A snapshot from Porto

Sao bento train station tess porto europe guide

There is something about visiting a city or town with low expectations and having it well exceed them. That was Porto for us! We visited in 2019 and had earmarked Lisbon and the Algarve as key areas, but wanted to visit the north, and Porto looked to have a lot happening. Additionally, Tess’s trusted Lonely Planet Portugal book highly recommended we go. Despite some favourable recommendations, we didn’t have any real expectations.

Be prepared for..

Great food!

Some of our favourite food from our entire trip in Portugal was in Porto. Cantina 32 and Restaurante Ora Viva are some that you should try!


Porto was one of the hilliest cities we have ever visited. It’s great for keeping fit while on holidays, but be prepared that you will need to walk a few hills and stairs.

friendly locals!

The locals of Porto were super friendly! We were told from a lovely walking tour guide that this was in-part due to the semi-recent change of Portugal from poor-er country with minimal tourism to a now popular tourist destination.

Stunning Tiled Murals!

All of Portugal has vibrant tiled covering the walls and buildings. We entered Porto without much knowledge about this, and were pleasantly surprised! These colourful tiles brightened our adventures through the Porto streets. Take a look at a gallery of our favourite tile snaps in Portugal!


  • Our dinner at Cantina 32 – we had squid dish that we still recall to this day (cooked in butter and mustard.. I think).
  • Our accomodaition at The Central House in Porto – we booked a hostel in Porto without high expectations. However, it was clean, perfect location, and quiet. It was easily one of the best hostels we have stayed at, and we would definitely return. Check out The Central House now!
  • The beautiful churches of Porto! The artwork on the tiled murals lining the Igreja do Carmo and Igreja de Santo Ildefonso were very impressive.
  • Our first Pastel De Nata! Whilst not as good as our Nata in Lisbon (see here), the Pastel De Nata from Manteigaria was excellent. We wandered into the busy store and were greeted with fresh tarts and an espresso within the first few minutes of us entering.

Want to check out more Portugal travel memories, tips and itineraries? SEE HERE!
Keen to see our recommendations on the best things to do when in Lisbon? SEE HERE!

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