After being in the south along the Algarve coast, a little more north of Lisbon, the next logical stop was to visit the city of Porto.
Porto, also known as Oporto is the second largest city in Portugal after Lisbon, which I first started my 7-month journey in. The population of Porto and the surrounding area comes in about 2.1 million. It’s also one of the oldest European centers and its historical core has been named a World Heritage Site by UNESCO.
The hostel I booked for this part of the trip was the Yes! Porto Hostel, the same brand as the one I stayed in Lisbon. If you are not familiar with the Yes! branded hostels in Portugal, they have an awesome group dinner every night around 9 pm, which includes a 3 course home cooked meal along with an open bar for 2 hours which only runs you 10 Euros, followed by optional pub crawls with an extra added fee of 10 Euros. Once again these are great ways to meet fellow travelers, especially if you are traveling alone.
Stuff to Do
One again, like most popular tourist destinations in Europe, Porto has free walking tours, in Porto they actually have 2, one in the morning and one in the afternoon that both tackle different parts of the city. I ventured out on both of these and sadly the one in the afternoon we got completely soaking wet, having to walk uphill through almost a foot of water at one point. When you mix rain, water, and sweat your shoes and socks start to smell, and unfortunately, that smell stayed with my shoes for the next 6 months…
During the walking tour, you also walk by the bookstore which apparently inspired the one in Harry Potter, as J.K Rowling was a teacher in Portugal when she first started to write the series. You have to buy a ticket to get into the bookstore but I believe if you ended up buying a book from them the price of the ticket goes towards a discount on the book.
Another awesome tour to go on is the Port wine tour. If you have never tried Port wine before it is typically sweet wine which is produced exclusively in the Douro Valley in the Northern Provinces of Portugal. Since it is usually sweet, it is more of a dessert wine, sort of like the ice wine we have back in Canada. Like most of the other wine tours, I have been on around Europe some of the other people didn’t quite enjoy the wine they were drinking and instead, I ended up with an extra 8/9 glasses then I paid for!
After having to go to the last pub crawl in Portugal I then had a quick 2-hour nap before heading off on an early flight to Prague for a week.