I didn't thought of visiting Porto as I want to spend more time in Lisbon where they have a few famous art museums and galleries that I have been wanting to visit. I was thinking it would be difficult for me to visit Portugal in the future, so I booked a ticket to Porto right before heading to Lisbon.
It was just a short trip since I only spent two days in Porto - as I need to catch the afternoon flight on the third day itself. Two full days is sufficient for a visit, unless you plan to take up wine tour and tasting which requires more than half a day.
My trips are always about relaxation. I went to trips with full itineraries and end up, tiring myself and did not explore every part of the city to the fullest.
#1 Stay in R. de Dom Manuel II
I always do my research before booking my accommodations , where I want it to be easily access to all the place I want to visit and have shops nearby for food.
I am lucky that I came across this art studio in this district which is really beautiful. Besides their good location, one of the reasons I booked this place is that this beautiful studio comes with a balcony.
And a part of me always wanted a balcony attached to my bedroom.
It was a really beautiful morning that day.
A cup of black coffee, looking out of the art studio where it shows the busy streets of Porto.
There is something about staying in someone else's place where it makes you feel like home especially in another city. Hotels will never give me this kind of feeling.
2. Mercado Do Bolhao
This market is a two-level covered establishment located in the heart of the city, along the street of Rua Sa da Bandeira, where they provide a unique shopping experience.
Usually central markets, or famous markets of the city will sell souvenirs and things that caters more to tourist. But this market also sell things like vegetables, fish and freshly made bread. Their sellers there are friendly, and do not force anyone to buy their things. We actually walked around the market for a while, looking at their things. The high spirit sellers with warm smiles, together the huge variety of goods probably make this market so popular.
My favourite store in the market .
I love to take pictures by the streets and roadside in different cities.
In Porto, I spent more time in walking through alleys so here it is. How can their alleys be so clean and beautiful ?
Trying to smile under 38degrees.
3. Sao Bento Station
This railway station is 20th-century old and probably one of the most beautiful railway station I have came across. Their beautiful interior is one of the reason that this is a tourist spot.
The railway station is the main terminus of Porto's suburban railways lines and western terminus for the scenic Douro line between Porto and Pocinho.
Here is a picture from google since I didn't manage to snap any good pictures. There are too many people around and it was really busy.
I can barely open my eyes under the heat.
This is right outside of the San Bento Railway Station. I think this part of the city is really beautiful. I like their architecture and the way they built their buildings. I am not sure about the history nor I did any research regarding to it. I always think buildings that gives out this vibe is beautiful.
I like Paris city a lot , especially their flats. Not that I am saying there are similar traits between Parisian and Portuguese buildings, I just love how beautiful they look even if they are old.
Maybe I like this railway station is because it is French Beaux-Arts structured.
4. Stroll around Santo Ildefonso
This picture is taken outside of the railway station. I think this area is the prettiest compared to the others.
Just take your time to look around this city , enjoying the French, Beaux-Arts styled architecture.
Quenching my thirst with freshly squeeze orange juice under the scorching sun.
I love taking pictures of beautiful old couples sitting together.
5. Have ' Pastel de nata '
A must have in Portugal : Portuguese Cream Custard Tart
I know that the best Portuguese Tart is in Lisbon , but this little bakery down the street is tempting me. The queues were long , and all of their pastries are all freshly made. It was almost tea time and everyone is flooding into this bakery.
It's sad that I forgot to jot down the name of this place - it is not commercialized at all. I only see us foreigners coming into this bakery, and the people treated us with all smiles. They were so so friendly. Sadly, we have language barrier.
Look at all of the other things they offered !
This is the boss of the bakery - and yes, I ask for a picture because he is so friendly.
We buy half a dozen of his custard cream tarts- and he gave us , free pastries to try. It was a little hard for us to communicate because we are speaking in ultimate broken english for us to understand each other.
He is one of the reason why I like this city.
I love it so much when the locals treat me nice, making me feel welcome to their country.
This is the only clue I can leave for you - the packaging , because I really don't know what the bakery is called.
6 . Ribeira District
The famous touristy place of Porto - Ribeira District , where it is the oldest district of the city which is filled with ancient houses, narrow cobbled streets and numerous family owned restaurants, cafes and bars.
There are many tours available around this area , where you can find one according to your likings.
Many people go for the Ribeira Wine day tour where you get to visit the wine factory , and do wine tasting. Or you can opt for the boat tour, depending if you want day or night. Night would be a better choice where you can look at the scenic backdrop to Porto , crossing The Douro River.
7. Dom Luís I Bridge
This bridge is a double-deck metal arch bridge that spans the River Douro between the cities of Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia in Portugal. Apparently, this bridge is the longest of its type in the world.
This bridge marks as an icon for the night scene if you were to take the night boat tour.
This goddamn weather.
8. Have a drink overlooking The Douro River.
Having Sangria, looking across the Douro River under the shades.
Brought the Custard Cream Tarts out .
This perfect teatime.
9. Try Francesinha
This dish is a Portuguese sandwich, which originates from this city which is covered with melted cheese, hot thick tomato and beer serves with french fries.
When it first served to the table, I thought that they are serving me Croque Monsieur which is French. In comparison, a Croque Monsieur normally served as French snack in cafes and bars whereas Francesinha is more of a meal where you can be filled for the rest of the day.
I couldn't really tell the differences besides the sauce they used to top. For Croque Monsieur , it's usually bechamel sauce and for this, their sauce is more flavorful since they have hot tomato and beer sauce. In other words, the OG french version are more bland.
Take note that, this dish is definitely for sharing because it is really filling. I was already filled when I ate less than half of it.
I actually enjoy this dish because it is rare. I don't think I found any of this in London. Definitely, there are none here in Malaysia. I don't even come across any good Portuguese restaurant here.
When wine is cheaper than juice , pick the cheaper choice.
Just like old movies.
I love how chilly it is at night where we can enjoy our drinks , in the peace. It was a perf night, after a long day.
10. A Padoca
This place is my personal favourite for breakfast. It is just located down the streets where I stayed in Porto. I like how pretty the interior and simple this place is.
Look at how they display their cakes.
This place serve simple breakfast , with pastries and cakes. They have main for lunch too. But it was a little early for lunch and we have a noon flight to catch to Lisbon , so we all settled with the simple breakfast set they offered on the menu with a fairly cheap price.
A choice of bread , with a slice of ham and cheese , together with another slice of cake which are available that day with a glass of freshly squeezed juice.
It isn't alot but I don't usually take heavy breakfast , it's always skipping breakfast for brunch.
So this combination is good for me.
I upsized my juice because the summer weather is crazy!
And also, for my indigestion over high carbs and meat.
This place is so beautiful. I really like their interior design.
It is not a very busy morning since many come in for take away, or they choose to sit outside to embrace the sun. So the indoor was just us.
I only have bits and bits of memory in Porto. What I remember the most was the hot weather and bad decisions we made for our meals. However, the whole trip was alright. I like how chill I was in this city. It was only a two day trip and I think it's sufficient to visit this city. Unless you pick up day trips to different wineries , if not there is nothing much to do.
Sometimes people travel to have a check point on touristy place, while I aim to see more of the cities and their lifestyle. Touristy place is definitely a must but I don't usually go ALL of them just for the sake of going.
Sometimes I get pretty emotional when I blog about my travel experiences. Because I really do miss the freedom of flying whenever I want to , without having to think twice.
Café Bilhares - R. Dr. Joaquim Pires de Lima 150, 4200-224 Porto, Portugal
A Padoca - Rua do Rosario 13,4050 Porto, Portugal