Portugal's second-largest city has an air of faded grandeur, thanks to its tangle of streets and buildings with aging facades. Kick off your trip on the atmospheric Ribeira embankment, and make time for a long romantic dinner by the pier. This is the city that gave its name to a type of wine, so make sure to sample some before heading for the coast.
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- Food and Wine
- Explore Ribeira, along the Rio Douro, directly below the city center. Most of the city's sights, cafés, and bars are here.
- Learn all about port at the Port Wine Institute, in a 19th-century country house.
- Vila Nova de Gaia is famous for its lodges (or caves) where port wine is stored. Take your pick of more than 16 of them.
- During the Festa de São João in June, the city erupts with bonfires and barbecues.
- In July the annual Noites Ritual rock festival in Porto showcases up-and-coming bands.
- Villa do Conde, 17 mi/27 km north of Porto, has great beaches, a fishing port, and a thriving lace industry.
- Rent a rowboat or pedal boat to explore the river at Amarante (37 mi/60 km northeast of Porto).