THE INVINCIBLE CITY!

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    Voyages on the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean-to the European Middle Ages- would originate from a few certain ports and go toward the unknown. Porto, which the adventurous as well as brave Portuguese sailors called “port”, had created its own destiny. At the end of the 500 years past, Porto-the industrial city of today- stands out as a city; although far away from the glamour of Lisbon, very hardworking and developed.

    Voyages on the seemingly endless Atlantic Ocean-to the European Middle Ages- would originate from a few certain ports and go toward the unknown. Porto, which the adventurous as well as brave Portuguese sailors called “port”, had created its own destiny. At the end of the 500 years past, Porto-the industrial city of today- stands out as a city; although far away from the glamour of Lisbon, very hardworking and developed. Furthermore, images of the city's past dating back to the Middle Ages, unexpectedly come up against you on the streets of Porto. Palacio da Bolsa (the stock market building), a cathedral from the Middle Ages, and a tower are the architectural points of attraction that first catch your eye.

    Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport is about 15km from the city centre. You can reach the city center with AeroBus. The metro line connects the airport to the city centre. Porto Metro has six lines, that run across the centre of Porto, and out to some suburban areas. It is quick, and probably the most efficient way to get around Porto.

    There is a variety of accommodation to choose from in Porto, from basic hostels or guesthouses, to mid-range hotels, to the most exquite 5-star hotel. Some of the city's more elegant hotels include Hotel Teatro, Crowne Plaza Porto, Sheraton Porto Hotel & Spa, Pestana Vintage Porto, InterContinental Porto Palacio das Cardosas, Pestana Palacio do Freixo and Grande Hotel de Paris. If your budget is limited, you might think about the Albergaria Miradouro Hotel, Alma Porto Hostel, Andarilho Porto Hostel or Gallery Hostel Porto‎.

    Porto Cathedral is one of the places which symbolize the city. It is also a must-see place, for its location full of trees and overseeing the amazing view of Porto. Here, you can also observe, exactly, the fascinating way the historical city and the sea come together. Ribeira is the name of the historical region on the riverbank. The light, although dim, that leaks to the winding and shadowy streets, shines on the spectacular exteriors of buildings. Ribeira is a part of the city, which you may visit during the day as well as explore in the evening for dinner. Torre Dos Clerigos is a tower dating back to the 18th century. The tower, 75 meters in height, was designed by the Italian artist Niccolo Nasoni. If you feel up to climbing the 200 stairs, the view you will get to see will take away all the exhaustion. We must point out that, in accordance with the will of Nasoni, the architect was buried at the foot of the baroque style church. National Museum of Soares Dos Reis has a magnificent and beautiful art collection on display. The museum is an art location filled with works of 19th and 20th century Portuguese painters and sculptors. Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art is another cultural point of attraction where more contemporary artwork is on display. In addition to artwork of national origin, works of world-renowned artists such as Warhol and Pollock can be seen here. Another place where tourists definitely pay a visit, is the area on the other side of Douro River. This area, known as Vila Nova de Gaia, is especially interesting for its wine cellars. The historical part of the city is known as Barredo and protected as one of the UNESCO World Heritage sites.

    Bolhao Marketplace is a very lively outdoor location for shopping. A typical Mediterranean market where everything is sold fresh, Bolhao is interesting for olives, cheese, and especially types of bread fresh out of the oven. It also provides a unique tour with great scenery for a sunday outing. Bolhao Market is set up early every morning, except on Sunday. Without a doubt, the main shopping area of Porto is the street called Rua de Santa Catarina. Along this street, all of which is reserved for pedestrian-only use, there are numerous stores of national brands as well as international ones. Centro Comercial Via Caterina stands out among shopping centers. During the time from April to October, a flower market is set up every day at Praca da Liberdade.

    Matosinhos, which is located slightly outside of downtown Porto and on the shore of the Atlantic,is another place to see. In this area, there are many options for you to try some seafood especially. You can also enjoy the sea on the small beaches of Matosinhos. Amarante is another one of the colorful neighboring towns of Porto you may pay a visit to, located approximately 69 km away. The glamourous residential area called Foz do Douro gets especially lively in the evening with its restaurants and clubs. Wrought iron balconies, almost all of which are adorned with colorful flowers, are very eye-catching in Porto. Blue and white walls covered with azulejo, ceramic tilework art unique to Portugal, is another significant part of the city's culture. Artisans working in small stores, who you may run into while walking on the winding streets, resemble characters out of a novel on the Middle Ages. Perhaps, one of the things that time could not touch in Porto was this magical atmosphere. Azulejo is used in the decoration of the inner and outer facade of churches, palaces, houses, and even train and subway stations. Azulejo is a beautiful technique used for insulation as well as decorational purposes.

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    Selçuk Korkmaz
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