Porto is the second-largest city in Portugal after Lisbon and one of the major urban areas of the Iberian Peninsula. The urban area of Porto, which extends beyond the administrative limits of the city, has a population of 2.4 million (2011) in an area of 389 km2 (150 sq mi). It is recognised as a gamma+ level global city by the Globalization and World Cities Study Group, the only Portuguese city besides Lisbon to be recognised as a global city. Located along the Douro river estuary in Northern Portugal, Porto is one of the oldest European centres, and its historical core was proclaimed a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1996. The western part of its urban area extends to the coastline of the Atlantic Ocean. Its settlement dates back many centuries when it was an outpost of the Roman Empire. One of Portugal’s internationally famous exports, port wine, is named after Porto, since the metropolitan area, and in particular, the cellars of Vila Nova de Gaia, were responsible for the packaging, transport and export of the fortified wine. In 2014 and 2017, Porto was elected The Best European Destination by the Best European Destinations Agency.
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