Saturday, January 24, 2015

A weekend in Porto

Last weekend we paid a visit to the Invicta, as portuguese like to call it. Porto for us, Oporto for everybody else!


Even though it was cold and rainy we manage to have a great time! These were the high points:





Rua das Flores, the urban art that has been done in the buildings which are being renovated, and the electrical boxes are a different type of art fun to see. Also many cool restaurants and cafes have open.
Explore the old city, from  down to Ribeirinha and get  a nice view of the old little alleys and streets of Porto.





A stroll alongside the Ribeirinha and Gaia, great place for pictures and beautiful view of the city. To complete the scenery cross the beautiful Ponte de São Luis (the one resembling the Eiffel Tower) to Gaia (I recommend crossing the bridge on top and head back on the bottom part – both views are wonderful). In Gaia you can go to the Caves for free, where they explain all the process of making Port Wine.




The free walking tours around the city of Porto. We did the Pancho tour and we got an Irish guy who apparently fell in love with the city and decided to move there as a guide! Its funny hearing historical facts from the city and Portuguese history being given by an Irish person! The best thing was the Game of Thrones references he used trying to explain the rivalry between northerners and southerners in Portugal and the Harry Potter facts! As you may know, JK Rowling lived in Porto for a few years before writing the series, and it was fun to notice just how much she used from the city as an inspiration to the books, such as the Hogwarts dress clothes from Portuguese universities typical trajes or Salazar Slytherin as a reference to the Portuguese dictator Salazar.  





In Porto even going to McDonald's is a good idea, here is the Avenida da Liberdade's, considered one of the pretiest of the world. You can see why!


  




Great stuff to do in Porto:
Going out to eat! Specially dinner, even though northerners are more of invite people to eat in your house kind of people, they really like to invest in restaurants, especially in decoration. As a result it’s quite easy to find the coolest places to go for dinner!


Going out to bars! Because of our wonderful host during this trip, we manage to experience a little bit of everything in Porto’s night life! If all you want is the college style of parting, go over to the Piolho and Praça da Cordoaria area where the bars are cheap and you will have a nice time meeting people in the street.


If, like me, you have already spent many nights drinking cheap beer and wine in college and are looking for fancier places, then head out to Rua de Ceuta and Galerias de Paris where all the nice bars and clubs are. We went to the one named after the place – Galerias de Paris – and had a blast. Nice decor, good music and crowd!  Also check out Plan B, it’s a club and apparently a good one, packed after 3, we didn’t get the chance this time but next time for sure!


Eating Francesinhas…Francesinha is a typical dish from Porto, delicious because it resembles fast food, at least to me. What it is it’s a special sandwich served on a place with a stake, several sausages, ham an egg inside then covered in cheese and floating in the most delicious sauce (which is made of onion, tomato, garlic, bit of chilly, beer and other beverages and special seasonings each cook decides to use).


But hey don’t be all stuck to Francesinhas and forget the rest of the amazing food you can try in Porto! As any other place in this amazing country called Portugal, you can get really good food and an average price range. Try the typical dishes and Vitela Mindinha, its young cow meat which is seasoned and cooked on a low flame oven for 24h, so when you eat it melts in your mouth. One of my favorite things to eat in the north!

Also don't miss:
Palácio da Bolsa – beautiful place to visit, I went there a few years ago and the rooms decorated in gold are worth the ticket to go in.
Livraria Lello – considered one of most beautiful book shops in the world.
Churches and Sé – you don’t pay to go into most of the churches so if you are a sacret art freak like me then just go in and check out the nice churches there are in Porto and the Sé (Cathedral).
Torre dos Clérigos – beautiful place. Also nice to see what they have done around it, the suspended olive tree garden is quite amazing.

All the amazing pictures in this post were taken by the lovely Bruno Massey Silk, a great friend photographer of mine. You can find some more of his great work on his facebook page.

1 comment:

  1. É uma cidade muito típica..mesmo muito portuguesa. Gostei de saber das referências que usarei numa próxima visita.

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