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The first traces of human activity in the area we now call 'Porto' date back to the Bronze Age - more specifically to the 8th century BC.
There are Megalithic vestiges in Madalena Area that are more than 100 thousand years old. Although the city, as an urban area, has 2.7 millennia, human intervention took place here more than 100 millennia ago.
In 1394, in what is today called Casa do Infante, Infante Dom Henrique was born. Known as the Father of the Discoveries, it was he who began, in Porto, the Golden Age of Portugal, when he sailed to Africa from the Douro River, in 1415.
It's quite possible that without the existence of this Portuense, the Portuguese Language would be spoken by 15/20 million people today, instead of 300 million.
Pêro Vaz de Caminha, from Porto, was the author of the "Carta da Descoberta do Brasil" (Brazil Discovery Letter).
The name Portugal comes from Portucale, the name of the port town that later became the City of Porto. Porto means, literally, Port, or Harbor.
On January 31, 1891, in what is now called Praça da República, the first revolutionary movement to oust the Monarchy and establish the Republic in Portugal began. Less than 20 years later, the Republic was established.
In 1948, at Carlos Alberto Square and in the middle of the Salazar Dictatorship, more than 200 thousand people welcomed General Humberto Delgado. This was the largest manifestation to ever take place in the History of Portugal, and marked what became the first step towards the victory of Freedom. From that point on, the Regime weakened, power was questioned, and with that followed all the events that led to the absolute eradication of the Dictatorship.
The term tripeiro (tripe eater), alternative to Portuense, and sometimes used innocently in a pejorative way, originates from the fact that in the 15th century, all the meat was offered to the army by the city, and only the offal was kept for the subsistence of its citizens. The purpose was to maximize the power of all the battalions that, in 1415, conquered Ceuta. Of the 45,000 men sent out, only 8 perished - one of the "closest to invicible" ratios in the History of World Warfare.
Of course, conquering other people's territory with brute force is terribly wrong... but those were different times.
It began in 1832 and lasted for over a year the admittedly fearsome Siege of Porto. Within the walls, 12 thousand warriors defended the Invincibility of a city never before conquered, and unconquered the city remained. The 60 thousand oppressors, initially in a 5 to 1 advantage, saw that advantage reduced to zero as the city stood virtually untouched. Thus was born the nickname 'Cidade Invicta' (Invincible City).
THE CAPITAL OF THE NORTH
In addition to lending its name to Portugal at the Country's inception, Porto was the place where the Discoveries began, where the first steps towards the establishment of the Republic were taken, and where the first cry of revolt to abolish the Salazar Dictatorship took place. What we can call the Poker of Aces of the History of Portugal thus emerges from the hand of Invicta. The weight of History combined with the cultural and socio-economic weight resulted in another designation for the city - The Capital of the North. The relationship between Porto and Portugal is similar to the relationship between São Paulo and Brazil, Milan and Italy, Shanghai and China, Barcelona and Spain, Mumbai and India, or New York and the United States. Something mentioned by the latter, in the NY Times.
Medieval society was represented by 3 major groups - the Bourgeoisie, the Church and the Nobility. Until the 16th Century, Porto forbade the Nobility to live in the city. This is a curious hint, dating 500 years, that highlights a clear ideal today - the supreme interests of the Country and its citizens will always have priority over the lobbies of those who are in the Government.
The Arab Room at the Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) has no connotation to Arab influence. It was built by the bourgeois elite as a symbol of power and prestige, and its purpose was to act as a guest room for merchants and state leaders from various nations of the World. The construction of an Arab megalomania within a Catholic Country served, once again, as a way for the Bourgeoisie to show the Church that nothing is above the power of the citizens - in essence, the same message that a few centuries earlier was shown to the Nobility. After all, Absolute Power does not reside in the act of giving orders, but in the impermeability to any and every order.
The Douro Region was the first in History to be established as a demarcated worldwide Wine Region. This happened when, in 1756, the General Company of Alto Douro's Vineyards was created.
In 1840, Agência Abreu was founded. It's the second oldest travel agency on the planet, right after Cox & Kings. It's still there today!
In 1842 the construction of the Palácio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange Palace) began. This would become the headquarters of the first stock exchange in the Country, and to do justice to this fact, it was created, inside, the Praça das Nações (Nations Square) - a large space surrounded by twenty coats of arms, representing the twenty countries with which the City traded most.
In 1865, in the Crystal Palace Gardens, took place one of the first International Expositions (nowadays known as Expo) in History.
In 1870, between Praça do Infante and Foz, was inaugurated the first public transportation line in the Iberian Peninsula. This used what at the time was called the 'American Car'.
In 1895, between Carmo and Arrábida, became operational the first tramway line in the Iberian Peninsula.
