Francisco Sá Carneiro International Airport (OPO) is the main functioning airport for the delightful city of Porto, and is only an 11km distance from the centre of town. Passengers will find all they need here, from a pharmacy, to free WiFi, several ATMs, currency exchange services, duty-free shopping, an information desk, and a good array of restaurants, bars, and snack kiosks.
Get into town by taking the Metro, the public buses, shuttle services, or hopping in a cab outside the arrivals area. Expect a taxi fare to cost up to 30EUR ($44).
Fly to Porto on a number of carriers, which include TAP Portugal, Emirates, Swiss Air, Lufthansa, Iberia, Qantas, Air Canada, British Airways, United, Etihad, and more.
Why visit Porto?
Rising up around the River Douro before it lets out at the Atlantic Ocean, the city of Porto is quite striking when you step into it. A warren of cobbled streets that lead up and down the hills that surround the river, are home to baroque and neoclassical homes, churches, museums, galleries, and squares. Despite its old heart, it is has a contemporary dining scene and nightlife that you can take advantage of, as long as you leave yourself enough time to try the city’s most famous export: Port wine.
Things to do in Porto
Put your walking shoes on and spend your first sightseeing day visiting the biggest attractions in the city. See the Church of St. Francis, where the interior of this building steals the show, with its gilded walls and columns. If you aren’t easily spooked, make sure you visit the catacombs beneath this church too. Then visit the cathedral, which has stood as the city’s central place of worship since the 12th century.
Other excellent sites include the Palacio de Bolsa, where the old stock exchange traded in the 1850s. There are opulent rooms you can explore, such as the Chairman’s Room, and the Hall of Nations. Make sure you find a window for the Clerigos Tower that has defined the city’s skyline since the 1700s, and offers the best view of the city from the top of its 240 steps.
However, it is the riverside that will capture your heart, as you will wind your way down through narrow streets between brightly-painted close-set buildings, and come straight out onto the open view of the river. There are tons of cafes, restaurants and bars here, so this is ideal for an afternoon drink to watch the sun go down.
Best time to visit Porto
· There is a large travel window to Porto who benefits from a lovely Mediterranean climate. From April to September you can enjoy averages of 18-25°C, with the hottest months falling between June and August.
· Winter is rainy, and pretty quiet, and is generally only recommended if you’d like to avoid other tourists altogether.
Arriving in Porto by plane
· Flying to Porto from Australia will involve a connecting long-haul flight that will involve usually two layovers. Expect an initial stop in Singapore (SIN), or Dubai (DXB), and a secondary one in European destinations like Madrid (MAD), or Geneva (GVA).
· Euro (EUR).
· If you are an Australian national, you can enter and travel around Portugal for up to 90 days. It is worth heading to the Smart Traveller portal, and reading their page on Portugal to keep up to date with any safety advice, or changes to the current entry and exit conditions.
Please note that information is correct as of December 2016
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