Back in December of 2017 I traveled to Porto, Portugal and I’m finally getting around to this travel blog post (apologies if you’ve been waiting on it!).
It took me a full 24 hours to get to my destination, flying from San Francisco, California to New York (JFK) to Lisbon Airport (LIS, via TAP Portugal) and train to Porto via CP – Comboios de Portugal). Don’t forget to download the google map so you don’t have to use your data when you get there. As long as you have google maps, you can easily navigate your way through the city.
GOOD TO KNOW
Once we settled in and started to explore, we found this city is very walkable and if you know me, I love to explore by foot. It’s the only way to really see the the beautiful nooks and crannies that you would otherwise miss if you took a taxi or bus. Wifi is mostly available at restaurants and cafes. The service is average, at times unfriendly depending on what establishment you visit. We tended to visit more local cafes and the people there were a little friendlier. I think it’s mainly because of the language barrier. I tended to get a ton of stares and I’m sure it wasn’t my imagination. An asian girl with blond hair may not be something they see too much of? Who knows! The food was also average, nothing too impressive. Except for one lunch spot we stopped by which was super tasty and the prices were fair and not too touristy. They are well known for their Portugal tarts (which we ate a ton of), but every spot had a different taste and sometimes texture. It wasn’t very consistent, but for the most part still yummy. What I most enjoyed was the old world architecture and picturesque scenery from certain vantage points that you will only come across when you walk on foot.
Keep scrollin’ below as I give you pretty pics of spots I explored and would or would not recommend on your next visit. Hope you like!
Arrived at sunset at the Porto Sao Bento Train Station
Started our day of shooting and exploring very early in the morning.
The infamous Livraria Lello. If you’re a Harry Potter fan, then you’ll know JK Rowling took her inspiration from this unique bookshop in Porto. You will need to purchase a ticket (about $6 euro per person) around the corner of the bookstore to enter. You can use your ticket for an additional discount should you wish to purchase any books. Try to go as early as possible to beat the crowds and get a picture on the awesome staircase.
About a two minute walk from the Livrario Lello is the Igreja do Carmo church with the prettiest blue mural.
Walk around to find beautiful city views like this.
Palacio do Bolsa. You will need to pay for a guided group tour ($9 euro per person) and this is mandatory. You will not be able to explore on your own, but you can sneak away for pics here and there. There is one room in the palace that will really blow your mind towards the end of the tour. 😉
Adjacent to the Palacio da Bolsa is the Hard Club which does concerts and special events. At the time I visited, there was a community market selling little knick knacks and unique finds. The building also has this pretty awesome view from the stairs facing the water.
If I would recommend a great spot for lunch, it would be Pregar. The food is fresh and tasty and the prices are affordable and fair.
The alleyways of Porto.
Porto Cathedral (Se do Porto). There is a $3 euro admission to roam around the cathedral. I love the eeriness of the beautiful arched hallways and the intricate detail of their alter.
I love chilling at cafe’s and Joia da Coroa serves up little coffee and desserts on china fit for royalty. The interior and exterior details are sublime and gram worthy.
Like every European city I visited, Porto knows how to twinkle during the holidays.
How majestic is the exterior of the Majestic Cafe? Unfortunately the prices are pretty majestic and the food is just ok. Definitely a tourist trap, I would save your money and eat elsewhere.
If you feel like getting your shop on, head over to Rua de Santa Catarina where you will find designer brand boutiques as well as everyday brands like Bershka and Zara.
I hope you all enjoyed my Porto travel diary! Thanks for stopping by and see you on the next one!