If Porto isn't on your bucket list.... It should be!

Photographer: Ivo | Route: São Bento Train Station, Porto, Portugal

Photographer: Ivo
Route: São Bento Train Station, Porto, Portugal

Karrie

USA
@petunia670

Travel Story

In the past few years, we've been traveling quite a bit to Europe and we're smitten with the architecture, the food, the public transportation, the history and the people. We'd read that Portugal has been kind of a sleeper hit in Europe, so we decided to book a trip STAT. We spent 3 days in Lisbon and 4 days in Porto. While in Lisbon, we squeezed in a day trip to Sintra (an absolute must-see). The foggy day actually led itself to some really beautiful photos at Pena Palace. We also had our tour guide Luis (from Lisbon by Beetle) take us to Quinta Regaleira, which was stunning as well. We also drove through Cascais, which is a super cute beachy town that neighbors Lisbon, all the while in our super-duper cute vintage and purple, convertible VW bug. We took the train from Lisbon to Porto (about 3 hours) a very picturesque ride. We arrived in Porto and immediately we knew we loved the town. It is hilly and steep - like San Fran on steroids, but that added to the layers of beauty and unique architecture. From Porto, we also took a day trip to the Duoro Valley wine region. This was amazing and delicious all at once. Some of the little towns were like time has stood still - dinky little bakeries making bread from scratch and butcher shops with all sorts of fresh characuterie items hanging from the ceiling.

Travel Tips

While we enjoyed both Lisbon and Porto - we truly loved the smaller town vibe that Porto had going on. Again, it was far hillier than we thought - so pack some comfortable shoes - as you'll be hiking up some steep cliffs! We loved our Douro Valley tour with Oporto and Duoro Valley tours. It was a gastronomic and wine tour - so we ate and drank all day - what's not to like there? The tile facades were to die for in every nook and cranny of the city. We loved the tiles so much, we took an azulejo workshop, where we learned more about the various patterns of tiles and each made our own tile to take home. The food is divine in Porto - baccalau in every various form. They say they can prepare cod in 100 ways and we tried our best to eat as much as possible. However, the one meal that really stood out -and goes down as my most memorable meal ever - was our 10-course degustation meal at Pedro Lemos. We added the wines as well and the food, wine, service and ambiance were just beautifully choreographed. I'm still dreaming about that meal. On our last full day, I decided to book Ivo and Vanessa from Flytographer. We've never done anything like this during any of our other travels - but I thought it would be nice to get some good shots of the 2 of us - rather than terrible selfies cutting off half of our faces or the beautiful scenery behind us. What an amazing value. We immediately clicked (see what I did there?!) with Ivo and Vanessa. It was as if we'd known them forever. They made us feel comfortable hamming it up in front of the camera. They were so great to take us to several spots to capture the beauty of Porto - from the tiles, to the old churches, to the waterfront, and all the vibrant colors in between. I had a hard time choosing my favorites.

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