Nothing beats a quick escape to Southern Europe around this time of the year. Our advice: Enjoy a warm weekend in the charming city of Porto on the rough coastline of Portugal. And if you bring a little time, combine this city with a trip to the surrounding wine lands Val D’Ouro. Either way, you need to spend some hours in Porto for which we’ve just discovered some spots, you definitely should not miss in this cute, Portuguese town.
WHERE TO STAY IN PORTO
If you’re looking for a simple place to stay, that has everything you need – plus a private terrace to enjoy some fantastic views over Porto: the Design Apartments Oporto are definitely something for you.
COFFEE BREAK AT CAFÉ MAJESTIC
The oldest coffee house in the city, this spot is a typical tourist trap. It’s still worth the visit. You can imagine all sorts of famous writers and intellectuals hanging out at this Belle Epoque Café. A little nerd note on the side: Apparently J.K. Rowling spent some decent amount of time here in the 90ies and the first chapters of the first Harry Potter book were written here. Epic! And a cup of Espresso for 3,50 € is served by surprisingly unstressed and friendly waiters at this café.
Address: Café Majestic, Rua Santa Catarina 112, Porto
A WALK THROUGH THE CITY
The best thing to do is to really just stroll around the city and to take in the morbid beauty of some old run-down buildings. The obvious thing to do, when in Portugal: #ihavethisthingwithtiles. Make sure to pass by the train station São Bento to see amazing tile work that depicts the history of Portugal as well as the Igreja do Carmo. And because we do love print here, you absolutely have to see the most beautiful book store in Europe, the Livraria Lello!
For lunch we recommend Cantina 32, a really cool spot with some seating outside. Industrial interior and delicious dishes served on mixed ceramic plates, metal pans or wooden bowls. Heaven!
Address: Cantina 32, Rua das Flores, nº32, Porto
There’s surprisingly a lot of little shops with Portuguese Designers that I loved. One of them also had Austrian Design, and being the patriot that I am, I’ll feature it here. Seriously, the Backpacks are super cute! The store also had some really nice felt hats.
Address: Amanda om Branco, Rua do Almada, 125, Porto
Another really nice store, that you must visit, is the The Feeting Room. This concept store is focused on footwear, hence the name, but also offers a variety of other upcoming designers for clothes, accessories for women, men and kids.
Address: The Feeting Room, Largo dos Lóios, nr 89, 4050-338 Porto
If you’ve had your fair share of shopping, then I recommend you make your way down to the Cais do Ribeira to start your evening with drinks at any of the bars along the square or narrow streets of the area. A nice spot seems to be the Café do Cais, with views of the bridge and across the other side of the river over the port wine cellars.
Two friends transformed a neo-arabic building into this amazing space that can not be better described than an experience in itself. Mixing cultures and crossing flavors, Flow Restaurant is your best bet in Porto!
Address: Flow Restaurant, Rua da Conceição, 63, Porto
What to do if you had 25 hours?
Definitely take a ride out to Foz do Douro, where the river Douro meets the Atlantic ocean to enjoy the sunshine and have 1-18 of the delicious Natas, my favorite desert ever! For example on the terrace of Praia do Luz.
Address: Praia do Luz www.praiadaluz.pt
Pictures: Jessie Schoeller, Flow, The Feeting Room