The SE Guide to Porto

The SE Guide to Porto

Beautiful Porto, the smaller, slightly less known sister of capital city, Lisbon should definitely be on your radar if you are looking for a European city break. It offers endless appeal with it's old-World charm, wonderful places to eat and scenic setting along the Douro river .  I stayed in Porto when visiting our facoty in Nothern Portugal where our fabric and pyjamas are made.  Here is my 24hr guide of what to do when you visit.

Where to Stay

We stayed in Rosário Suites Townhouse – an adults only small guest house which has been renovated over the last couple of months. It was beautiful with pristine bedrooms that are impeccably clean. Ours had a bath and a small balcony. We were on the top floor; which did mean a few flights of stairs to climb with our luggage, as there is no lift. The staff were very friendly and helpful. It is serviced during the day but during the evening you are given access codes to enter the building. Breakfast was a wonderful affair with a continental tray delivered your table. The guest house is set within the artist district that has some lovely independent shops and coffee shops. It is about a 15minute walk from here to the main sites. Be prepared Porto is rather hilly, combined with cobbles, so wear comfortable shoes.


Things to do

Jardins do Palácio de Cristal

We started our day here.  It is a free to visit beautiful park which has peacocks and chickens ambling around. The views from here of the city below are amazing. A great place to go if you are travelling with children – it has a little play park too.

We then walked on for a coffee and pasta de nata at Confeitaria Primar. A lovely little bakery opposite a Church. Be warned the seagulls swoop in for the sweet treats if you don’t eat them quickly enough.

The queue for the Livraria Lello (the supposed most beautiful bookshop in the World) was rather long, just around the corner from the above cafe so we walked on to see the Torre dos Clérigos tower (although didn’t climb it!)

Our lunch stop was at Terreiro on the Rua Da Reboleira. I had the traditional salted cod which was delicious and my husband had the traditional Francesinha (Portuguese Sandwich)

Palácio da Bolsa

We had pre-booked a tour of the stock exchange palace before we had lunch. This is well worth a visit. You are taken around for a half an hour tour – the history is interesting and the rooms are stunning. Stop for an ice cream up the road from here!

Livraria Lello

By late afternoon the queues were shorter for this stunning bookshop. You do have to pay to get into it but the ticket price is redeemable against a book purchase. Supposedly this is where JK Rowling was inspired for Harry Potter…

The evening before, following my factory visit, we had wandered down to the Douro River and crossed the Ponte Luís bridge. There was a buzz of activity going on from market stalls to Port tasting. We stopped off to try some Port and traditional fishcakes. A strange combination that seems to work! You could catch a boat here to take you down the Douro but we didn’t have time.


Where to Eat

After visiting the Cais de Gaia area we crossed back over the bridge and had a delicious meal Adega de Sao Nicolau be prepared you are not able to book so we turned up early and you have to wait until a table is free. It serves traditional Portuguese food that is beautifully fresh. Service is a little interesting at times but there is a great atmosphere about the place.



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