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Oh-Porto ...


Thanks to a super offer from Ryanair from Malpensa, I proposed to my parents a long weekend in Porto, a destination that all three were missing, so? I took care of organizing everything.
Could we have saved more? looking for a less "important" accommodation, but I wanted to have my single room, since someone snores (not me!).

1 day

Departed Thursday? January 12th after a long period of flu first and otitis later, with the anxiety that my eardrum would jump in flight, we find ourselves, after a boring flight on Ryanair in that of Porto (Porto ?? I have not yet understood what it calls) , we retrieve the luggage and before leaving the terminal we go to the information office (it is located right in front of the arrivals in front of the Costa Coffee), here we get the Andante Tour 3, the card that will allow us? to move by public transport, lasting 72 hours.
After our first purchase we head to the metro station and from there we take the E line (lilac) which in just under 20 minutes will take us? in front of our Hotel. Keep in mind that the Porto metro? very different from those of the big cities, here there are more? lines that all make the same central section and differ in terms of terminus. Also c ?? a single line that cuts through the city? from east to west. The trains are small and look like modern trams, it will be? that most of the ride? on the surface. We decide to immediately begin to familiarize yourself with the city? and we move along Rua Santa Catarina, where shops and bars follow one another without stopping, the shop windows full of sweets don't take long to convince us that a snack? the right thing to do, then pastel de Nata for everyone! Now I feel in Portugal.
Refreshed, we leave again to discover Porto, the next stop is the Sao Bento station, where even here we are greeted by this triumph of white and blue tiles, to take your breath away. We wander around taking pictures here and there while a comings and goings of people get on and off the trains, in the meantime outside it begins to drizzle but we don't notice and we start walking again towards Avenida Dos Aliados from which you can admire the imposing buildings that line the road (which looks like a square) and at the bottom you can see the Garrett Monument illuminated. From here we go up to Livraria Lello, passing through? in front of the church and the tower of Clerigos.
Since we are in the area we enter the library that inspired Harry Potter, after paying a ticket of 4 euros (the same is discounted if you buy a book), luckily Livraria Lello? deserted, thanks to the weather and the late hour, cos? we can get lost among the books, the high worked ceilings and the magical atmosphere that breathes. Outside it is raining so we return to our hotel and look for a restaurant nearby: Taberna Do Doutor where we will taste bacahlao and octopus.





2 day

Our first full day in Porto starts with a visit to the Bolhao market, here time seems to have stopped 20 years ago, among the stalls of fresh fish and vegetables there is an air of everyday and authentic Portuguese spirit. Let's wander for a while? between the stalls then we go to take the bus, destination Fish Market in Matosinhos (bus 502 to the terminus).
The market ? huge and below there are fishmongers, while above the rest, in particular: fruit, vegetables and flowers, there are also some places where you can have tea or lunch, but for us? too early, so we take the 500 bus again this time towards Castelo do Queijo for a stroll on the ocean! During this stretch among the narrow streets of the Matosinhos district we see some restaurants with large grills on the street, then we decide to retrace our steps for lunch, and we allow ourselves to be advised by savoring a mixed grill of catch of the day (O Lusitano). Pay attention to garlic: omnipresent and definitely in abundance!
With a full stomach we took the bus back to the center, stopping at the Ribeira where we walked aimlessly along the Duoro, letting ourselves be enchanted by the colorful houses and shops scattered here and there, thanks to the hot sun and some benches. Then we crossed the Luis I bridge (lower level) and arrived from the opposite side we enjoyed the view of the port cellars, but without giving in to the temptation to do some tasting. At this point, I continued on my own and took the funicular from Cais de Gaia to the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (one way 5 euros), but first I tasted the eclair in a pastry shop a few steps from the funicular station. At the top I preferred to take the walk on the bridge (upper level), definitely not to be missed, the view is breathtaking. Arrived from the other side, I pushed up to the churchyard of the S? which at sunset is colored with golden reflections giving the austere facade an unparalleled charm (seen in the morning the following day was not the same thing, unfortunately).
Oh-Porto!
Here I am back from my Portuguese weekend under the sign of the sun and a not bad spring climate, but let's go in order.

