Porto is the second most important city in Portugal. Along with Lisbon, it has that traditional and historical atmosphere as well as having curious and beautiful corners that contrast with modern spaces, all of which make visiting the city an unforgettable pleasure. Despite having the reputation for being a noisy city or a bit of a slum during its times of biggest tourist flow, Porto shows us that characteristic charm of all Portuguese cities: human warmth, traditional architecture, succulent cuisine and romantic routes and walks filled with saudade. If you´ve never heard the term saudade before, it means nostalgia or melancholy in Portuguese, a deeply affectionate feeling caused by the absence of something you love. There´s no literal translation to English of this beautiful word which perhaps slides more into the meaning of melancholy but isn´t quite the same. They say that the Portuguese writer Manuel de Melo defined it as something that “you suffer at the same time of being a pain that you enjoy”.
Don´t think that Porto, Lisbon or Portugal are places that will make you sad and feel lost, all the opposite. Saudade refers to a deep feeling to understand and explore the world, a pleasure and beauty that you can only discover by going to beautiful Porto. As you know, Porto is on the banks of the river Douro. If you decide to go on a walk, go towards the huge Dom Luis I Bridge and you´ll discovery this city´s romantic mystique. Crossing it will take a few minutes but the view from it is amazing. Whilst you cross it, you will be walking towards towers and bell towers, Baroque churches and old buildings lit by the beautiful sky of this city.
In the same way, don´t forget to visit the Ribeira district, located in the northern part of the city. This area has been named a World Heritage site by UNESCO and you will be surprised to see the large variety of colours in this part of the city; narrow and beautiful streets, steps and a wide range of colours, on the buildings, from yellow to orange to red. Another district that you can´t miss out on is Vila Nova de Gaia, a beautiful hill where you will find the best wines of the region. If you´re a fan of wine, here you can enjoy some of the most exquisite wines in the region.
Of course, modernity isn´t lacking in Porto and it will be a point in your favour when you explore this city. The metro works quickly and efficiently; the Contemporary Art Museum has an impressive collection and in the House of Music you will have concerts and recitals at your disposal.
Get apartments in Porto and be part of the magic that this city has to offer. If Portugal is in your list of possible destinations, don´t let Lisbon be the only place you go to in this beautiful country. Porto will fascinate you from start to finish.