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18 Fun Facts About Porto and Lisbon

Portugal Luxury Tour - Porto

Do you know where the name of Porto comes from? Know how they call a person born in Lisbon? We tell you about that and much more curiosities.

Portugal is indeed a very famous country because its secular history combined with modernity. And more on top of that, the world-famous Port Wine and spectacular gastronomic experiences will definitely occupy your mind while visiting the country. 

Even though you already know all those things, you might not hear about the etymology of Portugal. The name is originated from the Roman-Celtic name Portus Cale (today it also names one for the most famous Port Wine Cellars). In latter days, the name became an anchor to remind the region between Douro and Minho. And only in the 10th and 11th centuries that it was named as we all know today: Portugal.

In the next paragraphs, you will find 18 fun facts about Porto and Lisbon that you could never have guessed before. Besides, you will also have the chance to discover our best selection of cultural tours in those cities. Prepare yourself and enjoy!

Fun facts: Porto

The name Porto means a settlement in the north of the Douro River, originally name Cale or Cailleach. Its twin city, Vila Nova de Gaia, is set to the south bank of the river. With a population of 237 000 people, it is the second-largest city in the country and occupied an area of 45 square kilometers. One of the things that make the city famous are the cultural traditions, as the ones will read below:

  1. The city’s nickname is Invicta because it was never a conquered territory during the civil war of the 19th century, even surviving a year-long siege;
  2. It is a UNESCO World Heritage site since 1996 due to ancient history and architectural buildings. 
  3. The streets of the city received the Formula 1 Grand Prix between 1958 and 1960;
  4. People born in Porto are called “tripeiros” meaning “animal gutters”, also the name of a special and traditional dish of the city: “tripas”;
  5. The Francesinha or “Frenchie” is one of the most famous dishes of the city and includes various kinds of meat, sausage, cheese, and a very typical tomato sauce;
  6. English Speakers can be easily found there, especially the youngest locals. Even the bus and taxi drivers are pretty good at it;
  7. The wine tasters of Instituto dos Vinhos do Douro e Porto have to follow very strict and specific rules to certify Port wine;
  8. In Porto people don´t usually pronounce the “v” word, they instead do it like “b” being a funny characteristic for Portuguese from other cities.
  9. Theophile Seyrig, the author of the project of the  Luís I bridge, was an apprentice of Gustave Eiffel, the constructor of the Eiffel Tower in Paris

Are you intrigued by those fun facts about Porto? You then can discover those facts and more in our Porto Luxury Tour

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Porto Luxury Tour - Porto Ribeira

Fun facts: Lisbon

With a population of 505,526 and an area of 100.05 square meters, Lisbon is very well known because of Fado, its traditional music. Its main river, the Tagus, was named after the Latin Ulyssippo or the Roman Olissipona. These and other fun facts about Lisbon can be seen below: 

  1. People born in the city are called “Lisboeta” or “Alfacinha”. It is said that during a war, when people lived confined in the castles, the didn´t have much to eat other the vegetables. And the most preferred one was lettuce or “alface”. That is why they are also called “alfacinhas”.  
  2. The Belém Tower, a popular travel destination, was used as a political prison during the Liberal Wars of the 19th Century.
  3. The Pastéis de Belém, the most traditional pastry of the country, has a secret recipe only known for 3 people around the world.
  4. The Vasco da Gama Bridge, the one running over the Tagus river, is considered the longest in Europe with 17,2 Km long;
  5. Lisbon was the stage of the largest human flag, raised in 2006 having 18,788 people gathered together;
  6. Casino of Estoril, a landmark for the city, is the largest casino in Europe;
  7. Historical records dating back to 1811 say that Lisbon was the first city to import The Guinness beer;
  8. The nickname `Almeida’s´ is given to the city garbage collectors. There is a story which says that the crew came from a fortified village called Almeida;
  9. In the book O Livro das Grandezas de Lisboa, it is said that there are only seven hills in Graças and in fact, there are eight. Rumors says that the author must have forgotten this.

By now you should be really amazed and curious about those fun facts about Lisbon, right? So don’t hesitate to book our Lisbon Luxury Tour in 9 Days!

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Portugal Luxury Tour - Lisbon

We hope that those fun facts about Porto and Lisbon have cleared your mind and let you even more curious to explore more of that the cities can offer you. For sure we got the best luxury tours to attend your expectations. Request a tailored proposal and be our guest on this trip. 

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