Portugal was born in the North and the rich cultural heritage of the region does not ignore such noble and ancient origins. Tradition, culture, history, architecture, gastronomy and wine, landscape, hospitality and the joy of their people are the attributes of a unique region. Whether in leisure activities, like golf and spas, or business, this region is acquiring a huge prominence and a peculiar charm. One who visits Portugal takes with oneself more than pictures and memories – one experiences the most Portuguese feeling: Saudade.
The tourist will find a little bit of everything in cities and towns of Northern Portugal. Cities like the inimitable Porto, the distinct Braga or Guimarães, birthplace of Portugal. Must-visit cities are also Viana do Castelo, Ponte de Lima, Bragança, Chaves, Amarante, Lamego and Vila Real. Places of great heritage and historical interest, of culture and a very own and welcoming way of living.
The churches and monasteries, the museums and castles, the gardens and the rich architecture are part of an unforgettable itinerary. It is also impossible not to enjoy the numerous Natural Parks, the generous rivers, the sea and the mountains that frame all this region.
At one breathtaking stop, it is always possible to appreciate the rich and varied gastronomy, the Douro Wine, the “Vinho Verde” and the famous Port Wine.
The North of Portugal is all this and it is also a region with four UNESCO qualifications. The historical Centre of Porto, the historical Centre of Guimarães, the Douro Valley and the Côa Valley are all World Heritage.
It would be hard to rate a region like the North of Portugal, but if we wanted to do it, we would have to inspire ourselves in their people, in their hospitality, in the joy of their festivities and in their way of living so strongly marked by their pleasant way of hosting.
The Casa da Musica, the Historical Centre and the Ribeira Square, the Lello Bookshop, the Café Majestic, the Port Wine Cellars and the Monastery of Nossa Senhora do Pilar, the Guindais Funicular, Miguel Bombarda Street, Galeria de Paris Street, Cândido dos Reis Street, Serralves and the Museum of Modern Art, the São Bento Train station, the Cathedral, the Clérigos Tower, and of course, the contagious joy of the popular festivities, the excellent gastronomy and the wine.
There are a thousand charms and corners that are worth discovering in Porto, capital of the North. Porto is one of the oldest cities of the country, and as such, its streets are sinuous and picturesque. It is a unique experience to stroll through them and feel the pulse of the city. Take the tram to the mouth of the river Douro and get to know the excellent beaches and the outdoor cafés, visit remarkable churches and monuments and encounter the non-conformist modernism of the new contemporary buildings of architects like Siza Vieira, Souto Moura or Rem Koolhaas.
Board on a medieval journey and pound the historical centre, passing by the Cathedral or the Clérigos Tower. By tram or on foot, go down to the pier and experience the feeling of making a cruise on a Rabelo boat, which sail on the river Douro. Take the opportunity to admire the six bridges of the city, visit the Port Wine cellars and taste this characteristic wine in a cosy and refined atmosphere.
Visit the Casa do Infante Museum, The São Francisco Church, the Stock Exchange Palace, the pleasant riverfront and the well preserved Ribeira and Miragaia streets. Likewise, admire the well present modernity in the Casa da Música and the Museum of Modern Art of Serralves.
Besides history and culture, Porto is also leisure, fun and night life. The famous streets around the Galeria de Paris Street, the cafés and its terraces, the Miguel Bombarda area or the commercial Saint Catarina Street are reference points in arts, in culture, but also in leisure and shopping.
Find out the best Porto has to offer and enjoy the numerous outdoor cafés by the sea and the excellent City Park on the seafront.