Destinations: Porto, Portugal
Where to stay?
Porto has hotels, lots of hotels. Porto also has hostels, lots of hostels. Porto has short-term rental properties, lots of short-term rental apartments. Etc,etc. Basically, whatever you need you will more than likely be able to find in Porto. A hotel in the center of the city is recommended but there are lots of options depending on if you want city life or a few days by the sea. Have a look at the usual accommodation sites and pick one that suits your needs. Be aware that Porto is a very steep city, lots of ups and downs, you might want to take that into consideration when booking a place to stay. I would love to be able to recommend a place for you to stay but unfortunately the apartment I stayed was grim. Incredibly grim. Be cautious should you ever book through student accommodation websites.
What to see?
Porto is a great place to sight see, but also seems a bit small. You can ‘tourist it up’ to the Nth degree and go on a city bus tour for as little as 10 euros – it’s good fun being ferried around but the whole run only lasts roughly 2 hours. The ticket lasts for 24 hours which means you have plenty of time to hop on and off at your pleasure. Porto has some stunning churches and historical buildings to look at, that Harry Potter bookshop (prepare to queue), river tours, bridge climbs, er, the football ground, shops, more churches, port cellar tours, the Crystal Palace gardens, a photography centre and some more churches. There is obviously a lot to see in Porto but to be honest, I found a lot of it quite similar. Maybe I was there too long.
Where to eat?
Porto has a wealth of restaurants and cafes to try featuring food from all over the world, I was there for about a month and it’s pretty difficult to narrow it down to just one place so I’ll list a few of the good ones.
Duas de Letra – Great place to grab some morning tea and toast or the lunch menu which is fantastic value and was always delicious when I went. The lunch deal consists of soup, bread, main and a drink and there is a meat and vegetarian option on offer each day. Duas de Letra
Restaurante Nova China – Really great food at a really great price, the restaurant might look a bit ‘meh’ from the outside but don’t let that put you off. The food is freshly cooked and the staff very friendly and helpful. Two of us ate and drank here like kings – big, obese food loving kings for about 25 euros. Restaurante Nova China
Black Mamba – Black Mamba is a great place to go if you’re vegetarian, vegan or just after a change. It is predominately a burger bar and has, if I remember right, at least 6 different burgers for you to try. It is well priced, the food is great and it plays some really brilliant music whilst you’re eating. Black Mamba
Where to drink?
My favourite place to drink in Porto is Adega Bodega, it is a little noisy outside as it is right next to some bus stops but you need to get past that! The wine is bliss, 1.50 a glass and served by some of the friendliest people in all of Porto. I have heard that they sell nice lunch time snacks but I never got that far into the menu. Adega Bodega
My second favourite place to drink in Porto is Terraplana. It is a pretty trendy bar with a large selection of drinks and really friendly staff. Good wine, good pizza, good place to sit. Terraplana
Pace yourself, don’t be a hero charging up and down the hills, your legs wont thank you for it the next day. See the seaside, it’s quite pleasant out there. Eat the Chinese food.