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    CHEAP CAR RENTAL IN PORTO

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    Car rental in Porto at the Best Prices

    Blending old with new, the city of Porto is located in northern Portugal. With an abundance of history, culture, cuisine and beautiful architecture, Porto is the country’s second largest city. Originally given its name during the Roman era, Portus - which also influenced the country’s name – lies adjacent to the equally impressive Atlantic coast at the entrance to the River Douro. Along with its famous trams, cobbled streets, neoclassical buildings and baroque churches, the city is also home to the legendary port wine. With a car rental in Porto you’ll be able to drive the whole stretch of the River Douro and discover its marvellous wine producing area.

    With over 24,000 global locations Auto Europe is well positioned to offer you great deals from a large selection of vehicles in Porto. Having over 65 years’ experience with world-renowned brands like Hertz, Europcar and Avis, we are not only able to provide attractive car rental solutions but also motorhome rentals and a luxury car hire service. Therefore if you are looking to explore Porto and the wonderful northern Portuguese regions, give one of our reservation agents a call today.

    How is the traffic in Porto?

    As a historical city, you can expect to find extremely uneven and narrow roads, especially in the older north bank of the river. Central parts of this ancient city can become extremely congested, especially if heading towards the bridge and around tourist attractions. Luckily, many of the attractions and points of interest are located nearby each other. This makes it ideal for parking further out and walking between these places. The city isn’t easy to navigate, and resting on a hill side doesn’t help. Saying this, it is much worse during rush hour. Therefore try to avoid driving from 07:00 - 10:00 and 17:00 – 20:00.

    When visiting the city we recommend you keep the following driving rules in mind:

    • Driving is on the right-hand side of the road, whilst overtaking is on the left
    • If not informed otherwise, priority to traffic is given from the right
    • Seatbelts are compulsory for everyone
    • Mobiles are not permitted whilst driving unless you have a hands-free kit
    • You must be at least 18 years of age to drive – Please note that car rental supplier impose their own age restrictions and limits
    • Children must use an appropriate child car seat.

    Where can I park my car rental in Porto?

    On-street parking is available and can be found around the city, it does however get taken up very quickly. On the north bank of the river near the Dom Luis I bridge along the river bank, you will find plenty of free parking. Likewise, you can park on the south bank and walk across the bridge. We advise respecting all the parking signs, traffic wardens often patrol the streets and fine vehicles. On rare occasions, illegally parked cars can even get towed away.

    The city has numerous municipal car parks located at key locations. Such garages can be found at the Praça de Gomes Teixeira, Parque da Cidade, Rua de São Filipe de Nery and the Casa da Música. The garages are secure, safe and relatively cheap compared to the more expensive underground private parking garages.

    Porto Airport

    Serving the city and the whole northern Portugal, Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport handles around 10 million passengers annually. First opened in 1945, the airport has seen many modernisations and today hosts numerous international airline carriers, such as KLM, Lufthansa, Luxair, Swiss, TAP Portugal, Easyjet and Ryanair, to name but a few. Only 11 km from Porto city, the airport is easy reached by metro, shuttle bus and high-speed trains.

    Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport (OPO)
    Address: Pedras Rubras, 4475-558 Porto, Portugal
    Website: Porto Airport
    Telephone: +351 229 432 400

    What to do in Porto

    Nestled in one of Portugal’s most picturesque regions, Porto is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with an array of wonderful architecture and attractions to visit. As the main epicentre of northern Portugal, the city boasts art, museums, culture, wonderful food and a lively friendly atmosphere. Following, we recommend what not to miss when visiting this splendid city:

    • Serralves Foundation Museum: Known as one of the most significant cultural museums in Portugal, the Serralves Foundation hosts more than 4,300 art pieces within its halls, together with very rare books. This contemporary art museum has located within its grounds an 18-hectare 19th Century garden. Highly recommend for any art enthusiasts.

    • Ribeira Riverside: By far the most popular part of the city, the Ribeira riverside is jam packed with numerous bars, restaurants and coffee houses. The ideal place to relax in front of the marvellous Douro scenery, immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere and enjoy conversing the evening away with friendly locals. If you’re lucky, you may even see one of the traditional sailing boats used to ferry port wine.

    • World of Discoveries: If you are looking for authentic Catanese atmosphere then head down to the local fishmarket. A tradition that dates back until ancient times, the local fish market, surprisingly doesn’t just sell fish – although it is its speciality. Centrally located, the market also offers up excellent meat, mouth-watering vegetables and tantalising fruit. A perfect place to experience Catanese culture first-hand.

    • Sé Cathedral: Resting in the historic city centre, this iconic cathedral dates back 950 years and has been the focal point of many of the country’s historical events. Having hosted the baptism of Prince Henry the Navigator and the wedding of King João I to Philippa of Lancaster. The cathedral is extremely popular and one of the main tourist attractions of the city.

    • The museum of Soares dos Reis: Located in the 18th Century Carrancas Palace, the Soares dos Reis museum is dedicated to this artist’s life work. Born locally, and living only until 41, Soares dis Reis created many Portuguese works of art. A popular museum near the equally as popular Torre dos Clérigos, it first opened its doors in 1833.

