After Lisbon, Porto is the second-largest city in all of Portugal. It is also one of the most major urban areas in Southwest Europe and it has always represented a critical trading hub in both ancient and modern times. Interestingly enough, port wine is actually named after this city. It should therefore come as no surprise that Porto is a major travel destination for those within the United Kingdom.
When flying from London to Porto (OPO) the average travel time will be two hours and 20 minutes. There are frequent flights here from major London airports. There are several carriers which serve this route. Some of the most common are EasyJet, Ryanair, TAP Portugal and British Airways. There are rarely connecting flights between London and Porto.
Things to do in Porto
Like many cities within Portugal, Porto is quite an artistic destination. Many will choose to visit the famous Casa de Musica to develop a true taste for this unique culture. This modern building was only completed in 2001 and did not open until 2005. Boasting a unique architectural design, many have claimed that the Casa de Musica is able to offer some of the best acoustics throughout all of Europe. There are two different auditoriums as well as a restaurant to enjoy some tasty cuisine after a show. As this concert hall is already well respected by numerous musicians, you can expect to enjoy a wonderful show should you choose to visit.
Serralves is considered to be one of the most important cultural institutions within Portugal. One unique aspect of this location is that it embraces numerous forms of architecture including Art Deco, contemporary and modernist. There are numerous displays located inside and the ultimate intention of Serralves is to provide the visitor with an all-encompassing experience that demonstrates the profound impact that Portuguese art has had upon the rest of the world. There is also a park located on the site. After a visit why not take in a bit of shade underneath one of the many cypress trees that surround the large grass fields?
The Church of Sao Francisco is another definite must-see attraction when visiting Porto. Many believe that this cathedral is the most prominent and well-known Gothic church in Portugal. It is particularly known for an exquisite display of ornate Baroque architecture found within its interior. So, it should come as no surprise that the Church of Sao Francisco (Saint Francis) has been recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Construction initially began in 1383 and was finally completed around 1425. Gilt wood carvings, flying buttresses and massive stained glass windows are but a few of the sights to be enjoyed by those who choose to visit here. Masses are still held here for anyone who wishes to appreciate what can only be called a truly religious experience. It is wise to check for opening times, as it is said that ongoing renovations are currently taking place.