Easygoing Porto at the mouth of the Douro River is a wonderful jumble of architectural styles, ancient alleyways, colourful tiled townhouses and bright murals, almost everywhere you look. A trading hub for hundreds of years, it’s easy to explore on foot, particularly the Ribeira neighbourhood.
Extracurricular: Head out of town on at least one wine tour. Plan on drinking your way around the Douro Valley, in Peso da Régua or in Vila Nova de Gaia, the hub of the port wine region.
Taste to try: Traditional tascas — affordable eateries that specialize in classic Portuguese cooking — yield grilled sardines, cod croquettes and incredible ham.
Bonus tip: Porto has a number of miradouros, little lookouts that offer incredible vistas. Check out Miradouro da Vitória, Torre dos Clérigos and Jardins do Palácio de Cristal.