Day 1: Exploring Porto
Upon arriving at the Sao Bento station (lockers available) from the airport you are greeted with one of the most beautiful stations in Europe; tiled fully in a true Portuguese manner and making a fantastic first impression. Make your way down to the Ponte de Dom Luis I Bridge (a pioneering feat of metallic engineering) to cross the River Duoro passing the cathedral on the way. The views from the other side consisting of Orange roofs are reminiscent of Dubrovnik, Crystal Blue rivers with old fishing boats underneath making Lisbon ordinary. Other viewpoints worth mentioning are the Miradouro da Vitória which are less busy and calmer.
The Cais da Ribeira is the main promenade for eating and drinking for tourists but quality here is par. Sights in Porto include the Palacio da Bolsa (Stock Exchange) and Clerigos Tower observation deck (open till 11pm at night) which I both recommend without using over the top complimentary adjectives. The Livraria Lello library is probably the most popular touristy place but I was out quickly due to the crowds. I took the boat tour under the bridges but I was immediately filled with regret when I realised there was an extreme jet boat tour! Porto is obviously famous for Port and wines , so finding a wine tasting tour is no bother as they are scattered around the city! My particular highlight was taking the old tram outside Greja de São Francisco to Foz lighthouse where the Douro meets the Atlantic Ocean and then jogging back (10km) along the seafront, the Portuenses don’t dawdle when running! (I enjoyed this running route so much I did it twice!) Price for everything is cheap to reasonable so no need to worry your bank balance. Nightlife means heading towards Rua Galeria de Paris and Rua Cândido dos Reis where a medley of locals and tourists drink till their hearts content in the streets, bars or clubs. If you’re heading for a night out then locals head out at 3am till 7am!!!