Farewell & Birthday weekend in Porto

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Isn’t Refia the best photographer? She was laying on the floor to take this picture! That’s also the reason why I am laughing.

I have been living in Lisbon for nearly nine months, and soon it was time to leave and go back to Brazil (“Finding my true love” – Brazil), but I have not been to Porto yet. Porto is a must-do in Portugal! Thankfully I found a friend who wanted to join me there, and we made it to a little farewell trip as well. As it was my birthday on Friday and we wanted to go out at night, we decided to leave Saturday around noon. Well, that escalated a bit. After a crazy night out at Lust in Rio, we came home around 8-9 am and woke up at 2 pm still drunk.

Eventually, we managed to get up and made it to Porto. When we arrived, it was raining, cold and already dark. We went off the metro and went past the Chapel of Souls, which is known for its blue and white tiles. Once arrived at our hostel, we decided to have a quick dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, which was close by.

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The next morning, rested and nearly sober again, we went finally to explore the city. Our hostel was located downtown and Porto is quite small, so we could do everything by walking. First, we went to the Praça de Gomes Teixeira which was not even a five-minute walk away, where you will find the Fonte dos Leões and further away, Igreja do Carmo and Igreja dos Carmelitas. The Igreja do Carmo is another church where you can see the typical blue and white azulejos tiles, for which Porto is known for. Passing by the Livraria Lello and the Universidade do Porto, we ended on the Praça de Lisboa from where you have a lovely view on colourful houses and the Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower). We walked through the small streets and ended at Bairro da Ribeira next to the Douro river with the famous bridge Ponte Luís I. You can cross the bridge from the upper or the lower level. From the other side, which is not Porto anymore but Vila Nova de Gaia, you have the best view on Porto and the Bairro da Ribeiro. We walked along the Ribeira de Gaia, with the old boats with which they used to transport the port wine. Now they are just decoration, but they are used once a year for the Rabelo Boat Regatta. The race takes place on the 24th of June, where the different port wine distilleries race against each other. At the Mercado Municipal de Gaia, you can find local products, little stands as well as food stands. We had food and cake while listening to live music. After this little break, we took the Teleférico de Gaia to go all the way up to the Morro from where you have another amazing view of Porto. As we are on the top level of the bridge now, we crossed and wandered a bit around the tiny streets.

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At night we walked a bit around downtown if you are looking for crazy nightlife you better go to Lisbon (will follow soon), as Porto is rather quiet at night, but there are some cute bars and restaurants.

On our last day, we decided to get pierced. I mean, why not?! And another thing we had to do and which you should do as well when in Porto, is a tour of a port wine distillery, which includes a tasting of the different port wines at the end. Usually, you will have to book the tour a day prior but if you are lucky, a few hours before are alright as well. We decided on the distillery Ferreira. I loved the tour, where we learned about the different port wines and how they are made. At the end, we tried three different ones, you can choose options where you can try up to nine different port wines. Port wine goes straight to your head and with all the amount of alcohol we still had from Friday in our blood, I was slightly drunk again. To perfectly end our stay and before taking the train back to Lisbon, we had dinner at Boa-Bao which is Asian cuisine. We took the train at Porto São Bento, which you should not miss, as they have a beautiful hall with tiles.

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By luck, we discovered this colourful mural, just next to our hostel.

And this was our little weekend in Porto! As you might have guessed, there are so many more things to do like the Jardins do Palácio de Cristal, the Jardim Botânico do Porto, Foz do Douro as well as beaches close by, but you have to keep some things for the next time, right?

Other destinations in Portugal, A few days on São Miguel, Azores, Portugal

 

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