Porto; a gem in Portugal

I used to be someone who likes visiting the capital city of a country, I felt like for example if I visit Tokyo, I have conquered Japan, and if I’ve visited Moscow, I’d have conquered Russia. I know thats way from the truth. But that was how I felt. 
On my Japan trip, I fell in love with Mount Fuji so much, that I felt I didn’t enjoy Tokyo as much and on my trip to Lucerne, I felt the same with Zurich. So, as much as Im a city gal, I loooove my beautiful sceneries. 
Anyway, my point was, I really wanted to go to Lisbon, but I was soooooooo glad I stumbled in this gem of a city; Porto. 

It was small, so it was a perfect family weekend getaway. One of my friends even went on a day trip, so if you’re tight on budget or timewise; you may want to consider. 
We stayed on the other side of Porto which is a town called Nova de Gaia. Its just a few minutes connected via the beautiful bridge and best of all ;the views! You get the best Porto views!

The appartment we stayed in is called Oh Porto apartments ( booked via booking.com : this link has a £15 off deal).  The reason why I picked here was mainly because of the price, which was lower than average and can accomodate family. Also, of course the view. This apartment had a built in kitchen a double bed, a sofa bed can accomodate a baby cot and the price is inclusive of breakfast. Unfortunately, for some reason, we don’t have any pictures! However the interior is as in the website. 

And the breakfast is a gem! 

It is delivered at your doorstep upon request in the morning in a minimilist basket. It has pastries, coffee ( capsules), tea, milk, cornflakes, freshly squeezed orange juice, bread, chocolate drinks and anything else I missed!

When I told them about our halal dietary requirements, they went to the length of googling halal and seafood places and printing them out for us. 
We went in March, which surprisingly a bit cold. But they were kind enough to provide us with an extra mobile heater. 
We were charged just under £400 for 2 rooms for two days accomodating 5 adults, 2 children and 1 infant. A bargain! 

Since it was a family outing, the first day we went on the hop on hop off bus/boat tour. I would only reccommend this if you are with children or travelling with a big family. If not, explore on foot! Be warned though, it is hilly! So you’ll be climbing a lot, so comfy shoes is a must. 

The rest of the trip, my parents just stayed indoors because the views were perfect. 

We went off to discover some sight. Please be aware that we were bringging 3 children, so we didn’t get to see more. 

Anyway here is of my lists of to sees:
1- Bus/boat tour

If you’re short for time, or if like me you have children. This would be the best to see the whole city. It takes about 2 hours. The problem was with the red bus, it went round the same road like 2-3 times and the documentary playback I think needed updating as it wasn’t in sync with the tour. 

The boat tour was beautiful, just be aware if where to go and timings. It takes about an hour. 

We used a 48 hour ticket and used it to go to specific places on day 2. However, as I said, everything was in walking distance. 

2- Pictures from Vila Nova de Gaia ( of Porto)

3- Sao Bento Train Station

4- Livraria Lello

This is a book shop with character. You need to purchase tickets to get in, but if you buy a book you get it for minus the ticket price of €4. It feels very Harry Potter like. 

5- Igreja do Carmo

6- The beaches were absolutely beautiful! I only got a glimpse of it during the bus tour. I wish I could’ve gone to take some pictures! However, if you do have time, I would recommend take public transport to the beach. It may take around 30mins to get there. 

7. Here are some pictures we took in the heart of Porto. 

We took the red bus tour but I would’ve liked to take this one.
Ponte Luis ; metal bridge across the River Duoro

I really loved the views, I hope you did too and visit soon!


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