Dear WHI's,

A couple of weeks ago, I travelled to Porto with my parents. Even though we only stayed for a few days, we had a wonderful time.

Drinking port (or icetea) near the riverbed, walking through small alleys and enjoying the conversations with some of the nicest people. Porto has a lot to offer.

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It has been a long time since I was so happy the minute I arrived somewhere. As some of you might know, I'm from the Netherlands. During the week we were travelling to Porto it was raining and freezing in the Netherlands up to-10° Celsius, so I was delighted to arrived at a place where it was 18°C and where the wind wasn't freezing cold but actually really nice and soft.

After we checked in in our bed&breakfast we decided to walk through the city. It was lovely but we quickly noticed that many of the houses can look poor from the outside. Someone did tell we however, later in the week, that many buildings are being repaired and that some houses can look way better on the inside.

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While we were walking we could see that everyone was enjoying the beginning of the evening, now that it was still warm. We walked to the riverbed and, believe me, it is gorgeous. There are many different places you can eat or drink (I think we sat down at around 12 places in the four days we were there).

We ate at this tiny restaurant somewhere behind all the touristic places and it was a simple but wonderful meal.

TIP : in the being of spring/end of the winter, the weather during the day can be quite pleasant but it will get colder later in the evening, so don't forget to bring a coat or warm sweater!

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The next day my day begin with a small adventure. I woke up early (which never happens) and decided to go to a bakery to get some breakfast (the bed&breakfast was actually only a bed...). I walked a bit around the streets near our apartment and found a tiny, Portuguese bakery. But the thing is, they didn't speak any English. So in my very broken Portuguese, consisting of 20 words or so, I ordered my stuff. But then I couldn't pay by card or with large cash so I had to go to an ATM. Luckily the people were very nice so it all worked out.

TIP : in a lot of places you cannot pay by card under €5,-, or €10,-. so always bring cash!

Image by Mieke article, beautiful, and palm image
This was very close to the bakery. It is a beautiful building, definitely worth a trip

Later that same day we went on a bike tour. It was amazing! Even though the advertisement said the tour would show you all the highlights of Porto (which we weren't that much interested in) we travelled along side the river bed all the way to the harbour, which is a little outside of the city center. I would really advise you to make such a tour, because it showed a place of the city where you would normally maybe not go.

In the evening we seated on yet another terrace and later that night we eat at a place near our bed&breakfast. Our apartment was close to the São Francisco Church so we went in, and I would advice you al to do the same!

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The day after that it rained. We were a bit sad but we still walked trough the city since we wanted to see some things.

First we went to Livraria Lello, a famous bookshop. You had to buy tickets but if you bought a book you would get the money back. It was wonderful, absolutely astonishing. It is said that J. K. Rowling got the ideas of the staircase in Hogwarts from this place.

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The first day we saw a big monastery on the other side of the water (Gaia) so we decide to visite it. In order to get there you have to cross a very high (you could also go via the lower one) bridge, which gives an astonishing view. The monastery was slightly disappointing because we could only see a few rooms because the rest was being used as a military base or you had to book a tour (which you should!). The building itself was gorgeous and you did have an amazing view.

After that we walked around -in the rain-in Gaia (the opposite side of Porto center). It was lovely but because of the weather we didn't stay long.

That night we ate at a living room restaurant which was wonderful.

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Sadly enough, we had to go back to the Netherlands the next day. And even though there are many more thing that you can do, I look back on this vacation as a very happy one. So because of all the things you can do, Porto is the perfect citytrip destination!

Loads of love,