THE FIRST FILM
The first Portuguese film was shot at Santa Catarina Street, in 1896. It's called 'Saída do Pessoal Operário da Fábrica Confiança' (Departure of the Confiança Factory Workers), and was directed by Aurélio Paz dos Reis.
THE FIRST FLIGHT
In 1947 took place the first two simultaneous commercial passenger flights in Portugal. The routes were Porto-Lisbon and Lisbon-Porto.
In 1976, in Boavista Area, was inaugurated the first shopping center of the Iberian Peninsula. You can still visit and do shopping at the old Brasília - old-fashioned on one hand, forever a symbol of cosmopolitanism and progress, on the other.
In 1988, in Rua Santa Catarina, the multinational giant Zara set up its first store outside Spain.
In 1996, the Historic Center of Porto was classified by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site.
86% of the Port Wine produced is sold outside Portugal, which makes it the most exported Portuguese product, proportionally.
Leixões Seaport, alone, represents 25% of all Portuguese international trade, regardless of any type, area or sector. It is, for this reason, the single infrastructure with the greatest impact at a national level.
Present in the city since the city was known as such, the Jewish community in Porto has a very strong presence. The largest synagogue on the Iberian Peninsula, the Kadoorie Mekor Haim Synagogue, founded in 1923, is located in Boavista. It serves as a major center of worship for Jews of various nationalities.
During the 20th century, three people created fortunes worth billions in Portugal. All 3 were born in Greater Porto.
As we shouldn't touch one side of a spectrum without addressing the other, we must mention that in the mid-20th century, with the Dictatorship, Portugal was extremely poor - and Porto was no exception. Even today there are more than 33,000 people on unemployment benefits and more than a thousand homeless people. The slums and shantytowns, however, were extinct! In the large steps that have been taken to eradicate poverty, new neighborhoods have been created, others recovered, many social measures have been taken, and today, on a scale of 0 to 1, the Human Development Index is rated as "Very High: 0.91". There is, still, a lot of work to be done... work that will be done (it's already being done).
Porto is the 31st city in the planet where more international conferences and events are held. From year to year, more and more summits and symposiums take place here.
Of the 4 Portuguese Public Hospitals that collect, cryopreserve and contribute to the World Bank of Stem Cells, 3 of them are in Porto. These are São João, Júlio Dinís and Pedro Hispano.
On July 6, 2018, at the Climate Change Leadership Porto Summit 2018 - and presented by world personalities such as Barack Obama (former US President), Mohan Munasinghe (United Nations) and Irina Bokova (UNESCO) - The Porto Protocol was born. It's a global protocol that aims to unify as many companies as possible on a planetary scale to this topic that is so important for the future of the Earth. As of today, this International Summit will take place every two years, bringing Porto together with Paris on the map of the global epicenters of what is, perhaps, the most important issue of today and the future: The Climate.
One of the best purchases that any non-Porto citizen can make when they arrive in the city is the Porto.Card - a card that gives unlimited access to all metro and bus lines, discounts on any type of recreational, tourist or cultural activity, from museums to restaurants and cafés, sightseeing train rides and boat trips, helicopter rides, or even more radical alternatives, and also bicycle rental stores or services, as well as dozens of sightseeing circuits and special activities for children, families, couples, and much more. In short, the Porto.Card combines convenience with technology, and puts the city at your disposal!
With the 'Anda' app from the 'Andante' service, all you need to travel in Porto public transports is a cell phone. As an example, it is possible, without buying any ticket, to take a bus from Matosinhos to Boavista, the subway from Boavista to Gaia, and then an urban train from Gaia to Espinho. All the public transports use the same system, they are all connected, and charge any costs automatically on your account, and of course, it's as safe as it gets! - Riding public transports in Porto is easy!
Several public transports, several cities, a unique metropolis!
Still within the scope of intermodality, the pioneering 'Passe Único' (Single Pass) was recently created. With just one card it's now possible to travel every square inch of the entire metropolitan area, regardless of which public transportation or lines you choose. For just 40 euros a month, all buses, autopullmans, subway lines, train lines, streetcars and funiculars are available in all Zones. There is also, for those who don't need so much, a version for just €30 that covers 3 Zones of your choice.
It's impossible to fly over the Braga - Aveiro route at night without being surrounded by lights all around. About half the flight is made crossing Porto, and the rest passing through the many towns and cities in between, separated from each other by a few kilometers or, in several cases, adjacent to each other. With almost 3.5 million people, it's one of the largest conurbations in Europe.
With a length of 309 kilometers (~192 miles), the network formed by the 13 highways within the perimeter of Greater Porto Core Area is slightly longer than the longest highway in Portugal - the A1, which connects Porto to Lisbon and has 306Km (~190 miles).
