When travelling to a new city, you normally read a lot of things about this city before. You may get hints and recommendations by friends, internet users or even locals. But in my opinion the greatest thing is to discover some cool places by yourself and make it your own and this is what I’m sharing with you right now. Have a look at my favourite spot for a view over the city, the best place to see the sunset on the beach or where you should go when you want to discover Porto by bike. Sure, I’m just another person advising you what to do and where to go but I can guarantee these places are proved and tested by me and not just a lame travel guide recommendation!
Sunset on the Beach
Let’s start with the most interesting place on this list. Who doesn’t dream of watching the sun set over the sea while having a nice drink and some tasty food? Well, I always did which is why I was super happy that my sister and me discovered this wonderful place at Praia Internacional. To be honest it took us a while to find it as we were riding the bike along the beach and stopped by some coffee places and restaurants but nothing was really convincing. Until finally we spotted that cute place with a couple of restaurants, a bar and a great outdoor area to sit and watch the ocean. We saw some surfers trying to catch a good wave, seagulls flying high up in the sky and the sun getting lower – until there were too many clouds to see the sky turning pink and orange. What a pity! But trust me, without the clouds it would’ve been a perfect sunset. Luckily, we had great food there, I mean just look at that Açai Bowl or the burger in the picture. Was as yummy as it looks! We even tried Porto wine, which is (obviously) a specialty in this city. So in the end, even though we didnt’t see the sunset really we still had a good time there and nevertheless a great view on the ocean.
- Address: Edificio Transparente, Via do Castelo do Queijo 395
- Prices: Burger in A Burguesa 7,50€ / Açai Bowl in Picaba 3,60€ / Porto wine 3,00€
- Opening Hours: most restaurants 10.00AM – 6.00PM or 7.00PM
Renting a bike
Like I just mentioned, we were cycling along the coast to get to the beaches. First of all let me tell you that you have to be very sporty to ride a bike in Porto and you have to have a lot of time and make your way slowly thorugh the city. Porto has not only a lot of hills but also a lot of cobble stones and of course a lot of people in the city center. What’s missing are bike roads. This is why I recommend you to rather walk the city center and have a ride to the coast, like we did, because after a while, there are great roads to cylce along the beach. We were also recommended to go to Gaia on the south side of Douro river ’cause it’s supposed to be more bike-friendly. However, the place we rented our bikes was right in the street where we were staying and the store is called Velurb. The shopkeeper is a very friendly soul and incredibly kind. We paid 15€ for 24 hours and as we brought the bikes back in the evening the same date, he told us we could still use them for a couple of hours the next day whenever we feel like it. In the end, our butts didn’t feel like getting on a bike again but still I think this was a really nice offer! Plus, even though the shop normally closes at 7.30PM, we could just write the shopkeeper a message and bring the bikes back at 10.00PM. It made me really happy that there are still so friendly people in this world, so if you’re considering renting a bike for a day, you should definitely go there!
- Facebook Page
- Address: R. Fernandes Tomás, 259
- Prices: 24 hours for 15€
- Opening Hours: Monday – Saturday 9.30AM – 7.30PM
Beautiful view on the City
Most guides recommend you Ponte Luis I as THE spot to have a postcard picture view on Porto. Well, to be honest I find that bridge pretty ugly and I don’t even think that this is the most amazing view you could have. Sure, it’s nice to watch Porto from Gaia’s side of the river but I am sure I discovered a way more beautiful spot where you can even enjoy a closer view on Estádio do Dragão, Porto’s football stadium. I’m talking about Parque de São Roque. I got there while I went running. Let me tell you, this is not a place for beginners to run and I had to take a huge break as the hills were too steep for me. But while walking slowlier I turned around and had a great view on the city with the stadium right in front of it! I thought it was breath-taking, both literally (as for the hills) and symbolically (as for the beauty of it). Sure, you may have to exercise a bit to reach that spot but it’s totally worth it. A little gratification on top of the hill.
P.S.: Excuse my poor picture but I only had my mobile with me to take pictures as I consider taking a camera with me when I’m running as pretty unpractical. I swear to you the view itself was a lot better!
Coordinations: 41°09’40.1″N 8°35’15.1″W