After being introduced to the blue tile obsession that seems to appear in Portuguese towns in Lisbon, I have to say I enjoyed spotting this aspect of architecture in Porto (or Oporto) also.

This charming place is however much smaller, and therefore I felt seemed a more manageable size to explore on a deeper scale as compared to the country’s capital.

I really didn’t get up to much here sight seeing wise, but simply enjoyed the calm pace of life Porto offers.

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On one side of the river here you’ll find a myriad of (appropriately named) port wineries and it’s nice to spend a day here just taste testing.
My friends and I tried out Taylors, which had pretty great views of the city across the River Douro and has been around since 1692.

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The view of Porto from Taylors
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The entrance and people port tasting 
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For all the Harry Potter fans, JK Rowling used to live in Porto and there is a much loved book store in town called Lello & Irmao which has a special double helix style kind of staircase right in the centre of the shop underneath a stained glass roof.

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The entrance of Lello & Irmao
It’s pretty magical looking and easy to see why she would’ve gotten some inspiration from here.

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The staircase inside

Also worth going to see is the train station Sao Bento, even if you’re not planning on going anywhere out of Porto, the entrance alone is lovely. It has a lot of blue tiles inside so I was going to be impressed regardless!

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Train station interior
I rarely make a note of a city’s shopping prospects but I happened to find myself in the main area for it and noticed Porto has quite a good set up when it comes to its main stores.
The streets are laid out easily with the main one being the Via Catarina where you’ll find a large mall that has anything you need basically, but I thought the Avenida da Boavista and Rua do Almada were quite nice too.
In pursuit of a particular restaurant in town, my friends and I got spectacularly lost and ended up settling on a random joint instead however on the way we came across some pretty cool street art so it wasn’t all bad.

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On the subject of food, Porto is known for its sandwiches called francesinha and it’s essentially a meat lovers dream, made from ham, sausage and steak covered in gravy, cheese and an egg if you wish too.
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A francesinha

I don’t eat a lot of meat so I didn’t order one but I did witness my friend devour not one, but two of these monsters in a day.
I was appropriately impressed albeit a little disgusted at the same time.
If you’ve got a massive hunger and a disregard for your arteries then give it a go!

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At night alongside the River Douro is where the locals gather for insanely cheap drinks at around 2 euro each from bars located a little behind the main street.
It’s relaxing to just kick back next to the Ponte D. Luis I Bridge which connects the two side of the city.
Earlier that day I had gone for a cruise up and down the Douro River which runs underneath it and makes for a different vantage point to enjoy Porto.

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A few more snaps from around town..

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5 thoughts on “Porto

  1. We spent a month in Porto and really fell in love with its charms. That came as a surprise because we’d not read a lot about it and didn’t see as many tourists there. Porto is high on our list for places we’d recommend after our round the world trip.

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