OK! Let’s get back to Porto so that I’m not blogging about this trip well into summer!
I mentioned previously that we didn’t really have a plan for our trip, but there were a few spots that we decided that we wanted to check out in between glasses of port and crisp white wine! One of them, of course, was Livraria Lello & Irmão. My sister (who has visited Porto before) also suggested that we visit the São Bento Railway Station and Mercado do Bolhão. So we did!
São Bento Railway Station
The current railway station is actually the third iteration of this building. Originally built in the 16th century, it burnt down in 1783 and its replacement fell into disrepair. Now a hub of railway travel in Porto, it shows every ounce of being considered a major project and a source of pride for the city.
Outside, it doesn’t look like much but inside it’s covered with tens of thousands of Portuguese tiles, known as azulejos. Those blue tiles that you’ve been seeing in all of my Porto photos? Azulejos!
To be honest, there’s really not all that much to the station once you get past the gorgeous entrance, but you might not even want to unless you have a train to catch!
If you’re visiting Porto, make sure this is a stop on your list! It’s a quick visit (unless you go during rush hour, which you shouldn’t) and you won’t want to miss out on getting up close and personal with those beautiful tiles!
Mercado do Bolhão
Our next stop after the railway station was Mercado do Bolhão. We went on a Saturday morning, which is supposed to be one of the busiest times at the market, but it was pretty empty when we arrived. (Perhaps we were too early?)
I love markets, but…this wasn’t one of my favorites. I think it’s definitely geared to actual grocery shopping and not so much stopping and starting or tasting local treats while you check out local wares. Which is OK! Not everything is for tourists! But, not wanting to irritate vendors with picture taking and not being in need of groceries, we made this another quick visit.
Those flowers? Not real! How cool is that? Had I brought a bigger suitcase I would have been prepared to totally kit out my wedding (I hate real flowers so these would have been perfect since they were so realistic)!
If we go for self-catered accommodation for our next trip, I know where we’ll get our fresh fruits!
Hope you enjoyed these and found a few fun things to do if you visit Porto!