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Oporto



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Facing the big lodges of port wine to which it gave its name across the river Douro, Porto was Portugal's second largest city and there is a certain feeling of rivalry towards Lisbon.

Although its ancient roots have been preserved with pride, a modern and lively commerce makes it a thriving city and its traditional importance as an industrial center does not diminish the charm and character of its old quarters or even of the newer and busy avenues, shopping centers and quiet residential blocks.

The Cathedral area deserves to be explored, with its various monuments, such as the Renaissance church of Santa Clara, and the densely populated quarter of Barredo, which appears not to have changed since medieval times.

The riverside quarter of Ribeira is also delightful, with narrow streets, typical houses and picturesque life-style: it has been recently restored and now includes fashionable restaurants and bars.

Equally lively and colourful is the market of Bolhão, where you can buy almost anything, but more elegant shops can be seen nearby, especially the jewelleries and leather goods shops in the Baixa (down-town).

Porto affords many other attractions, monuments and museums, as well as a cultural agenda which has been steadily improving.

With a well-known gastronomy and hospitable population, it is also the starting point to explore the river Douro in an unforgettable journey upstream.

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