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Roman ruins lurk beneath the foundations

Porto, long running mecca for wine

Overlooking Atlantic ocean, hot from strong Portuguese sun and cool from refreshing breeze from over the sea, a city located at the very end of European continent, picturesque urban area straddling Rio Douro (river) with relaxed and calm atmosphere and sinfully good wine, that's Porto! However it is the second largest city in Portugal it doesn't seem so, with cosy and laid-back character Porto has always been wining people hearts with such welcoming ambience. Porto is first of all worth visiting for splendid landscapes, romantic views that go along with friendly feeling, delicious food and real Porto wine.

Already from the early morning all the bakeries and pastry shops are seducing people with sweet, tasty biscuits and Portuguese speciality - Dulce de Leche. While staying in Porto a decent breakfast composed with sweet goodie a strong coffee in some comfy cafe are obligatory to start a good day.

There is no other way, but begin your Porto adventure with central avenue called Avenia dos Aliados, location for Mayor's Palace, banks and hotels. Super exclusive and impressive boulevard, a coracao (heart) of the city and also a way to another very important part, the near-river area listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

Cais da Ribeira, this is how the beautiful district is called, medieval charming streets, opulent baroque churches with imposing interiors, romantic views over the river and the fresh evening breeze, those are all unforgettable experiences that Porto can provide you with. If Avenia dos Aliados is a heart of the city then Cais de Ribeira is definitely it's soul.

After a nice stroll among little streets, famous and gorgeous bridges there is no other way to celebrate the day, but a good dinner in one of the comfy, small restaurants on Cais da Ribeira. Food and wine never taste better than after sunset, when all the lights of the city and the bridge reflect in wide Douro River. With seafood, fishes and delicious starters accompanied by the pride of the city - Porto wine couldn't be more romantic. Talking about specialities, a meal is also the best time to try another type of wine - vinho verde (green wine), a sparkling gift from the nearby valleys, refreshing but also strong...

Completing our food paradise journey, let's talk about local particularity - a tripe! Why Porto inhabitants are being called "tripeiros"? This typical dish was invented by people of Porto when a king due to prepare his troops for a war took all the meat from the city. Usual dish is served with sausage and beans in tomato sauce, so if you don't mind to eat other than usual parts of cow, do not forget to try also this one.

Porto's city centre is full of cafes where little bands play live music. Have you heard about "fado" style, a typical Portuguese music, where calm guitar is accompanied by a singer? Or about the word "saudade" (eng. longing), which this music represent? If not then I strongly advise you to check the events in the city and spend at least one evening enchanted by this pleasurable music.

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