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What you need to know about Porto

Porto, also known as Oporto in English, is the second-largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon, and one of the major urban areas in Southwestern Europe. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, it the second-largest urban area in Portugal.

Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries, when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire.

One of Portugal’s internationally famous exports, port wine, is named for Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular the caves of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.

Area:  389 km2
Population: 1.8 million

 

Currency

The official currency of Portugal is the euro.

Language

The official language is Portuguese.

English (32%)

French (24%)

Spanish (9%)

Climate

Porto features mainly a Mediterranean climate, the climate shares many characteristics with the coastal south: warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. Unlike the south, however, cool and rainy North Atlantic interludes interrupt the dry season and the season’s average length is shorter, with three dry months. The annual precipitation is high and Porto is one of the wettest cities of Europe. However, long periods with mild temperatures and sunny days are frequent even during the rainiest months.

Summers are typically sunny with average temperatures between 16 °C (61 °F) and 27 °C (81 °F) but can rise to as high as 38 °C. During such heat waves the humidity remains quite low but nearby forest fires can add haze and ash to the air making breathing somewhat uncomfortable, especially at night. Nearby beaches are often windy and usually cooler than the urban areas. In contrast, occasional summer rainy periods may last a few days and are characterized by showers and cool temperatures of around 20 °C (68 °F) in the afternoon. However, summer average temperatures are a few degrees cooler than those expected in more continentally mediterranean influenced metropolises on the same latitude such as Barcelona and Rome.

Winter temperatures typically range between 5 °C (41 °F) during morning and 15 °C (59 °F) in the afternoon but rarely drop below 0 °C (32 °F) at night. The weather is often rainy for long stretches although prolonged sunny periods do occur.

Transport

There are many ways to travel in and around Porto with roadways and the Metro light railway are the best ways to move around. They also consist of other transport such as Subways, Buses,  and Trams.

Entertainment

Porto’s most popular event is St. John (São João Festival) on the night of 23–24 June. this season it’s a tradition to have a vase with bush basil decorated with a small poem. During the dinner of the great day people usually eat sardines and boiled potatoes together with red wine.

Public health

Porto district has the highest rate of tuberculosis positive cases in Portugal. Porto tuberculosis rates are at Third World proportions (comparatively, London faces a similar phenomenon). The incidence of positive cases was 23/100 000 nationwide in 1994, with a rate of 24/100 000 in Lisbon and 37/100 000 in Porto. Porto area represented the worst epidemiological situation in the country, with very high rates in some city boroughs and in some poor fishing and declining industrial communities. Epidemiological analysis indicated the existence of undisclosed sources of infection in these communities, responsible for continuing transmission despite a cure rate of 83% in the district. In 2002, the situation was not better with 34/100 000 nationwide and 64/100 000 in Porto district. In 2004 the situation improved to 53/100 000.

Sport

Porto is home to northern Portugal’s only cricket club. Porto’s streets hosted the Formula One Portuguese Grand Prix on the Boavista street circuit, which are reenacted annually, in addition to a World Touring Car Championship race.

Football

As in most Portuguese cities, football is the most important sport. Fc Porto are the biggest Football team in Porto and the second most successful Portuguese team, with a total of 74 official trophies. Sixty-seven were achieved in domestic competitions and comprise 27 league titles. Porto have also won the European Champions League in 1987 and 2004.