At this point in my European tour, the days blend together and creep up out of nowhere. Consequently, I completely forgot to secure transportation to the airport in Rome. My Ryanair flight (more on that later) was scheduled to leave pretty early, and getting there by public transportation would be a headache because I’d have to wake up super early. After weighing my options, I decided to book a private car with my host, for 40 €!!! If you have been following my blog, then you know I was not happy about that price. Nonetheless, I booked it and forced myself to be content with the decision.
I arrived at the airport in about 30 minutes and stood in the line to check-in. This marked my first flight in Europe, so I didn’t know what to expect. When I arrived at the counter, the Ryanair representative looked at my luggage and told me I didn’t need to be in this line since I only had carry-on bags. She told me to head straight to security. So, imagine my surprise when I got to the gate and I was told my luggage was too large and I’d have to pay 50 € to check my bag!! I was not a happy camper!! I don’t even want to look at the getting there section in my budget because it will reflect the cost of the private car, the flight, AND the baggage fee. Getting to Porto was definitely what my friend and I refer to as a #FinancialWomp.
WHERE TO LAY YOUR HEAD ON A PILLOW
I stayed at an Airbnb in Vila Nova de Gaia, which is a quick trip to Porto. My host was great and changed his schedule in order to pick me up from the airport. His generosity eased the pain of the aforementioned #FinancialWomp. My host was great and he provided great suggestions for ways to experience Porto like a local.
GETTING AROUND PORTO
In Porto, I walked a lot then took an uber if it was super late or when I was feeling lazy. Uber prices were super reasonable in Porto. For example, some of my rides were 10-minutes but only cost around 2 €. So, I didn’t mind splurging on the occasional Uber.
WHERE TO EAT
Antigua Casa Ze da Guida. I had some of the freshest salmon at this restaurant, which makes sense since it’s right by the water. I had an amazing salad, salmon, and sangria for 12 €. I visited this restaurant three times during my stay, so clearly I’m a fan.
Porto is known for Francesinha, a sandwich with layers of meat, topped with an egg, cheese, and special sauce. I was told by several locals that Café Santiago makes the best Francesinha. When I went, it was pretty crowded; head to the bar if you don’t feel like waiting for a table.
If you partake in a Francesinha and need a break from the meat, check out Essencia for vegetarian options. I had a three-course meal for 10 € and it was amazing!
THINGS TO DO
Instead of official activities, I wandered around quite a bit in Porto. The view from The Dom Luis Bridge is amazing. São Bento Train Station also makes the list of beautiful things to see in Porto. After that, head over to Café Majestic, a beautiful café that’s been around for nearly a century.
Livaria Lello was highly recommended but I didn’t make it inside due to the long line. It’s a bookstore that J.K. Rowling frequented when she lived in Porto. I’m told it provided inspiration for her books. I’ve yet to read a Harry Potter book (blasphemy) so I wouldn’t get the connection anyway. The trip wasn’t a waste because it was a quick walk to Clérigos Tower.
Here’s a breakdown of my budget for five days in Porto.
|Rome → Porto||222 € = 266 USD|
|Accommodations||90 € = 108 USD|
|Getting Around||20 € = 24 USD|
|Food and Drinks||92 € = 110 USD|
|Total||424 € = 509 USD|
*I used an exchange rate of 1 € = 1.2 USD
I’m off to Lisbon. Ciao for now,