Portugal‘s second city is one of Europe’s most charming. Built on a steep riverbank, a jumble of colourful medieval houses hug the calm waters of the Douro River where wooden boats bob on the surface and people spill out of its cafes and bars, more often than not with a glass of the wine that gave the city its name.
Wind your way through the cobbled streets of the ancient Baixa district, lined with baroque churches and 19th-century palaces. Porto is a hilly city, meaning there are plenty of vantage points from which to gaze out across the sea of terracotta roofs, through which bell towers and church spires poke their heads.
Arching over the river is the impressive double-decked metal Dom Luis I bridge, linking the medieval city with Vila Nova de Gaia. Here you’ll find centuries old port firms that were founded by British merchant families and are still owned by their successors to this day. For three centuries these warehouses have been producing world-famous port, and no trip to the city is complete without enjoying a tipple or two in one of its many bars.