I’m back again in Porto, for the excellent Simplesmente Vinho festival, and also to catch a bit of the much larger wine fair called Essencia. Porto is a lovely city to spend time in. And since my first visit back in 2002, it has changed quite a bit. It has a lot more tourists, to the point of this becoming a bit of a problem. Any city can only carry so many tourists without the nature and authenticity of the place being altered. Good cities in safe countries are a major tourist draw. As a tourist myself I know I can’t really complain about this. For now, though, Porto still has its charm and is still a little rough round the edges in a nice way.
This is a great city for walking. Yesterday I wandered for a long time, observing, looking for nice images, and it was beautiful. Spring like and sunny. Full of hope.
If you find yourself here, some recommendations. From Porto, walk over the lower span of the Ponte Luis I bridge to Gaia. If you haven’t visited a Port lodge, pick one and go and taste. Then wander further down to the Mercado opposite the cable car station and get a drink and maybe some oysters. Stop for a coffee in 7G roasters.
Then take the cable car up over the port lodges and walk back over to Porto on the top span of the bridge, with its amazing views. Wander to Prova, the city’s top wine bar and share a bottle (the Wine Quay Bar is also cool, and has amazing views). Wine here is so well priced!
For dinner, take an uber to Matosinhos, the port area, where the top seafood restaurants are found. Gaveto is my favourite.
2 Comments on What to do in Porto
2 thoughts on “What to do in Porto”
Was there last weekend, agree with everything you recommend including the Matasinhos restaurants which the yellow city bus will get you to. We had a lovely lunch at Graham’s with beautiful views down the river. Also recommend Capela Incomum and Portologia gor wine bars and light meals, the latter offering interesting flights of small producer ports
Yes – agree with all this and Capela Incomum and our favourite Taberna Aduela in a similar area. Lots of great wine bars in Porto it seems.
It’s an interesting point about cities becoming overrun with visitors. We saw a fair bit of anti-tourist graffiti in Porto last summer, though things haven’t yet got as bad as Barcelona I’d guess. Was recently in Girona and there was a lot of visual moaning there too, yet I couldn’t help thinking that a number of ruined buildings in the mostly charming though politically-charged town centre would benefit from being renovated into boutique hotels, AirBnBs, trendy bars or (why not?) some affordable housing projects etc. Here in Tarragona depite what the graffiti says, the semi-charming old town definitely needs investment, as it is slowly dying.