The longest avenue in a straight line in Portugal - the Avenida da Boavista - is located in the western part of the city, connecting Boavista to the Atlantic Ocean. Since it's perfectly aligned with the sunset, driving it down in the late afternoon when the Atlantic is flooded with light and the asphalt reflects shades of orange almost as bright as the sky, can be quite a liberating experience.
Due to its size, Mouzinho de Albuquerque Plaza is better known as Boavista Roundabout. With a diameter of 1/4 kilometer, it could contain any football stadium.
According to recent data, Santa Catarina Street, in Downtown Porto, is the most crowded street in Portugal.
With a traffic of 85 million vehicles per year, the Arrábida Bridge and the Freixo Bridge, combined, would be enough to make the Douro River the most crossed river in Portugal. When we add all the other bridges - including the bridges on which only railroad vehicles pass - and count not the cars but the people - a total of more than 250 million crossings are recorded every year. That's 125% of Brazil's population!
Two Portuenses have been awarded the Nobel Prize for Architecture - the Pritzker Prize - they are Álvaro Siza Vieira (right) and Eduardo Souto Moura. Porto is, in effect, the only city in the World with two Pritzkers!
At 106 years of age, Manoel de Oliveira was the oldest active filmmaker in the History of Mankind. For that reason, but not only, he was (and still is) the one who made more films. 58, in total. Indeed, one of the Greats! :)
With 217 trophies won, Pinto da Costa is, by far, the person with the most trophies won worldwide, in any kind of Sports.
With more than 7 million followers on social media, FCP is the most followed Portuguese Team.
If we count only from 2003 onwards (since the Estádio do Dragão exists), this was the stadium in Europe with the most trophies won until 2014. It's still in TOP3, nowadays.
With 33 trophies won, Vítor Baía is the 4th soccer player in the world with more trophies of all time. He played 566 games for Porto, 87 for the National Team, and 54 for Barcelona. He also received 36 individual awards, was the first Portuguese player to reach 75 internationalizations, and is one of only 9 players who won the three main European titles. His gloves were placed in the Time Capsule buried by UEFA in 2004, making him one of the Immortals of Soccer History.
Rosa Mota, the greatest Portuense athlete ever, brought to Portugal the gold medal in the Olympic Games in Seoul'88, the World Championship in Rome'87, the European Championships in Athens'82, Stuttgart'86 and Split'90, the Marathons in Rotterdam'83, Chicago'83 and '84, Tokyo'86, Boston'87, '88 and '90, Osaka'90 and London'91. She also brought the Bronze medal at the Los Angeles'84 Olympic Games. Besides her successes in sports, she was also awarded several distinctions of honor, and was considered by AIMS as the best marathon runner of all time. In Porto, there's a big pavillion named after her.
Boavista may be a smaller team than FCP, SLB or SCP, but by winning the 2000-2001 national championship they established the title of the First Winner of the Millennium. A title that will stay with them for at least a thousand years! :) Great Boavista! :)
Oporto Golf Club
Founded in 1890 by Englishmen living in Porto, the Oporto Golf Club is the oldest Golf Club in the Iberian Peninsula, and the 4th in Europe. It's located in Espinho, in the Southern Porto Area.
THE FIRST CUP
Doing justice to the antiquity of the previously mentioned club, the oldest golf tournament in the world - the Skeffington Cup - named after the first President, is held right there. It has been running uninterruptedly since 1891!
Of all the marriages celebrated in the city, only 28.5% are Catholic - a surprisingly low figure for a Catholic Country.
84% of the population is under 65, and 15% is under 15. These values indicate a very young population in the global context, and extremely young in the European context.
The City Park is the only urban park in Europe with a sea front. It's also the largest Portuguese urban park!
5 of the 10 biggest shopping malls in Portugal are in Porto.
Underneath the city there is another city! It's a network of tunnels and galleries several kilometers long that served the city (from above) for centuries. Today people can visit Underground Porto on guided tours.
In addition to the city below the city, there's also a river. This ancient watercourse, whose existence is recorded in writings dating back to the Year 1120 under the name of Canellem Maiourum, can also be visited by the general public. Until the 19th Century, however, it served as an important water source for the local inhabitants.
Rio de Janeiro
The statue of Prince Henry the Navigator, located in a square with the same name, is pointing in one direction... Where to? To Rio de Janeiro!
THE 1ST CHRIST
With origins dating back to the 12th Century, Matosinhos Mother Church's Lord is the oldest full-scale Christ in the Country.
THE 1ST LIGHTHOUSE
Dating back to 1527, São Miguel-O-Anjo Lighthouse, located where Douro meets the Atlantic, is the oldest lighthouse in Portugal, and one of the oldest in Europe and the World.
To this day, no means of preventing someone from going from Matosinhos Beach to the mouth of Leixões Seaport through the rocks, and diving into the open sea, has been implemented. The experience of seeing a post-panamax ship coming so close, at water level, is terrifying!
