Beautiful Porto and a perfect flat to stay in.......
Our friends Sarah and Keith have just started letting their one bedroom flat in Porto, its an ideal stop over if you are catching an early flight or alternatively if you arrive late into Porto Airport or just want a convenient place to use as a base for exploring the city. Its a short distance to the airport either via the metro or taxi/car and there is free parking available in the surrounding streets. To find out more about renting this lovely, bright and airy flat CLICK HERE, this site gives lots more information about the flat and its exact location. I think one of the best things is that the flat is situated in a traditional Porto suburb and is surrounded by authentic cafes and restaurants where you can eat real Portuguese food at a fraction of the costs paid in the city itself.
Getting to Porto is easy
There are many budget airlines that fly into Porto and its often a much cheaper route into Portugal than flying to Lisbon (Its also only 2 - 2.5 hours from Quinta do Cobral). Check out the many cheap flight options to Porto and make this city the start of your Portuguese adventure.
Porto itself is a fabulous city, colourful and accessible, use the buses or the metro from the area around the flat to get into the city centre where you can explore all that Porto offers.
Its easy to see why Porto has been voted, yet again, as The European Best Destination 2017 and it's 2000 year old historical centre is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There is so much to see and enjoy. The historic city centre is colourful with narrow, steep streets, its easy to get lost but many say that is part of the charm of the place. Don't be in a rush and try to get from A to B quickly, just wander around and see where the tiny streets and bustling squares take you.
Getting around Porto
There are plenty of trams and buses around the city, you can take one of the 3 different Tram City Tours or get day tickets for the Hop-on-hop-off buses with 43 convenient stops around the city. Take the Cable Car for fantastic views of the city, its bridges and the River Douro. Talking about the river, which bisects the city, a 6 bridge cruise is one of the best ways to see the city in its entirety and take lots of photos. A really great way to explore and travel in Porto is to use the official city pass - Porto Card. It gives you free entry to all museums and public transport, you get information and a city map, discounts for many restaurants and lots of the cities attractions such as the Port Wine Tours, Douro River Trips, bike and car rental, city tours and much more. A really great deal!
Places to go
For the best information about visiting Porto go to the official Porto Tourism page. There are some must see destinations as well.
Portugal and Porto are known for great food and drink, wine and port are famous and there are many other foodie haunts to visit. For a full food and drink tour of the city go to the Taste Porto site. They do a Downtown Food Tour which takes in many places not known by tourists, taste great food and wine and visit the famous Bolhão food market.
This lively city market is right in the centre, a two-level partially covered building where you will find just about every type of food you can think of. Your socks will be knocked off by the incredible aroma of fresh baked bread, meats and cheese. Its a sight to hear, smell and experience for the whole family.
Its not possible to think about visiting Porto without tasting Port Wine and there are lots of opportunities to do so! Gaia is the area in Porto down by the river Douro where you will find lots of the ancient Port warehouses and most offer tours and tastings. The "Real Companhia Velha" is the oldest wine company in Portugal, founded in 1756, and offers a 'Vintage Tour' of their cellars. You will learn about the ageing process and see the incredible old cellars where they store really old bottles of Port covered in dust, including one bottle from the year that the company was founded.
Im jetting off to the UK again in September to teach soap making at the wonderful craft and course venue The Old Kennels in Devon as well as visiting my family. Im thinking of flying from Porto this time so that Rik and I can use it as an opportunity to spend a weekend in Porto - enjoying the sites, eating lots, tasting Port Wine and staying at Budget Porto Flat - it such a hard life!