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.
Porto is a lively city, with a thriving nightlife centred very much around the downtown area. So, while the streets can get busy, you won't have to travel far between bars and clubs. A popular starting point for locals is the Praça de Gomes Teixeira square, known as 'Leoes' for its distinctive lion fountain; here, you'll find lots of café-bars perfect for a few relaxed, affordable drinks. Nearby, the streets of Galeria de Paris and Candido dos Reis are jam-packed with bars.
For a big night out, start in the Ribeira, the old waterfront section of town popular with locals and tourists alike.
For an authentically Portuguese nightlife experience, head to one of the city's fado bars to hear traditional Portuguese folk music. The ultimate - and oldest - fado venue in Porto is Casa da Mariquinhas, which has been hosting live performances since 1968.
Another Porto stalwart, albeit one where you can hear slightly more modern music, is grungy Pipa Velha. It's been welcoming guests for over 30 years to enjoy an evening of drinks and dancing, sometimes sound-tracked by live rock music.