One of Europe’s best cities, and an amazing friend, in Porto

by Pedro Ramos from Portugal

You may have heard of Oporto, I really hope so. Here in Portugal, we simply call it “Porto”, and that’s the name I will call this wonderful city in this blogpost.

I wish I had stayed there for about 1 week, but living with parents (I’m not an adult yet) has its disvantages and unfortunely I got to my destination at a Wednesday at afternoon, and left the city in a Friday morning… So we had to manage time very well.

Porto has lots of atractions, but with such a few time we only had time for some places… but it proved to be an amazing experience, especially because my main goal was meeting face to face someone I had knew on the internet, so it was memorable.

Serralves museum and gardens

First of all, we went to Serralves foundation. There’s a museum and a garden, as you may already have guessed by the title’s name. When I went there, there was some interesting exhibitions, but now, until 4th June, there’s exposed a Miró exhibition!

After the museum, we decided to explore the gardens, and let me say something: it’s huge!! Huge and beautiful, but we only had time to explore about 1/3 of the park. It has several paths to walk on, and you get absorved by nature, a truly relaxing experience, while you can also take several diversified photos, like this one.

Day one reached its end, and then we drove to our hotel at the other side of the river, in Vila Nova de Gaia.

Here’s a tip: There’s a ticket that lets you access Serralves and Casa da Música for about 14€ which is cheaper than buying tickets for both places separately

Casa da Música

Day 2! We woke up early in that day, in order to reach Casa da Música. Casa da Música is like a concert hall, one of the Europe’s best, so I’ve heard. It has a beautiful and different arquitecture (projected by the architect Rem Koolhaas).

Unfortunely, I wasn’t very inspired in that day to take too many photos, but I think this one turned out fine! And you get to understand that this is no “normal” building. Then, we took a guided tour, which I absolutely recommend you to do so! Our guide told us that the building was made around “transparencies”. This means that you’ll find a lot of glasses (special glasses, because of the sound) inside, so you can take a look at the several parts of this edifice. We were told about the focus on acoustics, and what made this of the best concert halls in Europe. Here is one photo that can make you understand a bit the “special glass”.

One of my best days ever

After the guided tour, I’ve finally met my friend!! After talking to her for some months, the moment we saw each other was truly special and unforgettable! I won’t get on too many details here, because that isn’t the point, so after we went to lunch at “CervejariaBrasão”. I was too absorved in the moment to take a photo of the restaurant, but despite being somewhat expensive, we were very well served! What did we eat? A “francesinha” of course! A special dish of Porto! Oh, and I must say it was very hard to find a place to park the car, maybe it would have been better if we had travelled by subway.

After the great lunch, my family and I went for a walk with my friend, which turned out to be a great guide! We took photos near the town hall, as you can see here.

 

São Bento

Then, we went to São Bento Railway Station, which was inaugurated at the beginning of the 20th century. It’s very different from what we’re used nowadays, but it’s so pretty with these mosaics!

We walked more to a church, Sé do Porto, and we also took a walk on the D. Luís I! Between the railway station and the bridge there are several spots were you can take cool photos. I’d recommend you to have a good zoom lens with you, so you can take photos like these

But of course, even with a smartphone you can take very interesting photos also!

Pérgula da Foz

The last part of this day consisted in visiting “Pérgula da Foz”. I had saw many photos of it before going to Porto and I was very, very excited to go there. Unfortunely there was too much fog to my liking, but it was a very nice place to chill.

It was a truly memorable day, and one of the happiest of my life, thanks to discovering a brand new and amazing city, but also because I met a great friend! I could write much more about the city, but then this post would be enormous!

Conclusion

Friday morning consisted of travelling to another city, so nothing interesting about this. I was told to do a list of tips, but I’m sorry I can’t do that, I don’t really know what tips I can give to you. But what I can say is that you won’t be disappointed if you visit Porto. And if you can’t be for a long time in that city, like me, I’d recommend you to visit places like the São Bento railway station, take a look near the town hall, visit the “Sé do Porto”, and of course, you got to take some pics on the D. Luís I Bridge! Those places are near each other, so with some little walks you can get a good flavor of what this city has to offer! (and trust me, there’s much more to Porto than just the places I’ve visited)

Also, it would be a great idea if you tried to meet a friend there, so he/she could you the best things of the city while you also had a great time with someone new! I have to thank Sofia a lot for the great day she gave me, it was wonderful!

Sometimes I post some photos about my trip to Porto on Instagram, if you are interested in seeing some of them you can visit my insta:

https://www.instagram.com/ramos_photo_magazine/

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