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Things to do in Porto

Beat the hills with an electric bike

Hilly it may be, but fitter visitors will enjoy racing around Porto and the surrounding area on two wheels. Blue Dragon Tours' (tel: +351 222 022 375; www.bluedragon.pt) cycling specialists offer guided city trips and for those that haven't the puff, don't fret: Porto Rent A Bike (tel: +351 912 562 190; www.portorentabike.com) has electric bikes that make the hills a breeze.

Cruise along in a piece of art

For a different and much more serene perspective of Porto, take a river trip. Short cruises, like the Bridges Tour, show off a beautiful, thriving cityscape, whilst a trip aboard Douro Azul's (tel +351 223 402 500; www.douroazul.com) Trafaria Praia is not your average journey - it's interior is decked out as a sparkling piece of art.

Find the fairway at one of Europe’s oldest golf clubs

If you want to tackle 18 historic and scenic holes, swing by one of Europe's oldest golf courses. In 1890, British wine exporters laid out a golf course in Porto, thus introducing the game to Portugal. It was christened Oporto Golf Club (tel: +351 227 342 008; www.oportogolfclub.com) in 1901 and is still highly regarded today.

Head to Vila do Conde beach

No seaside city trip is complete without a visit to the beach. Whether you sunbathe on golden sands, cool off in the Atlantic or want to surf, Vila do Conde is fantastic. It's only 33km (21 miles) from Porto; jump on the red Metro line and alight at Póvoa de Varzim. 

Hike through the Douro Valley

Whether you're after a wild waterside walk along the Atlantic coastline or wish to escape the city to tread a path through the delightful Douro Valley, Porto's surroundings offer some special strolls. Trilhos (tel: +351 225 020 740; http://trilhos.pt), in the city centre, helps organise mountain treks for all abilities among plenty of other outdoor activities.

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Grande Hotel do Porto

The Grande Hotel do Porto was designed by the architect Silva Sardina and opened in 1880. The hotel has 99 rooms, and they all have air-conditioning, broadband Internet access and beautifully tiled bathrooms. The hotel, and particularly the restaurant, has a distinct old world charm and atmosphere. It is located on Porto's main shopping street in the city centre.

The Yeatman

Opened in 2010, the 82-room Yeatman is something of a new departure for hotels in Porto because it is situated in Vila Nova de Gaia, on the south side of the river. However, its location across the water affords excellent views of the old city. The emphasis is solidly on luxury, fine dining and high quality relaxation – there is an extensive spa area to complement the accommodation, and the rooftop swimming pool and terrace are perfect for sun lovers.

Hotel Nave

A basic, but comfortable, cheap hotel in Porto located not far from the Campanha railway station, Hotel Nave is a friendly, convenient place to stay in Porto. It has a restaurant and a bar with internet access points. All guest rooms have individual air conditioning with remote control.

Pestana Porto

One of the most popular boutique hotels in Porto, the Pestana Porto has a fantastic location down by the riverfront, overlooking the river and with a view across to the port wine cellars of Vila Gaia di Nova. There are 63 rooms, a restaurant offering a wide range of regional and national dishes and a bar with live music. The hotel also has several meeting and conference rooms. Bicycle hire is also available.

Quality Inn Porto

Centrally located on Batalha Square (Praça da Batalha), the Quality Inn Porto is convenient, with the river and all the main attractions within a few minutes' walk. All guest rooms have air-conditioning as well as internet contact points.

HF Ipanema Porto

A short walk from the city centre, and close to several leading attractions, the HF Ipanema Porto offers comfortable accommodation at a very reasonable price. The aim is to provide a relaxing environment; the bar is quiet and the restaurant offers a range of international cuisine.