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Porto’s Alfândega Congress Centre: Portugal’s charming events venue

On the bank of the river Douro, Alfândega Porto Congress Centre provides a unique setting for a spectrum of meetings and conferences

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Portugal's Alfândega Porto Congress Centre provides an ideal setting for a number of corporate events. Its dining facilities make it ideal for business banquets
Portugal's Alfândega Porto Congress Centre provides an ideal setting for a number of corporate events. Its dining facilities make it ideal for business banquets 

What makes Porto’s Alfândega Congress Centre so different from any other congress centre is its identity and authenticity – its balance of tradition and modernity. It is the most versatile congress centre in Portugal and has been known as such for many years.

The Alfândega Porto Congress Centre was built over 150 years ago as a customs house. Recently renovated by Portuguese architect and Pritzker laureate Eduardo Souto de Moura, the building maintains its original architecture, with shapes and spaces that pleasantly surprise visitors.

Alfândega Porto Congress Centre has been considered the Best Congress Centre in Portugal for the past
four years

Outside, the centenary building is distinct from the rest of Porto’s landscape, but still harmonious with the city’s streets and river line, and faithful to the unique urban and natural landscape. Inside, amid the mix of stone, iron, brick and wood characteristic of this astonishing construction, there is a fully equipped modern congress centre with everything required to host any type of event – from international congresses to huge fashion shows, gala dinners, sport events or car exhibitions.

The perfect destination
The building is located in the heart of Porto’s historic city centre, designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO and recently recognised for the second time as Best European Destination (2012 and 2014) by European Consumers Choice. The city of Porto is gaining territory on every tourist’s map thanks to its numerous award wins, and its diversity, culture, architecture, history, and unique wine and gastronomy.

Hotels of every type – international chains, boutique, modern and trendy, or classical and traditional – surround the Congress Centre. There are restaurants where the famous gastronomy of Northern Portugal can be tasted, and tourist attractions such as Dom Luís Bridge, designed by a pupil of Gustave Eiffel; Clérigos Tower, which gives one of the best views of Porto; and the Livraria Lello & Irmão, considered the third most beautiful bookstore in the world and purportedly the inspiration behind the Harry Potter series.

A historic exterior hides ultra-modern meeting and conference facilities
A historic exterior hides ultra-modern meeting and conference facilities

The city is not only growing for city breaks and family tourists. As a destination with so much diversity, Porto’s meetings industry is also constantly expanding. The city has achieved a higher ICCA ranking every year for the past three.

The Congress Centre is accessible for participants from every corner of the world. It is just 15 minutes from Porto International Airport, which has over 60 direct flights worldwide and was considered the third best European Airport by ACI (Airports Council International), its eighth international award in the past eight years. The congress centre is also easily reached by train and car and, once you’re inside the city, the modern bus and metro lines can get you where you need to be.

Porto’s charms
Other than the 22 multifunctional rooms, which are part of its flexible area of 50,000sq m, the congress centre has built-in translation booths, a private 400-car parking area, and free access for all delegates to four permanent cultural and museological spaces. All of this complements the events hosted at the venue, enhancing everyone’s experience.

Right on the riverbank, the congress centre has its own shipping dock. Guests of an event can arrive by boat after a cruise, or depart after meetings to the world-famous port wine cellars on the other side of the river. At a short distance from the Douro Valley, congresses can end with a cruise to the beautiful, historic region where port is produced and can be tasted at one of the many typical quintas in the vineyards.

An entirely modern and fully equipped congress centre lies between the building’s historic walls. The Alfândega Porto Congress Centre has everything necessary to host any type of event, and boasts business partnerships with the best companies in Portugal, providing all the required services to make your event a success. Expect a wide range of services, responding to the highest standards, ensuring effective and competitive solutions. You can rely on the experience and professionalism of the team when organising your event, making it flawless and unforgettable.

International recognition
The Alfândega Porto Congress Centre has been considered the Best Congress Centre in Portugal for the past four years and is proud to be a partner of some of the most important and influential national and international institutions and companies.

The congress centre has its own dock where guests can arrive or depart by boat
The congress centre has its own dock where guests can arrive or depart by boat

This year, the Congress Centre has been awarded Best Meetings and Conference Centre, Europe in the Business Destinations Travel Awards 2014. Criteria such as quality and range of services, value for money, online presence, sustainability practices, environmental awareness, customer service and business acumen were considered.

In 2013, the Congress Centre significantly increased the number of events held and welcomed over 300,000 participants as part of the many corporate, scientific, cultural and commercial events hosted by the venue. Officially certified for its quality, Alfândega proved its excellence by achieving client satisfaction levels over 91 percent in 2013.

The evolution of services has been continuous and the Alfândega Porto Congress Centre foresees an even more progressive future for itself and its city. With constant investment making the venue even more suited to events of all types and sizes, in a few years the centre will be able to host events of greater dimension, responding to the growing demand for events in Porto.

For all of these reasons and more, the Alfândega Porto Congress Centre is far from the usual congress centre, it has a surprise effect on its visitors and meets all of their expectations and needs. The venue is unique; come and visit and see for yourself.

For further information tel: +351 22 340 30 00, or email: geral@ccalfandegaporto.com

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