Departed Thursday? January 12th after a long period of flu first and otitis later, with the anxiety that my eardrum would jump in flight, we find ourselves, after a boring flight on Ryanair in that of Porto (Porto ?? I have not yet understood what it calls) , we retrieve the luggage and before leaving the terminal we go to the information office (it is located right in front of the arrivals in front of the Costa Coffee), here we get the Andante Tour 3, the card that will allow us? to move by public transport, lasting 72 hours.

The alternatives? The normal rechargeable and the Andante Tour 1 (valid for 24 hours, but don't look for the Andante 2 because it doesn't exist). The means are well organized and capillary, but I would say that the center, despite the ups and downs, turns well to full, indeed I recommend it why? allows you to discover truly suggestive views and corners.

If you opt for the means of transport, you cannot miss this page, where you can download the maps of the means that touch the main tourist attractions at the price of an ordinary ticket, they are divided by theme, from museums to main places, really well done!

After our first purchase we head to the metro station and from there we take the E line (lilac) which in just under 20 minutes will take us? in front of our Hotel. Keep in mind that the Porto metro? very different from those of the big cities, here there are more? lines that all make the same central section and differ in terms of terminus. Also c ?? a single line that cuts through the city? from east to west. The trains are small and look like modern trams, it will be? that most of the ride? on the surface.

Arrived at the Hotel do Norte, we leave our bags and from our rooms we have a spectacular view of the Church of Santa Caterina (Capela Das Almas), a riot of blue and white azulejos! Couldn't have wished for more ?!

porto-santa-caterina

Do we decide to immediately begin to become familiar with the city? and we move along Rua Santa Catarina, where shops and bars follow one another without stopping, the shop windows full of sweets don't take long to convince us that a snack? the right thing to do, then pastel de Nata for everyone! Now I feel in Portugal.

Refreshed, we leave again to discover Porto, the next stop is the Sao Bento station, where even here we are greeted by this triumph of white and blue tiles, to take your breath away. We wander around taking pictures here and there while a comings and goings of people get on and off the trains, in the meantime outside it begins to drizzle but we don't notice and we start walking again towards Avenida Dos Aliados from which you can admire the imposing buildings that line the road (which looks like a square) and at the bottom you can see the Garrett Monument illuminated. From here we go up to Livraria Lello, passing through? in front of the church and the tower of Clerigos.

Since we are in the area we enter the library that inspired Harry Potter, after paying a ticket of 4 euros (the same is discounted if you buy a book), luckily Livraria Lello? deserted, thanks to the weather and the late hour, cos? we can get lost among the books, the high worked ceilings and the magical atmosphere that breathes.

porto-livraria-lello

It is now raining outside, so we take a bus and go back to the hotel, very satisfied with this first city tour; we will succeed for dinner, by chance at Taberna Do Doutor where we will taste bacahlao and octopus !!

Our first full day in Porto starts with a visit to the Bolhao market, here time seems to have stopped 20 years ago, among the stalls of fresh fish and vegetables there is an air of everyday and authentic Portuguese spirit. Let's wander for a while? between the stalls then we go to take the bus, destination Fish Market in Matosinhos (bus 502 to the terminus).

The market ? huge and below there are fishmongers, while above the rest, in particular: fruit, vegetables and flowers, there are also some places where you can have tea or lunch, but for us? too early, so we take the 500 bus again this time towards Castelo do Queijo for a stroll on the ocean! During this stretch among the narrow streets of the Matosinhos district we see some restaurants with large grills on the street, then we decide to retrace our steps for lunch, and we allow ourselves to be advised by savoring a mixed grill of catch of the day (O Lusitano). Pay attention to garlic: omnipresent and definitely in abundance!

port-ocean

With a full stomach we took the bus back to the center, stopping at the Ribeira where we walked aimlessly along the Duoro, letting ourselves be enchanted by the colorful houses and shops scattered here and there, thanks to the hot sun and some benches. Then we crossed the Luis I bridge (lower level) and arrived from the opposite side we enjoyed the view of the port cellars, but without giving in to the temptation to do some tasting. At this point, I continued on my own and took the funicular from Cais de Gaia to the Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (one way 5 euros), but first I tasted the eclair in a pastry shop a few steps from the funicular station.

