Porto is Portugal’s second largest city, located in the northwest of the country and set by the shores of the Douro River, also one of Europe’s oldest tourist destinations. Porto’s Historical Center is a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO since 1996.

The city unfolds along the river bank and the sea shore, to reveal charming vistas, monumental and artistic heritage, cultural life, shopping areas which run from the traditional to the modern and exclusive, inviting esplanades and all the pleasures of the outdoors, framed by its green spaces.

Geographically well located, is possible to count on a modern transport and communications network. It is also a short drive from surrounding country areas – some of the most beautiful and spectacular landscapes in the world.


Highlights of the many tourist attractions are those classified by UNESCO as World Heritage sites. In 1996, the historical old section of the city of Porto, delineated by the medieval market town, was the first to receive this award due to the well-preserved one thousand year-old cultural and commercial buildings.

In 1998, the rock paintings at Foz Côa were also declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO due to the fact that the site houses the world’s largest collection of open air prehistoric paintings.

In 2001, UNESCO classified the historical section of Guimarães city as a World Heritage site, as well as the wine-making Alto Douro area, where one of the most significant wines in human history – Port Wine - was born, as a “living and evolving cultural landscape”.


The city was born and developed from the northern bank of this river during the middle Ages. One of the most significant aspects of Porto and its historical center is its landscape, combining harmony with the urban structure and presenting a frame of rare beauty.

Porto Contacts:

Maria do Carmo Costa
Porto Official Tourism Board
Rua Clube dos Fenianos, 25
4000-172 Porto
Tel: +351 300 501 932
E-mail: [email protected]



The City of Porto is marked by the river Douro and by the Atlantic Ocean, being a city of two wines: it lends its name to the most prestigious and international of all Portuguese wines, Port Wine, and it is surrounded by the greatest Portuguese wine-growing region, the Vinhos Verdes region.

Port Wine

Famous and unique, Port Wine is a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Region and aged in cellars. Originally it was transported down the river on the traditional Rabelo boats, replicas of which can be seen next to the Luís I bridge. This wine stands out from ordinary wines thanks to its huge range of varieties, with an incomparable richness and intensity of aroma, a long finish, both on the nose and on the palate, and a high level of alcohol content (generally between 19 and 22% by volume).

The Port and Douro Wines Institute is the body responsible for certifying and supervising all “Port” Origin wines. Its headquarters houses a multifunctional area for receptions, laboratories, tastings, visits and wine sales.

Wines from the Douro region are beginning to be accepted as some of Portugal’s finest. Although excellent white wines are produced here, the area is best known for its great reds.

Vinho Verde, an exceptionally unique wine

Possessing an exceptional sensorial singularity, Vinho Verde represents the best of white wines from Portugal, offering unique experiences of tasting and socialization.

A wine with Controlled Appellation of Origin, characterized by the citrus colour (white Vinho Verde) and intense, fruity, floral aromas, fresh, with smooth, very balanced flavour, light body, perfect acidity, low alcohol content and excellent harmony and persistency in the mouth.

Vinho Verde is unique in the world. Its typicity and uniqueness is the result of the natural conditions of the Vinho Verde Region (the soil, climate, geology and topography), the peculiarity of the regional/indigenous varieties used (the main are Alvarinho, Arinto, Avesso, Azal, Loureiro and Trajadura), and centuries of regions’ experience and knowledge in vine growing and wine production.


The Portugal North Region, located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, is characterized by its opening and exposure to the outside world, by a strong tradition and wealth of experience in international trade and a settled trend to migratory population flows. The region has 144 kilometers of an Atlantic coastline that provides further opportunities for international expansion and economic interaction.

The Portugal North Region, located in the northwest of the Iberian Peninsula, is characterized by its opening and exposure to the outside world, by a strong tradition and wealth of experience in international trade and a settled trend to migratory population flows. The region has 144 kilometers of an Atlantic coastline that provides further opportunities for international expansion and economic interaction.

The Northern Region of Portugal is spread over 21,300 km 2 and has about 3.6m inhabitants, which accounts for 23% of the country's total surface and approximately 35% of Portugal's population.

The region can be divided into a coastal area which is predominantly urban and much industrialised, and an inland area where the primary sector still plays an important role. The region is characterised by traditional sector industries (e.g. textile, clothing, footwear and metallurgy) but encompasses also medium- and high-tech sectors, in particular industrial equipment, automotive components, pharmaceuticals, precision equipment, communication equipment and computers.


The economic activities in the secondary sector (manufacturing and construction) account for about 30.5% of the regional gross value added (GVA, 2013), which is the highest figure among all the Portuguese regions. All in all, 67.8% of the regional GVA comes from the tertiary sector, while 1.7% comes from the primary sector.


Research centres

The North Region currently boasts R&D clusters par excellence and international recognition in the widest range of scientific and technological areas, which result from the specialisation of their senior management and the creation of critical capital at universities and research centres. This trend is the result of over 100,000 students in higher education, which reflects a high human capital training capacity, which, combined with its entrepreneurial and creative capabilities, make the North of Portugal a source of human resources par excellence. Some research centres have already achieved international recognition and have become the preference of foreign researchers.

For further information:

Centro de Excelência da Vinha e do Vinho  

Vine and Wine Innovation Plataform


Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto

Comissão dos Vinhos Verdes


The wine production and the culture in this field are known today as a highly technological and growing science which depends on the continuous exchanges between universities and wine producers. Several Universities and Institutes in the North of Portugal have Oenology and Wine Tourism on their curricula.

Various IR&D units are located in Porto and across the Northern Region. Some are linked to private and public higher education institutes, others, privately run. Various Technology and Knowledge Transfer Centres lead a set of activities, which are designed to formalize the transfer of the rights of use and marketing of new discoveries and innovations resulting from scientific research for industry.

Porto’s higher education institutions have been internationally recognized for offering a standard of excellence in teaching and investing hard in trainings in the fields of sciences and engineering.

Such solid training is driving the conception, specification, design and implementation of products, processes and services, building upon the use of computers, as well as computing and information technology (ICT).

The acquisition of non-technical skills such as creative attitude, teamwork and leadership is also incentivised at these schools.

Besides, students are encouraged to develop an entrepreneurial spirit and initiative, performing risk assessments and taking advantage of emerging opportunities.

For further information:

Universidade Trás os Montes e Alto Douro (UTAD)

Universidade do Minho

Universidade do Porto 

Universidade Católica

Porto Business School

Escolas de Turismo de Portugal