I spent 2 days, 3 nights in Porto, the weather was ‘mixed’, and I had a good time exploring some of the city across both sides of the river estuary.
It’s known as a less cosmopolitan city than Lisbon, and I would definitely describe it as ‘gritty’, but also lively and atmospheric. The old town is a UNESCO protected area.
It’s one of the oldest cities in Europe, the second largest in Portugal, and known for it’s bridges, Port wine production (apparantly 91% of the worlds Port wine is exported from Portugal…..), the medieval Ribeira (riverside) district, narrow cobbled streets and cafes (amongst lots of other things).
The quality of wine here is also high and quite cheap (not that I am any kind of expert), but I know what tastes good!!
I had heard that J.K.Rowling had spent a few years living here pre-writing of the Harry Potter stories, and took inspiration from the city for some of the characters and buildings…..is this true or not……I don’t know, but the more I got into the place, the more I thought I started to see things that could have been used to inspire.
From a recommendation from the recent family I had met, I spent a few hours at one of the oldest book stores in Portugal, known as Livraria Lello (well recommended a visit).
…..and spent a night out around the Rue de Santa Catarina, where the night doesn’t get started until 12am at the earliest!
I stumbled upon a very cool cha house Rota do Chá and hung out here for a while. I have got to get myself one of those cast iron teapots!
I spent some time around the Ribeira quarter and had some good conversation with a local restaurant owner while his mum cooked my fresh tapas right next to where I sat. They were amazing! I didn’t try the octopus this time, but since have, and it’s nice.
The vinho verde was good!
The city a long time ago….
Finally I did the tourist visit of one of the Port manufactures along with a tasting session, and picked up some good Port drinking tips 🙂
Looking back across the river at the Ribeira district with all the Port manufacturers behind me (there are a lot!), with the actual boats that used to be used to transport the port barrels from further up the river.
So another highlight, and another place I would recommend and hope to return to in the future. Hope you liked!