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Situated at the mouth of the Rio Douro where it drains into the Atlantic Ocean, Porto's population and economy closely rival that of Lisbon, and in terms of beauty and history the two are easily equal. The 'Capital of the North' is particularly famous for being an international exporter of port wine, as well as the location from which the drink derives its name, port. It also has a rich legacy of seafaring, a bridge designed by Gustav Eiffel, and possesses historical centres dating back to Roman times.

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Porto - Europe's Best Destination 2014

True to its nickname the 'Unvanquished City' of Porto has come out on top of this year's best European holiday destination vote. Portugal's northern capital at the mouth of the River Douro even edged out a number of the continent's most renowned international names: Milan, Madrid, Berlin and Rome.

At CityXplora we always had a good feeling about Porto. This is a place steeped in wondrous sights and culture, from the traditional red-roofed, multi-coloured town houses that typify the old cityscape, to its gastronomy and ancient port wine exports. Porto is particularly famed for its beautiful collection of cast iron bridges which connect the city centre to the neighbouring municipality of Vila Nova de Gaia.

In honour of Porto's newest title we'd like to present our two main sightseeing tours of the city, both of which deliver a unique perspective on Europe's 'Best Destination' for 2014.

Book the City Sightseeing hop-on hop-off bus tour to visit every point of interest from the Torre dos Clerigos to Dom Luis Bridge. Rider tickets are valid for 48 hours and you can enjoy recorded commentary about the city's sights and history while you travel. There are also a number of buildings and attractions where you can receive discounted entry if you show your ticket, these include the Casa da Musica (33%), the Teleferico de Gaia cable cars (10%) and Sea Life Centre Porto (30%).

To weave through the narrow streets of the historic city centre book a fun and speedy tuk-tuk tour. These quirky auto rickshaws typically carry around 4 passengers each and they allow visitors to uncover hidden gems that aren't visible from the open-top hop-on hop-off bus.

Take a look at the showcase below to get a little taste of what's in store if you visit Porto in the coming months. The natural and urban vistas are wonderfully accompanied by Pink Floyd's 'Echoes'.


Porto - European Best Destination 2014 from Atmos Aerial Filming on Vimeo.