Rain had been to Portugal before, so we arrived with a small idea of what we were going to do and where to stay. Ultimately, due to time constraints, made the decision between LIsbon and Porto. Porto was Rain’s decision and I was really happy with the direction that we went!
We flew to Porto since it was the best option. From there we were able to take a metro and highly recommend this route. It was so easy to navigate and extremely cost effective. We were able to take the metro into town and from there we decided to take a short uber. When we arrived in the city, it was the first time in awhile that it wasn’t extremely cold. Having the sun beat down on us along the water was perfect considering Rain was still a bit upset over having her phone stolen in Belgium. We chose to stay in an Airbnb in the Miragaia area. The Airbnb was extremely mediocre, but we anticipated that due to sacrificing for the location. The location was right down the street from the Douro River. There are some great areas to stay in Porto and a lot of it is within walking distance, so you really can’t go wrong.
Along the water there are some great little restaurants with outdoor seating. We ordered some fresh seafood at Restaurante Terra Nova and enjoyed all the people watching. In the evening we came back to the same area where we enjoyed a nice bottle of wine, cheese and meats at the Wine Quay Bar. It was perfect and we were enjoying every second of being in Porto. My recommendation is getting a bottle of wine and people watching! There is typically street performers and plenty of tourists to be entertained by.
The following day we walked across the Douro River to the Jardim do Morrow. This is a really nice park with some incredible views. This is an ideal spot to bring a blanket and some meat/cheese and enjoy a nice day. The Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar is right across the street and is a beautiful Monastery that’s from the 1500s. There are great areas to explore on both sides of the river that give you the opportunity for such cool views and pictures.
PORT WINE. Yes. We had to really dive into the culture and go to a Port tasting. There are quite a few options that you can choose from. We decided to check out Sandeman and it was fantastic. Rain and I did a private tasting which was really nice and we could just enjoy each other’s company. There are plenty of options to go with a big group and get a tour, but we decided against it.
Please keep in mind, Port Wine is significantly stronger than your typical wine. It will sneak up on you rather quickly, so it’s important to be aware. That’s also why our pictures got goofier as the day went on.
If you are looking to grab a bite to eat, but cant make up your mind, I really recommend Mercado Beira-Rio. They have an assortment of delicious shops with restaurants.
Overall, we loved Porto. It was scenic city with great food and wine. The people were so friendly and it’s a great city to walk and explore. There are quite a few cities in Portugal we would love to go back and check out.