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The Dame Traveler Guide to Porto, Portugal

Porto is one of the most majestic and unique cities. Set on the Duoro river with incredible views and historic churches, covered in gorgeous blue and white, Azulejos ( Spanish and Portuguese painted tin-glazed ceramic tile work), Porto is a must visit and is sure to steal your heart away. I flew into Lisbon, spent a couple nights there and hopped on a 3 hour train ride to the heart of Porto, where I got off at one of the word’s most beautiful train stations, São Bento. The train station is a sight to see itself.

Where to Stay

Speaking of São Bento, this is surely the best area to stay in Porto. It’s walking distance from all of the main sights and it’s also the location of Rua das Flores, a gorgeous pedestrian street lined with charming cafes and shops. I stayed at the S.Bento Residences, a hotel with 16 apartments, fully equipped and with personalized service in the most ideal location and the most gorgeous views. The units are super chic and comfortable with fully equipped kitchens. I absolutely loved my stay here and feeling like a local in Porto, in style.

Where to Eat / Drink

  • Tapabento: The Wild Shrimp Risotto was of the best meals I had during my trip to Portugal. Loved this lively and authentic restaurant in the São Bento area
  • Bacalhau: Incredible views of the Duoro river and authentic dishes
  • MISTU restaurant & bar: Incredible experiences for foodies and stunning interior
  • Majestic Cafe: This iconic and gorgeous cafe is a must visit. Order traditional Portuguese French Toast (Rabanadas) or just have a cappuccino and people watch
  • Restaurant Xarroco: for fresh seafood
  • Ribeira Pier: a string of fish restaurants and taverns are built into the street level of beautiful buildings along the pier
  • Cantina 32: A trendy and modern restaurant with great ambiance and delicious dishes
  • Impar flores: Loved this small and cozy restaurant
  • Bacchus Vini: The best spot to grab wine and people watch. Set right in front of the Dom Luís I Bridge, housed in the most gorgeous building
  • Torel Avantgarde: Perfect spot for sunset drinks or dinner, stunning views of the city
  • PortoBello Rooftop Restaurant & Bar: Another gorgeous rooftop spot for drinks or dinner
  • Cremosi: Great spot to satisfy your sweet tooth
  • Miss Pavlova – Baixa do Porto: A pretty little bakery with delicious cakes
  • Casa Guedes Tradicional: Great casual lunch spot with delicious pork sandwiches
  • Combi: Great Instagrammable coffee shop and a great place to work
  • The Happy Nest: A relaxing, pretty place for brunch
  • Adega de São Nicolau: traditional Portuguese cuisine in a gorgeous modern setting
  • Terrace Lounge 360º: Stunning lunch or drink views, located in the Porto Cruz building in Gaia, along with the DeGaia restaurant and a museum experience
  • Enoteca 17.56: Another spot for dinner with a fantastic view and great dishes
  • FLOW restaurant & bar: The interior of this restaurant is stunning
  • Terrárea: Gorgeous plant shop and brunch spot outside of Porto
  • Zenith Brunch & Cocktails: Instagrammable brunch spot

Majestic Cafe

Tapabento

What to Do and See

  • Walk the riverside promenade of Ribeira
  • Livraria Lello: One of the world’s most beautiful libraries, this place is worth the wait. Hard to get into, you must reserve timed tickets in advance and even when you do, you still have to wait in line, otherwise impossible to get in.
  • Igreja do Carmo: One of the most beautiful churches in Porto
  • Serralves Museum & Gardens: a contemporary art cultural institution
  • Palacio del Bolsa: A stunning architectural palace and the magnificent Arab Room alone is worth the visit. Note that you must buy timed tickets in advance and you cannot enter without a guide
  • Torre dos Clérigos; Climb the 240 step spiral staircase for a beautiful view of the city
  • Porto Cathedral: Go for the tiled cloisters and the climb up to the tower is worth it
  • Rua das Flores: Shop the chic boutiques
  • Museu de Arte Sacra da Igreja de Santo Ildefonso: One of my favorite facades in Porto to photograph
  • Ponte Dom Luis I: Walk across the bridge for more stunning views
  • Vila Nova de Gaia on the south side of the bank of the Douro features the iconic old boats of Porto with stunning views of Ribeira
  • Miradouro da Vitória: for magnificent views, just 7 min walking distance from Igreja do Carmo
  • A Pérola do Bolhão: the most picturesque gift shop
  • The World of Wine (WOW): Porto’s new cultural district with a museum, tons of restaurants and wine bars and stunning views

Palacio de la Bolsa de Oporto

Palacio de la Bolsa de Oporto

Palacio de la Bolsa de Oporto

Palacio de la Bolsa de Oporto

Igreja do Carmo

Livraria Lello

Douro River

Rua das Flores

São Bento Train Station

A Pérola do Bolhão

Museu de Arte Sacra da Igreja de Santo Ildefonso

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