Perfect Weekend: 48-Hours in Porto, PortugalBy Angelica Malin
With its sunny weather, delicious cuisine and beautiful landscape, it’s not hard to see why Portugal is such a beloved holiday destination. The coastal city of Porto is particularly popular, known for its pretty architecture and vibrant atmosphere. Weekend trips away are the perfect way of getting a taste of a country’s culture but, with limited time, it can seem tricky to squeeze everything in.
There are plenty of places to stay close to the action to help you save time, such as beautiful villas from Oliver’s Travels. Staying close to the city means less time travelling and more time to have fun. From enjoying the great outdoors to sampling the nightlife, there are some things you simply have to do in your 48-hours in Porto. Here are just some of the top things you must make sure you have time for.
Avenida dos Aliados
With regal architecture, a plethora of restaurants and the chance to shop till you drop, a visit to Avenida dos Aliados is a must. This city centre is jammed packed full of things to see and do, acting as a hub for some of the best pieces of architecture in Porto. Watch out for the stunning Town Hall – with a 70m high bell tower, you’re unlikely to miss it. Created from a mix of both granite and marble, this building takes inspiration from France’s municipal architecture. You’ll be able to admire a statue of Portuguese writer Almeida Garrett outside the Town Hall, too.
After admiring the Town Hall and the stunning architecture in the city, pop to the historical Guarany cafe. First opened in 1933, this luxurious cafe is largely known as the musicians coffee shop. Expect live music, a classy atmosphere and lots of delicious food.
Palácio de Cristal
Just a twenty-minute walk away from the centre of Avenida dos Aliados is the Palácio de Cristal – or Crystal Palace gardens in English. With a plethora of pretty pathways lined with trees, beautiful sculptures and a ginormous dome pavilion, it’s the perfect place to stroll around in the sun. You’ll get a fantastic view of the Douro River too, which puts the cherry on top of the cake when it comes to beauty.
The rose garden is a particularly popular feature in the Crystal Palace, as are the beautiful peacocks the roam it. Spend some time away from the hustle and bustle of the city in this serene haven – you won’t regret it.
Climb the Arrábida Bridge
Portugal is highly regarded for its wonderful architecture and has many well-designed bridges. The Arrábida Bridge is particularly impressive and is famed for being the world’s largest concrete arch bridge upon its completion in 1963. We aren’t recommending you just look at this bridge though – although that’s a must, too – but rather add a bit of excitement to your trip by climbing it. Grab a harness and climb up this impressive 65m high bridge for an incredible view of the city below.
Enjoy the nightlife
You can’t have a holiday in Portugal without experiencing the nightlife. There’s plenty of options all within close proximity of each other, making this the perfect place for a bar crawl. One of the most popular places to go for a drink is the Catraio Craft Beer Shop and, once you’ve sampled the beers, you’ll instantly understand why. They have an impressively large selection of craft beers to choose from, so much so that it’d be impossible to sample them all in one trip.
If you’re looking for something sweeter, then The Gin House is the place to be. Serving a variety of gin-based cocktails, this place has a great atmosphere and delicious drinks. With so many creative flavours to try, even those who don’t normally like gin will find a cocktail they love.
Try the port wine
While technically you can do this on your night out, it’s a great idea to experience port wine tasting in a more sophisticated manner. Porto is highly regarded for its production of port wines, you’d be really missing out if you went home without trying it. With a cosy atmosphere and, more importantly, over 200 different ports to try, Portologia is the best place to do so. Try one of their wine tasting experiences; you’ll get to learn more about how the wine is created while sampling their very best.
Porto is a bustling coastal city, jammed packed with things to do. Regardless of how long you’re staying, you’ll never run out of things to do.