Even at a distance it's perfectly perceptible, for those who look at the Leixões Cruise Terminal, the scaled texture that reminds some marine object of mythological nature. Such texture is obtained by a matrix of hexagonal tiles assembled, one by one, in an irregular way. In all, one million hexagons cover this magnificent building.
THE BLUE LINE
With 18 kilometers (11.3 miles), the length of beaches between Cabedelo, at the extreme north of Porto South Shore, in Gaia, and Bairro Piscatório (Fishery District), in Espinho, is the World's longest continuum of Blue Flag awarded beaches.
We're talking about pristine sands and waters on a stretch equivalent to the distance between JFK Airport and Manhattan, in New York, or from Santa Monica to Redondo Beach, in Los Angeles.
The Gaia Line, with 15 kilometers (9.6 miles) from one end to the other, is entirely crossed by a wooden walkway made up of more than 138 thousand trunks, 265 thousand boards, 4.6 million nails, and 50 kilometers (31 miles) of rope. It's one of the longest continuous seaside walkways in the World!
One of the best things you can do in Porto is to have lunch in Lavadores, walk the walkway all the way to Miramar, have a snack at Senhor da Pedra Beach, walk the rest of the walkway to Espinho, and have dinner there. To return, just take the train to downtown.
The Coast of Portugal is known for its high concentration of iodine - a vital element for health and well-being, which, among other benefits, helps regulate the immune system, helps maintain the skin tan, strengthens the hair, helps lose weight by maximizing calorie usage, and increases energy levels and good mood. In the TOP5 of Portuguese Beaches with the most iodine - are the beaches of Aguda and Lavadores - both on the Gaia Line: a small paradise painted in shades of gold and turquoise, right there, so close to where (almost) everything happens!
SUN OR RAIN?
The annual precipitation in the city is very high! So high that, over the decades, it made some very bad people say that the city has no Sun. Well, not quite, since a lot of rain is not synonym of a long time raining - just a lot of water. And Porto's now famous downpour is capable of dropping more water on the city in one hour than the UK's drizzle does for a whole month! Hence the high precipitation. In fact, Porto's sunshine figures are around 2,825 hours per year - if we compare them to Faro's 3,102 hours per year, we can conclude that Porto's sunshine time is 91% of that of the Algarve. That's not far from 300 days of sunshine a year!
A symbol of warmth, good weather, peace, fertility and success, the palm tree has become a favorite tree when building gardens, parks, avenues, backyards and other common areas, a little everywhere, and for a long time - which has made this tree the most common in Porto among the non-native ones. It can be seen in modern housing quarters or historic neighborhoods, adorning corporate headquarters or churches, in some beaches or in romantic parks - it's hard to walk very far without a palm tree in sight.
There are, in total, 59 surf schools between Estela and Furadouro. This is one of the largest concentrations of surf schools in the World, with almost one school for each of the 64 kilometers that separate them (in a straight line - by car it's 80km, or 50 miles)!
With more than 300 days a year of surfable waves - ranging from beginner to advanced level - almost 30 surf camps, a strong and growing Surf Culture, and Nazaré only 160km (100 miles) away, this is an outstanding destination for the most spiritual of all sports! :)
A film from 1927 was found, showing a group of 12 people, on Leça da Palmeira Beach, surfing waves with the so-called bellyboards (the predecessors of bodyboards). It is, at least until an even older pearl turns up - the oldest surf-related film in Europe.
A long time ago, one of the best beaches for surfing was very filthy. So filthy that it was popularly renamed "Praia dos Cagalhotos" (literally, Beach of the Turds), and interdicted one of the best waves in the city. Many years later, back to the Present, the beach and the water are excellent, but the nickname remained. For this reason, it's common today to hear phrases like "I'm going to surf the turds", or " Lets surf the turds!". It's such an epic location that, in these parts, the word "turds" has acquired a whole new flair of excellence! :D On good days - and there are plenty of good days in Cagalhotos - it turns into an endless supply of 4 meter (13 feet) waves. A bit like Hawaii, but less dangerous.
And you? Are you ready to surf some turds? :)
Those who walk along Porto beaches at night during the summer can easily observe a very beautiful phenomenon: rare are the nights when you can't see, here and there, small fireworks somewhere in the distance. Be it popular festivities, or small private fires to celebrate birthdays - typical in summer days - there is almost always, here and there, some kind of light exploding in the sky.
One of the most recurrent (and longest) walks on Porto Coast connects Angeiras to the Pau da Manobra beach, in Silvalde. It's a stretch longer than 50km (31 miles) between the city and the water.
A true ode to immensity and Liberation.
