Destination: Porto, Portugal


A coastal city with a rich history and culture, Porto – probably best known as the birthplace of Port wine and Fado music – is an enchanting destination to explore on foot, and you can cover much ground in just a few days.


Visit Ribeira, the city’s medieval district, and a World Heritage Site, walk round Clerigos Tower, and take a peek inside Sao Bento railway station with its pretty blue and white azulejo tile walls.


See the statue of famous 15th century Portuguese maritime explorer, Prince Henry the Navigator (Infante Dom Henrique), Palacio da Bolsa, and the Church of Sao Francisco.


Stop for pastel de nata (Portugues egg tarts) along the Douro riverfront promenade, then cross the Ponte de Luis I bridge and visit the port wineries where you can have a tipple, and enjoy some lunch.


If you want to venture a little further away from the city centre, take the tram to the seafront neighbourhood of Foz, or get a Uber ride to Casa de Serralves – an art-deco mansion with expansive fairy-tale-like gardens, and a modern art museum.



Cuisine: The most famous dish in Porto is francesinha – a square, white bread sandwich wet-cured ham, linguiça, fresh sausage, and steak, covered with melted cheese and a special thick tomato and beer sauce.


While the francesinha I had was tasty enough, the dish lacked originality, and tasted like a marriage between a steak sandwich and a croque monsieur. I much preferred the sandes pernil com queijo (pork knuckle and mountain cheese sandwich) from Casa Guedes, and the octopus dishes that I had during my meals.


Of course you should also sample the many ports and wines from the Douro Valley, eat a pastel de nata for breakfast or tea, and try bacalhau croquettes while you’re here.




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