PORTUGAL Road Trip: Porto, I Think I Love You!

February 24, 2018  •  Leave a Comment

Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016


When folks ask me, "So, what was your fave city in Portugal? Porto or Lisbon?", the answer is easy. Porto wins, hands down. I lost track of the amount of times we said, "OMG, I LOVE this place!"

Stunning monuments, amazing restaurants and bars, incredible views, delicious port wine... how could you not fall in love with this city?

 


PORTO


With Porto, it was love at first sight. The further we got as we made our way through the steep and narrow maze of streets in a deliberately random fashion down to the waterfront, the more I fell in love. Every corner is a feast for the eyes — like beautiful historic buildings with colourful facades covered in azulejos tiles

There's plenty to take in wandering the hilly streets and without even knowing it, we end up seeing quite a few of Porto's must sees, like:

  • Majestic Café
  • São Bento Station
  • Mercado Ferreira Borges
  • Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique
  • Palacio de Bolsa

As well as a ton of churches:

  • Clérigos Church
  • Igreja do Carmo
  • Church of São Francisco de Assis
  • ...and on and on (it's like there's church on every block!)

     

Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIgreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso Igreja Paroquial de Santo Ildefonso right across from our hotel


The famous (tourist-trap) Majestic CaféPorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe famous (tourist-trap) Majestic Café The famous (tourist-trap) Majestic Café


Shots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro RiverShots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro River Shots of Porto as we wander aimlessly towards the Douro River — Mercado Ferreira Borges (middle right)


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneMonument to Henry the Navigator in Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique Monument to Henry the Navigator in Jardim do Infante Dom Henrique


Paper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePaper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto Paper lanterns hanging in a street in Porto


Beautiful architecture everywhereBeautiful architecture everywhere Beautiful architecture and churches everywhere — Torre dos Clerigos (upper right)


The typical narrow houses of Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneThe typical narrow houses of Porto The typical narrow houses of Porto


There are so many churches! Here's a few: Clérigos Church, Igreja do Carmo, Church of São Francisco de Assis There are so many churches!  Here's a few: Clérigos Church, Igreja do Carmo, Church of São Francisco de Assis


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneIgreja Monumento de São Francisco Igreja Monumento de São Francisco


THE RIBEIRA


We've meandered our way down to Ribeira (literally riverside in Portuguese), and I think I'm falling even more for Porto. One of the oldest neighbourhoods in Porto, it's the historic centre as well as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and if you ask me, this is where you'll find Porto's soul. 

Along Cais da Ribeira is strip of cafés, restaurants and shops overlooking the water and the Port houses of Vila Nova de Gaia (more on that in a separate post!) on the other side of the Douro river. The cais is the ideal place for a leisurely riverside walk and to check out the spectacular arched ironwork of the Ponte Luís I that dominates the waterfront. And since Porto is known as the 'City of Bridges', it's also the best place to hop on a river cruise that will take you cruising by the six bridges of the Douro river.

There's more to come on the other side of the river (probably my fave part), the Douro Valley, and a couple of secret spots, so stay tuned!

 

Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneFinally made it down to the Douro Finally made it down to the Douro


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneColourful houses along Cais da Estiva Colourful houses along Cais da Estiva


Coming up to Praça da Ribeira Coming up to Praça da Ribeira


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePraça da Ribeira Praça da Ribeira


Since one is leaving, we hop on a river cruise Since one is leaving, we hop on a river cruise


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of the Ribeira area from the river View of the Ribeira area from the river


Checking out all the bridges in Porto on this one-hour river cruise Checking out all the bridges in Porto on this one-hour river cruise


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneView of Vila Nova de Gaia from the Douro River View of Vila Nova de Gaia from the Douro River


Some great views during the cruise, some unexpected 😂 Some great views during the cruise, some unexpected 😂


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneOff the cruise, just in time for golden hour over Porto Off the cruise, just in time for golden hour over Porto


Also in time, to catch some dudes diving into the river beside the bridge Also in time, to catch some dudes diving into the river beside the bridge


Porto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SanePorto, Portugal - 2016 - JM Travel Keeps Me SaneGood night Porto Good night Porto


Photos taken | written by JENNIFER MAHON


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