One of my favorite parts of traveling is getting give good, practical advice about my destinations to friends, family, and blog readers! It’s been a while since I did any sort of travel guide, so I figure since you all have been so good as to read my squillion posts about Porto, I may as well round it out with a few do’s and don’ts to make your future trips to Porto great ones!
Do: Walk! You’ll get to know this pocket sized city in a day or so and burn some serious calories on the hills!
Don’t: Try to be a hero with your footwear. There are cobblestones and the aforementioned hills. If ever there was a time to put on your most sensible walking shoes, it’s during a trip to Porto!
Don’t: Eat a Francesinha. The food is soooo good and so reasonable. Lining your arteries with the Portuguese answer to chicken fried steak with gravy just seems like a waste of a good appetite. For the love of God. Don’t do it. I don’t care what TripAdvisor says.
Do: Make a reservation at Odé! You’ll notice that I haven’t posted any photos from our dinner there and that’s because Odé goes out of their way to make your dining experience memorable (in the In Real Life way, not the Instagram way). We’re talking strict reservation times so that you can fully immerse yourself in the experience. Waiters attend to your every need, are beyond knowledgable, and every dish is to die for. I had the best steak of my entire LIFE, and I’m even still thinking about how good every single dish that came out of the kitchen was!
Do: Go to the port caves for a tour! A “tasting” seems to translate into full glass in Porto so make sure you bring a snack!
Don’t: Be put off if there’s a bit of rain or weather. The highs and lows in Porto are what make the port produced in the region so good. You should expect to strap on your rain boots on a trip, but don’t despair! Know that the rain clouds are contributing to the rich taste of the region.
On that note, do: forget about using an umbrella on a windy day. You’re more likely to poke yourself in the eye with a spoke than keep yourself dry!
Do: Make sure that you walk across the top of the double-tiered bridge. You can take a trolley car up the mountain adjacent, so no climbing required. The views offered are unparalleled!
Don’t: Rely on foreign bank cards. Porto is really a cash city. We couldn’t even get the metro out of the airport (the airport!) with our foreign bank cards and there were no signs anywhere indicating this. After about a thousand goes at the machine, a kindly attendant finally filled us in. So! Change some cash before or do so in the airport. Thank me later!
Do: Pack your schedule! No matter what, you’ll be able to get around the city easily, so you may as well squeeze every ounce out of your time. Unlike a lot of cities where getting from one attraction to another can zap you of a bit of joy and a lot of energy, Porto is a dream for the ambitious traveler! Take advantage!
Don’t: I cannot say this enough. Do not consume a Francesinha. Please.
Alright! With that, let’s close the book on Porto! Until next time, of course! 🙂