I absolutely love Porto. It’s such a beautiful city with a wide variety of attractions. Porto is a coastal city in the North West of Portugal known for its famous bridges and the production of port wine. It is classified as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO thanks to its beautiful monuments and historic buildings. We embarked on a self guided walking tour of the city which was great. Hubby and I have already completed one walking tour of Porto together back in December when we visited to exchange the deeds on our house. We again used GPSmyCity app and added a few different attractions. We completed the walking route a bit out of order as we parked in an affordable car park close to the Luiz I bridge. It’s difficult to park in Porto and almost every other trip we have embarked on we have not paid for parking so didn’t mind paying for a secure car park as a one off and the location was superb.
We started by walking across the bottom level of the Luiz I bridge, viewed all the sights then returned by walking over the top level of the bridge to Vila Nova de Gaia. We then enjoyed a lovely cable car ride which gives spectacular views of Porto. We had a lovely traditional Portuguese lunch with beer tasting, a relax on the grass next to the river to view the boats then took a stroll back along the riverside. Teanna purchased some beautiful handmade Portuguese earrings from one of the many stalls selling traditional goods and crafts. Here you will find many wineries/wine cellars with wine/port tasting experiences. There are many cafes and restaurants serving fresh grilled seafood with terraces which offer fantastic panoramic views of the Douro river. If you have time take one of the many river cruises. We also added the famous train station (Estação de São Bento) with all the beautiful tiling and the sardine shop to our itinerary as we thought Teanna would appreciate viewing these two places.
There were a few walking tours taking place in Porto led by professionals tour guides but ours with hubby ‘Official tour guide’ leading was obviously the best one with his extensive knowledge and phrases like “Here on the right you will see another spectacular church which is really old” ha ha. Actually the App was great and tells you about the history of each landmark. The problem was that I kept finding other attractions along the way which wasn’t on the walking tour itinerary. Just so much to see. I gave hubby the following review: We embarked on the ‘What you see is what you get tour’ with Adriano. Our guide was incredibly friendly to the point where he tried to hold my hand on multiple occasions which I found weird. He shared with us so many interesting facts and the tourist attractions we visited were amazing. His stories and legends of Porto (although bullshit) deserve a medal as they were pure genius! I especially enjoyed the park and when the peacock took a fancy to Adriano’s pants. We were the only ones on the tour which gave it a personalised service and we didn’t have to worry about social distancing. Even after the tour had finished he took us for lunch with beer tasting and he paid the bill. He didn’t seem to get the message so accompanied us home and I’ve been living in harmony with him ever since! (ha ha).
We made sure we took Teanna into the famous sardine shop and told her we were buying her a tin of sardines with 2002 on for her 18th birthday, she was not impressed (ha ha). We all hate sardines! I absolutely love the city parks and the Crystal Palace Gardens is spectacular. Don’t miss this off your list thinking it’s just a park. It has the most impressive and breathtaking views over Porto, Gaia and the Douro river. It is around 150 years old and has so many trees, rose gardens, birds including ducks and peacocks, fountains, ponds, chapels, museum and don’t miss the opportunity to view the dome (which looks like a UFO) and take a climb up the viewpoint tower. After our walking tour we headed back to the car and visited Molhe beach. We then headed to Norte shopping mall and ended with a lovely dinner in Porto. Teanna loved Coimbra but I think she preferred Porto. I could see her living her in the future.
We had another funny experience here in Porto. Near the famous cathedral we saw a busker who was playing the guitar and singing a song which seemed to only contained the words “Your so far away from me”. The tune was very catchy and we subconsciously kept randomly singing it throughout the day. We entertained ourselves by making up verses for the song on our long journey home. Since Teanna has returned home to the U.K I randomly video message her and sing “Your so far away from me” (ha ha).
GPS Coordinates (Luiz bridge I car park): 41°08’19.6″N 8°36’34.2″W
Cais de Gaia
Igreja de São Francisco
Cais da Ribeira
Ponte de Dom Luis I
Igreja de Santa Clara
Igreja da Misericórdia
Torre dos Clérigos
Avenida dos Aliados
Capela das Almas
Jardim do Palácio de Cristal
Estação de São Bento
O Mundo Fantástico das Sardinhas