For the third time, Porto has been named the top place to visit in Europe by online portal ‘European Best Destination’ (EBD), receiving a record number of 138,116 votes.
“Never has the choice of the winning city been so unanimous among travellers from all over the world,” says the website.
Most of the voters who chose Porto were foreigners (56%). This proves the award did not just boil down to citizens voting for their own city, said Mayor Rui Moreira.
“These were foreigners who decided that Porto, a city with only around 200,000 people, is worthy of more recognition than Milan which is the capital of fashion,” he added, clearly delighted.
Porto’s feat was also praised by APHORT, Portugal’s hotel, restaurant and tourism association, which encouraged the city to continue investing in its development.
“Believe in the potential of this destination, and continue working to increase the international recognition and attractiveness of the city,” APHORT president Rodrigo Pinto Barros said.
This is the third time Porto has been crowned Europe’s best destination after 2012 and 2014. Milan (Italy) was the second most voted city this year, followed by Gdansk (Poland), Athens (Greece) and San Sebastian (Spain).
As the EBD website explains: “Porto has all the charm of towns which happily cohabit with their river.
“You can stroll along the River Douro (river of gold) in Cais da Ribeira, fly over it by helicopter or discover Porto’s architecture, its amazing landscapes and magnificent bridges by taking a cruise on this majestic river. Porto is also a sea city and in the briefest of time a tram will bring you to Foz do Douro’s gentle beaches face to face with the Atlantic.”
Meantime, US online newspaper The Huffington Post has already compiled a list of ’10 reasons to visit the European Best Destination 2017’.
Heading the ranking is the “decadent sandwich called Francesinha”, followed by the “sweet dessert-like wine called Port, Livraria Lello, the bookstore that inspired JK Rowling, and the contemporary Casa da Música”.
It also praises the “majestic use of azulejos (tiles) in the most unusual places”, as well as the Fantasporto film festival, the NOS Primavera Sound music festival, the “golden sunsets at Ribeira” the “no BS personality of the city’s historic centre” and, last but not least, the people of Porto.
(click here) to see the full article