Póvoa de Varzim (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈpɔvwɐ ðɨ vɐɾˈzĩ], locally [ˈpɔβwə ðɨ βəɾˈzĩŋ]), also spelled Povoa de Varzim, is a Portuguese city in Northern Portugal and sub-region of Greater Porto. It sits in a sandy coastal plain, a cuspate foreland, halfway between the Minho and Douro rivers. The population of the municipality was 63,408 at the time of the 2011 census. According to the 2001 census, there were 63,470 inhabitants with 42,396 living in the city proper. The city expanded, southwards, to Vila do Conde, and there are about 100,000 inhabitants in the urban area alone. It is the seventh largest urban agglomeration in Portugal and the third largest in Northern Portugal.
Permanent settlement in Póvoa de Varzim dates back to around four to six thousand years ago; around 900 BC, unrest in the region led to the establishment of Cividade de Terroso, a fortified city, which developed maritime trade routes with the civilizations of Classical antiquity. Modern Póvoa de Varzim emerged after the conquest by the Roman Republic of the city by 138 BC, fishing and fish processing units soon developed, which turned out to be the foundations of the local economy. By the 11th century, the fish industry and fertile farmlands were the economic base of a feudal lordship and Varzim was fiercely disputed between the local overlords and the early Portuguese kings, which resulted in the establishment of the present day's municipality in 1308 and being subdued to monastic power some years later. Póvoa de Varzim's importance reemerged with the Age of Discovery due to its shipbuilders and merchants proficiency and wealth, who traded around the globe in complex trade routes. By the 17th century, the fish processing industry rebounded and, some time later, Póvoa became the dominant fishing port in northern Portugal.
Póvoa de Varzim has been a well-known beach resort for over three centuries, the most popular in Northern Portugal, which unfolded an influential literary culture and artistic patronage in music and theater. Póvoa de Varzim is one of the few legal gambling areas in Portugal, and has significant textile and food industries. The town has retained a distinct cultural identity and ancient customs such as the writing system of siglas poveiras, the masseira farming technique and festivals.