You don't need to be a linguistic genius to figure out what the name means: Port city, and of course Porto does have a natural harbour, formed by the estuary of the Douro river, as it flows into the Atlantic Ocean. The river, the surrounding hills, the old town, but especially the scenic bridges across the Douro help make Porto one of the world's most fabulous sights. This has been acknowledged in the most official way, when in 1996 the city was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO - although the people of Porto did see this as a great honor, they were very aware how well-deserved it was.
Porto in a way gives you an idea what Lisbon might be like today if the devastating earthquake of 1755 had never happened, so Porto has preserved the old Portugal, the way it used to be, until this very day.
Porto is of course a world-famous city - as the FC Porto is one of the world's most iconic football clubs, being right up there with Manchester and Barcelona! The team forms a big part of the city's identity. But there is a second reason that virtually everyone on earth has heard of Porto, possibly without knowing so: Port wine comes from here too. Did you know?
While Lisbon is the undisputed metropolis of the country's Southern half, Porto has the same role in the North. So its economic significance is immense, and that is why it is classified as a "Global City" by economists. There is a lot of industry in the region around Porto, but the office work is mostly getting done within the city - which at present is becoming more and more international. The city itself just has a population of 220 thousand people, but the Porto metropolitan area has 1.7 million inhabitants. Especially in some of the well-developed suburbs, the real estate market is vibrantly in motion just now.