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5 good reasons to go to Porto
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To see / do
Culture and history
At the Palácio, the city's stock market
The Palácio da Bolsa is the city's stock market, within striking distance of the Douro. This majestic 19th-century neoclassical monument is a work of art in itself. Its glass-roofed Hall of Nations and Arabic room are spectacular, with the opulence of the rooms illustrating the power of the trade union association that once gathered here, now the Chamber of Commerce.
At the top of the Clérigos Tower
Enjoy 360-degree views of the city from the top of the Clérigos Tower. Stretching 76 metres high, this is Porto's tallest tower. This Baroque bell tower was annexed to the clergy's church in the mid-18th century. Clamber up the 240 steps and you'll find yourself rewarded by a sweeping view.
Magic at the Lello bookshop
A stone's throw away from the Clérigos Tower, a whole other world awaits curious minds and Harry Potter fans. J. K. Rowling was inspired by the Neo-Gothic Lello bookshop in writing the first tome of her epic series, and the place is truly awe-inspiring. The double staircase is particularly impressive. Opened in 1906, the bookshop is widely deemed to be the most beautiful in the world.
São João national theatre
A fire ravaged the old theatre, which was replaced by a new building in the early 20th century. Book tickets for a show and soak up the splendour inside its rooms - the crimson and scarlet décor is absolutely stunning.
At the Mercado do Bolhão
The best way of experiencing the city's authentic bustle is to head to the market, and the Bolhão market is the best in town. Stalls here are laden with fish, meat, fruit, vegetables and local delicacies. First opened in 1914, this is the city's oldest market, too.
Porto's francesinha (meaning 'little French bite') is a hearty toastie. Ham, sausage or pork or beef escalope are toasted between two slices of bread. The sandwich is covered in melted cheese and tomato- and beer-infused sausage.
Delectable pastéis de nata
Locals can't get enough of Portugal's famous pastéis de nata. This classic Portuguese pastries are a type of flan enclosed in flaky puff pastry. The egg-based filling is lightly flavoured with lemon zest and cinnamon. Simply delicious!
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