Oporto - One city you mustn't miss

With a train ticket in my hand and a hot 'francesinha' sandwich in mind, I went to visit the city that gave Portugal its name.

As soon as I found out that CP has €9.50 trips from Lisbon to Oporto I thought to myself “Now there are no excuses, I'm going to 'Invicta' the unconquered city of Oporto!”. I went, and it's just as well!

I have visited Oporto several times over the years, but recently when I go there the city seems brighter and more lively.

This weekend is going to see me wandering in the 'Aliados' , visiting São Bento station and the cathedral as well as enjoying the amazing views from the top of Clérigos tower and the D. Luís bridge. But there is so much more to Oporto, Oporto is its people! So on Saturday I went to Bolhão to revisit the charms of that iconic market that fills any northerner with pride. An I wasn't disappointed, it is still full of life and fun, full of voices, smells and colours…. And, of course, the stall holders flogging their wares!

Oporto is the height of fashion, since my first visit a lot of new spaces have opened offering snacks and nibbles (apart from the classic 'francesinha' that is always voted among the top 10 sandwiches in the world), The is a new culinary cluster in the down town area (in Rua da Picaria), where the restaurants get confused with the book stores, galleries, barber shops and a series of totally cosmopolitan spaces.

On Sunday morning before going back to Lisbon, I went for a walk in the Foz district and along the Ribeira in front of Vila Nova da Gaia, which, despite the fog, never loses its charm. On the way back, as I love travel books, I popped into the Livraria Lello, where I always make a question of buying at least one book. That way on the relaxing journey back to Lisbon I always go on another trip.

What a lovely weekend escape… and my purse has to thank CP for this surprise with the Promo Tickets !

What to visit:

  • São Bento station
  • Clérigos tower
  • Cathedral
  • D. Luís bridge
  • Avenida dos Aliados
  • Bolhão marketr
  • Livraria Lello
  • Ribeira
  • Foz
  • Port wine cellars
  • Rua de Santa Catarina
  • Fernandina walls

Where to eat:

  • Café Santiago (Francesinha)
  • Lado B Café (Francesinha)
  • Tascö
  • Raiz
  • Dona Maria Pregaria
  • Majestic
  • Rota do Chá

At night:

  • Galeria de Paris
  • Kasa da Praia
  • Maus Hábitos
  • Plano B
  • Rádio Bar