United States

TimeOut Has Declared Porto As Most Underrated European City; Here’s Why You Should Visit There

Porto has been declared as most underrated city break right now by TimeOut. With its timeless charm and modern allure, Porto is a city like no other. Whether you're a history buff, a foodie, or simply in search of adventure, Porto has something for everyone.

Porto, Portugal Photo: Pinterest

Are you a traveller who loves to explore hidden gems and not just the popular travel destinations? If yes, then Porto is definitely for you. TimeOut has recently declared this European city as the most underrated city break right now. With its vibrant culture, delicious cuisine, and charming vibes, Porto is the underrated gem of Europe waiting to be explored.

Plan your next trip to Europe and visit this UNESCO World Heritage where every cobblestone street tells a story, every bite of food is a symphony of flavors, and every corner is a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered. Here are some of the many reason for visiting Porto!

Delicious Food

Porto is a food lover's paradise, where culinary delights await at every turn. Tinned fish, which has recently become very popular among foodies, is a culinary tradition in Porto since 19th century when fishermen discovered its magic. If you are in Porto, don’t forget to lose yourself in the bustling Mercado do Bolhão, where the aroma of freshly caught fish and artisanal cheeses fills the air. Indulge in the iconic Francesinha, a mouthwatering sandwich that packs a punch with its layers of savory goodness.

Apart from tinned fish, Francesinha is another iconic dish that will captivate your taste buds. With layers of bread, ham, sausage, steak, roast meat, and cheese sandwiched between two slices of white bread, all smothered in a rich tomato and beer sauce, it's a culinary adventure like no other. Originating in Porto and inspired by the travels of Portuguese expatriate Daniel David de Silva in 20th-century France, the Francesinha is a decadent creation that defies description.

For a taste of luxury, dine at Michelin-starred restaurants like Euskalduna Studio, where each dish is a work of art.

Cultural Tapestry

Another reason to visit this UNSECO World Heritage site is its Museum of Photography, which is housed within the walls of a former prison until 1970. Here, visitors are treated to a vast collection of vintage cameras, captivating photography, and ever-changing temporary exhibitions, offering a glimpse into the city's visual history.

Adjacent to the museum stands the majestic Clérigos Tower, beckoning adventurers to ascend its 200 steps for a panoramic view of Porto from a soaring height of 249 feet. From there, one can see Vila Nova de Gaia, a bustling port town on the opposite bank of the Douro River.

Next on the list of Porto's attractions is the grand Casa Di Musica. You can visit Porto just to have a look of this architectural splendor and it won’t be a waste. Also, don't miss the newly-renovated Soares dos Reis Museum, boasting the distinction of being Portugal's inaugural public art museum. Inside, you will find an impressive collection of works by esteemed Portuguese sculptor António Soares dos Reis. For a hidden gem within this cultural enclave, be sure to explore Velódromo Rainha Amélia, a verdant oasis on the second floor that evokes the enchantment of a secret garden.

Apart from museums, a visit to Sao Roque Gardens is a must. This park exudes an otherworldly charm which will give a feel of Alice in Wonderland, complete with pergolas, gently flowing fountains, and an array of over 200 camellias in vibrant hues seldom found elsewhere.

And if you are a fan of luxury, stay at Torel Avantgarde, situated in Baixa neighborhood. This five-star hotel, meticulously designed by Portuguese artists, offers an immersive experience where each room bears the name of a distinguished artist, writer, or musician.

Porto Passes the “Vibe Check”

To truly appreciate Porto's charm,you will have to embrace its leisurely pace and take the time to explore its hidden gems. Porto has the vibe that you will definitely attract to. Navigate through the city and discover the chutneys and sauces at Meiaduzia, or venture into the delightful world of music at Oficina dos Violinos & Cia, where instruments receive a unique varnish treatment infused with the essence of port wine. For a taste of Porto's vibrant indie scene, wander down Rua das Flores, where eclectic boutiques and cozy bars beckon.

In the evening, hop onto the culinary delights of the Ribeira district, where street food stalls line the Douro River, offering a tantalizing array of flavors. This historic neighborhood, designated as a UNESCO World Heritage site, pulses with life, from the iconic Sao Bento station to the bustling Time Out Market.

Take a stroll along Avenida dos Aliados, where elderly locals gather to engage in games of chess and cards, embodying the timeless spirit of community. Follow the meandering path of the Douro River and glimpse the resilient fishing community near the Arrábida bridge, a testament to Porto's maritime heritage.

Let Porto's vibrant energy sweep you off your feet as you wander through its charming streets and lively squares. Discover hidden gems in every corner, from quaint cafes tucked away in narrow alleyways to bustling markets brimming with local delicacies.