Porto, Portugal

A major tourist destination, Porto is the second largest city in Portugal, after Lisbon. Dating back to the 4th century, Porto is one of Europe’s oldest cities. With a history stretching back to the Roman Empire, the Old Town district of Ribeira is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Characterised by its architectural landmarks, which include medieval relics, baroque churches and grand bell towers, these days Porto is known for its lively street markets, traditional pastries and excellent wines. It is, after all, the birthplace of port.
Set on the Atlantic Ocean, the Port of Leixoes is the maritime gateway to Porto. It has 2 terminals; the North Dock and the South Terminal. The port was originally constructed in 1890 and was expanded in the 1930s and again in the 1970s. Welcoming an average of 45,000 cruise passengers every year, the port is also used to export port wine around the world.  

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9 night cruise sailing from Lisbon aboard the L'Austral.
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13 night cruise sailing from Funchal aboard the HANSEATIC inspiration.
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11 night cruise sailing from Santa Cruz de Tenerife aboard the Europa 2.
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Dublin to Lisbon

11 night cruise sailing from Dublin aboard the Europa 2.
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Lisbon to Reykjavik

17 night cruise sailing from Lisbon aboard the Silver Cloud.
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Lisbon To Southhampton

12 night cruise sailing from Lisbon aboard the Silver Moon.
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Porto to Hamburg

12 night cruise sailing from Porto aboard the HANSEATIC Spirit.
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Belem to Porto

11 night cruise sailing from Belem aboard the HANSEATIC Spirit.
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Port Location

Cruise ships visiting Porto will dock at Leixoes Port, which is located in the Matosinhos district several kilometres north of the River Douro. The town centre of Leixoes is within walking distance of the port, while the city centre of Porto is about 10 kilometres away. 

Port Facilities

Shaped like the hull of a ship, the Leixoes Passenger Terminal is a fine example of 1960s architecture, and it is considered part of the architectural and historical heritage of the Matosinhos district. In 2011, the port received an upgrade and can now host some of the largest cruise ships in the world.
Facilities include:
  • public telephones
  • financial services including a bank, ATMs and money exchange
  • tourist information office
  • post office
  • shuttle bus service
The port is located within walking distance of a taxi rank, public transport, hop on/hop off tourist bus, shopping and restaurants.

How to Get Around

From Leixoes Port it is easy to reach the local town in the heart of the Matosinhos district on foot. To get into central Porto, located 10 kilometres away, several different modes of transport are available.
The metro offers fast and inexpensive transport, and there is a direct line connecting Leixoes to central Porto. One-way fares cost around €2 (A$3) per person and the journey takes about 25 minutes. 
Public buses also operate between Leixoes and Porto, with fares slightly cheaper than the metro but a longer travel time of 30 to 40 minutes. 
Taxis queue directly in front of the port and fares to Porto average €15 to €20 (A$22 to A$29).
Francisco Sa Carneiro Airport (Porto Airport) is 11 kilometres north of the city centre. The metro and public bus systems both operate routes to the airport, with the metro being quicker at around 20 minutes’ travel time. A one-way taxi fare will cost €25 to €30 (A$36 to A$43). 

General Information

  • Currency - the currency in Porto is the euro. Coins come in 1, 2, 5, 10, 20 and 50 cent and €1 and €2 denominations. Notes come in €5, €10, €20, €50, €100, €200 and €500 denominations. 
  • Time Zone - Porto uses Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), which is the same as Coordinated Universal Time (UTC). During the summer months it uses Western European Summer Time (WEST), which is 1 hour ahead of UTC. 
  • Weather - Porto enjoys a mild Mediterranean climate. Temperatures range from an average 24° Celsius in July and August to 14° Celsius in January and February. The driest months are July and August, with an average rainfall of 20 millimetres.


  • Porto Cathedral - featuring grand Romanesque, Gothic and Baroque-style architecture, Porto Cathedral dates back to 1737. Located in the historical centre of the city, this impressive church is flanked by imposing square towers.
  • Clerics Tower - an architectural and visual icon of the city, Porto’s Clerics Tower (Torre dos Clerigos) stands 249 feet high. Dating back to 1732, it features 225 stone steps that visitors can climb; at the top you’ll find magnificent views over Porto, the Douro River and the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • Old Town - Porto’s historic Old Town (the Ribeira District) is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Set along the Douro River, it is home to ancient architecture and monuments, charming houses and quaint cafés and restaurants.
  • Porto Wineries - Porto is the birthplace of port wine, and as such it is home to numerous cellars that offer tastings. The most famous are Sandeman, Graham's, Taylor's and Dow's. 
  • Luis 1 Bridge - opened in 1886, this striking metal arch bridge spans the Douro River and connects the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. An impressive 172 metres long, the top deck supports a metro line and a pedestrian walkway.

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