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Porto Travel Guide

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Oporto from the river © Portuguese Department of Tourism

Bridges and port wine are what characterises Oporto, Portugal's gracious northern capital and second largest city after Lisbon. Oporto sits astride a great gorge at the point where the River Douro enters the Atlantic, and although it is mainly industrial, the city centre has plenty of charm with some art treasures, medieval cathedrals and museums, along narrow streets sporting wrought-iron balconies and bright splashes of potted geraniums.

The main reason tourists visit Oporto is to sample its legendary port wine, processed, blended and aged in the various lodges of the Vila Nova da Gaia district across the river from the city, via the spectacular two-tiered Dom Luis bridge. Visitors can tour the lodges and finish up with a tasting session. The city also has an historic riverside district called Ribeira, which is undergoing restoration and has been classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Within easy reach of Oporto there are numerous coastal resorts and fishing villages on the Atlantic coastline, well known for their seafood restaurants. It is possible to cruise down the River Douro to take in the scenic splendour of the area.

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