Porto, Portugal

We travelled from Lisbon to Porto via train, it took three hours and it was comfortable  and a wonderful way to travel and see the countryside.  We had a single ticket and it cost around 20 euros, you can buy the tickets in advance making it cheaper.

Upon arrival at the station Campanha, it was a little confusing trying to find out where the ticket machines were but we got a daily card that cost 6 euros as we were there for a couple of days. It is reloadable so do not discard it.  We got the metro which was more like a tram but it was quick and efficient. You must activate your metro card on a machine before you get on the train.

We stayed at HP Ipanema Hotel which was located 20 minutes walk into the centre and a few minutes walk  from the Casa Da Musica metro stop. The hotel was a treat, beds were so comfy and the breakfast was fantastic, we even had champagne for breakfast and the choice of food was  fabulous. The staff were lovely and I got some free icecream 🙂

On our second day we walked took the metro and we went on a walking tour as we do.  We arrived at Sao Bento station and we saw beautiful tiles depicting Porto’s history and lifestyle: I would definitely recommend it and it’s free 🙂

Stepping out of the station you see winding streets  in front of you, the moment I saw the city ,I knew I would love this city!

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We then went on a walking  tour , if you have read my other posts you’ll see that I do this in every city I visit.  It’s a great way to see the city, learn about it and find out  interesting facts, recommendations from locals and you can hit the ground running.

We saw the Cerigos tower which you can walk up for eight euros, but you can get beautiful views for free around the city.

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I preferred Porto to Lisbon, it has a oldy world feel and it was a relaxed city to amble around. It is hilly and has cobbled streets and there are lovely buildings around the city. It has a feeling of history and you can tell JK Rowling who lived there got some inspiration for her Harry Potter series. Below is The Yellow  Bookshop which inspired Hogwarts library. You can pay to go in but just have a peak through the door for free.

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There are baroque buildings, cathedrals and churches dotted around the city.

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I am a keen photographer, I suppose you can tell from my Instagram page and one place you should visit is the photography museum which is situated in an old prison:
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There is so much to see in Porto, below is the statue of Henry the Explorer pointing to the Douro River.

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We visited the Se Cathedral also.

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We walked over Ponte Luis Bridge where you see a  wonderful view of the Douro and you can see the Port Cellars you can visit such as Sandemans, Taylors etc. They are situated on the Gaia side of the river.

 

 

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This was the view from the bridge,

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Walking down the winding streets to Riberia Quay, we saw festive decoration and street art.

 

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We walked along the quai and we went on The Six Bridges Boat trip which was interesting and it lasted 50 minutes. I definitely recommend it, you purchase tickets from the tourist stand.

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cover_photo_152840483181020180606_154814After sitting in the glorious sunshine on the boat we ambled along the quay and we went to a Café de  Cais and had some Douro on the Douro!  Wonderful place to watch the world go  by and people watch.

 

We walked along the Douro back to our hotel and saw some wonderful street art:

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On our final evening we went to Casa de Musica’s restaurant  in the futuristic music venue. To me it looked like something out of Star Wars!

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I would definitely recommend it, the food was superb and the menus were on a tablet- very high tec. You can chose  a set menu or go off menu, which we ddd!  Staff were attentive and the food was scrumptious;

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I  the scallops and they were divine, the local wine was tasty too. I  thoroughly enjoyed the culture, the history, the vistas, the people and the food.

Porto has a special place in my heart, you must visit!

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