Two weeks ago I explored the streets of Porto with my family and totally fell for it’s lost-in-time-charm with it’s snappy yet beautiful buildings all decorated with artistic tiles. I somehow felt like in a different world and in a different time and sometimes I even forgot that I’m still on European mainland and not somewhere far down South in South America. And now I want to share my memories of this trip with you.
Porto. A city of 230.000 people 2h north of Lisbon is Portugal’s economic engine and you can feel it everywhere. Porto is a busy and fast city with people rushing from one place to the other – but always with a very special Portuguese attitude, which I love. If you stroll the streets you forget everything because the only thing on your mind are the colorful tiles on every wall. Beside the beautiful but rundown buildings Porto is more like a surprise box packed with the most amazing little stunners around every corner – for example like the Oporto Craft Market where local designer sell their products in a nice and easy atmosphere or the Monastery by the Cathedral of Porto which’s beauty is absolutely breathtaking and it’s quietness extraordinary in a lively city like Porto. The thing about this city is that you have to drift through the streets and get lost on the way to get to know it best but if you do you gonna lose you heart forever.
Porto is the home of port wine – and as every tourist we had to visit one of the vine cellars, but not the crowded ones on the city where tourist traps aren’t far off. We wanted to see more of the famous and oldest protected wine region in the world and so we decided to explore the whole Douro Valley for one day, which turned out to be the best idea of all. The landscape was astonishing and I couldn’t help myself but taking hundreds of pictures of vineyards combined with the river down in the valley. I might have grown up in a wine country but the whole scenery is totally different to the vineyards in Styria – it’s more like a rocky dessert where only vine is able to grow. Amazing. During our day trip we visited one lovely small organic vineyard called Quinta do Tedo where we had a very interesting tour through their old wine cellar and production followed by a port wine tasting. It has been a great day and I can really recommend a day trip to the Douro Valley to anyone who happens to be in Porto for a few days – but make this trip by car and not by boat, because if you don’t have the chance to climb the beautiful hills and enjoy the breathtaking view you won’t get to now the Douro Valley the way you have to.
So some sightseeing tips for your stay in Porto/Douro Valley:
Oporto Craft Market: Rua do Almada N°125
Monastery: Terreiro da Se
Rail station Sao Bento (the most beautiful station I’ve ever seen) : Praca Almeida Garrett
Livraria Lello & Irmao (old bookshop with amazing interior) : Rua das Carmelitas N°144
Quinta de Tedo: N°5110-207, Folgosa
Best viewpoint in the valley: Rua Praça de Oliveira 1, Casal de Loivos, Portugal
I hope you enjoyed this travel diary 🙂 And on question: have you even been in Porto? If yes, what did you like most about it?
*pictures by Hanni and me