February 24, 2014

Porto on a budget Part I

Hi everyone, I hope you had a great weekend.

I just returned yesterday evening/night from our weekend trip to Porto.
We have been to Lisbon before and loved it, and Porto has the same essence.
Portugal is a great country to travel, its inexpensive, great food and friendly , helpful people.

I told you that I was worried about the weather; well, no reason to worry here. We were really lucky and only had a little rain in Friday, Saturday and Sunday the sun came out and we had the most amazing days.
As you know, We are saving money for our wedding now, besides we just moved to a more expensive flat and we also plan to do at least one larger trip this year, so our intention was to spend as little money as possible on this trip. The most expensive part is usually the flight, but you can really save money if you buy the tickets with some anticipation. We flew with Ryan Air and paid 70 € /person, which I think is ok. Then of course, we avoided all unnecessary costs such as cabs. I know its wonderfully convenient to take a cab to the airport or from the aiport, but its also a lot of money that you can invest otherwise. So we took the airport shuttle bus in Barcelona and in Porto they have a train that takes you directly to the City Centre.

As for accommodation, we chose a VERY inexpensive place  close to the center. We only paid 30 € for the whole weekend and it was a perfectly fine little hostel. The day we arrived we went to explore the old town which is close by the river. Incredibly charming with all these little, colorful houses. People told me before that Porto is a little melancholic, and I kind of understand what they say. Portugal used to be a great power centuries ago, and you can still see that in parts of the city. But it is also clearly visible that the crisis hit hard in this country and that in many places a renovation would be more than necessary. But overall I found that the city had a very positive spirit and I loved the 3 days we spent there.


 From Ribeira ( the old town) we spontaneously went to a wine tasting at the other site of the River to try the world famous Porto Wine. We paid 7  € for a guided tour and 3 glasses of wine (White, Red and Tawny) and 3 chocolates. If you ever get to visit Porto, this is a must. I learned a lot about wine and they were delicious, the white was my favorite. Later (slightly tipsy) we walked up to the city center, where you find some more modern structures that rather reminded me of Madrid or Paseo de Gracia in Barcelona. There are many little bars where you can have an inexpensive lunch, and of course countless little souvenir shops.

We both love food and have been doing quite some research before to find a restaurant that would fulfill our expectations. Luckily, a fried was able to recommend us a great restaurant where we eventually had dinner. I would love to go into more lengths about this now, but this post is getting insanely long. So more about Porto tomorrow!
Happy Monday...


Ribeira

Ribeira seen from the other side of the river


Wine Tasting


City Center

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