Porto, viewed from the city Gaia (across the river)
How long have you been here? What should I do? What are 3 must do things in Porto?
These were all common questions I received at the Yes! Porto Hostel during my 6 night stay in Porto. When people weren’t impressed with my answers the usual response was “What HAVE you done?”
The truth is, I’ve done very little. This is why I’m in Portugal. While there are plenty of sites to visit, it was the unseasonably warm temperature that drew me to this outstanding country.
Taken from Gaia, looking towards Porto
All that said, I did some touristy things. I did 2 walking tours, a port tasting tour, and I fell in love with francesinha time and time again.
I spent some time at the beach with some peeps from the hostel, and I didn’t even burn, MAH! However, I avoided renting a surf board that day. Maybe I’ll try closer to Lisbon.
Porto was special for many reasons outside of what you see on Tripadvisor:
It has some interesting history, one of a city that took down its walls to grow (after never being attacked). Can you guess what happened next?
I caught the graffiti/street art bug, and Porto has tons of areas where you can indulge in photos (with nobody around you)
Porto has some of the BEST sunsets I have ever seen. No kidding, you can get great views from Porto, or on the bridge between Porto and Vila Nova de Gaia!
The people are lovely! We may not speak the same language, but Porto is one of the only places that I’ve found myself waving to locals leaning out their windows (and getting a wave back). The people are also very helpful (even if they don’t want to be).
Do you even walk, bro? Whether it’s riverside Porto, or Gaia, you can find yourself in the midst of some incredible views while you walk 5+ kilometers alongside the river on your way towards the Atlantic.
Looking back towards the cities as I headed toward the Atlantic
Most importantly, I felt like I had the city to myself. While Porto has a great night life, I had most of the streets to myself during the day.
What I intentionally skipped:
-Day trip to Braga
-Day drip of Douro Valley: I would rather spend €60-80 on a Football game in Germany, thanks…
-Livraria Lello: Indeed, it must be one of the most beautiful bookstores of all time. And maybe it did influence J.K. Rowling when writing Harry Potter, but I refuse to pay €3 for something I’ve already seen on tv and online!
-Tower Clérigos: A symbol of Porto, and probably well worth the €3 climb up, but it lacked the charm of other towers I have experienced.
There’s probably a lot I missed. However, I got a great feel for what the city has to offer during my 6 nights here, and I look forward to sharing my favourite spots once I am sitting in front of an actual computer (not a 7 inch phone).
I met many people at the hostel that either extended their stay or felt really bad for leaving early. Don’t make the same mistake!