PORTO : A FAIRYTALE IN THE NORTH OF PORTUGAL

Porto is a quiet city, really nice for long walks on sunny days. Porto has changed during the last years. I was there more than 10 years before and I can say now

it is a touristic city that is growing in beauty and in charm. I was really happy to see a new renewed Porto, full of colors and life.

Let yourself be inspired by the narrow alleys, the ocean breeze and the vibrant colors of the houses: Porto is really a magical city and has a very long history.  It is less crowded than Lisbon if you prefer an elegant but not crazy night life city to visit.

The visit to the city can start from the famous Livrarua Di Lello and Irmao, It is one of the oldest and most spectacular libraries in the world. It is note especially because it inspired Harry Potter writer J.K.Rowling. It is a library in liberty style, full of treasures to discover. In the last few years, is necessary ticket to visit the library, at a cost of 4 euros which can be discounted to purchase a book (not cumulative).

A place I loved was the market of Bolhão that  is a symbol of the buildings of the center of Porto and is the most important market of the city. The project was originally made by the Architect António Correia da Silva and dated back to 1850. The inauguration was in 1914. I decided to buy fresh fish and vegetable and cooked them at home!

If you are looking for a relaxing experience, you can opt for a walk on Luis bridge at sunset. The bridge was built in 1831 and it connects the port with the town Vila Nova de Gaia, famous for the wine cellars with wine tasting of the famous Porto wine.

My Friend and I having a walk

 

In Villa Nova My friend and I decided to do a tour to know better the Porto Story. We decided for the Offley.  Located in Vila Nova de Gaia near the waterfront, at Caves Offley you will learn the fascinating story of the Baron of Forrester and its role in the Port wine industry. In this guided tour through the cellar, there will be wine Port tastings and for small groups of connoisseurs there is also available an intimate visit with a wider selection of Port Wine tastings. Founded in 1737  by William Offley the company became international and today is one of the most important Porto cellar. But if you desire to have a full experience of Porto Wine you need to go in the Douro Valley and see with your eyes the grapevines from the river. Amazing!

If you are hungry after the walks I suggest a place where you can eat a lot of fish for a good price: Restaurante Casa Adão.

If time permits, a trip toward the Ocean is a good option. You can do it in 2 different ways:

  • aboard the characteristic yellow tram,.The tram line 1 - Infante - Passeio Alegre is located in front of the San Francisco. church. The ticket costs 2,50€ and it can be done directly on board.
  • Or you can take a small boat from Villa Nova de Gaia and do a small trip under the 5 bridges of the city till the Ocean. I did this. We bought a ticket with the boat tour, a tasting in the Porto Cruz building and a tour in the OFFLEY cellar.  We bought the ticket directly in front of the river and we paid 12 Euro.

When you want to go back to the other part of the city you can also take a cable-way, that will bring you to the top in front of the saint Luiz. Nice to go after the sunset because you see the city full of lights!  The cost id around 7 Euro for both ways.

Another thing to do, a  good way to visit the city with a guide is a walking tour, for example with portowakers  . 

If you like the street art they also organize some good walking tour in the afternoon on it!