants (according to Wikipedia). You may also hear of the term Grande Porto, which refers to the region of Porto – extending as far north as Póvoa de Varzim and as far south as Espinho. Inland, it takes in Gondomar and Valongo.

This blog is designed as a visitor’s guide to Porto, from an English resident’s point of view. We will look at buildings, tourist attractions, food, way of life, character, driving, media and anything else that may be of interest to any foreign visitors to this wonderful city.

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