My Last Days in Porto
Updated: Jul 24
With only a couple more days left in Porto, I asked Cleiton to take me to a nearby beach.
For two Euros we took the bus to Villa Nova de Gaia beach. It should have been a thirty minute bus ride from Porto but we got off at the wrong stop and ended up walking another two miles to reach the beach. Ugh...no internet connection so couldn't call an Uber! It was actually a bit chilly and cloudy the day we went so my pictures are not great but I can see where summer would be a delight.
Villa Nova de Gaia beach is a long, sandy, crescent shaped beach with cafes scattered along a boardwalk. The waves were huge so I could see where it would t obe a haven for surfers. Cleiton actually belongs to a volleyball team that has it's practice and competitions there on the beach. Yoiop We walked back to Porto througho a nature reserve and estuary that borders the ocity of Porto. I suggest taking an Uber or the bus back because it really is a long five mile walk back to the city. I Enough walking already!
There are so many restaurants in Porto that it really is a "foodie" paradise. You can find so many different kinds of food and all so affordable.
A couple restaurants I would recommend include TapaBento which is one of my favorites serving typical Portuguese cuisine.
It is located on a side street next to the Sao Bento train station. Reservations are a must and you will not be disappointed. If you can't get in for dinner, lunch is sometimes easier.
Epoca Cafe is a great little restaurant serving some delicious organic food. I visited this cafe several times for brunch during my trip. It is usually crowded so be ready to stand in line for a table.
A very affordable sushi restaurant is called Tokyo Sushi. For ten Euros you can eat all the sushi you want. I'm very picky about eating raw fish but their sushi was very fresh and delicious. They have several hot food items as well.
If you are looking for a good pizza and simple Italian dishes, I recommend Farinha Porto. This is a small restaurant where you may have to wait for a table because they don't take reservations. It is owned and operated by two brothers who run the whole restaurant from seating the guests, to cooking and serving.
One of the best deals in town is a small restaurant called Misto. A complete lunch for ten Euros with three courses. The chef combines local Portuguese cuisine with a mix of Mediterranean infusion. Reservations are necessary for lunch or dinner.
When in Porto you have to try the delicious pork sandwiches at Casa Guedes. They slice pork that has been slow cooking for many hours in herbs and spices very thin and put on lightly toasted, crispy bread, with or without a slice of cheese. This sandwich with a cold beer is a little slice of heaven!
Queijaria Do Almada is a Portuguese cheese shop that is located on one of the most charming streets of Porto. This small shop has a great selection of artisan cheeses, many made from the free roaming cows of the Azores. They also make their own bread and have a house wine as well.
A couple hotels and apartments I recommend are the Mercure Hotel, The Porto bay Flores, the Vila Nova de Gaia, Sweet Porto Apartments, My Stay Studios, Catalonia Hotels and Resort,
and the A Brasileira Pestana Hotel which has a beautiful cafe attached to it.
A favorite hotel of mine is the A.S. Porto 1829 Hotel. It is a perfect location next to the Ribeira neighborhood. It is a small hotel with only forty one rooms and included with the rate is a delicious buffet breakfast. It is located very close to the train station.
I was lucky to be staying in a nice Air B&B studio apartment in the Santo Ildefonso neighborhood where I always like to stay. Not so lucky to have to climb up 5 flights of stairs at the end of the day!
Very near the apartment is a beautiful park called Jardin de Marques de Oliveira. It's a small neighborhood park with the most beautiful display of tulips I have ever seen. Spring was definitely in the air even though it was only the middle of March.
I would also like to mention that if you are in need of a massage after all the walking, eating, drinking, and touring around, Eco Massage offers excellent services to sooth the soul. For just sixty Euros for an hour massage you will feel rejuvenated. Ask for Maria, she is a trained physical therapist! It is located just up the street from the Sao Bento train station.
So put your walking shoes on, enjoy the street art, the historical sites , the food, port wine, and all that Porto has to offer. You will fall in love with this city like I did.