It is clear that it is not necessary to leave Europe to discover incredible corners. What many Spaniards are not aware of is that you don’t even have to leave the Iberian Peninsula. In fact, in Portugal you will find the best European destination of 2017: Porto . And we do not say it, but European Best Destiation, a tourist institution that has sweats in Brussels, which has released the results of a survey carried out through the Internet, in which people from 174 countries have participated.
This year Porto has obtained 138 thousand votes, triple the number collected last year by Zadar, the Croatian town that achieved first place in 2016. Thus, the second most important city in Portugal, it has managed to surpass corners such as Milan, Gdansk , Athens and San Sebastián. And it is not the first time that the Portuguese city has won this competition, but it has already managed to lead the table in 2012 and 2014. Today we tell you why Porto has once again been chosen as the best destination in Europe . Can you come with us?
As Eruopean Best Destination explains, Porto is history, architecture, culture, gastronomy, commerce, encounters and discoveries. Without a doubt, one of the best things to do in Porto is to walk through La Ribeira, the most emblematic neighborhood of Porto, where you can find dozens of colorful houses facing the river. Here you will find numerous terraces where it is worth sitting down to have a drink.
How could it be otherwise, one of the best corners of Porto is its old town, which was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. You will love its cobbled streets and picturesque shops. In addition, here are some of the most important monuments of the city, such as the Palacio de la Bolsa, the Cathedral, the Torre de los Clérigos, the San Bento Station … Special mention deserves the Lello & Irmao bookstore, considered by many as the most beautiful bookstore in the world.
We also have to talk about the Bolhao Market, the central market of Porto, which has more than 100 years of history. The best thing about this place is that it maintains the same aroma and the same popularity as always. In addition, it is considered one of the most beautiful covered markets on the continent.
Luis I Bridge
How could it be otherwise, we must also talk about the Luis I Bridge, which was designed by Teófilo Seyri, a disciple of Gustave Eiffel . Completed in 1886, it is surprising for its huge metal arch, which supports the two heights of the bridge. The views from both heights are spectacular.
If we talk about Porto we cannot forget its wineries. Most of them are located opposite the city, in the town of Vila Nova de Gaia. For hundreds of years, the best-known fortified wine in the world has been aged here: Port. The most famous are the Ramos Pinto Winery, the Sandeman Winery, the Ferreira Winery and the Calem Winery.
Of course, you should not forget that Porto is a city with a sea, so you can also enjoy its beaches. In the Foz area you will find a small fortress, a lighthouse and a beautiful promenade, although the best sandy areas are located in the neighboring municipalities of Matosinhos and Vila Nova de Gaia.
You cannot leave Porto without having contemplated the city from one of its viewpoints. Without a doubt, watching the sunset from one of them can become a magical experience. You will find the best views at the Mirador da Serra do Pilar, in Gaia, although we also recommend visiting the Mirador da Vitória. And if you have time to spare and can afford it, don’t hesitate to see the city from the air through a helicopter tour.
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