Destination: Porto, Portugal

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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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