Porto: at the edge of Europe

If you ask me, I wouldn’t be able to recall any particular reason that pushed me to put Porto on my “10 destinations lists”. Nevertheless, Porto will be the place I will remember as a small San Francisco and it will stay forever in my heart.

Porto, Portugal

Despite my love-hate relationship with Ryanair, it’s their plain that got me on Wednesday night to Porto, Portugal. Not having too much time to prepare this trip, I decided to figure out everything on the go. Porto is a good place for such an approach. 

Not to go into details, I suggest you a checklist of places to see and things to do for your next stay in Porto, Portugal.

To start with, the public transportation is great: the metro station at the airport takes you directly to the city center (purple line) priced around 2 euros. I’ve booked a great apartment with Calcutta Housing which I also highly recommend. 

Porto, Portugal

I started my first morning in this moody in terms of weather city with a free walking tour (a tradition I stick to almost every time). “Porto walkers” is one of many companies that you can get on tour with. I won’t highly recommend this particular one since I don’t have a comparison. The guide took us to the place that supplies restaurants with desserts: their chocolate mousse is worth trying! On the pic in the gallery is another local dessert – too sweet for me. Also, he showed us Santa Clara church decorated with more than 400 kg of gold. 

After the walking tour, I decided to keep walking =) I went for a promenade next to the river which brought me to the Atlantic Ocean with its crazy energy and beautiful views. The walk was pleasant, however, I was quite tired to walk all the way back and took a bus 500 to the downtown. 

Worth mentioning that the part of this way you can go by little charming tramway which is a must see in Porto. 

Serralves Foundation had a shocking photo exhibition of Robert Mapplethorpe (age restriction applies); interesting display of projects of Anish Kapoor – the one that created a Bean in Chicago; and an incredible garden worth spending an hour or so just wandering around.

Porto, Portugal

Crystal Palace Gardens offer a beautiful city view. Another cool thing about this place, is that there’re plenty of different birds (peacocks, ducks, chickens, etc.) that you can feed. 

Porto, Portugal

Afurada, is a fishermen village just across Porto. You can take a boat for few euros to get there. The village was recommended to me as a place for lunch but there’s much more to do: Portoalities.com has a detailed article in this regards. 

  • Cork accessories (bags, wallets, jewellery, etc.) 
  • Socks made in Portugal
  • Cool cork postcards 
  • Vhino Verde (local wine) 
  • Sardines
  • Natas (amazing dessert)
  • Ceramic plates (the symbol of the city) 
  • Nata (the dessert mentioned earlier). It is really-really good! 
  • Sausages (they have their local sausages that they serve almost in every restaurant)
  • Seafood (if you go to the restaurant called “Cafe o Pepino” or any other in the area, you can get delicious fish for 6 euros)
  • Bacalhau (codfish) is the most popular fish in Portuguese cuisine (fun fact: it is imported) 
  • Francesinha sandwich, covered in melted cheese, with steak and three different types of Portuguese sausages: salsicha fresca, linguiça, and mortadella. Everything is served with a fried egg on the top. 

My absolute favorite place for a dinner was Galerias des Paris: the restaurant offers live music every night, good food and warm atmosphere. 

Make sure you have cash with you since a lot of places won’t accept credit cards. If you want to go to really local places, be ready to explain yourself with gestures because not a lot of people speak English. Oh, and the best part is that this kind of trip won’t bankrupt you because everything is very cheap compared to most of European countries.

Let me know if you liked the article!

Much love,


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