porto moved upwards on my list: i love it and i’m definitely going back!

10. the livraria lello. you will love the world-renowned double stair and the old book store feeling. if it looks familiar, you probably saw it in the harry potter series, some scenes were filmed there!

9. for traditional flavour, visit the sao bento train station with its wonderful tile depiction of portuguese history, the beautiful palacio da bolsa, the effervescent marcado do bolhao or the age old cafe majestic. also, you may want to see the capela da alma, well-known for its tiled exterior.

8. for contemporary art, it’s easy: fundacao serralves. you have enough to do for a stimulating half a day: an alvaro siza-designed museum, great art, restaurants, the sculpture-littered garden and the fabulous art deco villa. 

7. francesinha is a local delicacy: a caloric bomb you just have to try to believe. a beer and tomato sauce covered sandwich that can contain between two slices of bread some or all of the following: ham, sausage, steak and cheese. oh, and a fried egg on top!

6. ribeira is the picturesque, riverside area, a maze of little medieval streets and great seafood places. the great views don’t hurt.

5. my beloved white box house. the perfect place to sleep: cozy, warm and friendly!

4. are you into futuristic architecture? do not miss the vodafone building by locals barbosa & guimaraes and casa da musica by 2000 pritzker prize winner rem koolhaas.

3. you must visit bombarda – it’s porto’s arty hipster central: an area full of happening galleries and shops (i loved this tiny comics book store, this furniture shop and this gallery). click here and here for more info about the area and do not miss their famous simultaneous  inaugurations!

2. dom luis bridge arches over the douro river from porto to vila nova de gaia. the top part is for tramways, the bottom is for cars and fortunately they are both accessible for pedestrians, too. the best views guaranteed! ps: do not go if you have altitude sickness.

1. walk, jog or pedal along the douro all the way to the ocean: it’s such a cool road to take. or get on the bus – it also goes along the river, to the beaches and beyond, to matosinhos, a neighboring town where alvaro siza was born.

i’m very, very jealous: i think all cities need such an amazing road!

if this is still not enough, click here for more. enjoy!

photo credits: google search, lilaesthete