Not only people or cities have nicknames - sometimes certain places also have them. This is the case of the São Francisco Xavier Fort, today (much) better known as Castle of Cheese. Or the Gomes Teixeira Square, (much) better known as Lion Plaza. Or even the AEP Roundabout, better known as Star Products Roundabout. A more recent addition to the city, the She Changes monument, is better known as Anémona, for its peculiar shape, resembling an anemone. There's plenty of these nicknames!
Big cities concentrate large numbers of cultures - not just cultures from various countries, or even distinct national cultures united in one spot, but cultures from the city itself, where the Neighborhood X and the Neighborhood Y could well be from different Continents that would not seem strange at all. The urban sub-cultures of Porto are many, and some even acquire names. One of them is the term Fozeiro - name given to the 'super-stylish-and-chic inhabitant of Foz'. Then there's the Gunas, at the other end of the spectrum, who exchange chicness for testosterone.
There's a whole range of names, but this kind of discrimination is 100% friendly! People here are 100% friendly! :) Well, maybe 96%...
The Arrábida Bridge, inaugurated in 1963, has the largest reinforced concrete arch in the World. If we count all arches - including those made of metal - it's still the 9th longest.
CLIMB THE ARCH
Nowadays, with Porto Bridge Climb, it's possible for the general public to climb the Arrábida arch all the way to the top. As of 2016, it's the only bridge arch in Europe open to the public.
For over two hundred and fifty years as one of Invicta's main landmarks, this monument is one of the most visited in the city and in the country. Its height is equivalent to a 20-story building, and because it is built on a quota equivalent to a 30-story building, it stands out in the old town's skyline as a 50-story skyscraper built at water level! From the top you can see the entire historic area of the city.
Portugal is not, unfortunately, a country of skyscrapers. But there are many relatively tall structures. Of all the climbable ones, the tallest of all, with 177 meters, is the Altice Tower. Built on the Virgin Hill, with a height of 216 meters, its tip is 393 meters from the water level, which simulates the height of a real skyscraper when seen from afar. As an example, if the Empire State Building, in New York, or the Eiffell Tower, in Paris were built over the Douro River, their highest points would be below the Altice Tower. At certain points, it can be seen dozens of kilometers away.
METRO DO PORTO
With an initial cost of 2,4 billion euros, the first phase of Metro do Porto system became the most expensive project in Europe in 2002.
Although the subway only came to Porto in the XXI Century, it was already being discussed since the middle of the XX Century. At the time, one of the major obstacles suggested was the city' s very hard subsoil, and the impossibility of building underground lines on such a subsoil. Today, the most densely undergrounded portion of the system is, precisely, in that same 'impossible' area. The rest of the network, while not underground, is mostly in dedicated channel, and thus just as fast.
In 1995, Porto Coliseum was almost bought by the UCKG - but the population protested, manifested by the thousands, and some even chained themselves to the doors and the building, saying that if they wanted to do something there, first they would have to kill them and run over them. Nowadays, the Coliseum remains the Coliseum!
Porto is one of the 60 cities in the World with a Time Out magazine.
One of the 191 Hard Rock Cafe's in the world can be visited in Invicta.
The 30th Sea Life in the World was built in 2009, in Foz, between the City Park and the International Beach.
In Leça da Palmeira takes place one of the world's alternatives to the San Diego giant.
Red Bull Air Race
The Douro River is one of the world's stages for what is hailed as the 'Formula 1 of the Air' - the giant Red Bull Air Race.
Also in the Douro Estuary compete the super machines of F1H2O - literally, the 'Formula 1 of Water'.
Formula 1 of Air, Formula 1 of Water... and how about Formula 1 of Earth - the real Formula 1? Well, that one hasn't been around for decades, but it has been here - in the 20th Century, and right in the middle of Boavista Area! Nowadays, the Boavista Urban Circuit has been the stage for - among other competitions - the 2nd most important motor racing championship in the World: The WTCC. Or the not so important, but perhaps more charming Classic Cars Boavista Cup - Lamborghinis Miura have already pulled up behind Lolas T70, and Lotus Europa ahead of Beetles, with a roar that no words can describe, one must be there to understand the true essence of the thing... :' )
The EDP Porto Marathon has recently entered the World Elite, when it was awarded, by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), the Bronze Label Road Race. It began in the 21st century, in 2004, and at the time, there were 317 athletes. Today there are more than 15 thousand who participate, and its international component is quite strong, with athletes from 69 countries and an absolute foreign participation of 27%. It's the biggest and most important marathon in Portugal. The biggest curiosity of this marathon, however, is its almost constant contact with water, since the entire course is done either by the sea or by the river!
The largest beach party in Europe - the Nova Era Beach Party - takes place every year in Leça da Palmeira, at Aterro Beach. It's 24 hours of non-stop electronic music, bathed by the Atlantic and more than 60 thousand people.
