This is a little bit overdue, but there were so many beautiful pictures and it made choosing just a few tough. Porto was our second stop during our trip and also the shortest. It’s much quieter and smaller than Lisbon, but we still loved it. We walked a ton and the sun was shining pretty much every second of every day. During our time there, we realized that Porto is really in the process of rebuilding and renovating. On every street it seemed like at least 4 buildings were covered in scaffolding. While scaffolding isn’t the prettiest, it’s exciting that the city is growing and I hope that we get to come back in a few years to see what all has changed.
One of the biggest take-aways we left with was that Porto knows food. Lisbon was great, but the food in Porto was amazing! If you’re heading to Porto soon, I rounded up our favorite spots to eat and things to do below! Warning, these pictures may give you wanderlust!
Where to Eat
Tabera de Mercadores: This was by far our favorite place we ate the entire trip! The restaurant is super small and I highly recommend you make reservations since there are only about 6 tables in the whole place. We split a salad and the most amazing arroz con mariscos (rice with seafood in a tomato broth). I could go on and on about this, but it was heavenly! The wine our waiter suggested was perfect and we finished our meal with a glass of Port. Our waiter poured us an extra glass of Port on the house which was so nice—I think we were his most interesting table of the night, ha!
Taberna de Largo: Cute little spot not far from where we were staying that had a great charcuterie board and wonderful wine. We loved it so much we came back a second night for a glass of wine before dinner. The staff were very personable and helpful.
Traça: We went here one night and had the steak frites. It was jam-packed, but worth it! The food was yummy and the atmosphere was very lively!
Cantinho de Avillez: We went here on our last night in town. Definitely make a reservation! We didn’t have one and ended up sitting at the bar which was totally fine by us. The drinks were great and our food was delicious! It’s definitely a little bit fancier, but we enjoyed it!
Brick Clerigos: One of my favorite lunches during our trip. Mara of M Loves M had recommended this spot and it was a nice break from traditional Portuguese food! They have yummy sandwiches, salads and toasties (which look like quesadillas, but have different ingredients). The interior was darling! It reminds me of being at home because the seating area is just one big communal table with books and flowers in the middle and pots and pans hanging above.
The Coffee Room: This small space is located above The Feeting Room, and you actually have to go in The Feeting Room to get there—we looked arounded the sides of the building for a while before we figured it out. It’s not really a coffee shop, but they did have good coffee and pastries and the space was really cool. Free wifi too!
What to Do
Palacio de Cristal: This garden wasn’t super close, but it was in an area of town that we hadn’t explored yet, so after a big lunch one day, we walked over. It was beautiful, full of peacocks, roosters, roses, fountains, palm trees and amazing views of the river. If you need a relaxing activity, this is a good one.
Livraria Lello: This bookshop is a must-see! Apparently J.K. Rowling wrote here when she was teaching English in Porto and took inspiration from the space for her Harry Potter books. The staircase is pretty magnificent, so I can’t blame her! You do have to buy tickets, but you can buy them that day just up the street. If you’re going during a peak time, it might be worth it to book early!
Dom Luís Bridge: You can’t miss this huge bridge! We walked across it and then down the other side of the river. To head back, you can catch a water taxi which is much quicker and drops you just on the other side that’s lined with bars and restaurants—a perfect place to end your day.
Drink Port: Porto is the home of Port wine, so make sure to have some while you’re here. There’s a bunch of places where you can go and do Port tasting on one side of the river, but we heard it was a bit touristy. Our recommendation is to order is at a bar or restaurant after dinner.
Clerigos Tower: We climbed a lot of tall things during this trip. Rob loves getting the bird’s eye view and I couldn’t complain, it was good exercise and you’re rewarded with an awesome photo opp when you get to the top. This one is right by the lunch spot, Brick Clerigos, so plan accordingly.
Have you been to Porto or Portugal at all? If not, is it on your list?