Portugal⎜Visit Porto and around
Hi everyone !
I hope you had the chance to read our first article to visit Porto CBD, which explains everything there is to see in the historic center. And since we had plenty to tell you, we decided to cut the article into two parts 😊.
During the second day and the third day of this romantic trip, we went out of the city center to explore the surroundings of Porto. We give you all the details of this journey!
The coastline of Porto
The weather was not good so to keep visiting Porto, we decided to go to the coast with the famous tramway along the Douro river. We walked to the Ribeira, passing through the Porto Cathedral (Sé do Porto) and took the tramway at Infante stop. The trip costs 4€ per person and takes you to Passeo Alegre, out of the city center. Frankly, it's so mythical that worth it! The tramway is extremely noisy but it's vintage so we love it. From Passeo Alegre, we took the bus 500 for 1.90€ per person and stopped in Matosinhos.
So, to be honest, we didn't find anything very nice in this area, but some of you told us that the beautiful beaches were rather in the south of Porto 😅. Ok, next time!
But Matosinhos is a neighborhood to visit if you are staying in Porto. It's a small fishing harbour and a surf spot at the same time, where we enjoyed meeting local chefs who grill their fresh fish and peppers on the barbecue in the street. It's really typical, they cook on the pavement in front of each of their restaurants! It remained only to choose among all these places. But it's hard to choose when we don't know. Fortunately, we were advised by Flora, who follows us on Instagram, to go to Central Churrasco de Matosinhos.
Well, it was again a beautiful discovery. We ordered a dish for two for 12€ as the portions were huge !
After that, we came back to the hotel to rest because the weather wasn't good.
In the evening we went shopping on Santa Catarina street (it's crazy how cheap it is!) and had dinner at the Café Santiago Da Praca which we also recommend. That night, Arthur tested again the Francesinha and loved it this time. On the other hand, it is a super caloric dish composed as a big sandwich with beef, sausage, cheese, an egg, more cheese, all surrounded by fries and drowned in a beer sauce! Not my kind of food but Arthur loved it 😊
The Douro Valley
To visit Porto for the last day (and for Valentine's Day), we went to the other side of the city, 150km to the east, to visit the Douro Valley. This is where they produce porto wine.
We took the train at 9:10am from São Bento train station and could watch the landscape during... 2,5 hours. Yes it's really far to go to the Valley but the path is nice and offers a beautiful view along the river.
You can also go to the Douro Valley by car, I tell you more about that at the bottom of the article.
Once on the train, you have the choice between two stops: Peso de Régua (the first village in the valley) or Pinhão (20 minutes later). We chose Pinhão to really be in the heart of the valley.
Arrived in Pinhão, we get ourselves in a totally empty and sad village. The weather didn't improve the thing but we were surprised to see this small village without life. But we came here to discover the valley and not the village, so we went for a walk on the bridge and the various banks to explore this place. For all to confess, there is not much to do except walking around and visiting a vineyard (but we already visited a cellar in town and did a tasting too, so we were not interested).
In the case you're wondering, that's what you can do, and that's all about it. We saw a few hotels, so if you don't want to make the round trip in the day (because it's 5 hours by train), you can sleep in the Valley.
At noon, we had lunch in one of the only restaurants in town, the Rufete, which we don't recommend. We were a bit in a hurry because we wanted to make plans with the drone and the rain caught us so we did not have time to look any longer and took the first restaurant next to us. It was good but nothing more. The staff was not very helpful and the room was even colder and sad than the village 😅!
Personally we could not recommend going to Peso de Regua more than to Pinhão to visit the Valley because we only did Pinhão. Peso de Regua looks bigger, so maybe there's more to do.
We took the train back at 2:40pm to arrive at 5pm in Porto.
In the evening, for Valentine's Day, we went for a drink at Nogueira's, a very cozy bar with a lounge atmosphere, then dined at Cultura Dos Sabores. We recommend this vegan and vegetarian restaurant because you can eat on swings 😀. It was a first time for us (vegan restaurant and swings) and we loved it. The dishes were full of flavors, hence the name of the restaurant!
We took our plane back the next day, headed home with only one desire, come back to Porto on sunny days!
Important information (if you want to visit Porto and its surroundings):
- Porto is a very hilly town, so if you want to do like us and walk to discover the most things in the city (as detailed in the first article), grab a good pair of shoes and some water!
- At the restaurant, they will almost always put bread and olives on your table at the same time as the menus (and sometimes cod and sausage stuffed!). It's not free ! Often it doesn't even appear on the menu so beware 😉
- Most of the dishes are huge, and we ordered several times one dish for two. Generally we paid 10-15€ for two for our lunch and 25-30€ for diner with wine (one bottle each time).
- If you want to visit the Douro Valley, there are several possibilities: by train like us, by car or on an organized tour. To rent a car for the day is quite possible but you must have a credit card and no debit card like most of us. Rental centers don't accept debit cards. We had a debit card, so we took the train 😅
Have you been to Porto?
I hope you enjoyed this little tour and would like to go!
Feel free to ask me any questions, I will answer with pleasure 😚