In total, there are 19 Music Festivals in Porto...
...And 14 Cinema Festivals.
Every year Serralves hosts 'Serralves em Festa' - a 50-hour non-stop event. From music to dance, theater to light shows, and so on - there are dozens of activities that take place during this time (including two late nights), spread all over the Foundation. The attendance has already reached an impressive 226,000 (113,000 people a day to watch Culture!), and the event - more and more international with each passing year - has been highlighted in cities as far and important as Los Angeles, in the West, and Tokyo, in the East.
Every year, Santa Maria da Feira hosts one of the largest medieval fairs in the World. The fair takes place in the city itself, in a considerable area around the castle, and inside, the time travels back to the Medieval Era. The taverns serve what was served at that time, the stores sell what was sold at that time, many of those who go there dress as people used to dress at that time, and all the activities that take place there are designed in detail to make it seem as if you were in that time. The number of visitors per edition has already surpassed the 600 thousand mark - which makes Santa Maria da Feira Medieval Fair the largest annual event in Portugal, with an attendance equivalent to almost 6% of the entire Nation’s population!
Saint John's Celebration is so big that the attendance exceeds the much hyped New Year's Eve. Between 7p.m. on June, 23rd and 7a.m. on June, 24th, the 12 kilometers (7.5 miles) between Downtown Porto and Matosinhos Beach, and also Central Gaia Area, fill up with a human continuum of 1 million people. To the main area are joined hundreds of small parties, spread all over the city. It's huge!
São João is not the only popular celebration. There are, in fact, many of them, among the well-known and great festivities such as the Senhor de Matosinhos,São Pedro da Afurada, São Pedro da Póvoa, Festa da Senhora da Hora, Festa da Nossa Senhora da Aguda, and so on ... all of them with a relaxed, carefree, happy and fun popular ambience!
One of the funniest events in the city is called Música na Rua (Music in the Street). The main subway stations are invaded by young musicians and bands that play and sing their songs for free for the thousands of people that pass through the stations.
At least 6 times a year, several art galleries gathered in one place inaugurate new collections. What started as an almost intimate advent quickly became a global event. Spoken about and praised all over the World, and visited by people from everywhere, Bombarda's simultaneous inaugurations are, nowadays, one of the highlights of Porto's and Portugal's Culture.
One of the best bets outside Japan to experience Japanese Pop Culture is called Iberanime, and it takes place every year in Porto (and Lisbon). Tons of manga and anime, as well as tons of cosplayers and merchandising related to manga and anime, can - and will! - be found there! :)
On April 7, 2013, in Matosinhos, took place the first Color Run in Europe.
In any city there's a lot of good Architecture that is off-limits to the general public - private buildings, closed public buildings, office buildings, etc. Porto Open House addresses this issue! When it happens, much of the Architecture usually closed to the public opens to guided tours, day and night, allowing everyone to know inside what, usually, they only know from the outside.
Of all the challenges launched by restaurants all over the city under the condition "If you eat everything you don't pay!", the title of most impossible belongs to the restaurant Verso em Pedra. There are people who can't eat a whole francesinha, and this one is easily worth 6 or 7...
At the restaurant O Paparico it's possible to taste more than 1,500 different wines.
With more than 1800 restaurants of international cuisine divided by dozens of nationalities, today is possible to taste the World from Porto! :)
Dozens of shopping malls have dealt a heavy blow to traditional markets. For this reason a new trend has started: to recover and modernize the old markets, giving them a unique identity and lots of style!
The high banks of Douro River have allowed many café terraces to become true belvederes.
Some parts of the old Ferdinand Wall can be seen today, near the Dom Luís I Bridge. They date from 1370, and protected the city on numerous occasions.
In Foz, and overlooking the Atlantic, there's a bicycle shop where you can read (in Portuguese) "THE LAST BICYCLE SHOP BEFORE NEW YORK".
With only two casinos, Porto may be light years away from Macau and Las Vegas, but the only car game in the World is at Casino Espinho, in Southern Porto Area. :)
Abriu, na cidade, em 2010, a primeira empresa mundial que cria jogos para casinos - a Fabamaq. Hoje, com 180 funcionários, está presente em diversos mercados internacionais, tais como Camboja, Espanha, Estados Unidos, Irlanda, Filipinas, Macau, China, México, Paraguai e Uruguai. Em 2018, esta criou a Obu Studios, submarca focada no desenvolvimento de jogos de casino online, e que adereça a demanda mundial neste opulento sector.
Será mais uma das muitas empresas da cidade e entrar para o grupo das 'Billion Dollar Companies'? Força, Portugal!
In the beginning of the Century the number of events held in the city was less than 20 thousand. Today, it exceeds the 37 thousand.
