Perched on the steep banks of the Douro River, Porto (sometimes called Oporto) is a very traditional, colorful and vibrant city and is located in northwestern Portugal. Second largest city in Portugal, Porto is famous for its Port wine and Port wine cellars located across the river in Villa Nova de Gaia area, as well as many beautiful Catholic churches, narrow cobbled streets, lovely bridges and golden rooftops.
It is a university city with many fine bookstores, and one of the most beautiful bookstores in the world, Livraria Lello, actually requires a ticket to enter! An interesting side note, J.K. Rowling actually wrote the first few chapters of “Harry Potter and Philosopher’s Stone” while living in Porto.
Porto comes alive with culture, nightlife, and religious fiestas throughout the year. Being named a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1996, it’s certainly a city with a lot to offer both Catholic visitors and tourists.
Places of interest in Porto to Catholic travelers:
Porto Cathedral: Wonderful Gothic Cathedral
Povoa de Varzim: Sanctuary of Alexandrina de Balasar
Sao Bento Train Station: More than just a train station, it is a work of art.
Traveling to Porto:
Some Catholic tour groups include Porto in their itineraries, although most do not seem to spend much time there. There is major airport (most flights connect through Lisbon) as well as train service (two stations, as noted above) in Porto. Get train & bus schedules, see fares & buy tickets here.
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