Porto has been a top travel destination for a few years now; having been fortunate to be a frequent visitor to this magical city, I would like to share a slightly variant photographic view. Arrival from the airport is a breeze using the line E metro to the centre. Porto is the place to either do lots or do very little, depending on your mood. The city itself is an intricate puzzle of tiled Azulejo buildings and churches, winding streets, uphill climbs and mesmerising views.
Do not miss the breathtaking sunset from Calcada das Virtudes while sipping a chilled Super Bock and afterwards around the corner a home cooked meal at Taberna Stº. António. Explore the gardens with its roaming peacocks at the Palacio di Cristal along with its mesmerising panorama overlooking the Douro and some of its bridges and then explore the art galleries along Rua Miguel Bombarda, finishing with a drink or two at my favourite watering holes Pipa Velha and Candelabra. Since the city is situated on the Douro River, many of the activities are encompassed along its banks.
I would highly suggest a boat ride, for the less adventurous a brief walk across the Dom Luis I Bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia visiting the numerous wine cellars for a true taste of the famous Porto Wine. If you are in a beach mode, then either the scenic Tram #1 to where the river meets the Atlantic Ocean at Foz or the metro to Matosinhos to breath in the salt air and depending on the weather: surfing, fishing, sunbathing or just an excellent fresh seafood lunch or dinner.
For shoppers, the city is filled with concept stores, boutiques and the outstanding Wrong Weather should definitely not be missed along with the charming Livraria Lello which inspired J.K.Rowling. People watch and shop along Rua Santa Catarina. The city is full of amazing cafes both indoor and outdoor, such as Cafe’ Guarany and Cafe’ Majestic. Another venue not to be missed is the Serralves Art Museum with its spectacular gardens and art deco villa. Explore the narrow streets near the Sao Bento train station, once you see the exceptional Azulejos inside the entrance, then walk down the steps to the metro and see the sporadic erotic ceramic tiles designed by the local famed architect Alvaro Siza, then go have a hearty lunch at Puorto or Tapabento!
I would wholeheartedly recommend the guided tours by www.portofreetour.com. They showed me a side of Porto that I would have unfortunately not known. I can go on and on with the merits of a visit to Porto … I am sure as with me, once is not enough for you!
Written & photographed by Sam Scott Schiavo for Client Voyage on location at Porto, Portugal.
Aduela Taberna (Restaurant/Bar)
Taberna Stº. António (Restaurant)
Assador Tipico Palacio (Restaurant)
Bombarda (an art gallery area)
Cafe Candelabro (Cafe/ Restaurant)
Casa da Musica (Music Centre)
Palacio de Cristal (Park & Gardens)
Palacio Fenizia (Guest House)
Livraria Lello (Book Shop)
www.portofreetour.com (walking tour)
Serralves (Museum & Gardens)
Wrong Weather (Concept Shop)