A couple of weeks ago we visited Portugal for the first (and definitely not the last) time.
We both had a week off and wanted a European getaway, but couldn’t decide where to go. As we are in the middle of buying a house and saving as much as we can, we weren’t too fussy on location, just a bargain! We added our travel dates into Sky Scanner, searched ‘London to Everywhere’, and Porto it was, luckily for us.
We started our trip with 3 nights in an Air BnB apartment in Porto, it was around a 15 minute walk downhill to the waterfront. The location of the apartment was perfect, a lot less touristy than the port, and surrounded by a selection of gorgeous restaurants and bars.
Alessandra (the host) was extremely helpful, able to arrange direct transportation to the apartment, help with restaurant recommendations and a list of must visit places. We passed on the transport and decided to play locals and have a go at the Metro which took around half an hour. The nearest station is Aliados, around a 7 minute walk to the apartment.
Link to the apartment here
It says for 4 guests, but I would definitely only recommend for 2 people. It is a great apartment for a couple having only one bedroom, but 4 people would be pushing it.
After 3 sight seeing days in the city we wanted to end our trip with a few chill days somewhere relaxing to unwind. I had stumbled across a photograph on Instagram of the Douro Valley area and instantly fell in love! That was to be our next stop…
We picked up an uber and traveled an hour out of the city to the middle of nowhere, literally! Our hotel (The Royal Douro Valley Resort and Spa) was set alongside the valley, surrounded by nothing but greenery. Once we arrived at the hotel, we didn’t leave! We spent 3 days lazing by the dreamy infinity pool, sipping on mojitos and soaking up the view, very much needed.
The hotel is beautiful, but I wouldn’t recommend any longer than 3 days, as there is nowhere to go around the hotel. Next time we will definitely hire a car so we are able to explore more.
The Douro Valley is renowned for its incredible Vineyards, which are further inland, and definitely on our bucket list for next time.
Sharing our 2 favourite places to eat in Porto.
First place is Zenith Brunch and Cocktail bar! Opens at 10am serving a selection of super tasty breakfasts, my favourite being the Peanut Butter, Banana and Strawberry Pancakes… a fruit topping makes them healthy right?
They also do amazing smoothie bowls packed with fresh fruit and yogurt. A must try if you visit.
Our favourite evening spot was a restaurant called ‘Flow Restaurant and Bar’ (3 minute walk from the apartment).
This place was incredible! Dreamy decor, amazing food with the service to match. So much so we spent 2 out of our 3 nights here (and would of gone a fourth if we had the chance!!)
We don’t tend to do a lot of touristy things, but love getting lost around the city and stumbling across pretty places.
3 favourites below…
The Carmo Church (Igreja do Carmo) which I feel in love with.
The building pictured below made up of these blue and white tiles (which you will find everywhere in Porto).
Vila Nova de Gaia
This area is across ‘The Dom Luis Bridge’. We were told to head across the bridge so you can look across the valley back to Porto! This side of the bridge is a lot quieter and has a selection of bars and restaurants to enjoy whilst overlooking Porto.
Hotel Dom Henrique Rooftop bar
I am a slight rooftop addict. Wherever we visit, I am on the hunt for a rooftop as I’m a sucker for a good view. We visited this hotel which has a rooftop bar/restaurant 150 meters up on the 17th floor, overlooking Downtown Porto.
I hope this has answered most of your questions on our Portugal trip! Any more questions you have, please message me.
We are always on the hunt for new cities to explore, let me know your favourite destinations to visit.