What’s it like to study a Masters in Porto?
Porto’s history stretches back to the Roman era, when it was an important trading post between the cities of Lisbon and Braga. The 14th and 15th centuries saw Porto play a significant role as a shipbuilding hub, with several shipyards alongside the River Douro. The first of Porto’s many bridges crossing the Douro was built at the beginning of the 19th century. Perhaps the most iconic of these is the Ponte de Dom Luís I, a double-deck arch bridge that was finished in 1886 by one of Gustav Eiffel’s associates.
The historic centre of Porto was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1996, recognising its impeccably preserved buildings and landmarks. The São Bento train station, for example, was built at the very beginning of the 20th century and depicts the story of Portugal in its intricate tilework.
Other highlights include the Museu Nacional Soares dos Reis and its outstanding collection of Portuguese art, the distinctive Casa da Música concert hall and the Livraria Lello, a neo-Gothic bookshop that supposedly inspired J.K. Rowling while she wrote Harry Potter as an English teacher in the city.
Porto has a vibrant café culture and Masters students can wile away the hours at any number of sophisticated establishments nestled within its cobbled streets or overlooking the Douro. Football is another important part of life in Porto, with FC Porto enjoying much success at continental and national levels. This, after all, was where superstar manager José Mourinho made his name, winning the UEFA Champions League in 2004 against all odds.
Student accommodation in Porto usually comes in the form of university-owned halls of residence, flatshares and rooms in a family home.