First time in Portugal
One of my daily tasks is checking promos of cheap airlines. Two months ago I have received mail from Vueling (www.vueling.com ) with a discount of 24,99 Euro for my next trip. Immediately I started to check which destinations are interesting out of Brussels. I found a good return flight from Lisbon for 39.99Euro, what means that in total I had to pay 15 Euro. To complete my plan I had to find a ticket to Portugal. Ryanair (www.ryanair.com ) was helpful as usual, easily I found a single ticket to Porto for 19.99 Euro from Brussels Charleroi with again very good schedule.
First day in Porto
I heard a lot about Porto which is well known from its wine, delicious sea food and beautiful location. At 9.00 AM I arrived in Porto, took metro (train) and in 20 minute I could enjoy the lovely city.
As you can see on above map all metro lines are going to the center, what is very helpful. My hotel was situated in the centrum as well. I planned the trip in October (after hot season) and I could find place to sleep for 25 Euro per room, as usual via www.booking.com . Fast check in and time for famous pastries and coffee. If you are on diet- Portugal is not the best destination ! At each corner you will discover lovely smell of fresh baked cakes, pastries and hot coffee.
How to visit Porto?
Porto has very magical atmosphere. Even after very early flight (had to get at 4.00 AM) you want to explore. I found a lovely place where I could rent a city bike. Young guy gave me a map of Porto, showed not touristic places and explain where to go and all for a little price of 10 Euro. Another alternative can be tram, walk or bus. I wanted to see Atlantic Ocean what was much convenient by bike due to the distance.
What is special in Porto?
There was something quite special about this city. I am in love in the red roofs of the old crumbling buildings. The Porto of the top-level, with the old churches and the bell towers and the one of the low-level, with the residential colorful buildings. Although Porto is not an island, walking along the Riberia might give you the feeling you are on one. The river front and the dotted ships on the Douro river are really close.
What to visit?
Sao Bento Station. So far number three on my list of best station on the world. I will tell you only that my number one is a Central Station in Antwerp but this one is definitely top.
Rua Galerian de Paris. One of the busiest and fashioned streets in Porto is Rua Galerias de Paris, which, no wonder, is spotted by some cafes and restaurants that remind you of Paris.
Old town. This part of the city is my number one. So many beautiful colors, fascinating architecture and historical places.
Surfers beach. Personally I love Ocean, waves and the lovely smell of sea water. If you like water sport (or you want to learn how to surf) Porto gives you the possibility. In this region the waves can be very high. Fully recommended!
Small local restaurants. Renting a bike gives you the opportunity to go further to the port. Not too many tourists do it (possible by bike or car). I did it and would do it again! If you are there you cant miss street bars with barbeques. You pick a fresh fish and they will bake it next to your table on bbq. The prices are cheap and sea food dishes delicious!!!