Connecting Porto’s two halves is the visually stunning Dom Luis I Bridge, and this striking feature in the landscape serves as a perfect starting point for a full exploration of the city. The historical core of the city has been listed as a UNESCO Heritage Site and walking along the river by the shops and cafés of the Cais da Ribeira will allow you to dart in and out of the small streets that run up the hillsides on which Porto stands. Visit the beautiful Sé Cathedral and Bolso Palace that stand at each corner of the centre and then head further out of the city for lesser known gems. Head north, past the Torre dos Clerigos to one of the oldest bookshops in the world, the Lello and Irmao. With finely carved wood decorating the walls and the ceiling, and with a beautiful wooden staircase winding its way up to the first floor, the shop seems like a time capsule from the past, or a magical place in the Harry Potter-universe. The bookshop is surrounded by quaint little shops, open squares and lots and lots of beautiful churches. The University of Porto is also just around the corner, and a visit to the institution’s Museum of Natural History is another must. For a very quirky architectural gem on the northern side of Porto, head to the Casa da Musica. This large, abstract and very white concert hall is home to predominantly classical performances, and is well-worth a visit after a great dinner at one of the restaurants near the centre. Speaking of culinary experiences, Porto is home to quite a few different delicacies. Tuck into seafood, such as freshly caught sardines and the fish stew known as the caldeirada de peixe. However, above all other dishes in Porto stands the francesinha. Remember to bring a more-than-healthy appetite, as this dish consists of layers of bread, smoky meat and cheese topped with a fried egg and chips. Once your stomach is generously full, it’s time to sample some of the local port wine. Sandeman’s and Taylor’s on the southern banks of the city offer excellent opportunities to get friendly with these delicious, fortified drops.
Reviewed 08 December 2016“Great stay at Crowne Plaza arrived on my birthday which was noted by lovely lady on reception. Room was not ready so after enjoying a welcome Port wine we headed off, and returned later to find we had been upgraded to a suite. Fab room with panaromatic views of area. Later that eve room service arrived with complementary champagne and birthday cake, I was blown away! Staff all pleasant and helpful, breakfast plentiful, buffet style so something for everyone. Fab few days in this city thanks everyone at Crowne Plaza!”
Reviewed 23 October 2016“One of the best IHG hotels I have stayed in. Great location and easy access to metro for airport and tour buses. Got upgraded to junior suite on 15th floor which was quiet and comfortable and included sea views. Extensive buffet breakfast including hot items. All staff efficient and helpful, bar serves a mean G & T. A shoe in for my next trip to Porto, highly recommended. Nice complimentary bottle of Port in room too.”
Reviewed 18 October 2016“We stayed 2 nights at Porto. Excellent experience. The hotel was well located, near a bus stop. Taxis were easily available. Decent size room, with all amenities. Staff was very polite and helpful. We took a hop on hop off bus to see Porto.”
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