We have been to Porto almost a month ago. Right after our trip to Barcelona. And even though these two cities are in the same part of Europe they are quite different. They look different, they taste different and they sound different. I was very surprised to hear Portuguese. I always imagined it sounds similar to Spanish but they don’t seem to be even close to each other. We couldn’t understand a word. (Not that we speak or understand much of the Spanish.)
We spent two days in Porto, explored the old town and walked for hours each day. Visiting a wine cellar is a must in Porto and we booked a tour of Sandeman cellars, learned about the history of Porto wine making and Sandeman brand, and tasted few of their Porto wines. We realized we actually like wine (Porto wine to be precise) and bought lots of bottles (only to realize it’s easily available in Brussels stores).
We were surprised that many buildings in the city center of Porto were old and not restored or repaired. Lots of houses had colorful tiles on the outside, tiny balconies, high ceilings and old wooden entrance doors.
We took a ride with a historic tram, opted for an eco-friendly cable car to descent from Ponte Luis to wine cellars in Gaia and met the most extraordinary Uber driver. We ate Nata (traditional Portuguese pastry) whenever possible and some traditional fish meals at a tiny restaurant. Everything seemed cheaper in comparison with Brussels and was so delicious.
We watched beautiful sunset at the beach, were mesmerized by river front and took hundreds of photos in just two days.
We were staying in the best apartment possible, with unbelievable view at river and Gaia (where all the Porto wine cellars are). The apartment is in 300 years old house, right next to the Porto Cathedral. Next time we are definitely staying at the same place. If you’re planning a Porto trip, you can find the place here.
Porto left a great impression on us, making us plan our next visit right as we were leaving. Next time we would love to take a car and explore area around the city, maybe visit Porto vineyards and drive along the coast all the way down to Lisbon and Faro.
Porto, you were surprisingly interesting, beautiful, charming and full of contrasts. We are still thinking about you, remembering you every time we drink Porto wine and telling all our friends they must see you for themselves. So be ready, lots of people are planning to head your way 😉
Porto, see you soon!