Apartments in Porto – Budget Holiday Studios
Porto, the second largest city in Portugal, boasts humble layers of medieval fortresses, jutting church spires, and beautiful Baroque architecture all connected together by twirling alleyways and spiralling staircases. As the birthplace of Port, the city remains an important hotspot for wine lovers, serving up a selection of Portugal’s best. The combination of Port and olde-worlde scenes pack a cultural punch – nowhere more so than in the historic centre, a UNESCO World Heritage Site with dustings of colonial plazas and old, ramshackle houses hiding long-forgotten Roman ruins. Porto’s proudly making steps into the present day, too, and has undergone a much-needed renovation, bringing contemporary design and lashings of style to the forefront. Today, the city remains a hub of tourism, offering a surface of rustic charm that can’t be found anywhere else. Get stuck into the cultural backdrop in one of our many apartments in Porto, where you can live like a local and uncover the personality of the city.
Porto and its Passion for Port
Porto is perhaps best known for its production of Port, a sweet, red wine that is usually served up alongside dessert. Thousands of tourists flock to the region every year to sample the delicious, fresh flavour of this humble drink – but why is Porto the best place to try it? Well, Porto and the areas surrounding the Douro River valley to the north of Portugal boast the perfect microclimate for cultivating various produce. The rich landscape is great for growing olives and grapes, but it’s also ideal for nurturing the right kind of grapes for making Port wine.
Throughout the rolling greenery of this part of Portugal, you’ll find a collection of quintas, or farms, that produce Port and other wine varieties. One of the most popular activities for visitors in Porto is quintas hopping, where you crawl around a selection of Port-producing farms, trying the rich creations, and learning about the process behind the production.
Learn all about Porto and its passion for Port from one of our Porto apartments that fleck the city. You’ll have ample time to dip into the flavours of the region and get to know more about the process behind Portugal’s favourite dessert wine.
A Mix of Medieval, Baroque, and Modern – Things to do in Porto
- Douro – A wide river that cuts a pretty picture through Porto, the Douro is one of the most important rivers of the Iberian Peninsula.
- Clerigos Church – This jutting, intricately detailed Baroque church sits in the heart of Porto. Its impressive bell tower can be seen from all over the city, casting a quirky silhouette against the sky.
- Church of Sao Francisco – Perhaps the most important Gothic building in the city, this church has been recognised for its incredible Baroque interior design.
- Dom Luis I Bridge – An unusual metal archway bridge that crosses the Douro River, connecting Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Its quirky shape paints an interesting contrast against the medieval architecture that surrounds it.
- Palacio da Bolsa – Erected back in the 19th Century by Porto’s Commercial Association, this neoclassical building boasts high-ceilings and a grand décor.
- Porto Cathedral – Tucked in the heart of Porto’s historical centre, this cathedral is one of the oldest buildings in the entire city.
- Casa da Musica – One of Porto’s newest architectural wonders, this contemporary, glass-fronted building hosts a major concert hall and cultural institution.
- Serralves – This whimsical cultural centre is one of the most important in Portugal, and is surrounded by lush gardens and tinkling fountains.
- Soares dos Reis National Museum – Nestled in the old walls of the Carrancas Palace, this museum dates back to 1833 and is the country’s first national museum.
- Livraria Lello & Irmao – This exquisite bookstore is sight to behold, with soaring, dark-wood bookcases, flowing red carpets, and a grotto-like interior.
- Funicular dos Guindais – A funicular railway that takes you up over Porto, where you can look down on the city and its fairytale scenes.
- Estadio do Dragao – Home of F.C. Porto, this football stadium plays host to numerous sporting events throughout the year.
- Igreja de Santa Clara – Named a National Monument, this breath-taking church boasts a jaw-dropping interior that features gilt fittings and thousands of intricate carvings.
- Church of Saint Ildefonso – Located near the central Batalha Square, this blue-fronted 18th Century church boasts an artsy exterior and an even more impressive interior.
- Maria Pia Bridge – Also known as Ponte Dona Maria, this arched bridge was in fact built by Gustave Eiffel back in 1877.
- Sea Life Porto – Animal lovers will enjoy the underwater world at Porto’s sea life centre, where there are a selection of aquariums home to a number of exotic marine creatures.
- Queijo Castle – This old, medieval fort faces out to sea, where it would have once protected the city from navy attacks.
Take a look through our Porto apartments and boutique flats, many of which are situated in and around the major landmarks of the city.
Eat, Drink, and Get Around Like a Local
The rustic backdrop of Porto is the perfect setting for soaking up the local atmosphere. Delve into cosy, family-run cafes and watch the world go by, browse the boutique shops that line the hodgepodge streets, and enjoy a Francesinha, Portugal’s answer to the Croque Monsieur. It’s a popular snack amongst locals who are looking for a quick bite to eat, and the perfect thing to grab whilst you’re dashing around the city taking in all the sights. Afterwards, when the sun’s setting, why not hotfoot it to the top of the city and enjoy a Vinho Verde at one of the rooftop bars? This unusual variety of wine boasts a green tint but, despite its unusual colouring, is everything you’d imagine of a rich, Portuguese wine.
When you’re ready to go home, hop on one of the old-school trams that rattle up and down the steep streets. They cast a picturesque, old-fashioned character over the city, with locals hanging out the windows and the ever-present trill of bells down cobbled alleyways.