port

At the top I preferred to take the walk on the bridge (upper level), definitely not to be missed, the view is breathtaking. Arrived from the other side, I went to the churchyard of the S? which at sunset is colored with golden reflections giving the austere facade an unparalleled charm (seen in the morning the following day was not the same thing, unfortunately).

porto-se

To return to the hotel I decide to take a longer road? long than the recommended one and to get lost once again in the narrow streets of the Ribeira, then from the churchyard of the S? I go down a narrow and very steep path (rua de Pena Ventosa), between houses stacked on top of each other and bright colors, I arrive at the beginning of Rua das Flores which, with a gentle climb between shops and very nice tea rooms, brings me back at Sao Bento station, but I'm still not satisfied with what? I retrace my steps from the night before and go back to Avenida Dos Aliados and a stop at the Hard Rock Caff? for the purchase of the ritual t-shirt. Now for? I really have to go back to the hotel, but I decide to take a last detour to go and eat my favorite sweet: pastel de Nata a me! I choose the place where I think they make them best, even if? a coffee chain (Nata Lisboa) and I taste them with a good hot tea.
I collect my parents and we go to dinner at O ​​Buraco: a small and concentrated place, where we ate very well and cheaply, I recommend, if you go after 20pm, why not? the place ? really tiny



3 day

Last day in port (Sunday in fact we have the return flight at 6:45 am, unfortunately), so we dedicate ourselves to the center and return to some of the places seen on the first evening, but first we go to have breakfast at the Confetaria do Bolhao, definitely touristy, but still with that flavor of truth that these stores manage to maintain. After breakfast we decide to take a look at two other very characteristic places which are Casa Chinesa and Casa Ramon: two old-fashioned grocery stores where you can find canned sardines and cod? salty, but also candies and chocolates in large glass containers. We stock up on cans and go to take the bus, destination: Igreja do Carmo and Igrja dos Carmelitas Descalcos.
The particularity? of these two churches? that seem to be one, why? are attached! The side covered with azulejos is beautiful, while for the interiors we only saw the first (the other was closed) that? a riot of golden baroque.

We return to the station of sao Bento and from there we go up towards the S ?, which in my opinion was more? beautiful in the light of the night before, the interior of the cathedral did not impress me. After the visit we go to take the rack (we only need trams and then we tried all the local means of transport) which, with 2,5 euros, takes us from the top to the base of the bridge. We are again at the Riberia and we decide to have lunch here, in a secluded place found by chance, while we were looking for something else: Adega S? Or Nicolau where I taste the fried octopus, very good. The local ? small small and it seems to be inside the overturned keel of a wooden boat, very suggestive.
To digest the lunch we give in to the charm of sailing along the Duoro, so? for 15 euros each (the cruises all have the same duration and the same price) we allow ourselves 50 minutes of sun and relaxation on board one of the typical boats that once carried the barrels from the vineyards north of the city? up to the cellars.
After the trip we decide to return to the hotel, walking calmly and making some detours here and there, peeking into the shop windows of haberdashery, button resellers, coffee shops. and antique shops. Then dinner in the restaurant on the first evening and sleep early



4 day

Last actual day, but given the time of the flight I would say that we understood it was Sunday. The night before we had a taxi booked to get to the airport, with a total of 25 euros and a half hour journey we arrive at the terminal, unfortunately Ryanair had advised us to anticipate the arrival due to delays at the controls, narrowly escaped .
The city? me? loved it, but no more? of Lisbon, has a very different charm,? pi? small and collected and its inhabitants more? open to tourists, it's cheap and? easy to get used to its slow and peaceful rhythms, while the warm colors let themselves be savored. Thanks to the splendid weather and the pleasant temperature we were able to enjoy every moment and every corner encountered on the way. I intend to return, why? there are still many things I would like to see!

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