What I did and saw:
Free Walking Tour-
As mentioned in a previous post, free walking tours are a great way to see a city. Sandemans is a quality tour company that has recently begun doing free walking tours in Porto. Although the weather wasn't great, I was still able to see a good amount of the city and learn about some of its history.
Ponte de Dom Luis I-
The Dom Luis I Bridge connects Porto with the Vila Nova de Gaia (where most of the Port is made) area. It crosses over the Douro River and was made by a disciple of Gustave Eiffel. It is a beautiful bridge and worth seeing (and crossing) when in Porto.
Igreja do Carmo (and other "Igrejas")-
The Igreja do Carmo is one of many beautiful churches in Porto (Igreja is Portuguese for Church). All of them are free to see from the outside, and most of them are free to enter.
The Clerigos Tower is the high bell tower of the Igreja dos Clerigos (Church of the Clergymen). It is an iconic spot in Portugal, and the top of the tower provides some nice views of Porto. However, due to Porto's climate, the rainy/cloudy weather might obstruct some of the view.
Praça dos Leoes-
Praça dos Leoes is a beautiful plaza located between the University of Porto (who wear uniforms inspired the Hogwarts uniforms) and the Igreja do Carmo. There are also many other nice town squares (or "praças") throughout Porto such as Liberdade Square.
Rua Tapas & Music-
I went to Rua Tapas to check out some nice, local live music.
Where I ate and drank:
Zenith Brunch and Cocktail Bar-
Zenith Brunch and Cocktail Bar offer great coffee and great food. They have a number of healthy options as well as many options that aren't so healthy but are very tasty.
Moustache Coffee House-
I visited Moustache Coffee House to escape Porto's rain. They serve excellent craft coffee and have great, comfortable seating.
Cafe Progresso blends old and new very well. They are a historic coffee shop and roastery, but they have also kept up with the new trends in coffee. They serve excellent coffee and have some great food options.
Pedro dos Frangos-
If you are looking for a quality meal for a good price, Pedro dos Frangos is a nice option. Their chicken is excellent.
As I have said before, if I am going to eat something unhealthy I want it to be worth it. The gelato I had at Santini was definitely worth it.
Peter Cafe Sport-
Located along the Cais da Ribeira (Duoro Riverfront) area, Peter Cafe Sport serves good "francesinhas." The word literally translates to "little french girl," but the sandwich is a mix of a meats and cheeses that is covered in tomato beer gravy and eaten with a knife and fork.
Espaço Porto Cruz-
Port wine is a famous sweet, red fortified wine that is made in the Duoro River Valley. I visited Espaço Porto Cruz along the riverside because I got a free drink there from my hostel. They serve great Port and offer food tasting options as well. They also have a rooftop area that looks out from the Vila Nova de Gaia area across the river towards the city of Porto.
Where I stayed:
Pilot Design Hostel-
There are a number of highly rated hostels in Portugal, and Pilot Design Hostel deserved their high ranking. They staff was very accommodating (they moved my group of friends around so we could be in the same room) and the price was good also. It is a comfortable, good place to stay in Porto.
How I got around:
While in Porto I walked to get around to most places, but Porto has a good metro system that I used to get to the airport.
My favorite thing:
Porto had some very interesting architecture and had a cool, industrial feel to the city. People who are more into Port wine or Harry Potter might have other things they would prefer about the city, but I particularly enjoyed the cafes and coffee shops mentioned above.
My least favorite thing:
My least favorite thing about Porto was the weather. Also, Porto doesn't offer quite as many options as places like its countrymate Lisbon.
For next time:
Next time in Porto I would like to check out the famous Livraria Lello, and I would like to do the Porto Bridge Climb. I would also like to try a variety of foods at Mercado Bom Sucesso, and I would like to eat at Cervejaria Gazela (they would unfortunately closed for vacation last time I was there).
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