The other day Dizzy Bird decided to set its destination to the North of Portugal and to be more specific, we visited the second largest city of the country, Porto!!
Everyone asks “what’s better? Porto or Lisbon?”. The funny thing is that most of the Portuguese prefer Porto than Lisbon. As curious travelers we had to find it out ourselves.
We arrived at the sunny but still cold Porto early in the morning and we spent three magical days exploring the TOP attractions of the city and enjoying the local hospitality.
Monuments, amazing restaurants and bars, great views, delicious local wine, boat trips and long walks are some of the few things we did during our stay in the city.
The first quick observation about Porto is how boheme and artistic the whole vibe is. So much music in the streets, beautyful odors of the very famous Francesinha and seagals flying high above the narrow roads and Douro river. One of the seagals decided to create a design on Alex’s coat by leaving his “shitty” trademark! Haha! Good times!
Bellow you will find some of the things we did and filled our day with!
TAKE A TOUR BUS
Usually we don’t use the tour buses that most European cities have.
But in this case, it was just perfect to have a quick view of the most important buildings and attractions of the city in a nice cabrio red bus.
You can choose a 3 hour trajectory (with stops to visit the places you like) to have a full review of Porto.
It’s definitely worth it!
2. TAKE A BOAT RIDE
River Douro’s Rabelo boat rides will show you the 6 spectacular bridges from a close view. Worth to spent an hour and relax at this great boat ride at a sunny day.
3. TRY SOME WINE
Visit couple of the most famous wine lodges and taste different styles of wine. You will end up staying there all day! The flavours are unique!
4. VISIT THE PORTUGUESE CENTER OF PHOTOGRAPHY
The museum dates since 1767 and till the end of Salazar’s dictorship in 1974, it was being used as a prison. Since then it has been renovated and today it hosts exhibitions of local and international artists and you can admire some really nice views of the city and part of the prison too.
5.GET TO THE TOP OF CLERIGOS TOWER
Besides Clerigos church you can also have some patience and climb 240 steps to the top of this tower and reach its observation level.
There are signs to help you identify the city landmarks you see bellow.
6. QUALITY TIME AT LIVRARIA LELLO BOOKSHOP
An iconic bookstore of 19th century right at the heart of the city. Gorgeous building in a neo-gothic style. It became a meeting place for intelectuals and a great meeting point for social gatherings. It’s concidered one of the most beautyfull bookshops around the world because of its history and spectacular building.
7. SERRALVES ART MUSEUM
This museum combines both Portuguese and international contemporaty art. It is located in Serralves Park and in its 3 floors, you can find 14 exhibition galleries. Even works by Andy Warhol, Francis Bacon and Paula Rego have been shown to the public in the past years at this very museum.
8. PICNIC TIME AT PARQUE DA CIDADE DO PORTO
This is Porto’s version of Central Park and it is one of very few urban parks in the world with a sea view and access to the beach. It’s the largest park of Portugal and it was actually inspired by New York’s Central Park. We had a great Picnic day!
9. TAKE A LONG WALK AT THE RIVERSIDE “CAIS DA RIBEIRA”
Cais da Ribeira is the landmark of the historic part of the city.
It’s considered one of the most beautyfull places in the world.
The area was once a medieval commercial area.
You will observe many typical Portuguese buildings in bright pastel colours and you will find nice restaurants, clubs and coffee places to relax and enjoy the mesmerizing view!
We heard that a great Party with fireworks is set up every June for the celebration of Saint John’s day. Maybe next June we’ll be there!
10. DOM LUIS BRIDGE! JUST INSANE!
One of the six bridges of Douro river. Designed by the French Gustave Eifell.
The bridge is 395 meters long, 45 meters high and 8 meters wide.
It connects Porto’s city center with Vila Nova de Gaia on the opposite bank, where you should also spend some time.
11.VISIT COUPLE FAMOUS CHURCHES
There are so many churches worth to visit in Porto for their history and spectacular architecture. Here are some of them that we liked the most:
. Church of Sao Francisco
. Carmo Church
. Church of Santa Clara
. Porto Cathedral
. Chapel of Souls
. Church of Mercy
12.FEED YOUR APPETITE: TOP PLACES TO EAT & DRINK
The culinary world in Porto is a very big thing! They do have delicious wines but their cuisine is also fantastic. The famous Francesinha has its honor at many food spots of the city, so just follow your nose. We tasted this traditional dish at a place at Cais da Ribeira.
You can find bellow some of our top rated places we eated and had a great night out.
→ BUGO ART BURGER
Rua de Miguel Bombarsa 598, 4050 – 343 Porto
A must go place for the burger lovers! At a very artistic and alternative street. Worth a visit.
→ MIRADOURO IGNES
Rua da Restauracao 252, 4050 – 592 Porto
Great panoramice view of the city at a very cosy veranda. Delicious homade ice creams and tasty sardine dishes.
→ BASE BAR
Passeio dow Clerigos Rua das Carmelitas Porto
Enjoy your night out! Cocktails and nice music.
Av. do Brazil 130, 4150 – 151 Foz do Ouro, Porto
For some tasty local beers!
That’s all from this wonderful city!
We really had an amazing time in Porto and for sure we will be back soon! Until the next destination stay tuned and travel safe! Don’t forget to send us your feedback and ideas for our next explorations.