FAST FACTS PORTO – PORTUGAL
Porto is one of Europe's oldest tourist destinations. Its wealth of monumental and artistic heritage, Port Wine, open-air leisure spaces and cultural life are just some of the reasons to visit this city.
At any time of the day, 365 days of the year, Porto has a special charm for anyone visiting the city for the first time, as it does for those coming back for a second visit, to discover a city that is simultaneously modern and authentic. In 1996, the historical centre of Porto was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces.
Setting out to discover Porto means bumping into surprise after surprise. Whilst maintaining its welcoming and conservative nature, the city is, at the same time, contemporary and creative. This can be seen in its streets, its architecture and its monuments, its museums, its leisure spaces, its esplanades which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive.
It is the 2nd largest city in Portugal after Lisbon.
Population 2.1 million – occupying an area of 41 sq kms.
It is recognised as a gamma-level global city (with Lisbon the only cities in Portugal so recognised).
Location: Along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres. Its historical core proclaimed a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996.
History: Dating back to around 300 BC it was an outpost of the Roman Empire.
Its combined Celtic-Latin name Portus Cale has been referred to as the origin of the name Portugal.
In 2014, Porto was elected the Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.
Internationally famous for Port wine.
Climate: September average 14.7 low – 24.1 high
Culture: The first Portuguese moving pictures were taken in Porto and shown in November 1896. Manoel de Oliveira was the oldest director in the world to be active until his death in 2015. Porto hosts an international film festival annually. The best know museums are the National Museum Soares dos Reis, especially dedicated to the Portuguese artistic movements from the 16 to 20th century and the Museum of Contemporary Art.
Architecture: Due to its long history the city carries an immense architectural patrimony. From Romanesque Cathedral to social housing projects. Port is home to one of the most prestigious architecture schools in Europe, the Porto School of Architecture.
Famous People: Ferdinand Magellan – global circumnavigator, Prince Henry the Navigator (1394-1460), developing of European exploration and maritime trade.