Wander through the narrow, cobbled streets, admire the blue Azulejos, and sample a glass of port. Charming Porto is waiting for you.
Enjoy Your Time in Porto
I visited Porto in May 2017, but such has been my busy schedule, I haven't had time to write about until now. Which is kind of ironic. Porto is one of those towns that you shouldn't rush. It's best soaked up at a leisurely pace, allowing it to slowly reveal itself to you. Of course, you don't want to miss anything either! So, I've put together a quick guide of the many things to do in Porto during your holidays in Portugal.
Visit the Harry Potter Bookstore
Obviously, this should be at the top of everyone's list of things to do in Porto! J.K. Rowling, author of the Harry Potter books, lived in Porto for a time, and the architecture of the Lello bookstore inspired her vision of Hogwarts. Whilst it is a ‘must-see', I will be the first to admit there is an element of disappointment here. It's a huge tourist attraction, with hundreds of people visiting every hour. There's even a ticket and queuing system in place! My suggestion – Get there early in the morning whilst everyone is still in bed!
Porto is of course more correctly well known as the home of Port. No trip is going to be complete without visiting a port cellar or two, where you can see the production process, and sample the end product. When we visited, one of the cellars was celebrating some sort of anniversary. They were marching a Port barrel up and down the side of the river accompanied by a marching band. As you do!
The Serralves Modern Art Museum
If you've got a thing for modern art, then head for the Serralves Modern Art Museum in Porto. In addition to ever changing exhibitions, they also have a garden with works of art in. In case you were wondering, the work of art is the object on the right, not on the left!
As you stroll around Porto, you can't fail to notice the ceramic painted blue tiles. They are on a number of churches and cathedrals, most notably Carmo and Capela das Almas churches. For me though, the most outstanding place to enjoy the blue tiles is at São Bento Station. I spent quite a while in here just admiring the time and dedication it must have taken to create the decoration.
Walking Along The River Douro
Walking along the river Douro is a great way to pass some time, and at night, the bridge is beautifully illuminated. I preferred the walk on the other side of the river, so that I could look on to the city, and also admire the bridge. There's also a cable car ride here, which offers some wonderful views. A river cruise is another good way to experience Porto from a new angle.
More to Porto
It goes without saying that there are a lot more things to do in Porto than simply the things above! But, sometimes the beauty of visiting a place, is to discover them yourself. Have you visited Porto, and if so, what did you think? I would love to hear from you, so please leave a comment below.
Interested in exploring more of Portugal? Take a look at cycling the Portuguese Camino Coastal route from Porto to Santiago de Compostela. Want to find out more about European destinations for city breaks? Check out my getaway breaks guides for travel inspiration!