Viareggio on the coast of Tuscany in Italy

Porto comes out on top!

PortoWe keenly follow anything related to European travel and were very pleased to see one of Europe’s oldest centres,
Porto, top the results of the online vote for the ‘Best Destination of 2014’. If you are unfamiliar with this award, and all the locations that were shortlisted, you may wish to visit the link below!

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When in Porto…

Porto is without doubt one of the most lively, vibrant cities that I’ve ever been to. It’s not just architecturally beautiful, but is also a university city with amazing nightlife and very interesting traditions!

I was there at the start of the academic year, and I was amazed by the way the university students, dressed in the university’s customary black capes, gather in the main square and listen to the “tuna” (university band) singing Fado to the lovely sound of the Portuguese guitar – a wonderful local tradition, that helped me realise that my time in Porto was going to be something special!

Another amazing place that I soon discovered in Porto was the “Ribeira”, located in the old part of city. There are traditional restaurants, cafés and nightclubs, all with amazing views over the river Douro. It’s a part of the city that never sleeps! I often went there in the evening, with other students from the school.

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The City of Bridges (and its musical nightlife!)

I would really like to tell you something about the not so well known side of Porto, just waiting to be discovered – the nightlife you can enjoy in this amazing city, whatever your taste!

Of course, Porto is well known as Portugal’s second largest city and the ‘capital of the north’, home to a historical centre, recognised by UNESCO as a ‘World Heritage Site’. It also contains several impressive bridges that cross the river Douro, taking you from the city centre to the world famous wine caves. Each bridge has an impressive unique architecture that makes them stand out and give Porto a unique landscape. In Porto you must take the opportunity to travel in one of the traditional barca boats and see a different side of this fascinating city!

But this is common knowledge for every tourist. I want to tell you about the sometimes overlooked but truly fantastic nightlife!!

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More than Port in Porto!

There were lots of things I was looking forward to when I started planning my trip to Porto. Sunshine, historic medieval streets, beaches, markets, finally improving my Portuguese to improve and, of course… lots of yummy port! I hadn’t expected to also fall in love with the rolling hills of the city, the hub of activity along the river Douro, the quirky honest locals and… above all… try tripe (the local specialty) and sort of like it! I had a fantastic time in Porto!

I loved skipping out of my Portuguese school every day to find myself right there smack bang on the banks of the Douro river, in the heart of the city ready for a hectic afternoon of meandering through the beautiful cobbled streets, idling in local cafes with my classmates and practicing my Portuguese or heading out of the city to the beach and busy afternoon of relaxing by the sea.

Porto really did have a little bit of everything I could have wished for.

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