As the country’s second largest city, this more of a working class city offers a different vide than the more fashion focused Lisbon. Portugal continues to grow as an affordable travel destination. Many first time travelers often focus on Lisbon, but don’t ignore adding Porto to your travel itinerary.
São Bento Station
During your visit to Porto, consider exploring the São Bento Train Station, which is located in central Porto. This gem of a train station is perhaps one of the most beautiful stations you will come across in Portugal. This is because of its mansard roof and the Renaissance stone façade. The station was designed by José Marques da Silva and completed in 1903.
The French inspired architecture of this station depicts the history of transportation in Portugal, the landscape of the country, and specific defining history events including the Battle of Aljubarrota (1385) and the Battle of Arcos de Valdevez (1140). There is over 20,000 tin-glazed blue and white tiles to view and visual the scenes. One caution during your visit. Watch for those who will take the opportunity of you being distracted to pickpocket.
Harry Potter Fans- May Enjoy A Visit
The outside of what seems to be just another small seller bookstore is rather deceptive. J.K. Rowling once taught English in Porto and is said that this little bookstore is what inspired Hogwarts. Consider explore Livraria Lello I would say that the staircase inside is well worth a quick visit, if nothing else.
You will not be disappointed with the choice of evening and nighttime activities in Porto. These can include a visit Capela Incomum, a chapel from the 19th Century that has been converted into a wine bar. If you want to take in the view of the city center, consider heading to the rooftop pub known as Guindalense. This is near Gustave Eiffel’s great creation, the Dom Luis I Bridge. If a dinner and a conversation is more for your liking, then consider Xico Queijo.
Cruising the Douro River
I recommend taking a Douro River Cruise to explore further this UNESCO World Heritage site- the Duoro Valley. If you have the opportunity to visit during the harvest season (September to early October), you may wish some old-fashion grade stomping (treading or lagar) barefoot in a large stone basin.