After reviewing my posts this week I realized that I left out a critical piece of information. Where are we, and what the heck have we been up to!?
Therefore, I have decided to create “FYI Fridays” to get you all caught up on what we’ve been doing each week. Sounds good? Great!
Here we go…
We spent the past five days in Portugal in the northern city of Porto (or Oporto), the country’s second largest city and one of the oldest European centres. It sits along the Douro River and the Western part of its urban area extends to the Atlantic Ocean. This place has incredible history and significance to the creation of this country (and many parts of Europe). What many people will recognize from the name, however, is Port Wine; a fortified wine produced exclusively in the Douro Valley. More on the boozy stuff later.
Our accommodations in Porto were via Airbnb and our amazing host Gisela. It was our first time using the service and it truly could not have gone better. The apartment was exactly as it was described and Gisela was a phenomenal hostess. It was right in the middle of the city centre, which made access to transit and exploring the city exceptionally easy. I thoroughly loved waking up and enjoying my morning coffee on the patio… I can definitely say I’ll miss it.
The majority of our exploring took place on foot and with the help of Porto Walkers we did both of their ‘free’ (based on tips) walking tours as well as their Port Wine tour. The Port tour cost 16 euros/person for a four hour tour which included seven port tastings, a historical tour and three locations. I truly cannot say enough about the Port tour. It is a must!
The walking tours were a great way to acclimate yourself to the city while simultaneously taking in all the ‘must-see’ sights and getting a history lesson. Just make sure you tip at the end!
We tried a few restaurants while in the city and our top-three list looks like this:
1) Presto Pizza Baixa
Rua da Fábrica 56, Porto, Portugal
Recommendation: Funghi Proscuitto Cotto Pizza
2) Tascö Restaurant
4000 196, Rua do Almada 151, Porto, Portugal
Recommendation: Mother-in-laws Chocolate Mousse
3) Travessa dos Congregados
Recommendation: Anything. You can’t go wrong. Ask for Anna the sweetest server in all the land. Here’s the proof:
The Traveller Caffè R. de Passos Manuel 165, Porto, Portugal
We had some great simple wraps and fresh squeezed juice. A great casual place for light fare and good people watching.
To sum it up, Porto far exceeded my expectations. Not that I had many, because honestly, I knew very little about the city. But the people and their hospitality, the city streets, the cheap wine, the amazing pastries, the list goes on and on…
All I know is after Porto, Lisbon will need to step up its game!