At the end of the last Century the number of overnight stays in Porto region didn't reach 1 million. Today it surpasses 10 million.
Since 2017, Porto has been among the top 100 most visited cities in the World.
Despite a constant and much needed internationalization, traditional scenarios like the one in the image subsist strongly, and there's even support to keep them going. From ladies in the markets to men in small boats with fishing nets, an older Portugal can easily be seen in Porto - especially a Portugal connected to the sea and to the life of a city where the sea is nearby.
The blend of the traditional and the multicultural, the typical and the cosmopolitan, is, in fact, one of the things that most distinguishes this city.
What is often hailed as 'the biggest national fashion event' - the Portugal Fashion - is now an internationally renowned brand - for example, it has already been present in London, Milan, New York, Paris, Rome, Berlin, Barcelona, Istambul, Madrid, Maputo, Vienna, and many other cities in the World, including our own Lisbon. Even in Porto it has already left 'home', when the catwalks 'left' the Alfândega Building to the City Park - where the City of Fashion was created.
PPL > 1M
Only in one occasion a cultural event gathered more than 1 million people at the same time: the third edition of the Red Bull Air Race in Porto, in 2009. 850 thousand people gathered near the banks of the Douro River - where the race took place - and 200 thousand were distributed throughout Foz, from Pastoras Beach to the International Beach, where the temporary airfield was set up.
One million and fifty thousand people is the equivalent to 10% of Portugal’s population. Gathered in one place!
Porto is one of the 9 cities in the World that belong to the 'Great Wine Capitals' group. Our beloved Sisters are: Verona (Italy), Valparaiso (Chile), San Francisco (U.S.A), Mendoza (Argentina), Mainz Rheinhessen (Germany), Lausanne (Switzerland), Bordeaux (France), Bilbao (Spain), and Adelaide (Australia). :)
If we exclude the National Gold Reserve, the largest amount of gold gathered in a single place in Portugal can be found in the San Francisco Church. More than 600 kilos of the precious metal cover its walls, which earned it the nickname "Church of Gold".
There are, in Porto, not 1, not 2, but 3 zoos. Maia Zoo, Santo Inácio Zoo and Gaia Biological Park. Together, they are visited by more than 1 million people, annually.
When we think of Natural Reserves, we usually think of places that are far away from large urban centers - but this doesn't necessarily have to be the case! In Cabedelo, between the river, the city and the sea, lies the Reserva Natural Local do Estuário do Douro, an exceptional site for migratory birds, and even some that only exist there in the whole planet.
Surrounded by river beaches on one side, and Atlantic beaches on the other, it's quite an exotic place right at Europe's doorstep, and it is open to everyone!
When Metro do Porto was built, Dom Luís I Bridge's top deck was reconverted to accommodate the Yellow Line - for this reason, one of the city's main tourist attractions is, strangely enough, the 'act of riding a public transport' on the stretch between São Bento station and Jardim do Morro stop, on the other side of the river.
If we consider all the municipalities that make up Greater Porto, the number of (international) sister cities is 54! Among them are São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte in Brazil, Luanda, Maputo and Beira in Africa, Shanghai, Nagasaki and Macau in Asia, or Salzburg, Bristol and Vigo in Europe.
Porto has been awarded the distinction of "Best Destination in Europe" five times. Three times by European Best Destinations, once by Lonely Planet, and once by Airbnb.
In addition to the awards mentioned in the previous curiosity and many others made to the city as a whole, many of the structures that compose it were also distinguished on many occasions. The following curiosities will show some of the sub-brands associated to the Porto brand, and their respective honors.
Casa da Música
One of the most important concert halls built in the last 100 years
NEW YORK TIMES
2nd Most beautiful concert hall in the World
15th Most beautiful concert hall in the world
9th Coolest concert hall in the world
Building of the Year 2010
TOP20 Most creative office buildings in the World
THE COOL HUNTER
Best metallic roof in Europe
EUROPEAN CONVENTION FOR CONSTRUCTIONAL STEELWORK
10th Best airport in the World
3rd Best airport in Europe
AIRPORT COUNCIL INTERNATIONAL
International Grand Prize for Architecture and Design
AZ AWARDS, TORONTO
Building of the Year 2017
69th Best business school in the World (REVER REVER REVER REVER)
10th Best museum of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
The best congress center of Europe
No Qs World University Rankings by Subject, 24 Faculdades da Universidade do Porto figuram entre as melhores do mundo. Fora do âmbito da qualidade, mas também merecedor de destaque, é o facto da U.P. ser a Universidade portuguesa com mais alunos.
Luís I Bridge
One of Europe’s Seven Wonders (6th pos.)
