I loved Lisbon very much, but if I am to choose to visit Portugal again, I would head straight to Porto. And I have no explanation for that, I just felt a connection with the soul of this beautiful city. The very old architecture, the life along Douro river, and the fact that Porto is the place where two very different waters meet- Douro and the Atlantic Ocean- give the city an undeniable charm. So here is everything you need to know to experience Porto at its best.
Where to stay
This hotel is an historic building located in the most artistic area of the city. Built as a tribute to the portuguese “Golden Age of Discoveries”, Mercador keeps the historic value of the time through its décor and furnishings. The rooms were given names of old Portuguese seaports of the colonial era and are individually decorated in the style of each specific area and using historical artefacts from the place. Unique is the word which best describes this place.
On a more practical note, it has the most convenient location, being in walking distance to pretty much everything you might want to see in Porto.
Where to eat
Ostras & Coisas
Our trip to Portugal has marked several “bests” in my whole tourist life: best hotel breakfast, best Instagrammable locations, and definitely best restaurant experience. Ostras & Coisas is an absolute must for all fish and seafood lovers. But I strongly recommend it to anyone who is more of a meat eater too, because chances are that you will fall in love with seafood once and for all. The concept is amazing. They have a base menu, but they also have their day menu, which depends on the fresh fish that is available on that specific day. So you can basically choose your products at the entrance. Isn’t it cool?
We’ve eaten the most odd creatures ever, but this place managed to make them the most tasty too. I also want to stress on the quality of the service, yet another “best”, and particularly emphasise their manager- Joana, who made us feel wonderful in this very unique place.
This is a small, family owned place, with cordial service and super tasty food. Nothing sophisticated, just simple and tasteful, home made food. They also offered me the best cheese experience in Portugal.
This is the most famous cafe in Porto and probably one of the most famous in the world for its, as the name has it, truly majestic interior. However, food is not the best and nor is the service. It is also quite overpriced. So I would recommend to visit it only for the sake of its beauty.
Zenith Brunch & Cocktails
This is a place we did not eat in. So why do I recommend it? Well, if I didn’t have the chance, I would be happy if at least someone will. We tried to get there on our last day, but, believe it or not, they had a queue of 1,5 hour worth in time, which was too long for two very unorganised people who are always almost late to catch their flights. But their queue was speaking for itself, and so was the food in front of all those people I absolutely hated in that moment. Anyways, the point is: make a reservation!
When we were super hungry and in a desperate search for a good place to brunch, TripAdvisor recommended O Diplomata, and it did not disappoint in any way. They are mainly famous for their pancakes, but if you are always watching those two kilos like I am, they have a lot of other options. A trendy and cute place and I think we were just lucky to get a spot immediately as we came, because after we hunted our table, quite a queue emerged behind us.
Things to do
- The most important suggestion I made in my Lisbon guide, is applicable for Porto too: walk! But don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes.
- Rent a scuter and enjoy the ride along FOZ do Douro. Feel the breeze.
- Porto is home to some of the most beautiful buildings I have ever seen, together with impressive tile-works all around. The central station, the beautiful churches, and Palacio da Bolsa are definitely worth seeing.
- Watch the sunset form Jardims do Palacio de Cristal.
- Have a drink at one of the cafes along Douro.
- Visit one or more wineries.
Your photos are gorgeous! Porto is actually on my list of places I want to visit!
I would love to visit Porto, it’s on my travel bucket list! Such beautiful photos and dying for the seafood 🙂
Thanks for sharing!
This is such a lovely idea! I totally want to try this!!
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Looks so amazing! x
love your photos, been wanting to go to Proto for so long, can’t wait to be there one day! 🙂
Porto is amazing, you’ll definitely love it!