Porto is a coastal city in the northwest of Portugal, Porto is known for its colourful houses and port cellars. A 2 days trip would be perfect to see most things in Porto, but of course if you have more time then you can stay there longer.
1. How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
5. Best Time to Visit Porto
2. 5 Hidden Gems in Porto
6. Accommodations in Porto
3. How to Get to Porto
7. Best Cafes & Restaurants in Porto
4. How to Move Around Porto
How to Get Your Visa for Portugal
You can get the visa by going to the embassy, or visiting the official website, or getting it with an agency like iVisa. iVisa provides 100% online travel documents such as: Visas, health declaration forms, embassy registrations, passport photos, passport renewals, tourist cards, and other travel documents. It is the simplest solution to process your travel visa.
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5 Hidden Gems in Porto
1. Livraria Lello (Lello Library)
If you are a fan of Harry Potter, then you will love this place. This is a beautiful bookstore which was made famous from the Harry Potter stories of JK Rowling, the story is that when JK Rowling used to live in Porto, she had got her inspiration from that bookstore for her novels. Also, this bookstore is known for being the most beautiful bookstore in the world. You can also book a tour at the library to skip the lines as there will always be lines outside as it is very popular, and also because they allow a limited number of people to enter. The best thing to do is to buy tickets in advance through their website or simply book a tour. This can take you between 30 minutes and 1 hour, depending on how busy it is and how much time you have.
2. Casa da Musica (House of Music)
Casa da Musica is definitely worth a visit even though there is no actual convert happening there, but this modern music hall is fun to visit. It was designed in 2005 by a dutch architect called Rem Koolhaas. You can visit the venue there which has 1,300 seats, and you might even be lucky and be able to watch the orchestra rehearsal.
3. Jardins Do Palácio De Cristal (Crystal Palace Gardens)
If you are looking for a great view of Porto, then the Jardins Do Palácio De Cristal is the best place for that. You can visit this park and enjoy an amazing view of Porto looking over the Douro River. This park is not only great for an amazing view of Porto, but it is also a chance for you to escape the city and its noise, and have some quiet time and enjoy nature for a bit. The Jardins Do Palácio De Cristal is a beautiful botanical garden with a variety of flora – ginko, giant magnolias, camellias, rhododendrons and a much more.
4. Torre dos Clérigos (Clérigos Tower)
The Clérigos architectural complex, classified national monument since 1910 is for its church and its towers, which is one of the main sights in Porto. The Clérigos Tower is the highest tower in Portugal, with 76 meters of height and also with more that 200 steps to reach the top for the best panoramic view of Porto. This can take you less than 15 minutes.
5. Estação de São Bento (São Bento Station)
The São Bento Station was opened back in 1916, and it is considered as one of the most beautiful railway stations in the world. The atrium is covered by 20,000 tiles which would leave anyone impressed. You can also attend a Tile Making Workshop where you can create your own and also learn about the history. This can take less than 10 minutes.
How to Get to Porto
Porto has an airport with a lot of international flights arriving from different locations, so you can see if there is a flight available from where you are visiting. However most flights go into the capital, Lisbon, so it is also possible to get to Lisbon and then take a direct train or a bus from there to Porto.
A train ride takes around 3 hours and it cost between 26€ and 60€, take the train from Gare Oriente. A bus ride takes between 4 to 5 hours and it cost between 25€ and 37€, take the bus from either Sete Rios or Gare Oriente. I love to use Omio to book most train or bus rides in Europe in general.
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I like to use Omio to find either buses or trains in Europe, and if I am looking for a flight I would use WayAway to find cheap flights. You can also use this promo code - TP-385219 - for WayAway Plus or you can directly visit this link! (You will get 10% off WayAway Plus subscription!)
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How to Move Around Porto
When you make it Porto, it is easy to explore on foot as most sights are within a walking distance from each other so make sure to wear some good and comfortable walking shoes. Simply make sure to buy tickets for the trams and funicular railway in case you get tired of walking. Also, using Uber to get around Porto is a good idea as well as Uber is not expensive in Portugal in general.
Best Time to Visit Porto
Porto is a beautiful place to visit any time of the year but during the winter it rains a lot there. The best times to visit would be late spring or early autumn as it is sunny and the temperatures are much cooler, and also it won't be as crowded as during the summer as there are less tourists during these times.
Accommodations in Porto
If you want to be by the riverside then stay at Ribeira, but if you prefer the hill and that view then stay near Igreja do Carmo. I stayed at an Airbnb, but you can also find a lot of hotels in those areas.
Best Cafes & Restaurants in Porto
Mesa 325 (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, European)
Hungry Biker (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly, European)
Noshi Coffe & Healthy Food (Gluten-free options, vegan friendly)
Restaurante Chama (Vegan friendly)