No need to say that I am totally biased on this one ! I was born and raised in Porto and lived here happily most part of my life!
I´m totally in love for this city and, even detaching myself from my roots, from all destinations I have been, Porto will always have a special place in my heart!
Fortunately, I am not the only one, and internet help us to understand the dimension of our touristic phenomenon…Porto was considered the Best European Destination 2017 for the third time (2012 and 2014 as well) and never the voting was so unanimous.
More than 426 thousand travelers voted and they were from pretty much all over the world (174 countries to be precise, so….I believe the bias effect is at this moment deleted from this post )
Porto is an extraordinary city that has to offer every attraction that travelers usually crave for: history, architecture, food, culture, nightlife, beach and many more features of a top touristic city that will make you fall in love!
Have a little taste of it… ????
As I have said, there are plenty of aspects of this city that are amazing and unveiling a surprisingly good weekend, short break or even a proper 2 weeks work vacations should´t be a problem anymore.
If you are interested in history, Porto has one of the richest histories in Europe and it´s old architecture it´s a powerful footprint proving it. You can visit the old town to see magnificent buildings and churches, the Cathedral provides you outstanding views on the river and from the Clérigos tower you can see a breathtaking view of the city.
Obviously depends on how do you like to spend your time, but if you are more of a relaxed person and enjoy the beach, Porto has beautiful beaches where you can walk , ride your skate, bike, or alternatively just relax in one of the many restaurants and bares along the Atlantic coast (although I alert that weather conditions might not be all the time the ideal…at least for me!) It´s really up to you do chose what you really like!
There is a long walk from Ribeira (old part of town by the River Douro and close to the famous D.Luís bridge) to the beach that I seriously recommend for those who like to walk…the panorama is mesmerizing.
If food and drinks is your thing…well Porto will definitely not let you down! From wine tasting in the famous Port Wine Cellars or even doing it while cruising the River Douro to observe the beautiful 5 bridges (Yes!!! Port Wine comes from PORTO ???? !) to a huge variety of restaurants you have a massive offer to satisfy your deepest wishes! Portuguese cuisine is very rich and I honestly recommend to try as much as you can (specially Francezinha which is an international award winning sandwich original from Porto).
Food wise the offer is wide and growing…Sushi, Brazilian, Italian, Gourmet restaurants it´s all here to enjoy…and most importantly at affordable prices. Wine is a serious consumable of our meals and trust me on this because I am a wine lover, you will be surprised with the great quality of wines we have in general in Portugal specially in the Douro river region. Extraordinary value for money, the prices of wine are also very low compared to most of the European countries! Tip: take it as a souvenir to a special person, you won´t regret…unless that special person doesn´t share it with you!
Porto has also a key characteristic that lack in a lot of touristic places…it´s People! Portuenses (people from Porto) or Tripeiros (nick name attributed as a result of a traditional dish in Porto made of the intestines and stomach of cows) are very friendly! Usually happy and in a good mood, we are always ready to help and open to meet foreigners. Though we apply sarcasm often, talk loud and curse a lot ???? we don´t harass people we don´t know and we tend to be generally very welcoming.
In terms of nightlife Porto has wonderful spots with innovative concepts showing you great views, tasty drinks, snacks and obviously parties! We do like to party here and we do it often…the main difference you might feel as a tourist is that we party late…everything is late…we eat dinner late and after, all the evening program is delayed. The consequence is that the night usually is too short to do all we want! When you realize the sun is shinning, it´s 6 o´clock in the morning and you are jumping wild on the dance floor. Yes, disco´s close at 6 am and bars at 4. Next stop, find a place to eat before heading home!
So, as you can see there is plenty to do in Porto and the best thing is that it´s cheap (considering other European destinations). You have great flights at very low fares and once in town, you can move from one place to another easily…the city it´s not gigantic and there is a very good net of transport infrastructures that help you on your leisure time. Trains, metro, buses can take you everywhere at affordable prices and you can always walk or take a tuk tuk ride! I just don´t recommend Taxis (because they are very expensive) and ride a bicycle in the city center because the inclinations might drag your energy to the bottom and you need it if you want to properly enjoy this wonderful city.
If you are considering to visit Porto I hope this post will be useful to spike your curiosity about this city or at least to inspire you to write it down on your bucket list.
If you have already decided to come, please do not hesitate to contact me and I will send you more information, some specific tips considering your wishes and help you with planning your journey. If you need anything, just let me know…I am a local!!!
Check out my travel blog: https://floresaroundtheworld.wordpress.com/ and let´s connect!
Keep in touch and in the meanwhile…Enjoy…see you Around The World!