A picturesque riverside city break with plenty of quaint cobbled paths to explore in a cinematic district framed by six famous bridges. A weekend trip is more than enough time to get a feel for this Portuguese city, unless you plan on visiting every wine cellar on the south side of the Douro River (in which case allow a few extra days for the hangovers considering the port you’ll be drinking averages 20%!).
My early September visit was a scorcher, with highs of 30 degrees. Perfect for days spent admiring the river views, sipping on port and eating nata after nata.
Exmo Hotel was my accommodation of choice and what a gem this boutique hotel turned out to be. Opt for the top floor room with the terrace and you’ll be treated to stunning views of the Douro and plenty of space to stretch out and soak up the sun. Located only 2 minutes walk from the river-front, this hotel puts you right in the centre of Riberia but with enough privacy to enjoy a peaceful nights sleep.
Once out and about, my partner and I headed to the river-front to explore – for a lunch spot with the best views, aim for one of the locals nestled along the Cais da Estiva.
Porto is small enough to explore on foot and you can easily spend your time walking the cobbled streets getting a real feel for the merchant town. And if towers are your thing then you’ll want to add Clérigos Tower to your bucket list. Climb the church’s bell tower all 200 steps to the top for one of the best views in Porto. Tip: Arrive early to avoid congestion.
Of course your visit wouldn’t be complete without a visit to at least one of Porto’s famous wine cellars. Looking towards the south side of the Douro in Vila Nova de Gaia, you’ll find the old cellars and their signs lining the riverbank. We decided to check out Calem where we could learn all about the history of port production, walk amidst the huge barrels, as well as try a few of their best port wines.
For the foodies, a visit to Cantinho do Avillez is an absolute must. But book in advance as it’s a popular spot!