Porto is 3½ hours north of Lisbon by highway (via the A1 toll highway) or by express train, so even a short trip to Portugal can include a night or two here. From Porto it's another 2 hours up the coast to the Spanish border, or 3 to 4 hours east through the less visited Trás-os-Montes region to the border there. The densely populated north itself is well served with roads.
Downtown streets are congested or out of bounds, and local drivers manic, so leave your car at your hotel. You can walk around most of the center (though be prepared for steep hills), reaching outlying attractions by bus, taxi or metro.
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