Porto | European Best Destination 2017
The 4th World Conference on Qualitative Research will take place in the wonderful city of Porto (Portugal). The city has been elected European Best Destination 2017 and there are many reasons to visit!
Porto, with an area of 45km2 and population of about 240 thousand, is the second biggest city in Portugal. It is known as the capital of the North and its Historic Centre of has been classified a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. This is one of Europe’s oldest tourist destinations. Its wealth of artistic heritage, Port Wine, open-air leisure spaces and cultural life are just some of the reasons to visit this city.
The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces. But setting out to discover Porto means bumping into surprise after surprise. Whilst maintaining its welcoming and conservative nature, the city is, at the same time, contemporary and creative. This can be seen in its streets, its architectures, its museums, its leisure spaces, its esplanades and its shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive.
Porto’s Historical Centre was designated World Cultural Heritage in 1996 and its natural setting and its meandering streets give it a unique charm.
Port wine is present in the city in a multitude of forms and sensations: you can get to know it and try it, but never ignore it or forget it.
Having witnessed a long history of cultural ebbs, flows and eddies caused by successive waves of occupation, and often surrounded and invaded, but always remaining Invicta (unbowed), the city of Porto is really a living heritage, one that regenerates and reinvents itself, whilst maintaining its core character, grounded in granite and, thus, unshakeable.
Heritage & Culture
The traces of medieval architecture still remain in the historical centre of Porto, but it was mostly during the period of Baroque when the city affirmed itself as one of the most important centers of the creation of art, both at a national and regional level. This progress was conditioned by extensive urban reforms that took place in the second half of the eighteenth century and were mostly based on modernization of the old medieval zone. The nineteenth and twentieth century were to emerge and give rise to new expressions and aesthetic movements that the city incorporates, interprets and creates, the elements that are nowadays a testimony of the modernity of Porto.
World Heritage Historical Centre
Porto’s Historical Centre is the oldest part of the city and was classified as World Cultural Heritage by UNESCO in 1996. Here you will find traces of the medieval origins of the city, in a city landscape that serves up an image of rare beauty. Amble along the typical alleys and passageways of this city’s heart and take in, at every step, a monument of incontestable worth, the renowned hospitality of the city folk and a breathtaking panorama over the rooftops and the river Douro. The food, the crafts and the shopping offer a huge range of possibilities, from the traditional, sustained by a past of great historical significance, to the more horizon-broadening challenges thrown up by the city’s young creative talent. Pause for a moment in the Praça da Ribeira, from where cruises depart and where you can truly enjoy the river and the view, a meeting place for both history and people and a regular stage for entertainment. Discovering the historical centre takes many forms and from here many paths strike out into other parts of the city. The choice is yours, as is the city too!
Porto’s gastronomy is a mirror of its cultural diversity. There are several stories about it, several legends told from generation to generation, which today complete the traditions of the townsfolk. Among the most famous ones, the typical dishes from Porto are characterized both by its incomparable taste and the uniqueness of its making. Tripas à Moda do Porto (Porto Style Tripe), Bacalhau à Gomes de Sá (Gomes de Sá Cod) and Francesinha are some of the traditional dishes. It is not the traditional that defines the boundaries for Porto’s cuisine. The city is also a shop window for exquisite quality Chefs, some internationally renowned, which place it in the cutting edge of modern cuisine. Do not miss the chance to try it; no doubt you’ll be surprised!
Gastronomic tour >>
More to offer
With the variety of resources available Porto conquers all its visitors, from those who want it for its history and authenticity, to the ones who seek to explore a new, more cosmopolitan and contemporary city. Discovering Porto means discovering what makes it different:
- The famous Port Wine, available at the cellars, wine shops, the museum and bars, to be tasted and to get to know its history
- An Historical Centre designated World Cultural Heritage, by UNESCO, since December 1996, gathering a vast heritage to be visited, known for its narrow streets, its granite buildings and the unique setting of the colourful houses by the river
- Museums with varied themes, such as transports, history, art, communication and sciences
- Churches with their interior covered by magnificent gilt carving, classified monuments and beautiful tile panels
- Buildings designed by renowned national and international contemporary architects
- A privileged location by the river and the sea, ideal for nautical tourism, pleasant walks or bike rides along the riverside and the seaside, and relaxing moments at delightful terraces
- Enchanting parks and gardens, romantic and bucolic, perfect for a break or for special family moments
- The possibility of getting to know the city on foot, by bus, tram or any other classical or more innovative way
- Classical and timeless cafés, inviting you to a joyful gathering, and modern and cosmopolitan bars, with music for all tastes
- Traditional commerce, alternative shops, fashion boutiques by national and international designers, and also modern shopping centres
- Typical Portuguese cuisine restaurants, and restaurants serving many other types of cuisine, along with the opportunity to try the recipes of renowned chefs, served in excellent places
- A public transportation system that allows you to easily move around the city
- A regular cultural and leisure events programme, both national and international, taking place in prestigious entertainment venues and on the grand stage – the city itself
- The annual and great City Festivities – Porto’s São João, celebrated by all people