My first glimpse of Porto was through the window of a cab as we made our way from the airport to our apartment in the historical center known as Ribeira. Colored paint, graffiti, or patterned ceramic tiles embellished the facades of many of the buildings. Clothes hung out of windows or were strung on clothes lines across alleys, drying in the warmth of the sun. Our apartment sat along the Cais de Ribeira with a waterfront view of the Douro River and the port houses in Vila Nova de Gaia. Street artists played music, hoping for a few euros to be thrown in their instrument cases as their melodies filled the ears of tourists. We walked and walked this city: Grandma, Alex, Brecken, and myself; seeking out the best food, wine, playgrounds, ceramic souvenirs, and photo-ops!
A funny story from the trip just came to mind and I thought I would share / document for a future laugh. We were so hungry after we arrived in the city and were excited to try out the local cuisine. I ordered a dish called Tripas a moda, the english translation being rice, sausage, and beans in sauce. When the waiter brought me the dish, there were large pieces of bone floating in the sauce along with what appeared to be fatty puckered chicken skin, or so I thought. It seemed quite odd to me and although the taste of the sauce wasn't so bad, I couldn't get past what was floating in it. My curiosity got the best of me and I decided to do a google search, before taking another bite. TRIPE. Yes, that was what I thought looked like chicken skin. It's actually the lining of a cows stomach. Nope, done. I was so grossed out I couldn't even finish it. The remaining meals in Porto were amazing, I will praise a good tapas bar over and over.
Ribeira Negra Apartment
This apartment was in the PERFECT location. We could sit on the rooftop balcony and watch everything that was happening on the promenade with a stone's throw away from the Dom Luis Bridge. The interior was very modern and the property manager was so sweet and great to work with.
This was a small establishment with a few tables nestled in close to one another. The service, hospitality, and food were all top-notch. Brecken was treated so well, although at first glance it wouldn't have been a place I would have thought was kid-friendly.
The Wine Box
We fell in love with this small Wine and Tapas Bar around the corner from our apartment. Their tapas menu was extensive and the wine was even more so. This establishment ships wines internationally so we purchased from them and had the wine delivered to our doorstep in Germany a day after arriving home.
Our last meal in Portugal and it didn't disappoint. This restaurant is located in the Vila Nova de Gaia area. The food was full of flavor and fresh!
This is a great website that lists the wine cellars in Porto along with a brief description about them, their opening times, and address.
A bookstore that has been the inspiration for many known authors. JK Rowling, author of the Harry Potter series, frequented this bookstore while she lived in Portugal and taught English.
Airline: We found cheap tickets from Germany to Porto via EasyJet.
Taxi was arranged through the property management staff of our airbnb for transportation to and from the airport.
Itinerary- 4 days and 3 nights
- Day 1
- Depart Stuttgart in the am and arrive in Porto early afternoon (flight time 2 hours)
- Transfer taxi to apartment
- Apartment check-in
- Walk the Ribeira are to eat lunch
- Livraria Lello
- Touring around city
- Grocery shop for apartment
- Wine and tapas at apartment for dinner
- Day 2
- Breakfast at apartment
- Aerial Sightseeing (Teleferico) Vila Nova de Gaia
- Lunch at a cafe
- Ferreira Wine Tour
- Apartment for nap
- Dinner at Tasca Caseira
- Day 3
- Breakfast at apartment
- Shopping / Touring
- The Wine Box for Tapas lunch
- Nap at the apartment
- Callum Wine Tour / Fado Show
- Dinner at Tempero D'Maria
- Pack for early morning departure
- Day 4
- Check-out and travel day