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Old-worldly Porto, the largest city in the north of Portugal is steadily gaining in popularity. With it’s stunning architecture, amazing foodie scene, spectacular views, gorgeous riverfront and warm, hospitable people, it’s no wonder visitors are falling head over heels in love with the city.
When visiting Porto you absolutely have to try Port wine that the region is famous for, as well as eat the carb heavy traditional dish of Porto, the Francesinha.
How to Get to Porto, Portugal
Thankfully getting to Porto is fairly easy. You are able to fly directly into Porto’s Francisco Sá Carneiro Airport, which receives local, European and international flights. From Porto’s airport you can get into the city by making use of Porto’s subway network.
If you stay centrally within Porto’s historic city centre, you’ll be able to get around easily on foot. Alternatively, Porto has an extensive metro system that connects various parts of the city. Of course, you may also make use of different taxi services such as Uber, Kapten or Bolt that all operate in the city. It’s also important to note that certain sections of the city, especially heading from the city centre down to the riverfront, is very steep and may pose a challenge for those with mobility issues, especially trying to get back up to downtown Porto.
Where to Eat in Porto for Dinner
Try the local delicacy – The Francesinha // Porto’s local dish, the Francesinha, has become somewhat of a foodie icon in the city. Essentially, it’s a sandwich filled with layers of different meats, topped with an egg, melted cheese and a special Francesinha sauce. Then add on a side of fries to round out this over-indulgent dish. Go ahead and give the Francesinha a try at one of the restaurants famed for making the best Francesinha in town. These include Brasão Cervejaria, O Golfinho, O Afonso and Café Santiago to name but a few.
Try out Portuguese Tapas at Tapas Na Boca // Located in Rua de Candido dos Reis you’ll find the very popular Tapas Na Boca. Here you’ll be able to sample Portuguese style tapas, known as Petiscos. But, make sure to reserve your table in advance as it’s a very popular choice.
Boa-Bao // If you love Asian cuisine then head over to Boa-Bao, located in the downtown Baixa area in Rua da Picaria. Here you can sample from a selection of different Asian cuisine styles including, Thai, Malaysian, Vietnamese and Korean.
Nogueira’s Porto // Calling all meat lovers. Still staying downtown Baixa, Nogueira’s Porto is the place to go if you’re after Latin American, Barbeque style steak and meats. Nogueira’s is located in Rua de Ceuta, 23, Baixa.
Michelin Starred Restaurants // Why not spoil yourself and indulge in the ultimate fine dinning experience by booking a table at one of Porto’s Michelin starred restaurants. These include the 2* The Yeatman, the 1* Antiqvmm as well as the 1* Pedro Lemos restaurants.
Things to See in Porto at Night
Head down the Ribeira riverfront // One of my absolute favourite things to do in Porto at night is to head down to the Ribeira waterfront for a drink or even to grab a bite to eat. The waterfront is pretty and very vibrant at night. Add to that the views and twinkling lights over on the Gaia riverfront on the opposite bank of the river, making the Ribeira riverfront pure magic at night!
Admire the views and enjoy a drink at a rooftop bar // Why not take advantage of the spectacular views of Porto by heading to one of the many rooftop bars to grab a drink and soak in the sights and sounds of Porto. Try out the 360° Terrace Lounge in Gaia that looks back over to Porto. Or try out Mirajazz the Graça Rooftop Bar.
Head out on a night tour in Porto // Why not try out a different perspective and head out on a night-time sightseeing tour of Porto. There are a couple of great tour options available. Whether you simply want to enjoy a sightseeing tour at night or even head out to explore Porto’s night life, there’s an option for everyone.
Enjoy a Fado show in Porto // Although Fado, the traditional nostalgic and melancholic folk song of Portugal, is more prominent and originally from Lisbon, the art form has grown into its own in other parts of the country too, including in Coimbra and Porto. In recent years a number of Fado houses has popped up in Porto. Why not immerse yourself in local Portuguese culture and go enjoy a Fado show at Galerias de Paris, the Calem Port wine cellar, Casa da Mariquinhas or Casa da Guitarra to name but a few Fado houses.
Dance the night away in Porto’s clubs // Porto has a vibrant nightlife scene that caters for a range of different travellers alike. These range from commercial dance clubs, to bohemian pubs and clubs through to LGBTQ clubs. It’s worth noting that Porto’s night life kicks off late at night and it’s not uncommon to first head out for a couple of drinks beforehand. You’ll also not find a particular party district, instead clubs are scattered across the city. Some of the best-known clubs include Indústria Club, Plano B, Pride Bar (a gay club) and Tendinha dos Clérigos to name a couple.
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