Porto was a city that had never really crossed my mind, until I was planning a weekend away with a couple of friends over a bank holiday. As expected,flight prices rocketed, so it came down to destinations with affordable flights. This city came up, and it did not disappoint.
We booked flights and sorted accommodation through Air B n B, and off we went, with absolutely no expectations, other than checking the weather before we went to find storms had been predicted, never ideal when trying to escape the always unpredictable weather here in the UK. Porto is Portugal’s 2nd largest city after Lisbon and I think its fair to say it stole our hearts… and our Port tasting Virginity!
On the first day we went out with our brolly’s in hand and jumped on a hop on hop off bus, I know these aren’t the most glamorous of ways to get around but they serve the purpose, cheap, show you all the points of interest and keep you dry! During our mini tour, the sun decided to make an appearance and we had hunted out all the Port Cellars, PLUS our bus ticket allowed for free port tasting, so we quickly dashed back to the apartment to get spruced up before heading out for the night.
We walked up to Porto Cathedral and took in the views overlooking the River Douro and then crossed the famous bridge, Dom Luis, which was quite a terrifying yet exciting experience, it was high up and mega windy, definitely wouldn’t have wanted to attempt a selfie from there, but the surrounding views are amazing! Once we had crossed the bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia, we didn’t waste any time before diving into the Port tasting.
During our second day the weather had improved dramatically, so we hopped back on the bus with the intention of seeing some more sites before the ticket expired, we stayed on the whole way and ended up at the beach, which was perfect as we wanted at lease one total relaxation day while we were there, but we saved that for our last day and instead went to check out Livaria Lello Irmao, which is like something out of Hogwarts!
We could have easily spent more time here, I would have liked to do a river boat tour taking you into the countryside, it looks so beautiful from the pictures scattered around all the Port Cellars. I would recommend it if you’re looking for somewhere to go in Europe that doesn’t break the bank, has a good atmosphere and isn’t completely heaving with tourists!