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.