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
2nd Most beautiful bridge of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
10th Most beautiful train station in the World
NEW YORK TIMES
7th Most beautiful train station in the World
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
8th Most beautiful train station in the World
Lello & Irmão
3rd Most beautiful bookshop in the World
Most beautiful bookshop in the World
6th Most beautiful café in the World
Most beautiful McDonalds in the World
PPL @ 9GAG
NEW YEAR’S EVE
6th Best of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
31th Coolest neighborhood in the World
6th Best funicular of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
9th Urban park of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
3rd Most beautiful wine region of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
6th Most beautiful landscape of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
Best European river for cruises
THE HUFFINGTON POST
12th Best thing to do in Europe
(Discover Porto by boat)
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
Best wine hotel in the World
WINE TOURISM AWARDS DRINKS INTERNATIONAL
16th Best urban hotel in the World
25th Best hotel in the World
Best pool in Europe
Best pool in Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
3rd Best suite of Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
Like a Bauss!
The Yeatman was also considered by Traveler as one of the 25 best places to eat in Europe.
2nd Best Portuguese beach
10th Best European beach
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
108 Beaches awarded with the Blue Flag
53 Beaches Awerded with the Golden Flag
TOP30 Beach destinations in Europe
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
Recommended starting point to explore the Coast of Portugal
EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
One of the 25 most influential film festivals in the World
8th best delicacy in Europe
The Culture Trip
2nd best sandwich in the World
Condé Nast Travelar
3rd best sandwich in the World
TOP10 best sandwiches in the World
In 90 years, Super Bock has received 40 Monde Selection medals. 39 were Gold, and of those, 34 were consecutive. It is the best-selling beer in Portugal, but it's far from being the only one produced in Porto.
Here are some local craft beers: Afonso, Beata, Biltre, Bode, Brewhands, Burguesa, Deusa, D'os Diabos, D'Ouro Beer, Gaius, Grande Birra by Dirk, Levare, Lindinha Lucas, Loba, Lupum, Nortada, Olibeer, OPO74, Post Scriptum, Quinas, Sovina, Survia, Vadia, Vitória, and Zurrapa.
Since the beginning of the 21st Century, more than 60 Port or Douro wines have made it into the annual TOP100 of the World's leading wine ranking.
In 2011 the ranking looked like this:
Symington Dow's 2011 Vintage Port - Best Wine in the World
Symington Chryseia Douro 2011 - 2nd Best Wine in the World
Quinta do Vale Meão 2011 - 4th Best Wine in the World
Porto's Graphic Identity has won many awards around the World - for example, it won a Graphis - in New York, a D&AD Awards Pensil - in London, and two prizes at the European Design Awards, including the top prize for 'Best of Europe' - in Istanbul.
Ao todo, são já mais de 500 - se contarmos apenas o Séc.XXI - o número de ocasiões em que a cidade ou qualquer obra, produto ou tendência associados directamente à cidade foram galardoados com um prémio internacional de renome ou colocados numa prestigiada Top List de uma entidade global qualquer.
Ainda que possamos especular sobre a subjectividade destes rankings, a quantidade massiva de referências positivas ao Porto é algo bem objectivo. Daqui aos antípodas, estamos no globo!
'O Porto mexe, convida e apetece, renovou-se. Está mais cosmopolita e boémio. Inspira-nos. Nas novas geografias urbanas cruzam-se tendências e experiências de várias cidades europeias. Há cada vez mais Berlim, Londres e outras capitais dentro deste mapa. Assim é o novo Porto, cool e apetecível.' - EXPRESSO
'The random splashes of creativity in street art and azulejos, the musty cellars of big-name Port lodges, the design scene, the high-spirited nightlife, the glorious food... even when you can't see the river, you can sense it; even when you can't see the ocean, you can smell it. Trust me, this is one soulful city and you too will soon be smitten.' - LONELY PLANET
'Bustling with commerce, the design-savvy city of Porto plays a convincing Milan to Lisbon's Rome. Its pristine beaches, 10 minutes from downtown, give it a touch of Malibu, too.' - NEW YORK TIMES
'A symphony for the senses: considered to be the best european destination in 2014, Porto is a city full of contrasts, where tradition and cosmopolitan life live side-by-side in a perfect duet.' - TOTALLY JEWISH TRAVEL
'Porto is exceptional, in more ways than one' - EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS
'At night, we like to have a good time in
good company, and Porto offers just the right
places for this. There are places which are
welcoming and intimate, or more modern ones,
with innovative and open-minded concepts,
spaces with spaces within, where an assortment
of cultures and arts live side-by-side, showing
off the creativity and irreverence of the city’s
young creators, and gay friendly ones, where
no one will feel discriminated against. '
'Porto and Northern Portugal are perfect for
retirees who want to have an active social
and cultural life and benefit from an airport
connected to the whole world. Porto enjoys an
incredible quality of life and all the facilities
of a large city' - EUROPEAN BEST DESTINATIONS