One of the very best things that comes from living in London is all the easy opportunities to take weekend city breaks in Europe. Michelle and I did just that for a weekend in November, choosing Porto as our destination.
The city exceeded my expectations, and it really was the perfect weekend getaway. There was enough to keep us occupied but not so much to feel overwhelmed at having to cram it all in. Plus, it was filled with friendly people and just so darn pretty!
During our weekend we joined our hostel walking tour, which took us on an overview of the city and provided some helpful background information on the city. One of the best stops on the walking tour was visting the train station, which held some beautiful art. We also saw the cathedral, visited the Photography Musuem (in what used to be the jail) strolled along the Duro river, stopped for a mini photo shoot, walked ALL the hills – enjoying all the street art along the way and had a lovely riverside terrace dinner. However, have to stay my favourite things about Porto was sitting at a cafe with a coffee and pastel de nata! Which may have happened multiple times 😛
Ofcourse, no visit to Porto would be complete without two things. Port tasting and a visit to the Lello Bookstore.
We choose the Sandeman Port cellar, based on a recommendation by a local, for our tour and tasting. The tour was pretty neat, quite short and to the point. Then followed a tasting of a white port and a red port. Both were delicious!
The Lello bookstore is a must visit for any book fan and ofcourse any Harry Potter fan. One step into the store and it is easy to see how it inspired JK Rowling for the grand design of Hogwarts. One of the oldest bookstores in the world, it was very nice to see. Although because its populairty has grown, it is quite busy and now there is a small fee to enter which can be deducted from a purchase. I would have liked to visit it at a quieter time, but now that the word is out about it, I doubt that is possible.
While in Porto we stayed at the Gallery Hostel. Which was the nicest hostel I have ever stayed at. Great location and in a beautiful building. The staff went out of their way to help us, the breakfast was delicious and the private double room we we were in was gorgeous. I highly reccomend!
Needless to say, Porto was a great weekend getaway choice.
Looking forward to many more city breaks !
– xoxo Veronica