Travel

5 days in Portugal

May 30, 2017

To celebrate my boyfriends birthday, I took us to Portugal for 5 days. We visited Porto. We wanted to visit other places too but driving around was quite far, and it was raining which didn’t make it worth the 6 hour back and forth trip. We wanted to visit Sintra or Lisboa, but we will leave that open for our next travels! Porto is a very nice and bigger than we thought city. Even though the sun wasn’t there all day, it was still humid and we could walk around with no jacket. The last 2 days were quite rainy which was a bummer, cause we had loads of sun right before we traveled back to Amsterdam.

 We have visited loads of places, ate at different cafe’s and walked around for hours to explore. I can’t even remember the last time I walked around so much, but my feet were literally bleeding so you can tell we walked a long way haha. Porto is well known for its wine, douro river, colourful houses, and bridges. Some of the houses are very bright in colours, with lovely tiles, others are empty with broken windows. It really depends on where you are, but the empty houses is what makes it beautiful in some kind of way. If you ever want to visit Porto, I will give you some personal tips and places where to go, what to see and where to eat.

AirBnB
We stayed in a lovely AirBnB located 10/15 minutes away from the city center. Walking is very easy and you will feel save during the evenings. Our AirBnB was located on R. D. Joao. I always prefer AirBnB over a hotel because its cheaper, you have your own kitchen and space, and it looks modern most of the times.

Sight Seeing/Buildings
I looked up some places on google to visit, but its easier to have a map from Porto so you can easily walk around the buildings and sightings. My favourite ones are for example Igreja das Carmelitas which is a big blue wall where you can take a beautiful picture, Palacio de Cristal which is a park with palmtrees and all kinds of birds. You will have a lovely view on the Ponte da Arrabida wich is the last bridge of the 6 bridges Porto has. Its the bridge that is the closest to the Atlantic ocean. Ponte de luis is my favourite bridge, also the most well known bridge because you can walk above it or under it. You have a really nice view over Porto city and you can see all the colourful houses from here. You can walk across the bridge to the other side of Porto called Vila Nova de Gaia where you can taste all sorts of wines. We took a walk above the bridge back to Porto city center. Lello bookstore is a must visit but very crowded which was a bummer. Its a bookstore where J.K rowling was inspired to write the Harry Potter books. Its an absolutely magical bookstore but small, and loads of tourists. Taking pictures was horrible so its better to go 30 minutes for closing time. Casa da musica is a architecture building designed by dutch architect Rem Koolhaas but was closed on Saturday. On the last day we walked down Av. da boavista which is a very long and straight road to the beach. I think it almost took us a hour lol but we survived. At the end of the road you have a big City park which is nice when the weather is good. When you reach the beach you have sea life. Nils really wanted to visit Sea life so we did but what a waste of the money! Its super small and dark, nothing really special but we got to feed the stingrays which was nice.

Breakfast/Lunch/Dinner
Porto overal is not really expensive. We ate at cheap but also expensive places. Majestic cafe is very good but expensive. Long lines but worth the wait. I had the best scrambled eggs ever! You can also have lunch there. The Traveller caffe is also very nice for breakfast or lunch, and less expensive. If you walk across the water right next to the bridge, you have loads of places to eat. They are ALL expensive but for a quick lunch we went to Café do Cais, the garlic potatoes are a must and you have a really nice view on the bridge! For dinner we had sushi at Kyoto na Baixa, according to Nils it was the best sushi he ever had so it must be good since I don’t eat fish and can’t judge. I do eat chicken and therefore we went to Baixo Pito which is a very nice place to have either roasted, grilled or fried chicken. We both love pizza and we came across a place called Presto Pizza right in the middle of the city center. The most thinnest pizza I ever had but very good. The nice thing is that you can choose a mini one so you can taste 4 different flavours for example. We were just hungry so we took the biggest one haha. Go for the Nestea pinapple x mango and you have a good dinner!

Extra Information
– Taxi from the airport to the city costs around 18 euro’s.
– There is a ATM around every corner.
– I would not recommend to take heels with you. The roads are often very sloppy and there are hills you need to walk up and down all the time.
– If you want to visit Lello bookstore, make sure you buy a ticket at the corner of the street first before you stand in the line.
– There are some cool vintage shops in Porto as well, just google them and they will pop up!
– People eat very late so make sure you have dinner around 18:00 or else you have to wait in lines.
– Most of the things are closed on Sundays, some places are open for lunch.

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