Living in Porto
Located on the right bank of the River Douro, Porto is Portugal’s second-largest city. Its historical centre, recognised by UNESCO as World Heritage, overflows with highly significant constructions and sites of great beauty, such as the Clérigos Tower, the Cathedral, the main Municipal Council building, the Crystal Palace, the Customs Office, the Luís I bridge and the now-famous Livraria Lello.
The city extends along the banks of the river Douro out as far as the Atlantic Ocean, home to one of the city’s finest districts and the Oporto pole of the Universidade Católica Portuguesa. The city’s beaches, proudly displaying their blue flags, are lined with cafes and terraces that ensure the enjoyment of visitors all year round.
From the gastronomic perspective, traditional dishes such as francesinhas, tripas à moda do Porto and the Gomes de Sá cod dish are much to the preference of both locals and their visitors. Porto also features a very impressive cultural agenda held at the House of Music, the Serralves Museum, the Almeida Garrett Library, among many other venues and events.
In 2020, the city was ranked as "Europe's Leading City Break Destination". In 2017, the city was recognised as the “Best European Destination” for the third consecutive year after serving as the “European Capital of Culture” in 2001.
Cost of living
In average terms, students might expect to spend an average of €600 per month.
Room - on average €250 - €300/month
Metro/bus tickets: €1.20 (purchased in advance); €1.95 (on the bus)
Monthly student ticket: €22,95 (Andante)
Average €30/month on travel expenditure
Supermarket shopping: around €170/month
Restaurant meal: €7.5/per dish (approximate)
Bread roll: €0.15
Coffee (espresso): €0.65
Throughout the year, the city stages many different music and cultural events. Highlights include February’s Fantasporto – the International Cinema Festival of Porto), June’s Nos Primavera Sound Fest, the Festival Marés Vivas and Serralves em Festa in July followed by the Ritual Rock Nights of August.
Porto Queima das Fitas (May)
Queima das Fitas is one of the leading events for the city’s university students who, throughout a week in May, pack out concerts and serenatas and the main event, a huge academic procession.
Senhor de Matosinhos Festival (May)
This festival is ranked as one of the most significant of all the pilgrimages and religious festivities held across the country. The Senhor de Matosinhos Festival provides an opportunity to view and experience the religious traditions of Matosinhos. Over the course of three weeks, there are entertainment, cultural and sporting events set against the thousands of lights and decorations of the Bom Jesus de Matosinhos Church, designed by the architect Nasoni.
São João Festival (23 and 24 June)
The São João Festival is a landmark for the city of Oporto with the tradition of festivalgoers hitting each over the head in amongst barbecues and music throughout the night of 23 June before everything culminates with a magnificent fireworks display along the banks of the River Douro.