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Postcards from Porto, Portugal

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Personal, Travel

Porto was my wildest dream and worst nightmare. It’s my wildest dream because of it’s shear beauty – with unbelievable views from every street top, ruined buildings, vibrant azujelos (tiles), and bold, bright, fun colors – every second I felt like I was in an old magical movie. There is gorgeous street art everywhere you look – from electricity boxes on deserted roads to abandoned alleyways to huge murals on the sides of buildings. The culture and aura of the city is a mix of longing for times passed and embracing of new things to come, and it sucked us right up as soon as we arrived. However, it’s my worst nightmare because I literally could. not. put down my camera. I swear it took us 20 minutes to wander down one alley because I couldn’t stop photographing every detail. Sometimes I get so caught up in capturing the beauty that I forget to enjoy it in real life. Luckily I was able to do both and the whole weekend we were was amazing. Porto was the perfect introduction to the culture and beauty of Portugal and before we were leaving I was already planning our next trip back. I’m not even going to pretend to be sorry about the massive amount of photos in this post, because this isn’t even half of them and I’m obsessed with them all.


For those future Porto travelers, here are some of our favorite places:
Accommodations:

  • We stayed in an airbnb/bed and breakfast called Mouzinho 134, which was absolutely amazing. It was a cute building on the main street, close to everything, and the hosts were so kind. They welcomed us with a glass of port, gave us tons of recommendations, and brought us a breakfast of delicious bread pastries every morning that we called “Santa Bread”. We would DEFINITELY recommend staying at this adorable place!

Meals:

  • Brunch/ Lunch: Miss’Opo – we stumbled upon this place when or first choice was closed, and we were so happy that we ate here. They served brunch all day – delicious fruity juice, coffee, egg scramble, toast, pastries, you name it – and the design inside was really cool. They had the most vintage tableware  that looked like it had been collected for ages, and besides that it was a very simplistic, good food, good atmosphere kind of place. We loved it. 
  • Tapas: RUA tapas & music bar – we loved this place. The tapas were unREAL. Definitely our favorite meal of the entire trip. 

Must-sees: 

  • Livraria Lello & Irmão – Also known as ” the most beautiful bookstore in the world”, and I wouldn’t disagree. You have to pay 3 euros to go in because people mainly just to in to take photos and experience the place instead of buying books (they don’t have a very large english section) but it’s well worth it. It’s truely stunning, with the most unbelievable details and design. Plus, apparently J.K. Rowling wrote part of Harry Potter here (doesn’t surprise me since it feels like a very magical place) so that makes it pretty much the coolest place ever. 

  • Mercado Bolhao – it it’s hayday this place must have been amazing, but it’s quite run down now with very little stalls open. HOWEVER, it’s pretty fun to walk through the stalls and experience what I assume is local Porto life. There are a ton of gross fish stalls, colorful fruit stalls, live chickens, beautiful tapestries, and a yummy looking wine bar. We had a lot of fun walking through it, so if you’re in the area check it out.

  • Soa Bento Train Station – a stunning stunning place. It’s covered in tiles depicting Portugal’s history and are so beautiful –  you could spend hours looking at the intricate details and watching people come and go. 


Views:

  • Miradouro da Vitoria

  • Along Avenue di Diogo Leite

  • Mosteiro da Serra do Pilar (the castle)

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