Our accommodation was at Matosinhos. From the Porto airport to the apartment it takes about 40 minutes. To Porto downtown we needed about 30 to 35 minutes but therefor the beach was only one metro stop away. By foot you can reach the beach „Praia de Matosinhos“ in about 15 to 20 minutes. We were lucky and blessed that we had the chance to stay in the apartment of a portuguese friend from Germany.
Praia de Matosinhos
At the top of my list was the „Livraria Lello Porto„ (R. das Carmelitas 144, 4050-161 Porto). The book shop is known as the third most beautiful book shop in the world. And definitely it is an impressive place. Even though it is much smaller than in pictures, it was a magical moment to get in there. Unfortunately, the bookshop (despite admission fee of 4 Euros, that you will get back if you are going to buy a book there) was very crowded. According to rumors, author J.K. Rowling got the inspiration for Harry Potter here.
A few meters away from the book shop, you can already see the church „Igreja do Carmo“. It’s not only an breathtaking eyecatcher from outside.
Another feature of Porto is the „Ponte Dom Luís“. The bridge over Douro which crosses Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia. Wine lovers will find nice wine cellars in Vila Nova de Gaia. If you want to experience the nightlife, you should be in Porto. In all cases it is worth exploring both sides.
The streets and buildings of Porto have reminded me of another time. In the student neighborhood you can feel the happiness and vitality of the people. This is best experienced when you go through the streets by foot. A city that blew me away.
Igreja do Carmo
Ponte Dom Luís
Streets in Porto Downtown
Probably one of my favorite things. As mentioned above you can discover Porto’s small patisseries in many corners with lots of sweet treats and desserts. So for me an absolute dream and probably also the reason why I will get diabetes one day.
Fish dishes are very popular there. So a this had to be on the list anyway. „Francesinha“ is another typical dish in Porto. It is a ham sandwich with Beefsteak (normally) and with a homemade sauce. I have not tried it, but for meat lovers an traditional dish that can be found almost everywhere in Porto.
My favorite place (recommended by a friend): Risotto. The small restaurant „Ris8tto da Baixa„ (Rua do Almada 203, Porto 4050-038) offers besides burger the best risotto I’ve ever had for a very fair price (around 11€ for food and drink). Highly Recommended.
Also a dessert shouldn’t be missed on my trip. And who says „No“ to ice cream? Next to Livraria Lello you will find the ice cream shop „Amorino„. And that was so good!Is there anything more about to say? My recommendation: crepe with dark chocolate and caramel ice cream.
To celebrate my cousins birthday we went to the „17th Bar & Restaurant“ (Rue de Guedes de Azevedo 179, 4000-111 Porto). It is known as one of the „best“ rooftop bar in Porto. The view was definetely worth it. Nevertheless, I was very disappointed with the service there. The prices were higher priced compared to other bars. And therefor I would have expected a friendlier customer service from the waiters. If you just want to have a drink and enjoy the view, I can recommend it to you. But I would not go there anymore.
To be honest, we were not really out to shop in Porto. But I recommend to look closer to the small local shops that offer plates, cups and other stuff. Those who love rustic and the typical Portuguese patterns, will find it in many corners in Porto.
A city with many little surprises! I have definitely fallen in love with Porto and I am looking forward to exploring more of Portugal in the future. Not only the small alleys with the tiles covered houses inspired me. Rather, the people there were an inspiration. They spread pure joy. For me a wonderful experience that I wanted to share with you.
Até à vista, Porto!