Porto Walking Tour

1:16:00 AM Brooke Neal 0 Comments

We signed up for a walking tour of the city and had a really enthusiastic guide, unfortunately she only spoke Portuguese.  Bob translated, but somehow I think I missed out on a few things, as she would talk for seemingly 5 minutes and Bob would give me a 30 second response.  

The Details
Trip Advisor awarded this group 4.5 stars so we contacted them and they were very responsive to our needs.  They only do tours in Portuguese on Sunday's, so my husband translated.  We were the only ones on the tour, so Cecilia was our private guide for the day.  Stopping when our kids needed a break and willing to answer my endless stream of questions.  
Time:  3.5 hours
Cost: gratuity 
Tip: Porto is hilly, wear sensible walking shoes.

One of the most significant impacts left by the Moors was their use of tile.  It was cheap and easy to clean.  You see it everywhere on the sides of buildings--some patterns are simple while others like this one are elaborate scenes.  
Porto is very hilly.  This tower (I think the tallest in town) affords you great views of the surrounding city.
This book shop has the designation of being the 3rd most beautiful in the world--One and two must be pretty fantastic because this bookstore is gorgeous!  They do not allow photographs inside, so I swiped a few from the internet.  The woodwork in absolutely splendid, I can hardly believe they would put so much money into a place of business.  The stain glass ceiling and curved staircase seem more appropriate for a manor estate, but alas here it is in downtown Porto.

Livraria Lello Bookstore  Rua das Camelitas 144
The photos below are not mine and are poor quality, but if you google search this bookstore you will find better ones. 







This apartment building was a stones throw from a bridge we were standing on.  Its horrible location and general disrepair demands very little rent from its tenants.  I was drawn to the blue tile and yes, you guessed it, the red door.
Another tenement next door.


These medieval walls were built to keep out invaders.  The intimidation factor worked and Porto was spared destruction.  Unfortunately, as the city grew they began to be torn down.  Only a few segments of these impressive structures remain. 

This large Romanesque Church has a commanding place sitting high on a hill over looking the city.

The rooster is the mascot of Portugal.  He has a story, but it's not all that exciting so I won't bother with the details, but you find him on shopping bags, kitchen towels and in snow globes.
The Ribeira, situated along the river, is the most touristy part of town filled with restaurants and shops.   Eating here will afford you a pleasant view of the river, but the ambiance will cost you.  We ate just two blocks off the Ribeira and had a fantastic (affordable) meal of chicken, steak and salmon.

The Details
Churrasqueira d'Infante
18 Rua Mouzinho da Silveira

This is the last of the original portals along the river.


Seems wherever we go we run into a demonstration.  As noisy as this was, it actually wasn't a demonstration, just a Freshman initiation.  Thousands of students wrapped in aluminum cans ran through the streets in a coordinated orderly way.

20,000 tiles commemorating Portugal's history decorate the walls of the Sao Bento train station. Opened in 1916, this historic site is well worth visiting. It's not big so it won't require a lot of time.





The Majestic Cafe--It is said that JK Rowling spent much time here while writing the Harry Potter's Series.
This statue stood outside our apartment. We booked an apartment with go2:Oporto.  They were great! They picked us up from the airport at Midnight (at no charge) and when the lock on our door broke they worked all day Sunday getting it fixed so we could get back into our apartment by the evening. The sparkling apartment was well situated, & stocked with fruit, wine and condiments upon our arrival.

Porto is known for its Port Wine production. Once upon a time, barrels of wine were transported along the river in boats like these, now they carry tourists.






0 comments: