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4 must-visit towns near Porto

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Porto, the second-largest city in Portugal, is a popular destination for tourists seeking a mix of history, culture, and stunning landscapes. While Porto itself has plenty to offer, there are several towns nearby that are not to be missed. Here are four must-visit towns near Porto:

1. Guimarães

Known as the 'birthplace of Portugal,' Guimarães is a historic town with a well-preserved medieval center. Visitors can explore the UNESCO-listed old town, visit the impressive Guimarães Castle, and stroll through the charming streets lined with 14th and 15th-century buildings.

2. Braga

Braga is a lively city with a rich history dating back to Roman times. Highlights include the imposing Sé de Braga cathedral, the Bom Jesus do Monte sanctuary, and the picturesque old town with its narrow streets and elegant squares. Braga is also known for its vibrant cultural scene and delicious traditional cuisine.

3. Aveiro

Aveiro, often referred to as the 'Venice of Portugal,' is a charming town characterized by its network of canals, colorful moliceiro boats, and Art Nouveau architecture. Visitors can take a boat tour of the canals, sample the local delicacy known as 'ovos moles,' and relax on the sandy beaches of nearby Costa Nova.

4. Viana do Castelo

Located on the banks of the Lima River, Viana do Castelo is a picturesque town known for its traditional folk festivals, handicrafts, and sweeping views of the Atlantic Ocean. Highlights include the Santa Luzia Sanctuary, the historic city center with its Renaissance and Baroque buildings, and the scenic beaches along the coast.

Overall, these four towns near Porto offer a diverse range of experiences for travelers looking to explore the rich culture, history, and natural beauty of northern Portugal. Whether you're interested in medieval castles, bustling markets, or tranquil beach retreats, there's something for everyone to enjoy in these charming destinations.