Travel to to Porto, Portugal – Episode 678

categories: europe travel

Travel to Porto, Portugal (Podcast)

Hear about travel to Porto, Portugal as the Amateur Traveler talks to João Reis and Sara Silva from about their home city.

Porto is the capital of the northern region of Portugal and is located near the border with Spain. Porto is found on the Douro River which is a wine region and UNESCO World Heritage site.

João says, “Porto is one of the oldest European centers. Its settlement dates back many many centuries to the Roman Empire, even before that. It is also where J. K Rowling lived and where she got inspired to write Harry Potter. It has the oldest library [editor: bookstore] in the world is also there, also the port wine. Besides being an old historic beautiful city by the river by the sea, it’s also pretty affordable compared to the rest of Europe.”

They start us in the city center of Porto which is a small historic walkable area. The old train station of São Bento railway station is decorated with old hand-painted blue and white tiles with scenes of Portugal’s history. The Livraria Lello (oldest bookstore in the world) and Clérigos Church are near there. Porto is a very hilly city that slopes down to the riverbank.

The best museum in Porto is the Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art. They have a music festival there in summer. They also have lovely gardens.

João and Sara encourage you to explore the northern bank of the River Douro which has a view of the Dom Luís I Bridge which was built by a disciple of Eiffel and has a similar style of construction to his work. It is the best spot to see the sunset.

On the south bank of the River Duoro is the city of Vila Nova de Gaia which is where you will find most of the port wine houses with warehouses and tasting rooms. Many of these houses were founded by Englishman. Portugal and England have had a close relationship for many years. Gaia also has some of the best views of Porto. João recommends Taylor’s Port Cellars which also now has a Michelin star restaurant and hotel (The Yeatman Hotel).

We also talk about side trips up the Duoro River. You can do a day trip (the 5 bridges tour) or a week-long cruise.

We hear about two different festivals. One celebrates the Roman heritage. But if you attend the festival of Saint John (Festa de São João do Porto) be sure you bring a small plastic hammer.

We also talk about side trips to Guimarães which is where Portugal started as well as the cities of Aveiro and Matosinhos.

We get some recommendations as well for where you should eat and what you should order.

Listen to this episode and you may find yourself longing for a visit to Porto… or at least a glass of port.

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Show Notes
São Bento railway station
Clérigos Church
Livraria Lello (oldest bookstore in the world)
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Dom Luís I Bridge
Taylor’s Port Cellars
The Yeatman Hotel
Port Wine
Porto River Tours
River Cruise on Portugal’s Douro River with Viking River Cruise – Episode 486
Vinho Verde
Braga Cathedral
Bom Jesus do Monte
Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães
Garden of Santa Barbara (Braga)
Braga Festivals
Festa de São João do Porto
Guimarães, Portugal
Aveiro, Portugal
Matosinhos, Portugal
Restaurante Mauritania Matosinhos
Tripas a Moda do Porto recipe
Pastel de nata
Restaurante Cufra


⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ in Apple Podcasts by Rateburger from Australia on October 6, 2019

Fantastic podcast! The few episodes I’ve heard so far are exactly the kind of useful conversations you want to have with someone before you travel somewhere new. Thoughtful first-hand travel advice — the opposite of so much online travel content which just regurgitates the same info about obvious attractions, shows the same colour-saturated stock shots, and offers no opinions or insight into anything. Really glad I’ve found this podcast!

Sean wrote about Travel to Nagoya, Japan – Episode 677

Hi, my name is Sean. I’m a long-time listener of this podcast. I’ve been living in Nagoya for fifteen years. I was surprised to see a Nagoya episode, as it’s not a tourist destination at all.
A few things. First, I was happy you were able to pronounce Nagoya correctly. Second, your host failed to mention the Nagoya International Center website. This site is useful for information on getting around, events and much more. I wouldn’t visit Nagoya before going to this website first. Last, Toyota never made textiles. It did and does make industrial looms. Toyota Motors is a separate company.
That’s it. I’m only ten minutes into this episode and I should probably skip this one, as my blood pressure is already pretty high now. Thanks for an otherwise great podcast.


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Chris Christensen

by Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen is the creator of the Amateur Traveler blog and podcast. He has been a travel creator since 2005 and has won awards including being named the "Best Independent Travel Journalist" by Travel+Leisure Magazine.

One Response to “Travel to to Porto, Portugal – Episode 678”

Mark Carrara


You should not be shocked that salted cod is a staple of the diet in Porto. My grandfather from near Lucca, Italy loved baccala, which is salted cod. There is a very interesting book about the importance of cod in the world. The book is simply called “Cod”. as a history buff you will enjoy the book

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