The city that gave Portugal its name, Porto is the country’s second city and lies on the mouth of the impressive River Douro and valley. Set in the north of Portugal, it offers a wonderful alternative to the capital Lisbon presenting its visitors with superb history, architecture, bridges, wine and cuisine.
You can't visit Porto without visiting at least a couple of the fantastic churches which make up the city. Two on offer are the Porto Cathedral – one of the most beautiful Romanesque monuments in Portugal and the extremely extravagant Sao Francisco Church. The Ribeira is filled with colourful facades, family run restaurants, street vendors and countless bars so spend time getting lost in this fabulous quarter as you explore its narrow winding streets.
With such a wide collection of museums and galleries, you can easily fill your itinerary: with the likes of Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis and its array of beautiful fine art being a real standout. While a visit to Serraves combines a fantastic museum of contemporary art with beautiful gardens making it another must-see. Just like Edinburgh, Porto played its part in the creation of the infamous Harry Potter series so fans can visit the magical Livraria Lello bookshop that inspired Hogwarts’s staircases or enjoy a pastry at the Café Majestic, one of Rowling’s favourite writing spots.
Porto is perhaps more a fantastic commercial city than one designed around tourism but that does not mean that there isn't plenty of beauty and photo worthy moments. Climb the 240 steps up the Torre dos Clérigos to be rewarded with phenomenal birds-eye views across the orange rooftops of the city, river, and coastline and into the beautiful Douro valley. Be sure to take a rest afterwards and enjoy a glass of port and some traditional fado music along the banks of the river or perhaps take a river cruise to enjoy more gorgeous views of the city.
* prices based on cheapest quotes made in Skyscanner.net throughout 2018