Over Easter, I took some time away from Spain. I had been to Lisbon before and decided that I wanted to give the northern Portugese city of Oporto (Porto to English speakers) a shot. Lisbon wasn’t my favorite place but Porto seemed somehow a little more intellectual but relaxed.
Instead of telling you day by day what I did and didn’t do – instead I’m just going to give you a rundown of different parts of the city.
My favorite thing about Porto was just the gorgeous sights on all the streets. I mean seriously, this city couldn’t take a bad picture if it tried. I loved the saturated yellow and muted pinks of the buildings next to the orange roof tiles and bright green plants. Portugal in general might be famous for its tiles but honestly, I loved all parts of the city – even those without the lovely blue tiles (I actually didn’t even take that many pictures of the tiled churches!). The views are multiplied exponentially by the fact that Porto is situated in a very steep valley so you always can find a good vantage point.
The Street Art:
I love street art and I find that I’m really inspired by it. I loved that Porto had plenty of Cats featured prominently in their grafitti but also some really beautiful murals and mixed pieces. I think my favorite picture from the whole trip is the girl with a knife in her heart. The colors and the composition were right up my alley (no pun intended even though I did find this in an alley).
The most impressive Parks in Porto were the Gardens of the Crystal Palace. Overlooking the valley and the Douro River – it was seriously breathtaking. I also found this sweet little park which used to be a courtyard for those suffering from illnesses in a the nearby hospital. This little boy hugging a deer reminds me so much of my nephew, William.
The Main Sights:
Porto has several museums that are definitely worth a visit as well as the typical churches. However, the centerpiece of the entire city is Ponte Luis I, the dual leveled bridge. It’s worth a walk on both levels. There’s also many lovely churches including the Cathedral of Se and the Torre Dos Clergios – definitely beautiful and worth a look in. I really enjoyed the Palacio da Bolsa which used to house the Porto Stock Exchange but is truly a lovely Art Nouveau building. Finally – You can visit Livraria Lello which apparently was JK Rowlings inspiration for the Bookstore Flourish and Blotts in Harry Potter. The line was too long and it seemed so crowded that I just didn’t care to wait to be honest.
Porto’s shopping was incredible. Normally, I’m not a huge shopper but I found several things I’ve been looking to add to my life. I grabbed some new jeans which I’ve been needing for ages. Due to the fact that it rained and was freezing several days – I bought a new pair of sneakers and a yellow scarf. I also grabbed some new stationery things including a new bullet journal in a bright turquoise. I also found some Pepin wrapping paper which I have been lusting after for ages – it’s really hard to find here in Spain. So I grabbed two books to use for backgrounds of instagram pictures. Did I buy a lot? Holy shit yes. However – I have already put literally every single thing I purchased into use in my daily life. I also really loved the post card selection here. IT was the one thing that I personally felt was overpriced but seriously they were gorgeous.
Would I go back to Porto: Yes. Absolutely. In fact – I loved it so much I would absolutely love to live there. It was dynamic without being gimmicky. It had amazing food and divine wine – like truly incredible. It wasn’t too expensive. Getting around was extremely easy. It’s well connected to other Northern Portguese towns and cities which I intended to explore but was too taken with Porto to leave. I cannot wait to go back. I highly recommend Porto to anyone. On a budget? Looking to dip your toe into European cities? Love wine? Enjoy architecture? Like walking up hills? Porto is for everyone.
Where is a city that you were not disappointed by? Let me know in the comments section below!