Located in the middle of the Algarve, Porto is Portugal’s second largest city and home to many of Portugal’s most important exports. It’s where port wine was first stored, where travelers can find the best pottery in Portugal, and home to some of the best seafood markets in the country. Porto’s historic city center is an UNESCO World Heritage Site and arguably one of the most beautiful cities in Portugal. Wine cellars are lined up along the river banks and restaurants and bars are strategically placed along the riverfront.
Walk through the city center and pay close attention to Porto’s buildings. They may look faded, but their colored tiles and murals add to their authentic beauty. Exquisite hand-painted tiles can be found on church walls and inside many of Porto’s buildings. Travelers in the UK can book direct flights to Porto, but many international travelers will fly to neighboring Faro and drive to Porto.
The dry, hot summers in Porto make up for the chilly, wet winters. Thanks to its location at the mouth of the River Douro, Porto cools down from the winds wafting off the Atlantic Ocean. The chances of an unexpected heat wave or snowstorm occurring in the transitional seasons of spring and fall are unlikely, as both seasons tend to segue gradually into the sunny summer or the damp days of winter.
Glasses of Port should be enjoyed no matter what season you plan to fly to Porto. The city’s medieval streets, fascinating museums, and scenic daytrips appeal to visitors booking Porto flights year-round.
Peak Season: Flights to Porto during the summertime are packed with beachcombers, golfers and wine aficionados hoping to capture the beautiful weather that settles in the northern Iberian Peninsula during the months of May through October.
Off-peak Season: Catching the sea breezes in the autumn and spring make for pleasant vacations, either before the summer rush hits or after high season has concluded. The beaches, restaurants and resorts are far less crowded, meaning cheap rates and cheap flights to Porto are far easier to come by.
The public transportation system in Porto is cheap and easy, but many tourists enjoy walking or biking, especially in the old section of town, where the sights are close together. Don’t worry about getting lost in the narrow streets, just ask a resident to point you in the right direction. Buses, trams and the metro will get you around the city quickly, and the funiculars can take you from the Ribeira to the city’s center. Local trains can take you to the outer edges of the city and to the beaches. Avoid traveling during rush hour, as public transportation can get very crowded. Look for discount or multiple-trip tickets like the Passe Turistico, bulhete diario (day pass) and the rechargeable Andante Card to save money. You can hail, call or pick up a taxi from a stand 24 hours a day. Driving can be very difficult, thanks to heavy traffic and a maze of one-way streets. With all the transportation options in Porto, renting a car isn’t worth the hassle.