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.


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.


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.


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!




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.  

Item Cost
Rome → Porto 222 € = 266 USD
Accommodations 90 € = 108 USD
Getting Around 20 € = 24 USD
Food and Drinks 92 € = 110 USD
Activities Free
Total 424 € =  509 USD

*I used an exchange rate of 1 € = 1.2 USD

I’m off to Lisbon.  Ciao for now,


40 thoughts on “5 Days, 4 Nights in Porto”

  1. Hi Marissa,
    Those eats look delicious.
    One of my travel buddies raves about Portugal, and noted Porto is one of those fab places to enjoy.
    I have a few friends from NJ who were from Portugal, originally. Went back home every summer. Loved it. I can see why.
    Thanks for sharing Marissa.

  2. I always love posts like this! Your pictures were beautiful and I will definitely save this next time I’m in Porto! Xx

  3. I didn’t get a chance to taste the Francesinha when I was in Porto, I was only there a short time and ate too many other great foods. I didn’t go inside Livaria Lello either, I hadn’t expected such a long line. Did you get a chance to visit the Port Houses?

  4. Oh Ryanair! Sometimes it’s worth going for the extra $ when booking in order to avoid the extra, hidden fees that Ryanair has. I’m glad to hear that you had an awesome time in Porto though, it seems like a pretty cool place!

  5. The budget at the end of the post is super helpful, thank you for sharing that. The food looks absolutely delicious. What a nice host you had and I’ve heard of some horror stories so it is nice to hear the opposite!

  6. Wow that seems like an expensive Ryanair flight! It really sucks about that suitcase but stuff like that always happens with cheap airlines. But I am glad you got to Portugal and got to enjoy those great views and food! Porto is on my bucket list so I hope I’ll get to visit soon!

  7. I was in Portugal many years ago, but didn’t make it to Porto. I really wanted to try port in Porto. There are so many places I would like to to visit again and Portugal is one of them.

  8. I keep reading about Porto, and it’s so enticing. Francesinha looks like a heart attack on a plate (haha!) but, worth it! And, anywhere with Harry Potter connections would be fascinating – we have 3 generations of Harry Potter lovers in our house!

  9. Portugal looks like the perfect European layover, I’m hoping to explore some of it on an upcoming trip to Madrid. You make Porto look like a dream! Have a great trip!

  10. Looks like you definitely ate the local food. Vila Nova de Gaia is often missed by travelers going to Porto, but you got to stay there and see it’s charm. We ate the best meal of Porto in Vila Nova de Gaia. Nicely done on a budget girl!!

  11. I’m so glad you write about affordable options and lay out how much things cost! I’m intrigued by this Francesinha. It sounds like a lot, but it could be really good! I will definitely keep Antigua Casa Ze da Guida in mind if I visit Porto. I love fresh seafood. I haven’t read the Harry Potter books yet either…most people are shocked to learn that ha ha.

  12. Porto is on my travel list so looong, have to visit it soon, it looks stunning 🙂 Thanks also for a tip where to get a good vegetarian meal, saving that place 🙂

  13. Thanks for the budget breakdown. I love being able to get an idea of how much it’s actually going to cost me to visit. Porto looks like a beautiful place with loads to see. Definitely on my wish list now.

  14. It’s such a shame that I’m on France but the only other country I’ve been to is Spain. Oh well that means even more travels! Great read and happy to be able to keep up with you now Xo

  15. I’ve wanted to get to Portugal, specifically Porto, for a little while now – it just looks so beautiful! 🙂 I am also a sucker for cheap good seafood AND dishes soaked in cheese and a sauce like Francesinha, but I was unaware of the local specialty. Excellent local cuisine is something else that always makes traveling more memorable so now I’m extra-super-really excited for getting there sometime soon.

    Also – READ HARRY POTTER. It’s been a bit since this post went up so I can only assume you’ve finished the first 3 by now 😉

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