she.escapes contributor

Porto, Fantastic City Trip!

Isn’t it great to spend a nice weekend away, exploring new places, cities and going on adventures? A destination that suits this purpose perfectly is the city of Porto in my home country Portugal.

Make sure you have two full days. Arrive on a Friday and leave Monday. You’ll definitely need this time to fully appreciate everything the city and its surroundings have to offer.

The cutest streets! The cutest streets!

There are plenty of hotel options to chose from, from budget Airbnb’s to high-end 5-star luxury hotels. On my last visit, I stayed in an Airbnb and it was a perfect experience. Do make sure to stay in the city center and as close as possible to the Douro River as that makes it easier to walk to every single must-see site.

On your first day, head out to explore the city of Porto. The city center is very walkable so you don’t really need any transportation, perhaps an Uber ride back to your accommodation in the end if you’re tired. Explore city highlights such as the bookstore Livraria Lello which inspired Harry potter, Se do Porto, Sao Bento train station, the riverfront of Cais da Ribeira, food market Mercado do Bolhao, Torre dos Clerigos, Capela das Almas and gardens of Jardins do Palacio de Crystal.

Breathtaking bookstore! Breathtaking bookstore!

Afterward cross the bridge, Dom Luis, I to Vila Nova de Gaia. This area is known for its Port wine houses all lined up in a row at the Douro River waterfront, where you can have tastings of all sorts of quality Port wines. On top of the bridge, you definitely have the best views of the city!

On the second day, I would advise taking a tour of the Douro Valley. The area is known to be one of the oldest wine areas of Europe and has truly breathtaking views. Shared tours can be taken from as little as 90 euros per person which includes a full-day tour, wine tastings, a Douro cruise and lunch at a vineyard.

City full of spectacular monuments! City full of spectacular monuments!

Other ways of experiencing the Douro Valley are either by rental car or train. By train you can get some amazing panoramic views, and places worth stopping at are Peso da Regua and Pinhao. From these two places, you can easily grab a taxi to bring you to some of the highly-rated close-by vineyards where you can have wine tastings and/or lunch.

To me, this makes the perfect weekend. One day of city sightseeing and another one indulging in the best wines of Portugal and some of its gastronomic treasures. I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did!

#weekendaway, #sightseeing