For one of the oldest cities in Europe, Porto is remarkably forward-looking.
Street art and contemporary architecture typify Porto as much as Gothic-baroque churches and fortified wine, while laidback locals and waterfront bars make for one very welcoming city. Throw in outdoor adventures in Peneda-Gerês National Park, and Portugal’s second city is a fantastic all-round destination.
Arriving at Porto Airport
Porto's Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO) is about nine miles (15km) north of Porto city centre, making for a quick and easy journey into town.
The most convenient option is the metro, which serves the airport on the purple line E. It runs every 20 or 30 minutes depending on time and day, and the journey takes 20–40 minutes, depending on where you're staying in town.
There’s a bus stop at the arrivals hall, where public and private buses pick you up for destinations in the city centre and beyond. There's also a shuttle bus, which runs every 30 minutes from the airport to the city centre during the day, although this is a more expensive option than the normal buses.
Taxis are another convenient way to get from the airport into town. They’re all metered; you can expect to pay between €20 and €30 for a ride into town. Between 2100 and 0600, and on weekends and public holidays, the rate increases by 20%.
Car hire is a good option if you plan to travel beyond the city.
Food and drink
Porto is a fantastic destination for fans of seafood, so it's a great place to try Portugal's national dish, bacalhau (salt cod). It's by no means all about fish here, though. If you're not counting the calories, looks out for the francesinha, a sandwich stuffed with ham, sausage and steak, then smothered in melted cheese, covered in a beer-based sauce and served with chips. If that's got your arteries quivering with fear, try caldo verde, a kale soup.
Porto is proud of its status as Portugal's culinary capital, and it has a fantastic range of food markets to match. The Mercado do Bolhao is worth a visit just for its grand exterior, but it's also home to a fantastic array of regional dishes and delicacies, from cured meats and local cheeses to dried pigs' heads. If you're keen on pork, you'll find a lot to love here.
No exploration of Porto's food and drink scene would be complete without setting aside some time for its most famous export, port wine. There's no end of opportunities for tasting port and learning about the production process; a good place to start is be the Ferreira Cellars, which have been producing port since 1751.