So, you’re choosing your next trip, and still, have not a clue of where to go. Somewhere sunny, perhaps in Europe, charming but not crowded, different but not too exotic. In this case, I’d tell you to visit Porto. Only 300 km North of the capital, Lisbon, Porto was a delicious surprise on my latest trip to Iberic Peninsula.
First of all, be prepared to walk up and downhill. All the time. But in the end, it is a benefit. After trying all the sins the Portuense cuisine can offer, walking around the city is a good way to explore Porto’s hidden gems and burn some calories.
At a first glance, I was fascinated by the old buildings and the labyrinth of slopes (to which you get easily used to after 2 days in town). Another thing I loved is the young scene blooming in the street shops, with modern hipster coffee places, and fashion stores. But somehow, old and new, traditional and modern, mix up harmonically, and you don’t feel either in an antique only or only-youth-friendly city. That’s what makes you want to stroll and get into every store or bakery you find, or get close to examine the tiles and stones on a façade and try to riddle its past.
Tourism in booming in the last years but in a positive way, it doesn’t feel like. Of course, the streets will get more crowded in Summer but it’s a bit better than what I’ve seen in other touristic cities. Still wondering where to go? Pack your bags and discover Porto.
What to do: as I said before, just by walking around the city old town you’ll get to know Porto’s most famous attractions, but if you want to tease you curiosity via Google Earth, here goes a list: Clérigos Tower, Dom Infante Museum, São Bento train station, Ribeira, Luis I bridge, Monastery Serra do Pilar e Catedral da Sé/Porto Cathedral (and still counting…well, that’s a lot!) I told you Porto is a treasure). 😉
And it’s so inspiring, that the post ended up too long. So there’s part 2, with tips about places to go and what to do.