Portugal has long been a go-to destination for those seeking sun and sand holidays in mainland Europe, but did you know that this picturesque Iberian nation also offers exciting options for those seeking a culture-rich city break?
Fascinating Porto, the second largest Portuguese city after Lisbon, is one of the most eclectic locations you could hope to visit. Brimming with unique character and authenticity, this UNESCO World Heritage Site clings affectionately to its past and offers a myriad of things to see and do. Whether you're seeking world-class wine, artistic inspiration or captivating history, this marvellous metropolis has all the right ingredients for a long weekend getaway or a short break. Whatever your budget, there's no reason to miss out because cheap flights to Porto are available with Flybe today. Use the 'Book Now' tool on this page for the latest information on schedules and availability.
The city is located along the sparkling Douro River, one of the main stretches of water in Southern Europe – and no trip is complete without a charming riverboat ride. The landscape is peppered with a plethora of spiralling bell towers, ornate churches and brightly coloured buildings – no wonder this city is a magnet for photographers and artists from all over the world. A city of many layers, the scenery is one of kind with a rich variation of architecture from different periods, including Romanesque, Gothic and neoclassical. The most prominent Gothic building in Porto - the Igreja de Sao Francisco (Church of Saint Francis) - is a bucket-list structure for architecture aficionados and is well worth a look.
The first port of call for any new visitor should be Ribeira square – the urban nucleus that everything else in the city revolves around. A favourite spot with locals and tourists alike, the square spreads along the waterfront and dates back to mediaeval times. Here you will find a flood of quaint shops, a baroque 17th Century fountain, stunning statues and modern cubic sculptures. Other old-town quarters like Vitoria and Miragaia provide hours of fun for people-watchers. Sit in the sunshine at one of the many outdoor cafés and spy on tinkers, tailors, tin-beaters and other specialists of fabulously old-fashioned trades.
Besides its rich heritage, Porto is also famous for being the birthplace of port and as such has become somewhat of a mecca for wine-lovers. The dramatically hilly Douro Valley region is the perfect environment to grow the grapes needed to produce the syrupy red wine that so many love. On a warm evening, you can while-away the time at one of the many riverside wine-cellars or famous 'fado' folk bars at Vila Nova de Gaia. If you're after more lively entertainment, why not venture to the outskirts of the city to enjoy a night out at one of the many plaza clubs where you can make-merry until the early hours?
Venture west of the wine region and discover Portugal's very first national museum, the Museu Nacional de Soares dos Reis as well as many more captivating art collections like the modern Museu de Arte Contemporanea. If you're after an afternoon on the beach, you can walk for miles along the Douro River to sensationally sandy coastal hot spots. Visit in the summer and enjoy sumptuously warm temperatures. Those who visit this one-of-a-kind Portuguese city often return year after year because there is always something new to discover. Book flights from Birmingham to Porto now and experience the magic for yourself.
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