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Courtesy Municipal do Porto

Portugal may not be that big (you can drive from Faro in the south to Porto, the largest city in the north, in under five hours), but every region of this country on the Atlantic is unique from its neighbors, and the differences between Lisbon and the country’s second city, Porto, is a prime example of this. While its unstable economy has made it a popular destination for budget travelers and backpacking co-eds, there’s more than enough to satisfy more discerning, luxury guests, from grand hotels to Michelin-starred restaurants to high-end boutiques.

Cheat Sheet

  • Sleep…at the wine-obsessed the Yeatman Hotel
  • Experience…visiting the port wine caves in Gaia
  • Eat… pavlova during a break from shopping at the café in the back of Almada 13
  • Visit…the coastal town of Matosinhos on a day trip north of Porto
  • See…the incredible Arab Room in the Palácio da Bolsa
  • Shop…in the city’s fun and funky concept stores
  • Know…that as an Indagare member you can contact our Bookings Team for customized recommendations, expert guides, special access and itineraries

Lay of the Land

Porto, a hilly city along the river, looks very similar to Lisbon but the feel is entirely its own. This part of the country used to rely on a manufacturing industry that is almost completely gone. Recent international interest and local creatives have revived some factories, giving Porto an energetic design scene you won’t find anywhere else in Portugal. Vila Nova de Gaia, home to the Yeatman Hotel and port wine warehouses is technically a town across the river but feels more like Brooklyn to Porto’s Manhattan, and is connected by multiple bridges. There are few restaurants or shops in Gaia and Porto proper is a five- to ten-minute drive away, but the trade off is that it offers beautiful views of Porto.

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Beyond… Porto

Consider combining your trip with one of these destinations.

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