Hear about travel to Porto, Portugal as the Amateur Traveler talks to João Reis and Sara Silva from nofootprintnomads.com 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.
This episode is sponsored by MyTravelCreditCard.com. Find our personal recommendations for which travel credit cards to use.
São Bento railway station
Livraria Lello (oldest bookstore in the world)
Serralves Museum of Contemporary Art
Dom Luís I Bridge
Taylor’s Port Cellars
The Yeatman Hotel
Porto River Tours
River Cruise on Portugal’s Douro River with Viking River Cruise – Episode 486
Bom Jesus do Monte
Monastery of São Martinho de Tibães
Garden of Santa Barbara (Braga)
Festa de São João do Porto
Restaurante Mauritania Matosinhos
Tripas a Moda do Porto recipe
Pastel de nata
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ 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
Please take our listener survey
Amateur Traveler Trips
Amateur Traveler trip to Turkey in September 2020