    Best day trips with my car hire in Porto

    Although the city is awash with things to do and see, we always recommend taking your car rental in Porto further out and exploring much of what the surrounding region has to offer. Everything is extremely close by and well worth a visit. Head eastwards along the river and enter Porto’s wine region, explore where the legendary port wine is made. Or head north to Tui, the Spanish frontier to enjoy a wonderful mix of cultures.

    City of Braga: Head northeast from Porto and you’ll come across another historical and beautiful city – Braga, known for its exquisite food and wine, also has plenty of ancient religious buildings to explore. The oldest Cathedral dates back to the 12th Century, whilst the rest vary between the 14th and 16th Centuries. The best time of year to visit is during Easter, with a superb atmosphere, candle-lit processions and celebrations.

    Douro Valley: Heading east along the river and you’ll come to the iconic Douro Valley, famous for its numerous vineyards, stepped hills and natural beauty. This region is noted as one of the prettiest in Europe. It has produced wine for many centuries, with some producers dating back countless years. Consider popping into a wine producer and savouring some of the local tasty wine.

    Viana do Castelo: Drive along the coastal roads heading north from Portugal, and you’ll come across Viana do Castelo. Near the Spanish border, the town is one of the most beautiful in the region. Along with its sandy white beaches, you’ll also be presented with majestic Manueline Manor houses and rococo palaces. The centre is a pedestrianized tree lined square containing splendid old buildings.

    City of Barcelos: Located north of Porto and only a short drive away, you’ll reach the wonderful city of Barcelos. The city is famous for its numerous legends, namely the famous cockerel that crowed to save a pilgrim from execution. Paying a visit to this city will also provide you with the opportunity to fully enjoy the weekly local market that has been held here since the 15th Century.

    Geographic Information & History

    Located in northern Portugal, Porto is the second largest city in the country. The city’s history dates back to its origins as a Roman settlement. Lying on the banks of the River Douro, Porto is 3 km from the rivers estuary. The city boasts a population of around 237,000 with many more tourists increasing its numbers throughout the year. Porto is the capital city of the northern region with its centre gaining UNESCO World Heritage status in 1996.

    Initially inhabited by Celts in around 200 BC, it is one of the oldest inhabited sites in the Iberian Peninsula. It flourished under Roman rule until it came under control of the Goths. It was conquered by the Moors in the 1st Century but recaptured by the Christian forces in 997 AD.

    Between the 14th and 15th Centuries, Porto contributed immensely towards ship building, which would go onto help Portugal discover numerous parts of the world. As the age of discovery came to pass, the city declined slightly but never lost its importance as one of the main powerhouses in northern Portugal. Nowadays, the city is an international world renowned wine producer and a commercial hub. In particular its port wine is exported all over the globe and known world over for its wonderful sweet taste.

    How to get around Porto

    Porto has a modern and well integrated public transport network consisting of trains, trams, buses and a metro system. Using public transport is relatively cheap compared with other cities, and it seamlessly takes you too many of the city’s main tourist attractions and key areas.

    Bus

    The city’s bus operator is called STCP. It provides reliable, well-maintained and modern buses throughout the city and into its suburbs. Cost is relatively cheap, with the timetable running from 05:00 until midnight. Most of the buses go through the city centre along Praça da Liberdade and Avenida dos Aliados. Buses can get crowded especially in central locations and around tourist attractions.

    Train

    The city has two main train stations - São Bento train station, which serves metropolitan Porto and into northern Portugal, covering cities as Espinho, Braga and the Douro Valley. Whilst Campanhã train station, serves the southern regions and cities, such as Aveiro and Lisbon. Trains are modern and well-maintained, with regular departures throughout the day.

    Tram

    Although a small tram network, nevertheless it does reach all the main parts of the city, including numerous tourist attractions. A limited number of trams are in operation, and one funicular, all of which are well worth a ride. Tram number one is by far the most popular amongst locals and tourists alike. It takes you from Rua Infante Dom Henrique to Passeio Alegre – with lots of wonderful scenery along the way. Other tram links include Massarelos to Carmo and Batalka to Carmo.

    Taxis

    A taxi service exists in Porto and is available all year-round, 24 hours per day. Similar to the rest of Portugal, taxis are black in colour with a green roof. They display the taxi sign upon their room and are always metred. It is also common to find the European style cream coloured taxis in operation. Taxis can be pre-booked or caught at one of the taxi ranks spread out throughout the city. We advise discussing your journey with the driver before setting off.

    Metro

    A taxi service exists in Porto and is available all year-round, 24 hours per day. Similar to the rest of Portugal, taxis are black in colour with a green roof. They display the taxi sign upon their room and are always metred. It is also common to find the European style cream coloured taxis in operation. Taxis can be pre-booked or caught at one of the taxi ranks spread out throughout the city. We advise discussing your journey with the driver before setting off.

    Useful links

    Tourism Information

    Porto Metro Network

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