Porto, Portugal's second-largest city, sits on the steep north bank of the Douro River, 195 mi/310 km north of Lisbon. It has an interesting port area and a charming, old-world feel to it, especially among the ocher and brown tenements stacked high on the slopes above the river. Porto's history predates the Roman occupation—in fact, Portugal took its name from the town.

There's a famous saying that sums up how the Portuguese feel about Porto (sometimes referred to as "Oporto"): "Coimbra sings, Braga prays, Lisbon shows off and Porto works."

Porto has undergone many transformations in the new millennium, including the opening of a photography museum (housed in a 19th-century prison) and an orchestra hall. The urban regeneration has reached the Ribeira area, where scores of trendy cafes and restaurants as well as quality souvenir and craft shops have sprung up. Porto is a vibrant and increasingly cosmopolitan city.

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