A Pit Stop in Porto
So…is Portuguese chicken just regular chicken in Portugal?
I’ve wondered this for ages, and we were eager to put the question to rest as we touched down in Portugal for the very first time. Destination: Porto, home of amazing coloured buildings and port wine – this place sounds right up our alley.
Being suckers for a well-made cappuccino in the morning, our noses drew us to a nearby café called ‘Café O Sítio’. This place is a must-visit during any Porto trip. The coffee was amazing, and only a paltry €2 a cup to boot! The décor was even better; it felt like you were stepping back in time, with full bookshelves up to the ceiling, bikes leaned against the walls, and antiques littering every nook. I could have spent an entire day in this café, but we had much more exploring to do.
Before we knew it, a bevy of gorgeous, vibrant tiled buildings surrounded us along the narrow cobblestone streets. So many different shops and markets selling cork handbags, shoes, jewellery and everything imaginable. The distant noise of ringing bells soon had us intrigued, and to our amazement, we discovered some beautiful vintage trams traveling around the city. They’re one of the main forms of public transport in the city, and you can jump on and off for the day for around €5.
Our city wandering bought us to the banks of the Douro River, an area filled with cafes, restaurants, and performers busking in the sun. This area is a bit of a ‘tourist trap,’ but there are dining options in abundance, with a great view of the river, so don’t write it off entirely.
One of the more iconic landmarks in Porto is the Luís Bridge that runs atop the Douro River and connects Porto to Vila Nova de Gaia. Once you cross the bridge, you’re met with some amazing views of Porto; picturesque backdrops for that perfect Instagram shot. A few steps away we stumbled upon one of Porto’s best kept secrets, Base bar – an open-air bar where you can lounge among the trees, lay on a day bed, or relax by the bar with the sun on your back. This place was definitely one of our Porto highlights, enjoying the relaxing vibes while staring up at Clérigos Tower. Most drinks were priced between €3 and €7.Porto #Portugal: home of amazing coloured buildings and port wine! Click To Tweet
After one too many cheap beers, we set off to find dinner. We were ready for a traditional feast, but had little idea of what this would include. We choose one of the many streets filled with restaurants, and found a place that seemed to tick all the right boxes. We decided to go for it: “Two Francesinhas! Obrigado!”
In no time, our table was full of food. A Francesinha is a traditional Portuguese sandwich, but not your normal run-of-the-mill sandwich. It’s a sandwich filled with steak and bacon, then deep fried and covered with melted cheesed, coated in a tomato sauce, and finally topped with a fried egg. Maybe a heart attack on a plate, but it certainly tantalised the taste buds!
Porto was the perfect start to our Portuguese holiday and a must-do for any lover of food, friendly people, and amazing architecture.
Now, if we could only find some Portuguese chicken…