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.
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.
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.
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)
- 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.
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.
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