I want to use this post to chat a bit about the differences between my two trips – the first with my sister and a few girlfriends and my second a longer trip with my husband. I think the city is perfect for both girls’ weekends and romantic getaways and the big differences are in the little details!
For our girls’ trip to Porto we stayed at the gorgeous Teatro Hotel. I loved this option because the hotel was super cute, it boasts an AMAZING central location, and is pretty affordable, especially considering the amenities. For any trip with 3+ people, I’d absolutely recommend booking a hotel and bunking up. Why? Well – if someone in your party is a slow-riser or just running late, you’re not trapped in a single accommodation waiting for them just to get the day going.
There were a few mornings where my sister and I were able to hop up and hit the pavement on our own time. This allowed our friends to sleep in and join us later.
For a romantic getaway, though, I highly recommend one of the amazing AirBnBs in the area. The apartment we rented was absolutely stunning, had a fantastic kitchen, and ticked all of our boxes. We had privacy and flexibility and since we’re on the same schedule when we travel together there was no need to factor in the navigation of anyone else’s travel habits.
Sights & Sounds:
Porto is WINE (well, port) COUNTRY! Whoever you’re going with, you’re probably going to want to hit up a winery tour or plan your visit around harvest season.
There are a few differences in how I spent my time, otherwise, even though I did see quite a few of the same spots with both my girlfriends and Ryan.
Romantic Getaway: We tended to take longer walks and set out for the day with one key thing that we wanted to do, letting the rest come as it may.
Girls’ Trip: We tended to plan a few things per day (granted we were there for a shorter amount of time). I think the main reason for this was, well, you don’t really need long romantic strolls with your girlfriends, you know? I find that bigger groups thrive with a structure to keep things moving and that was the case for us in Porto.
On both trips we visited the gardens, indulged at ODE Porto Wine House, and took advantage of the practically free and free-flowing vinho verde.
Length of Stay:
I’ve alluded to this up above but I think with the right planning that you can really enjoy Porto on a girls’ (or boys’!) trip in just a few days. Especially if you live in Europe, it’s a perfect weekend getaway. Our travel partners actually did Lisbon prior to joining us, so if you’re down for a longer trip with your friends but want to hit a few cities Portugal is a great country in which to do that.
For our couple’s trip we wanted to relax the timeline and take things really easy so staying for five days was ideal. While it’s a quick flight for us and there was no jetlag we really benefited from having a few days to get into a routine and revisit our favorite spots.
Porto is very affordable no matter who you’re with. The biggest cost drivers will be your accommodation and what tours you choose to book into as food & drink are extremely reasonably priced. (I think a Superbock ran a whopping €1 and a glass of wine…maybe €2-3?)
As far as accommodation goes, I found that staying in an AirBnB was slightly cheaper per night as is usually the case but the hotels were also not insane so overall it will come down to how fancy you’d like to get and how many people you’re traveling with.
Get thee to Porto! No, seriously. This city has pretty much everything you’d want in a short- to mid-length of stay and it’s really just gorgeous. Whoever you go with, you’ll have a blast.
Hope this helps anyone planning a trip to the area!