We had both been waiting to visit Portugal for some time but we could never seem to find the right flights from London to get us there for a long weekend. After two years of looking, we finally found some return tickets that worked for us, in early 2019, with us heading to Porto.
Porto Calling! Blown Away With Portugal
Porto is set on the Douro river and close distance from the sea, and whilst you could assume that the fishing trade is big here its actually Port and wine that tops the local trade. After walking around the city you soon realise that you are in wine country with huge selections on display, we walked passed a local shop that had a window full of wines most of these ranging from €1 – €5 … pretty sure that means they don’t tax this.
I mean seriously how cheap is the wine! We would move tomorrow to Porto for the wine alone.
What to Visit in Porto – Explore Port Country
Cais Da Ribeira
You’ve seen this view in photos of Porto no doubt, but this riverside quarter of Porto is extraordinary for walks. You will also find plenty of culture, food and cafe options within this picturesque area.
Luis I Bridge
Not only is this iconic but it’s really well designed for the city operating across two levels. We really encourage everyone to enjoy crossing at both levels, stopping and soaking up the views on offer. Since we’ve left and searched more about this we keep seeing results that the architect was a student of Gustav Eiffel (if you’re unsure who this gentleman is, take the surname and add Tower next to it)!
Palacio da Bolsa (Bolsa Palace)
A stunning Palace located centrally in Porto. From the outside, you could mistake it for a posh building but it’s not your typical palace style … the interior though is incredible. This is hugely popular and is only available to visit at set times with a guide. We queued for the tour only to miss out by two people with no time to reschedule. To avoid disappointment, book online through their official website.
Monument Church Of St Francias
You have to pay a small fee to enter this Baroque-style church, but you will not be left disappointed. With its standard plain style, you could be tempted to skip this one, again we suggest you go and experience this.
Just outside on the street, you may also get a photo opportunity with a classic style tram.
It’s a must and whilst it may not look like anything special from the outside, the interior setup is so amazing! One of the oldest remaining structures in the city, with parts of it standing for nearly 800 years.
Here you will also have the opportunity to visit the Gold and Silver vaults in the Treasury.
Transport In and Around Porto
Due to an emergency before leaving London Stansted we got really delayed into Porto, with us eventually arriving after 02:00 a.m. local time. Uber does operate in Porto so we were able to quickly arrange a pickup and get to our hotel. The journey was actually really cheap too considering the distance, worth considering as an option when you visit.
Once you are in the city, everything is in walking distance, failing that you have the tram services throughout the city that you can take advantage of.
Where To Stay In Porto – Accommodation Tips
Luxury – Pestana Porto – A Brasileira, City Center & Heritage Building – Firstly what a grand name or title this place has, but take a look and I’m sure you will agree with us it deserves it.
Mid – MyStay Porto Centre – A beautiful modern hotel in a great location and really nicely decorated. In true Porto style, you have wine glasses and a bottle opener in the room … almost like they are encouraging visitors to get a bottle and enjoy Portuguese wine! We stayed at this hotel and were made to feel really welcome throughout our stay.
Budget – Oporto Invictus Hostel – This was our second option for accommodation in Porto with really great reviews, worth a look so you consider options where to stay in Porto.
Where To Eat! Porto
Cafe, Breakfast & Brunch – Hungry Biker – Not one to be missed, but we warn you now it’s a popular small cafe so they may be a bit of waiting involved. The breakfast selection is really great and tasty … and the coffee is so so good.
Located on a slopey road as you walk through from the upper part of the city.