You should visit Porto! Featuring delicious food and wine at very reasonable prices, it is a remarkably comfortable destination. Add to that the beauty of its architecture and the charming riverfront, and you have a winning combination. And to top it off, the people of Portugal are very friendly.
We had a wonderful time walking (a lot) around the city seeing all of the historical sites, eating the food, drinking the wine, and trying our best to speak Portuguese. Our lodging was a very affordable bed-and-breakfast called “9:36,” and our hosts were a lovely couple with a two-year-old son. Our room was on the top floor, where in another era the servants would have slept.
Did I mention we walked a lot? We walked all over the city, viewing beautiful churches and all manner of old buildings — a palace, numerous government buildings, manors, and hotels, just to name a few — everywhere framed by beautiful cobblestone streets. I almost fell on the uneven stones a few times. We went up in a cable-car/gondola over the river, listened to a street band, went to a port winery called Taylor’s (it’s very famous, apparently, but we didn’t know since we aren’t port drinkers). Overall, we really enjoyed ourselves, soaking up the scenery and the local charm.
Porto is a city you don’t often hear about, at least in the United States, which is surprising because of its splendor, accessibility, and affordability. If you’re ever looking to go somewhere that’s easily reachable from Atlanta, you should seriously consider Porto. It’s much cheaper than France and safer than Spain, and it’s also closer geographically to America than almost any other European country.
Oh! Of course, when you go, don’t forget to try the delicious port. We prefer the dry white style over the sweeter tawny and red varieties, but to each their own.
Connie & Scott