A Weekend Getaway in Porto

Porto

For a while Porto had always been a one day destination for me. Departing from Lisbon on the early morning train and coming back at night, didn’t leave much room to explore the city. A few months ago, I finally decided to book a ticket, rent a house and set off for the weekend. A well deserved getaway, this time with a special someone 🙂

Some people say that the first thing you should try when you arrive to Porto is the Francesinha. According to Condé Nast Traveller, this is one of the best sandwiches in the world. I’m afraid I have to disagree. Though I followed the recommendation of a friend and tried it at the Conga restaurant, it was the pork steak croquette that won us over. That, and the delicious ice cream at Cremosi.

It’s amazing how a city can change from night to day. As soon as we arrived we emersed in such a lively city, especially if you walk around Galerias de Paris and Praça Filipa de Lencastre, there is always something happening!

Though the first thing in our mind was food, we ended up having a bottle of rosé instead (Yes I know, not very Porto like). My only regret? Not having grabbed the bottle and head to the stunning Ribeira area! One thing to keep in mind is that the restaurants’ kitchens close rather early, so unless you’re lucky to find a place like Caldeireiros, that serves delicious food late at night, I advise you to find something early on or cook at home!

When the sun is up, Porto turns into a much quieter city! The only lively place we saw on Saturday morning was Feira da Vandoma, a flea market that in my opinion beats Feira da Ladra in Lisbon, mainly because of its fantastic location.

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The whole point of this journey was to go on the historical train along the Douro river, and so after two hours on a train to Régua, we embarked on an adventure that I will never forget!

I’ve always been passionate about old cars and trains, so when I finally arrived to Tua and saw a bunch of them parked around, I was in train heaven!

Along the way they offered us water, candies and of couse Porto wine. Forget the cellars, there’s no better place to have a glass of wine then to be on a train looking over the river. Also, get ready to dance with the folk crew, if not willingly, you might find yourself being forced to do it.

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Back to the city center it was time to experience the real nightlife in Porto! That included dancing to the sound of Phoenix’s “If I ever feel better” at Casa do Livro and a quick stop by Era Uma Vez,  one of my favorite places in Porto.

You probably won’t experience this every Sunday, but we were lucky enough to find a green wine festival happening at Alfândega and a classic car show all at once. If you go around that area, make sure to stop by Armazem, a cultural space easily spotted by the colorful chairs hanging on the wall outside.

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We ended our stay in Porto by walking the D.Luis bridge towards Gaia and enjoying the breathtaking view from the other side!

Keep wandering,
Joana

 

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