Having been seduced by its great street art, funky hostels, liquor and allround mysterious atmosphere, I’ve been yearning to visit Lisbon for a few years now. So imagine my disappointment when I finally managed to negotiate a week off work and can’t afford the flight (€650 for a return with easyJet!!!) nor find a free bed in one of Lisbon’s funky award winning hostels! Instead of sulking my week away on my home sofa with a bar of chocolate I decided that this trip was obviously not meant to be and then booked a flight to Lisbon’s cheaper but by no means poorer little sister, Porto.
We’d only been there for an hour or so when I realise we hadn’t made a mistake in choosing Porto. The city was just the most perfect mix of cultures, architecture and style. We came to discover that it wasn’t only pleasing to the eye but the food was incredible (not to mention cheep) and people were so friendly and open (which makes a change to the hostility I’ve become accustomed to in busier European tourist destinations).
Located along the Douro river estuary in northern Portugal, Porto is a World Heritage Site. Despite being Portugals second city I never felt overwhelmed by the size of the city nor did I get the chance to be bored. There were all the advantages of being on a city break and a beach holiday combined with the surrounding countryside just a stones throw away (famous for producing great wine and Port).
There was a lot going on in the city in addition to loads of great cafes and bars to wile away an afternoon reading a good book and watching the world walk (or sail) on by. We found a lot of great insider tips and placer to visit via the Porto blog Go Oporto and in my next post I’ll talk more about the DO’s and DON’Ts from what we saw and did. So until then here are a few more visuals from my trip:
This post was written by Lorna Stokes, part of the travelettes team from 2009 to 2013.
Originally from the UK but currently based in Brussels after stints in Canada, Peru, Italy and a job for the French military, she’s always had an unquenchable thirst for exploring new places! She’s still travelling the world with her family so catch up with her adventures on Instagram & Twitter.